Disneyland ResortDisney California Adventure

Why Did They Drain the Water at California Adventure?

Disney California Adventure 6

California Adventure, a beloved Disneyland park, is well known for its thrilling attractions and captivating shows. However, in January 2023, park visitors were surprised to discover that the water in the Pacific Wharf lagoon and Paradise Bay had been drained. The question on everyone’s minds was: Why did they drain the water at California Adventure?


The water was drained at California Adventure primarily for maintenance and refurbishment purposes. Paradise Bay required an overhaul of its water effects and technologies for the World of Color show, and the Pacific Wharf lagoon was drained to facilitate the construction of a new area themed after “Big Hero 6”. The park took several measures to minimize environmental impact during this process.

Maintenance and Refurbishment

The primary reason for draining the water was maintenance and refurbishment. Paradise Bay, home to the World of Color nighttime spectacular show, needed an overhaul. The water needed to be drained to allow for essential maintenance and refurbishment work on the show’s intricate water effects and technologies.

Similarly, the water in the Pacific Wharf lagoon was drained to facilitate the construction of San Fransokyo, a new area themed after “Big Hero 6”. The lagoon’s connection with Grizzly River Run meant that the water could only be drained when the attraction was closed. The draining coincided with Grizzly River Run’s regularly scheduled annual refurbishment, allowing both projects to be handled simultaneously.

Environmental Considerations

Draining large bodies of water is not a decision taken lightly due to the potential environmental implications. Issues such as water pollution, soil erosion, greenhouse gas emissions, loss of wetland habitats, soil subsidence, and nutrient release are all considered. California Adventure, being a responsible and environmentally conscious entity, ensured that the draining process was handled in a way that minimized these impacts.

Measures Taken

To mitigate the environmental impacts, several measures were put in place during and after the water draining. These included stormwater control measures, floodwater removal, water damage inspection, drain maintenance, and the installation of surface and subsurface drainage systems. Additionally, runoff redirection and capture, soil drainage testing, backflow preventers, hydrocarbon leakage monitoring, and cleanup and restoration were also implemented.

Public Reaction

While the sudden absence of water in the park may have initially startled visitors, the park’s transparent communication about the reasons for the draining — maintenance, refurbishment, and the creation of a new attraction — reassured the public.

Lessons Learned

As a result of this event, California Adventure has further honed its approach to large-scale maintenance and construction projects. The park continues to prioritize environmental considerations and effective communication with visitors.

In conclusion, the draining of water at California Adventure was a necessary step for the park’s ongoing evolution and commitment to maintaining its attractions. It serves as a reminder of the park’s dedication to providing a safe, enjoyable, and environmentally responsible experience for its guests.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long did the water draining and maintenance process take at California Adventure?

The exact timeline for such operations can vary depending on the scale of the work involved. However, typically, large-scale maintenance and refurbishment projects at theme parks like California Adventure can take several months to complete.

Was the park closed during the draining and refurbishment process?

No, the park was not completely closed. While certain areas and attractions were temporarily closed for maintenance and refurbishment, other areas of the park remained open for visitors.

What is the new “Big Hero 6”-themed area, San Fransokyo, all about?

San Fransokyo, inspired by the Disney movie “Big Hero 6”, is an immersive area that offers visitors the chance to explore the movie’s futuristic setting. It features themed rides, restaurants, and shops.

How often does California Adventure carry out large-scale maintenance and refurbishment?

The frequency of large-scale maintenance and refurbishment at California Adventure can vary, but major projects typically occur every few years. This ensures that the park’s attractions remain safe and up-to-date.

Were any animals harmed during the water draining process?

California Adventure takes great care to ensure minimal impact on wildlife during such operations. Any animals found in the water bodies would have been safely relocated before the draining process began.

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