Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Disney Exec Discusses California Adventure Overhaul

Theme park aficionados have been buzzing about Disney CEO Bob Iger's announcement that he plans to rescue the company's California Adventure park from its current state of mediocrity. Disney's California Adventure has long been maligned for its uninspired theme, lack of engaging attractions, and general absence of entertainment. Iger's plan reportedly includes considerable financial expenditure, and will result in a complete overhaul of the structure of the park over the next decade.

Traditionally, Disney executives have been less than forthcoming with details of future projects. But in an exclusive interview with ARN&R, Iger slightly pulled back the curtain of mystery surrounding one facet of this monumental renovation. Late this year, the parkÂ?s flight simulator Soarin' Over California will be closed, to be replaced in 2008 by a brand new attraction: Saruman Over California. The ride's IMAX projection screens and unique inverted simulator system will remain in place, but instead of experiencing a lighthearted aerial tour of the Golden State, guests will be menaced by the evil white wizard portrayed by Christopher Lee.

"It's going to be great," said Iger, finishing off his fifth El Presidente margarita. "The story is that Saruman wants to turn California into the new Isengard, and our guests get caught right in the middle. Dragons, orcs, those things that look like the Harry Potter dementors...this is going to have it all."

"You could say that it's one ride to rule them all," Iger chuckled, to the groans of nearby Chili's patrons.

The ride's Saruman footage is reportedly culled from unsatisfactory outtakes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, purchased from New Line Cinema at a heavily discounted price. Iger says not to worry; Disney isn't reverting back to their frugal ways with the "new" California Adventure.

"Wait until you see the queue for this thing! And the souvenir shop at the ride's exit!" Iger gushed. "Who can stand against the combined might of Saruman and Walt Disney Imagineering? Nobody, that's who."