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Kevin Yee

Avalon Cove - The Last Supper, III

ONE | TWO


Entry sign
Entry sign

I just can’t make up my mind. Is the closing of Avalon Cove a good thing or a bad thing? We’ve been hinting around here for a while now that both Avalon Cove and Mondavi were not as full as other restaurants in the Resort, and just as you might imagine, low crowds do have consequences.

Pierside facade, with recently added signs
Pierside facade, with recently added signs

So we therefore have to bid adieu to the first casualty at Disney’s California Adventure (DCA). Well, technically it’s the second casualty, if you count entertainment – "Lights, Camera, Chaos" closed first.

The view from the other side of Paradise Bay
The view from the other side of Paradise Bay

I take no comfort in being right that Avalon Cove was underperforming, though. I truly have mixed emotions about it. Here are my reasons for each side:

The bar area as seen from Paradise Pier
The bar area as seen from Paradise Pier

The downside to the closure:

1. DCA has now lost one of its best sources of restaurant variety; the seafood here was truly excellent and quite different from other theme park food.

The front entry
The front entry

2. The atmosphere and ambiance was really hard to beat.

3. A closure of any facility is something DCA can ill-afford; now there’s that much less to see and do.

Ocean life themed lighting over main entry lobby
Ocean life themed lighting over main entry lobby

The positives:

1. Disney will take ownership of this place, and it will re-open later this year.

2. Everyone involved has learned an important lesson here: extremely high prices will not work in a theme park. From this lesson comes pain, perhaps, but also an adjustment that can only benefit the consumer. Who wants to bet that Avalon Cove reopens with a more reasonable pricing structure?

The Cove Bar upstairs has a view of Paradise Pier
The Cove Bar upstairs has a view of Paradise Pier

Note: even if it never reopens, there is a lesson in all this for Disney’s other operations; namely, that there is a limit on how much people will pay for their food inside the parks. Again, the consumer wins.

The sign directs us downstairs for dining
The sign directs us downstairs for dining

I am by nature something of an archivist, particularly when it comes to Disneyland history stuff. Who wouldn’t want to be there in 1955, frantically buying everything in sight? I’d especially take pictures of things which would later be removed, such as the Phantom Boats or the Bathroom of the Future.


The downstairs lobby...


...even the couch is wave shaped...

...and the bathroom's blue neon backlit mirrors give the feeling of being underwater
...and the bathroom's blue neon backlit mirrors give the feeling of being underwater

Well, we had that chance here at DCA. In that spirit we present this photo essay. It’s early to be nostalgic, of course, but you archivists out there will no doubt appreciate the pictures. I don’t know if I think the closing of Avalon Cove is a good thing or a bad thing, as noted above, but I do know one thing: it was part of the Disneyland Resort, and by default I will therefore miss it.

Enjoy the pictures.

CONTINUED


Questions and comments can be sent to:  kevinyee@mouseplanet.com

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