By Brady MacDonald
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
8:15 AM EDT, April 25, 2011
What's old will be new again when Disney California Adventure in Anaheim reopens the unimaginative Mulholland Madness roller coaster June 3 with a new Goofy's Sky School theme.
The Goofy overlay removes the giant Southern California foldout map and Caltrans roadwork signs from the off-the-shelf wild mouse ride that justly earned Disney California Adventure its on-the-cheap reputation.
Photos: Concept art of Goofy's Sky School at Disney California Adventure
Inspired by the 1940 cartoon short "Goofy's Glider," the ride's new flying-academy backstory follows the attempts by the clumsy anthropomorphic dog to teach a group of novice pilots how to fly. Naturally, things go awry.
Riders will climb to the top of the 55-foot-tall family coaster through clouds festooned with Goofy-shaped holes and pass by a series of step-by-step billboards explaining how to fly.
The old four-person Mulholland Madness cars will get a modest makeover, replacing the automobile theme with a new paint job, Goofy graphics and a small winglet on the nose.
The complete makeover of Mulholland Madness marks the third ride in three years that Disney California Adventure has retooled in an effort to add more classic Disney characters to the under-performing Anaheim theme park.
The Disneyfication strategy has worked wonders on Mickey's Fun Wheel and Silly Symphony Swings, which now blend in seamlessly with the surrounding motif of a 1920s and '30s seaside amusement park and the Victorian and Craftsman architecture of the reimaginedParadise Pier.
Although the cosmetic fix is a welcome improvement, Blue Sky Disney reports that the Goofy makeover is merely a placeholder for a fully Imagineered attraction envisioned for the location once funds are freed up for future expansion.
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