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Arts and Entertainment

Photos: Get a Look at the Revamped California Adventure (Without Trekking to Anaheim)

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By Sam Brodey

It's been nearly five years in the making, but Disney has finally finished remodeling, rebranding and just plain fixing Disneyland's troubled neighbor, California Adventure. The Golden State-themed park opened next door to Disneyland in 2001 to major fanfare, but thanks to poor word-of-mouth and the fact that most attractions replicated real stuff -- i.e. Hollywood -- located 45 minutes away, attendance suffered. It became an afterthought, mostly a place for exasperated adults to get a much-needed alcoholic drink after a few hours at Disneyland (Mickey-tinis, anyone?).

Today's grand re-opening, complete with Mickey and friends (including Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger) is the culmination of a $1.1 billion effort by the Mouse to enhance the overall experience and "timelessness" of the park. Park guests are now greeted by Buena Vista Street, a romanticized vision of 1920s Los Angeles, complete with street cars and a theater that serves as a restaurant and bar.

The place has been revamped across the board, but the centerpiece of the transformation is "Cars Land," a brand-new area modeled after Radiator Springs, the town in which Pixar's successful Cars films are set. A press release from Disney describes the 12-acre theme area as "one of the largest and most elaborate attractions created for a Disney theme park."

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Pixar's known for its magic touch, so maybe the Cars-driven remake of the park can bring it back to life. If you don't have the time or fortitude to make the pilgrimage down there, check out these shots of the spiffy new additions.

Historic Carthay Circle Theatre Will Rise Again... Disney-Style