Familiar Ride's Departure Today Part of Big Changes at Disney's California Adventure

The Mulholland Madness roller coaster, which closes today at Disney's California Adventure, is one of several attractions leaving the media giant's under-performing Anaheim theme park.

Construction crews are set to begin taking the ride apart today in preparation for a new attraction opening next year. Find out what it is after the jump . . .

Familiar Ride's Departure Today Part of Big Changes at Disney's California Adventure

Inspired by the famous Mulholland Drive in LA, the Mulholland Madness roller coaster was notorious for its quick whiplash turns winding and dipping down three stories above Paradise Pier. Sadly for some, this crazy little ride mimicking the L.A. freeway system at a faster pace than Southern Californians are used to at rush hour is leaving the park. Taking its place: Goofy's Sky School, which is based on the 1940s cartoon Goofy's Glider, where Goofy teaches a group of novice pilots how to fly at an academy.

The change is part of Disney's estimated $1.2 billion renovation of the park. In addition to replacing rides like Mulholland Madness, the park will also be expanding and building new attractions. Why the big change?

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​Due to the lack of success expected to come out of the opening of Disney's California Adventure in 2001 and consistent guest complaints, it was clear that a change needed to be made with Anaheim's second Disney theme park. The new vision centers on the California known by Walt Disney when he first arrived in Hollywood in the 1920s.

In May, the Ferris Wheel once known as the Sun Wheel was renamed Mickey's Fun Wheel. The sun that once was in the center of the attraction was replaced with a large Mickey mug. The wheel was painted from yellow to red and each gondola now has a picture of either Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy or Pluto, in hopes of taking visitors back to the classic images of Disney.

Other changes/additions on line or in the works include Disney's "World of Color," Silly Symphony Swings, Carsland and The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure.

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