One of the big changes that has come to Disney California Adventure is found the moment one enters the park. In the past, the destination once inside the gates was a giant orange looking sun with a fountain/water feature around it. If asked for a theme for this entrance, one might hear a guest guess “California?” It really did do a good job of showing different aspects of California but it didn’t do such a good job of taking you somewhere new and exciting. With the Grand Re-Opening of Disney California Adventure there is now a new and exciting destination for guests who enter the park.
Guests entering Disney California Adventure are now transported back in time to the era that Walt Disney experienced when he first arrived in California. It is a magical era of the Red Car Trolley, the Carthay Circle Theatre, singing messengers on three-wheeled bicycles, jazz bands, and so much more.
Buena Vista Street does a wonderful job of mining the nostalgia of an era long gone by that has become legendary for those who are fans of Walt Disney. For the rest of the world, it captures an age gone by where movie stars were royalty, where movie premieres were as important and glamorous as any royal ball, and where music was a part of daily life.
On Thursday, as part of the Media Event for the Grand Re-Opening of Disney California Adventure, the press was able to experience all the Buena Vista Street has to offer (and also the rest of the park). There is quite a bit. Beyond some amazing Disney characters in period costumes and the hilarious streetmosphere, there a couple really fun musical acts that happen throughout the day.
The first act is the Red Car Trolley News Boys. This is like a mini version of Newsies but not in New York City because they are in California! They are a rowdy group of young lads who are out to seek their fame and fortune who are eventually joined by a young Mickey Mouse who has just come to California to do the same. Mickey decides he is going to Seize the Day and go to Hollywood and the rest is history!
The other main act found on Buena Vista Street is the Five & Dime jazz group. They show up in a classic car and soon are filling the street with music from a day long gone by. Goofy soon shows up along with some other surprising, and unknowing, guests. It really is a cute show with some amazing musicianship. It also just has a wonderful feel to it that helps continue with the process of being transported to another era in a way that only Disney can do.
There is so much to see, do, and eat on Buena Vista Street. It is a wonderful place to spend a Sunday afternoon. With Starbucks on the corner, coffee is never far away. For Sunday dinner, hit the Carthay Circle Restaurant (better get reservations though). There are also many other places to get snacks and treats while visiting Buena Vista Street. There are also a plethora of shops to explore and enjoy in the quest for souvenirs.
Buena Vista Street now isn’t just an entry point into Disney California Adventure, but also can be a destination. It is a wonderful place to hang out now and a welcome addition to the resort. Take some time to find all the details built into its story and buildings. You will find something new each time that you do!
Here is a photo tour of Buena Vista Street from June 14, 2012: