Disney California Adventure Park is making a concerted effort to turn it around into a money spinner. They have taken inspiration from Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla., and created the Cars Land which is its first major new land in any of their parks in the last ten years. The new land and its attractions have been created based on the cult ‘Cars’ movie which has a large diehard fan base. As expected, the response to the opening was tremendous as hundreds of fans arrived from near and far and camped outside the park overnight so that they could be amongst the first to visit the spanking new land. By mid morning thousands more joined them to have the first look of Cars Land. The park had been promoting the opening of the new attraction through teaser pictures and it generated enough curiosity amongst fans to come down in huge numbers to see it in person. The young fans had saved practically everything to be able to make it on the opening day.
Fans for the New Park
The officials of the park were thrilled with the response. Unless and until people are willing to spend their hard earned money on the new attraction Disney California Adventure Park cannot be turned around. It has been an underperformer for the last ten years since it opened in 2001. The park authorities have spent $1.1 billion over four years for an upgrade designed around the Cars Land. Kathy Mangum, executive producer of Walt Disney Imagineering said that she had been all along confident that the new attraction will make the park. The first quarter revenue, this year for Disney, from their parks and resorts rose 10% to $2.9 billion. It is an important segment of their business and much of it comes from merchandise sales.
A Three Dimensional Recreation of the Movie
Theme park is surely a way forward for Disney. Theme park consultant John Gerner of Leisure Business Advisors believes that a park like this re-creates familiar locations and brings characters to life adding up to a more immersive experience. The visitors and fans feel that they have practically stepped into the movie as it is a three dimensional recreation of their favorite movie. The diehard fans of the movie were really enjoying themselves. They were feeling like they were walking into the homes of the characters they had seen in the movie. Couples with young children were particularly happy to see the million dollar smiles on the face of their children. It was important for all of them to experience the park on the opening day. The Disney officials are upbeat about the future as they feel that the Car Land will develop into a second gate. The new park will extend the time visitors spend at the park. It is not just about the ticket sales at both parks but if the visitors spend more time they will end up spending more at restaurants and gift shops which will increase their revenues. These revenue streams are more important for the park than ticket sales as they provide a better margin to the management. Disney California Adventure Park seems all set for a turn around.