History of Disney California Adventure

Mulholland Madness:

On the other side of Paradise Bay, Mulholland Madness rounded out the slate of Paradise Pier attractions in Disney California Adventure. Like Maliboomer, it was another off the shelf attraction–a simple wild mouse kiddie coaster.

Unlike Maliboomer, Disney did theme it, but with a very tacky, very minimal, and very obnoxious theme to things you might see along the freeway in Los Angeles. Mulholland Madness went extinct in 2010.

Traffic Cop

Mulholland Madness

Mulholland Madness

Mulholland Madness

Mulholland Madness

The attraction reopened in 2011, rethemed as Goofy’s Sky School. While it’s still an off-the-shelf wild mouse coaster, and the theming still isn’t that great, it’s about as good of a fix as can be expected until Disney removes the coaster completely.

Rumors abound that this is another site of future expansion, and I certainly hope that’s the case.

Pizza Oom Mow Mow & Burger Invasion:

Pizza Oom Mow Mow and Burger Invasion were restaurants in Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure that went extinct in 2010. Burger Invasion is interesting because it was the first McDonald’s in a Disney theme park when it opened in 2001. Disney and McDonald’s had a strong relationship at this time (I’m pretty sure there was also a nationwide McDonald’s ad campaign in 2001 promoting the opening of Disney’s California Adventure and the Big ‘N’ Tasty; I can find no evidence of this online, but I seem to remember it…anyone else?)

Burger Invasion was a giant burger shaped Spaceship-restaurant. I suppose it was themed to the California Crazy movement, but I’m not certain of that (it doesn’t have the typical look of California Crazy, but it is a giant burger…). Burger Invasion unofficially closed in 2008 when Disney’s partnership with McDonald’s ended, but the restaurant stuck around, in a perpetually closed state, until 2010. Although it never re-opened (to my knowledge) after 2008, over the years, vestiges of McDonald’s were removed from the restaurant and rethemed.

Hidden Mickey (zoomed in) at the now defunct Burger Invasion in Paradise Pier

Burger Invasion (DCA Past)

Burger Invasion - McDonalds in DCA

I only had the chance to eat at Pizza Oom Mow Mow once, but I have to admit that I loved it, and actually preferred it to the restaurants in Paradise Gardens. Its theming was rich, it was incredibly detailed, and was just plain fun. It was also very eclectic and tacky. By itself, it might have received a pass, but Disney California Adventure was filled with loud, tacky, and eclectic experiences. I think the right decision was made to close and retheme it to a restaurant that would work better in Paradise Pier.

Pizza Oom Mow Mow

Pizza Oom-Mow-Mow

Disneyland Aug 2010 - Eating at Pizza Oom Mow Mow

Disneyland Aug 2010 - Eating at Pizza Oom Mow Mow

2-9-10 13

Destruction of Burger Invasion and Pizza Ooh-Mow-Mow

Boardwalk Pizza Pasta Construction

Boardwalk Pizza Pasta

Paradise Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta replacement Burger Invasion and Pizza Oom Mow Mow in 2011. Instead of the tacky and loud theming of their predecessors, the two new restaurants have a restrained elegance and fit the theming of a bayside pier perfectly. While the new restaurants are not as detail-rich as Pizza Oom Mow Mow, they just work in the new Disney California Adventure much better.

Shops and Stuff:

Unlike the giant burger at Burger Invasion that might have been (but probably wasn’t) California Crazy, the giant pink (and later green) dinosaur at Dinosaur Jack’s Sunglass Shack was definitely California Crazy. Unsurprisingly, this was a sunglass store. Over the years, Dinosaur Jack developed some neck weakness issues (you can see a brace in the first photo below), and was eventually repainted green when his neck was fixed.

Dinosaur Jack went extinct in 2009.

Route 66 path - Pink dino

Dinosaur Jack

Dinosaur Jack's Sunglass Shack at Disney's California Adventure

Route 66 path - Green dino

Dinosaur Jack's Sunglass Shack at Disney's California Adventure

Souvenir 66 was another shop in this area of Paradise Pier. It sold hats and random generic trinkets. It closed permanently in 2009 with Dinosaur Jack, but unlike Jack, which was removed, it reopened as Seaside Souvenirs in 2011.

Souvenir 66

The S.S. Rustworthy was a McDonald’s-sponsored play area in Disney California Adventure. According to backstory, the S.S. Trustworthy was a fireboat for Paradise Pier Bay that crashed and broke into two, and the letter “T” fell off the boat. Because of this, it was renamed the S.S. Rustworthy.

When McDonald’s and Disney ended their relationship in 2008, the Rustworthy lost its sponsor. In 2010 it went extinct, to be replaced by Bayside Brews.

The overall changes to the Route 66-themed shops and restaurants in this area of Paradise Pier (did I miss something connecting Route 66 to Paradise Pier?!) to something more “Pier-ish” have been huge improvements for Disney California Adventure. This whole area previously looked incredibly tacky and kitschy, and now, with few exceptions, it looks great!

World of Color:

Following Toy Story Midway Mania, World of Color was the next big project undertaken as part of the Disney California Adventure transformation/overhaul/expansion. Technically, it was preceded by another water show on Paradise Bay, LuminAria, which ran for one holiday season in 2001. There is very little online about LuminAria (I have the music from it, which is gorgeous), but you can read more about it at Yesterland.

Construction for World of Color began with the draining of Paradise Bay in November 2008. Thereafter, a platform for the water jets was constructed in January 2009, and Paradise Bay was refilled in November 2009. Programming and testing for World of Color began in late 2009. Leaked videos of the testing show a version of World of Color with more classic Walt Disney-era animated films, and it has been suggested that Disney CEO Bob Iger mandated that changes be made to make the show more contemporary. World of Color premiered in June 2010 as part of Disneyland Resort’s Summer Nightastic promotion.

Empty Paradise Pier Lake

Construction Wall in Front of Paradise Pier

Disney's World of Color - Coming Spring 2010

DCA: Work in Progress

Painting the Flowers Red

Disneyland Aug 2010 - Carnivale of Color

Disneyland Aug 2010 - Carnivale of Color

World of Color Puppet - Mike Wazowski

World of ColorTron...

When it first premiered, World of Color was promoted throughout Disney California Adventure with paint displays (pictured above) and flower beds. It also featured a pre-show with light up Disney characters.

Since premiering, many segments have cycled through an open slot in World of Color. Pirates of the Caribbean was originally in this slot, followed by Tron: Legacy, and now Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In addition to this, a holiday-themed Prep & Landing pre-show debuted for Christmas 2011, and a patriotic July 4, 2011 version also ran. Anticipated changes include interactive audience elements.

World of Color was another substantial addition that has received an overwhelmingly positive response from guests. It gives Disney California Adventure a bona fide nighttime spectacular.

Explore the rest of Disney California Adventure on the next page! You can navigate to specific lands and changes via the links below, or take the full tour by simply clicking the numbers below!

Park Entrance
Sunshine Plaza
Paradise Pier – Part 1
Paradise Pier – Part 2
Golden State
Hollywood Pictures Backlot
Parades & Events
Cars Land Construction


40 Responses to “History of Disney California Adventure”
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