With the opening of Disney’s California Adventure Park–located right next door to Disneyland–came a certain amount of expectation. It’s rare for a company like Disney to fail at anything, but they’ve seen the Adventure Park underperform in just about every way since it opened in 2001. The hope was that visitors would stay longer in Disney hotels in order to get the most of their time in the parks, but CAP only ended up being a layover for adults to get a drink while the kids took an arcade break before heading back to Disneyland, which is–let’s face it–where the kids really want to be anyway.
Now, as part of a four-year, billion-dollar revamp of California Adventure Park, Disney has introduced a “Cars” themed attraction which has drawn fans from all over the country and even saw them camping out last week in anticipation of the official opening on Friday. It couldn’t have come at a better time, either, as Disney is still reeling from the enormous box-office failure that was “John Carter“. With theme parks raking in almost $3 billion in revenue for the company this year, they’re making a step in the right direction; however, if the “Cars” attraction doesn’t perform as well as they want it to, the California Adventure Park might well go under.
Executive director of Disney Imagineering Kathy Mangum acknowledged how important the new site is.
“We knew that this was going to be an important attraction because it was going to have to make the park.”
For now, it seems Disney has nothing to worry about. As of the “Cars” opening, fans were anxious to lay down their hard-earned dough for just about anything they could get their hands on, including one woman who spoke to the St. Augustine Record.
“We got every available item from commemorative pins to T-shirts,” Terri Herrera, 48, said. “I’ve spent $1,700 so far. To be honest with you, I’ll probably end up spending over $5,000 today.”