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Bountiful Valley Farm - Winery / San Francisco / Pacific Wharf area

DCA Map

(MAP #6 - directly under the main entrance)

BOUNTIFUL VALLEY FARM - This agricultural-themed area offers a Disneyfied demonstration farm where visitors can see what basic food crops look like everything from artichokes to zucchini.

Didn't we already see this in Tomorrowland?

It is a large component of the "edutainment" theme that pervades the park. Disney is relying on display and presentation to augment rides and shows within the new theme park.

"There are so few opportunities to see how products are made, or in this case grown," Braverman said. Disney Chairman Michael Eisner believes "this is something that people will find compelling. See what the California workplace is like."

Why? I do understand the factory tour trend is on an upswing - but with expected crowds of over 60% locals, why would anyone want to pay $40 plus to see where they now work? This is utterly baffling.

The area also has a children's play area - they can climb aboard caterpillar tractors.

The highlight of the farm might be the popular "It's Tough to Be a Bug" film from Disney's Animal Kingdom park in Orlando, Fla. The eight-minute, 3-D film also employs audio- animatronic figures, steam and other special effects to give visitors a view of the world from the perspective of Disney's soon-to-be-released "A Bug's Life" computer-animated film. The entrance of the theater simulates underground earthworm holes.

This film has been Animal Kingdom's one big hit, and was rushed into this park as a last minute addition. It's only drawback is how short the film runs. It's the same kinds of effects you now see in the "Honey I Shrunk the Audience" film in Tomorrowland.

Across the way, the California winery complex rounds out this area. Operated by the Robert Mondavi winery, the mission-style complex will include a gourmet restaurant, wine-tasting rooms, a demonstration vineyard and a film about the annual grape-growing cycle.

It's always been understood that alcohol would be a major component of DCA. But in Orlando at Walt Disney World the Magic Kingdom park [their alcohol-free equivalent of Disneyland] has been located at a great distance from the others.

Let's hope that we won't see too many drunks from either the new park, or all the adjacent themed restaurants in the mall district, on Disneyland's rides. Not only would it be unpleasant, but it also could be dangerous.


DCA Map

(MAP #3 - middle of map, below 2, between 4 & 5)

SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT - Patterned after the city's rotunda from the Palace of Fine Arts, this district will offer an artisan's workshop. "It's a little bit of the Sawdust Festival at Laguna Beach," Braverman said.

The main event, however, is Circle of Hands, a film about California history.

"This is where we highlight all the different peoples who came to California and contributed to its success," Braverman said. "This is where we acknowledge the cultures that built the state. You will see Cesar Chavez organizing farm workers in Delano, the Chinese building the transcontinental railroad.

"This is the emotional show, the one where we want to pull on people's heartstrings," Braverman said.

What Braverman doesn't say is that this is also "one where the budget strings got pulled" too.

Originally this show was planned on an epic scale akin to the American Adventure attraction in EPCOT [which features huge hydraulic stages swapping in various animatronic figures to help tell the story of America].

But Disneyland resort president Paul Pressler's limited vision, along with Eisner demanding even more cutbacks in the budget has forced this into just a large screen theater presentation at this point, presented by host Whoopie Goldberg.

Understand there are a LOT of movies in DCA now - and it's one of the reasons that among execs at the company it's getting the unflattering nickname of "Pressler's Multiplex." Theme park movies tend to have a shorter shelf life than regular attractions also - that's been one of EPCOT'S major problems over the years for example.

Also a Fantasmic type lagoon show was planned long ago, that the San Francisco area, Pier and Wharf sections, would border around. [With an "X-treme Sports" theme at one point.]

But in order to keep the budgets down it was dropped out of plans, even though not installing the basic infrastructure now in this early phase of construction will end up costing the company untold extra millions in the future when they do finally put it in.

Penny-wise, pound foolish? That's the Disney way under Eisner I guess...


DCA Map

(MAP #5 - below and between numbers 3 and 6)

PACIFIC WHARF located to the southwest is primarily a dining area inspired by the Cannery Row neighborhood of Monterey.

Look for utterly engrossing bread baking demonstrations, along with downright enthralling tortilla making here in this dining area. THAT should enthrall crowds by the zillions...  ;) 

Just how out of touch are these Disney executives?

WHAT YOU'LL SEE IN...

THE FARM AREA:

Theme: Agriculture, Winery

Attractions: Tractor play area, California Aqueduct water play area

Shows: It's Tough To Be A Bug film, Seasons of the Vine  Vineyard life film

Exhibit: Demonstration farm

Shops: Santa Rosa Seed & Supply Co., garden shop, Wine Country Market, gourmet shop,

Restaurants: Mondavi restaurant and wine tasting room - Wine Country Market, Golden Vine Terrace, Vineyard Room / Bountiful Valley Farmer's Market / Sam Andreas Shakes

SAN FRANCISCO AREA:

Theme: San Francisco

Show: Circle of Hands California history film

Shop: Artisan's Workplace [will NOT open with the park]

THE WHARF AREA:

Theme: Monterey Bay's cannery row

Attractions: Boudin Bakery / Mission Tortilla Factory [no kidding, both are listed as actual attractions]

Restaurants: Cocina Cucamongoa Mexican Grill / Lucky Fortune Cookie / Pacific Wharf Cafe / Rita's Margaritas


MAJOR PORTIONS OF THIS PAGE FROM THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER:

October 14, 1998

The article quoted on this page, along with the map graphic is copyright 1998 by The Orange County Register.

It is reproduced on this site by kind permission of the author.

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