The History of Disney's California Adventure
The Disney Company wanted California Adventure to be a different kind of park, to enhance visitors' experience but not compete with Disneyland. While Disneyland revolves around the Disney characters (as well as the company's television and movie franchises), California Adventure has the look and feel of a Disney theme park, but many rides, shows, and attractions are based on something else.
California Adventure is more teen- and adult-oriented than Disneyland. Many of its rides could be classified as thrill rides, and some of what's offered might even be considered educational or culturally enlightening, which appeals more to adults. Nevertheless, California Adventure offers something for the entire family.
If you visited Disneyland before California Adventure was built, you'd probably think the place was already stuffed full, with the theme park, hotels, and parking lots taking up all available land surface. Disney was faced with a challenge. How could they add a new hotel, a new theme park, and a new shopping and dining complex without spreading out? The solution was to build a multistory parking structure capable of holding up to 10,000 vehicles, the largest in North America when it was completed. This oversize parking garage has six floors, ten toll booths, six entrance and exit lanes, and a separate ramp for each floor to improve traffic flow.
With the land freed up, it was only a matter of time and money — five and a half years of construction and an outlay of $1.4 billion — to complete the Disneyland Resort. California Adventure opened to the public on February 8, 2001.