View Full Version : It's Offical - 'Millionaire' Comes to DCA

Another Voice
05-31-2001, 11:52 PM
Disney has just issued a press release confirming that “Who Wants to be a Millionaire: PLAY IT!” will open at California Adventure in late August. The show will be an exact clone of the show at the Disney/MGM Studios, only it will be housed in a tent erected in the area that was supposed to have been the clone of the Disneyland Paris ‘Armageddon’ show. The prizes will be the same as at WDW: pins, t-shirts, a trip to New York for the “Millionaire” level winners.

In other DCA news, the Napa Rose – the premier restaurant at Disney’s Grand Californian – has closed for lunch and laid off about ten people. Most counter service restaurants within California Adventure are now closing between 3:00 and 4:00pm, leaving only a few walk-up windows and the non-Disney owned full service restaurants available for dinner. The Soap Opera Bistro has closed for both breakfast and dinner and now services only a limited lunch menu. The special viewing of the ‘Eureka Parade’ – deserts and drinks served on a balcony overlooking the parade route – has also been cancelled. In a move to prove that there are things for children to enjoy at the park, all children are being given a map at the main entrance. After each child experiences a listed “attraction”, they are given a sticker by a cast member. If the child turns in a completed map, they are given another sticker and their parents are given discount certificates on kid meals and merchandise. And something for you cast members out there – all wardrobe departments resort wide are now closed on Wednesdays. Employees have their choice of taking their costumes home to wash themselves or wearing the costume for a second day.

In the strictly rumor section – the clone of WDW’s Aladdin spinner (but themed to the Little Mermaid) has been cancelled so that the budget can be used elsewhere. The leading rumor vote getter is a walk through “old fashioned fun house” in the Paradise Pier area. The “attraction” would be housed in some temporary buildings underneath the roller coaster and would have black-light characters from ‘Monster, Inc.’ Another rumor has an unthemed, off-the-shelf “plunge” type boat ride set for the area as well. As expected, allowing park hopping has increased the number of admissions, but the level of actual ticket sales is continuing to erode. Less than 2000 single day tickets are sold for California Adventure on most days. Aside from tourists on pre-sold multi-day tickets, the next largest group in the park are Annual Passport holders. Disney is now allowing cast members unlimited sign-ins (with guests) on Mondays through Thursdays. Prior to the park opening, Disney was not going to allow ANY sign-ins at all until after September. Cast members can also now get a 50% discount on food inside the park

A fake game show in a tent, no where to eat for under $20, smelly cast members, and a park only filled with rabid, pin-trading mall rats – kinda puts that whole motor boat deal into perspective, doesn’t it?

06-01-2001, 02:00 AM
kinda puts that whole motor boat deal into perspective, doesn’t it?

It sure does!

Thanks Voice.

Captain Crook
06-01-2001, 06:47 AM
I'll try & be centered on this one (but neither of you are trying).

The rumors of the restaurants, the moves to attract children and smelly CM's certainly show issue's to be concerned with...But what's your problem with "Millionaire" guys? Is it just because it's too synergistic or that it's a relatively inexpensive attraction?

It happens to be a very entertaining attraction which the public seems to like A LOT. If you think Disney should pony up more dough for better attractions...And the rumor of the "fun house" certainly sounds like a place for a rallying point (I can even agree), but "Millionaire" is what it is and Disney should get credit for adding an attraction that WILL BE popular, regardless of the expense involved to open it...

:smooth: :smooth: :bounce: :smooth: :smooth:

06-01-2001, 07:22 AM
Is it just because it's too synergistic or that it's a relatively inexpensive attraction?

What bothers me is the furthering of the notion that Imagineering via Zerox machine is a way to grow a strong theme park business. Nothing against this or any one attraction in particular, not everything has to be eye-poppingly technologically innovative.

The distressing part is that they appear to be "fixing" DCA by using the same methods that made it appear "broken" in the first place.


Captain Crook
06-01-2001, 08:40 AM
I hear what your saying and I understand it and believe it or not, with DCA I'm starting to wonder if you aren't correct...But none of that changes the fact that "Millionaire" itself is a fine attraction & will be a fine addition to DCA (as it was to The Studios). Perhaps this is one of those instances where Disney has just been lucky with all of the pieces fitting nicely...

