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Disney California Adventure entrance

Disney's CEO has revealed that the company toyed with the idea of combining California Adventure with neighboring Disneyland to create one giant theme park.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Robert Iger claims that the "mega-park" idea was considered due to California Adventure's disappointing attendance figures. Ultimately, Disney rejected the idea in favor of a $1.1 billion series of upgrades to Disneyland's sister park.

According to Iger, Disney's Imagineers produced initial designs for the combined park, which would have carried a hefty admission charge. However, the concept would have required the addition of expensive transportation systems (such as the extension of Disneyland's monorail system), and was deemed infeasible.

In the interview, Iger is frank about the reasons for Disney California Adventure's poor performance since its 2001 opening day. He concedes that Disney's brand suffered a "withdrawal" due to its involvement with what Iger describes as "mediocre" park.

Cars Land overview image

Cars Land will be the first expansion to California Adventure since the park opened.
Image © Disney

To turn around Disney California Adventure's fortunes, Iger says that the company will make it "bigger and better". The park has already seen the addition of the World of Color night-time spectacular (which opened in June 2010) and dark ride The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure will open in 2011. Extensive remodelling of many areas of the park is also underway, and the upgrades will be completed in 2012 with the addition of the Pixar-inspired Cars Land, anchored by the $200 million Radiator Springs Racers attraction.

You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.

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