Sunday, June 10, 2012

Buena Vista Street - DIsney's California Adventure

This weekend I got to go to a special sneak preview of Cars land at Disney's California Adventure.

They opened the doors just for us and we got a full run of the place, food, stores, rides - it was all amazing and I'm sure you'll see several pics starting now before the park opens to the public next week. (I've posted several on my twitter.)
But I want to focus on something more which was near and dear to me and that's Buena Vista Street. We got a look behind those walls that have kept the renovations secret for so long...
The front entry to California Adventure - it's a Main Street redux. While Disneyland's Main Street is a recreation of Walt's hometown, the DCA main street is his memory of his initial visit to Los Angeles.

The buildings, outfits - all the details are a freeze frame of Los Angeles in the 1920s. At the end of the street there is a recreation of the Carthay Theater where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs world premiered, and if you remember from my Disney archives visit (here) that is the movie that started it all.
I think I'm especially drawn to this area because I spent YEARS of my architectural life working on Disney's Main Street U.S.A.s but also because I'm a Los Angeles history buff, my love of LA is why I got into architecture. While other cities make fun of our 'short history' there are so many wonderful things that LA was built on. Just driving around this city with O.G. in tow and you can feel what it used to be like when she talks about the old days.

The Imagineers did a great job renovating the original boring 'hey we're California' vibe of Sunshine Plaza that once opened up DCA. Now there's a feeling of comfort and nostalgia and when the Red Car starts running it will feel even more homey. (Red Cars were common on LA streets in the 1920s and took the place of what we use now: freeways, traffic. Ugh.)
Disney opened up the entrance for us to take a look and wander. Perhaps it was because we were the only ones allowed in - but the flow was smooth, easy. It made me want to sit a while and relax. The stores were filled with new never before seen merch for the launch like these adorable Mickey Conductor ears - a true collectible.

I bought a few pairs and the kids wore them throughout the day - everyone in the park kept stopping us and asking where we got them. They are going to be a hit once they start selling, that's for sure.
At the end of the street is a candy shop, ice cream store, Starbucks (very LA) and a sandwich shop. The best part being the ample seating. You read that right - no more fighting for seats, thank goodness. 

The new entrance is a great turn around for this Second Gate and coupled with Cars land, DCA is going to be *the* place to be this summer.

I know my little conductors will be there...

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Blogger Kelldandy said...

I am so excited for this. I always liked what they were trying to go for; the old California/Hollywood feel, but it felt too forced and not very friendly. It will be nice to see the Los Angeles I was taught in my history class with a Disney twist. It's going to be a mad house but I hope I can see Carsland when I take my son for his birthday this summer.

Sunday, June 10, 2012 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Holly said...

Any chance you would be willing to sell a conductor hat?

Friday, November 28, 2014 9:31:00 AM  

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