I can relate better to criticizms when (as is becoming my mantra) credit is given when deserved, and lately it's been slam, slam, slam.

Although the "method" for this attraction is not what we hope will become the norm, it has worked in this instance and The Studios are better off because of it and so will DCA be...
:smooth: :smooth: :bounce: :smooth: :smooth:

06-01-2001, 09:21 AM
Perhaps this is one of those instances where Disney has just been lucky with all of the pieces fitting nicely... I can relate better to criticizms when (as is becoming my mantra) credit is given when deserved Fair enough. My only problem is that it sounds like you want me to give Disney "credit" for something you're willing to admit might be luck. I'll try to be better about speaking up when something is done in a way I think fits the Disney tradition, but credit is something I'd really like to see them _earn_.

Mind you, I don't have anything against Disney being lucky, or getting more guests into DCA. I even suspect I'll enjoy WWTBAM-PI! at WDW in two weeks (I have tried to avoid slamming the attraction experiences themselves [well, except for JIYI. Pee-Yew], particularly if I haven't yet experienced them). I can see the short term benefit. The attraction is a disappointment to me on that other, longer-term scale that I feel is actually more important.

I wish we had a rumor about a well-themed, innovative E-ticket going in at DCA, something that you _had_ to go to DCA if you want to experience it. That's a rumor we could knock around some. The "clone" rumors leave little to be discussed except for management's motives, which seems likely to draw the thread-killing "Debate Board" warnings.


Another Voice
06-01-2001, 10:50 AM
I don’t have that much trouble with ‘Millionaire’ per se – I think the game show experience can be fun and exciting for most people. It’s one of the experiences that people really do associate with California, and one that can be replicated well in a theme park. Of course, a REAL game show experience is just a 30-minute drive from California Adventure, but that’s another story. And if nothing else, putting ‘Millionaire’ in DCA will corral the annual passport holders into one spot as they frantically grovel after the latest prize pins.

A concern about ‘Millionaire’ and the rumors is that they confirm that Disney’s upscale, state-of-the-art, cutting edge theme park for the 21st century is , well, none of those things. The entire park contains only one truly original attraction – all the others are clones or off-the-shelf filler rides from a Six Flags park. Worse, Disney does not show the slightest interest in changing the situation. Even the corporately approved rumors of the “next big E-ticket” rides are simply clones from WDW – and neither of those were approved despite WDI’s drastic cost cutting efforts (imagine, if you will, a ‘Tower of Terror’ with no lobby, no basement, no show scenes – just a trip up and the drop sequence all in the same shaft).

I will gladly give credit when credit is earned. Nothing does my heart better than to hear the gasps from the guests when you break out of the clouds over the Golden Gate Bridge on ‘Soaring Over California’. And to hear applause at the end – honest applause! But credit is earned through hard work and effort, not simply by branding everything in sight as “Disney’s” whatever and demanding that the public embrace it. There are a lot of great “rumors” about a lot of excellent ideas that people have had for California Adventure – but Disney is lacking the courage and commitment to turn rumors into plans.

Safari Steve
06-01-2001, 11:09 AM
As far as costuming is concerned, CMs are allowed to have more than one costume on issue at a time. MK costuming issue is closed on Wed and Sun (I'm not happy about that, but I'll live) If a costume is needed (either for a CM who is working that day or someone who needs a costume change) a costuming duty manager can be called and will gladly issue the necessary costumes.
As for Millionaire, I'd much rather see it go up in a temporary structure than see a permenant structure built specifically for an attraction that has a max expected run of 5 years.

06-01-2001, 11:32 AM
Common AV stop kidding us.

What are you trying to do run my weekend. It was depressing enough reading the latest J. Hill article. Now your going to tell me that they are actually thinking of expanding PPier with more carney rides?

I wasn't big on the idea of the Ursala spinner, but at least it was something for the kids, and I figured they must have gotten some sort of deal like buy 3 (MK, DLP, and AK) get one free. When I heard it was canned I just assumed it was money they would use instead on one of the clone (ToT, RnR) ideas.

A fun house and a water plunge ride? I don't get it!

Must be all those incredably favorable exit surveys they keep referring to. I bet the one suggestion they are getting is "can Disney please copy more of those rides like we find at Knotts BF".