Friday, March 29, 2013

The Palace of Fine Arts

Disney California Adventure was originally built as a "best of" version of the Golden State. Naturally, there was a section of the park that was supposed to represent San Francisco. In this April 2002 photo on the right, you'll see the Disney version of The Palace of Fine Arts, the only remaining structure from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition.

As you can see, as originally conceived, the DCA version is a scaled-down and simplified version of the beloved San Francisco landmark. The DCA color scheme was fairly faithful to the original:

This view was taken from California Screamin' in Summer 2005:

Once the Whoopi Goldberg movie "Golden Dreams" left the DCA attraction building...

and was replaced by The Little Mermaid dark ride, the color scheme became much more fanciful. The homage to the Palace of Fine Arts is almost unrecognizable.

Back to the original, here's a panoramic view:

And a few detail shots to round out the post:

See more Palace of Fine Arts photos on my Palace of Fine Arts web page.


K. Martinez said...

One thing that always bothered me about DCA is the lack of good representation of San Francisco. I don't even understand why they put Ghiradelli in the Pacific Wharf area which is more Monterey in flavor.

I could see a "Grant Avenue" Chinatown, a Barbary Coast section or even a 1906 earthquake ride. Such missed opportunities.

Major Pepperidge said...

I'm glad I saw the "Golden Dreams" film at least once... it wasn't bad, just not very re-watchable.

A friend of mine used to live just a block or two from the original Palace of Fine Arts, it was cool to be able to just walk over to it form her place.

Mark said...

Couldn't stand Whoopi in that film. Between her being in it and Superstar Limo, DCA 1.0 was a dog of a park.

Daveland said...

K. - DCA's initial start begs to ask, "What were they thinking?" Even though I love some of the new changes, it does seem to lack a bit of a master plan, as the Ghiradelli/Pacific Wharf pairing illustrates. Still - it does make for a nice addition there.

Major - I actually liked "Golden Dreams", but thought that Whoopi was an odd choice for narrator.

Mark - I still remember my thoughts when I first saw DCA. It was over a year before I went back!

Mark said...

I know what you mean, Dave. I couldn't believe THIS was a Disney park. Third rate, not even second rate!