ONE | TWO |
On Friday the 16th March I drove
into Anaheim, with great excitement, for after waiting for two years and
reading all about it on MousePlanet I was finally going to visit Disney’s
I thought it would be interesting to write my views about the new
park. I have not seen the park being built and have no links with
California and the USA so hopefully it should be an unbiased opinion.
Rather than write a full trip report, detailing what happened on each
of the 4 days I visited the new park, I thought I would write about each
section and attraction separately.
This is the large open space that welcomes you as you enter the park,
on either side are useful guest services and stores and facing you is
the magnificent Sun Sculpture. I have to say that I found the sculpture
with its every changing wave of water very pretty and dazzling in the
The stores and shops in the plaza offer general DCA merchandise from
all around the park, and provide a great spot to do last minute
shopping. There are no attractions in this area of the park, but now and
again you get to meet Mickey and his friends in front of the Sun
Hollywood Pictures Backlot
This part of the park feels like pure Disney, you have the feel to
Main Street delivered with flair and skill. The store front are pretty
and fun, and the mural painted on the side of the Hyperion Theatre
produces a stunning view. This area of the park is the smallest of the
three ‘lands’ and as such it also has the lowest number of
This is for me is the headline attraction in the Hollywood area. The
outside of the building should give you a clue to the amazing sites you
will find inside.
As you wind your way around the entry corridor and into the main
room, you are hit in the face by a huge space filled with over 20
screens presenting images and film for Disney classic movies. The film
look in here is over 20 minutes long, I know because I enjoyed watching
it twice. The other 4 areas include :-
- The Robin Williams film about animation that is shown at WDW, this
is starting to show it’s age.
- A very busy room full of original artwork from the animated
- A fun show with a live ‘animator’ who interacts with a film of
- And the best part of the attraction the Sorcerers Workshop; here
you can experience some of the newest technology presented in a
simple way to allow you to take part in animation.
Hyperion Theatre – Disney’s Steps
This is going to be a difficult subject, so I will cover it in 3
parts, the building, the cast and the show. (By the way, the photo above
was taken during the preparations for the Spy Kids movie premiere.)
The building is a mixed bag, it has obviously been the target of
budget cuts, hence the outside stairs and minimal decoration and finish.
Having said that it looks as though they have not been mean when it
comes to providing the technical facilities to stage shows here. It is a
large auditorium with excellent sightlines for the whole audience.
The cast work very hard in what is a most energetic show, when they
are not on stage dancing the are offstage changing into yet another
costume. I went too two performances and I saw different leads in each.
I have to say that in my opinion they did not seem to be good singers,
at times the harmonies were missed and the voices seemed strained.
As for the content of the show I can think of no redeeming features,
it has to be one of the worst stage shows I have ever seen, thankfully
it is only 30 minutes long.
I have seen every major stage show in London and many on Broadway,
lots of these shows have delivered a full 2-3 hour show on less budget
than Steps in Time. The scenery of which there is very little and the
costumes have no originality at all.
The story is forced, trite and at time nauseating. They seem to have
tried as hard as possible to change every Disney song to make them
unrecognizable and frankly unpleasant. The show starts badly, improves
little and sinks to what you would imagine is an impossible low. Go and
see it just to witness how bad it is.
Jim Henson’s Muppet-Vision 3D
This is a direct copy of the WDW attraction; from the pre-show right
through to the main show theatre. Once upon a time this was a headline
attraction at Disney / MGM studios, but it now seems slow and lacks the
pace of more recent 3D film based shows.
It is a quality show and is always worth a visit, for the wit of
Stadler and Waldorf alone.
I had read various reports about this ride before I visited the park,
and to be honest I really was expecting the worst. What I actually got
was poor but not as bad as I had been led to believe. The ride is very
slow, very short and already looks dated and cheap. There are a number
of clever tricks if you look for them, but you need to look very hard.
I would be very disappointed if I had to wait more than 5 minutes to
get on this ride, as any longer is just not worth it. It will amuse the
kids and it is something for them to do in an otherwise child unfriendly
park, but don’t expect too much.
The Hollywood Backlot Stage
I was unlucky and missed the Lights, Action, Chaos show that
is presented here. The one time I planned to see it the show had been
cancelled. So no views from me, sorry.
Shopping and Eating
Again you have a large selection of stores and food outlets here.
There are 4 stores and 6 places to eat and drink, including the full
service ABC Soap Opera Bistro.
Condor Flats - Soarin’ Over
Maybe I had to high an expectation for this film / ride, because it
failed to deliver the WOW I thought it would. The ride itself is
minimally themed inside with bare corridors in most of the waiting
areas. The ride system is impressive, especially the moment when you are
launched forwards towards the huge screen.
The problem is that the film just does not have enough ‘moments’
and the movement of the seats in time with the film is minimal. I’m
sure with more development of the ride system this can be a stunning and
thrilling attraction, at the moment it is simply a nice film with a
strange seating arrangement. I did ride this three times just to make
sure I had not missed the point, and it is enjoyable, but not yet a ‘star’.
CONTINUE or back to CONTENTS