On this day back in 2001, Disney's second Anaheim park (and 8th theme park in the world),
Disney's California Adventure Park officially opens along with its new Grand Californian hotel.
DCA is the centerpiece of a $1.4-billion expansion of what will now be called the Disneyland Resort. The new 67-acre park, which has its own distinct identity separate from the 45-year-old Magic Kingdom's, is divided into 3 main theme areas: Paradise Pier - a nostalgic California beachfront amusement section, Hollywood Pictures Backlot - a district inspired by Hollywood Boulevard and the movies, and the Golden State - a more sprawling area devoted to the people, natural beauty and industries of California. (By 2010 the park will be known as simply Disney California Adventure.)
Michael Eisner's dedication on this day includes these words:
"To all who believe in the power of dreams … Welcome! Disney's California Adventure opens its
golden gates to you. Here we pay tribute to the dreamers of the past … the native people, explorers, immigrants, aviators, entrepreneurs and entertainers who built the Golden State. And we salute a new generation of dreamers who are creating the wonders of tomorrow … from the silver screen to the computer screen … from the fertile farmlands to the far reaches of space. Disney California Adventure celebrates the richness and the diversity of California … its land, its people its spirit and above all, the dreams that it continues to inspire."
Opening day attractions include:
Animation Academy - housing a total of ten shows, galleries, and interactive exhibits
California Screamin' - the second longest steel coaster in the U.S.
Character Close-Up - walk-through exhibit featuring animation sketches & models
Golden Zephyr - cycle ride reminiscent of blimps
Grizzly River Run - white-water raft ride
It's Tough to Be a Bug! - 3-D film featuring some of the characters from the Disney/Pixar film A Bug's Life
Jumpin' Jellyfish - parachute drop
King Triton's Carousel - elaborate and stunningly crafted carousel
Muppet*Vision 3D - 3-D film augmented by auditory, visual, and tactile special effects
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail - elaborate maze of rope bridges, rock climbing, log towers, a zip line & a cave
Soarin' Over California - hang-glider tour of California with IMAX-quality images projected below
Sorcerer's Workshop - series of walk-through exhibits inside the Disney Animation Building
The Bakery Tour - walk-through attraction featuring hosts Rosie O'Donnell and Colin Mochrie via video.