If you've not been to Disneyland for a while, you'll hardly know the place.
Disneyland Park, the original Disney theme park and the only one that Walt Disney saw completed in his lifetime. Much more than the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Park embodies the quiet, charming spirit of nostalgia that so characterized Walt himself. The park is vast yet intimate, steeped in the tradition of its creator yet continually changing.
Disneyland Park is a collection of adventures, rides, and shows symbolized by the Disney characters and Sleeping Beauty Castle. It's divided into eight subareas, or lands, arranged around a central hub. First encountered is Main Street, U.S.A., which connects the Disneyland entrance with the central hub. Moving clockwise around the hub, the other lands are Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Two major lands, Critter Country and New Orleans Square, are accessible via Adventureland and Frontierland but do not connect directly with the central hub. Another land, Mickey's Toontown, connects to Fantasyland.
Disney California Adventure held its grand opening on February 8, 2001. Now known as DCA among Disneyphiles, the park is a bouquet of contradictions conceived in Fantasyland, starved in utero by corporate Disney, and born into a hostile environment of Disneyland loyalists who believe they've been handed a second-rate theme park. The park is full of old technology. Its parts are stunningly beautiful yet come together awkwardly, failing to compose a handsome whole. And perhaps most lamentable of all, the California theme is impotent by virtue of being all-encompassing.
Then there's the park's theme. Although flexible, California Adventure comes off like a default setting, lacking in imagination, weak in concept, and without intrinsic appeal, especially when you stop to consider that two-thirds of Disneyland guests come from Southern California. As further grist for the mill, there's precious little new technology at work in Disney's newest theme park. Of the headliner attractions, only two—Soarin' over California, a simulator ride, and Toy Story Mania!, a "virtual dark ride"—break new ground. All the rest are recycled, albeit popular, attractions from the Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios. When you move to the smaller-statured second half of the attraction batting order, it gets worse. Most of these attractions are little more than off-the-shelf midway rides spruced up with a Disney story line and facade.
A useful page that lists all the attractions that are currently closed and scheduled to be closed.