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Inside Buena Vista Street, where details and design bring Disneyland fans back to when Walt stepped off the railroad track

in Disney, Disney's California Adventure, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, Food, Merchandise, Theme Parks

Swanky 1920s style now welcomes Disneyland guests to the reinvented Disney California Adventure theme park, transporting travelers to simpler times filled with red cars and ice cream bars. Disney’s Imagineers have created an idealized version of the Hollywood that Walt Disney saw when he first arrived to California in 1923, lining the new Buena Vista Street entrance to the park with retro touches to take in and Disney details to discover.

Buena Vista Street

Stepping through the new Pan-Pacific Auditorium-themed turnstiles, guests now find themselves at the foot of Buena Vista Street with open opportunity to shop the stores, dine at the restaurants, chat with local “citizens,” or simply take in the ambiance recreated from decades past. It’s like an old news reel has been brought to life, complete with the park’s own newspaper, the Buena Vista Bugle, headlining the grand (re)opening of the Carthay Circle Theatre that commands attention down the street.

In fact, it’s this film reel feel that most appropriately begins the overview video tour of Buena Vista Street below, highlighting its new shops, eateries, and decorations.

Video: Overview of Buena Vista Street sights, shops, and Carthay Circle at Disney California Adventure

A stroll on Buena Vista Street revealed the bustle Disney has added to the area, interconnecting street performances with character meet-and-greets. The park’s new flow invites guests to open doors and explore the variety of themed department stores and gift shops mixed in with a variety quick and clever food options. And along the streets guests ride the Red Car Trolley, interact with the Citizens of Buena Vista Street, and encounter a jalopy rolling in featuring the Five and Dime jazz band, all while Mickey and Goofy meet and greet near the “Storytellers” statue featuring Walt himself. Buena Vista Street has a Disney vibe while maintaining the feel of a real world place.

You can take that very stroll, as seen on press preview / opening day of Buena Vista Street, June 14, 2012 in the video below, showing a walking tour from the turnstiles to the Carthay Circle Theatre. (Just try to ignore the occasional lighting and camera rigs set up for the day’s special event.)

Video: Unedited opening day walking tour of Buena Vista Street and Carthay Circle

Buena Vista Street is divided into eight different shops and restaurants, each with its own story that drives a unique design aesthetic, all blending into one cohesive theme. And at the end of Buena Vista Street is Carthay Circle, an open area that’s home to meet-and-greets, Disney tributes, and more places to eat. All are serviced by the Red Car Trolley system, which makes stops at the foot of Buena Vista Street and within Carthay Circle before taking passengers to Hollywood Land, arriving at the Hollywood Tower Hotel.


  1. Carolyn

    So freaking amazing, I want to go NOW! 🙂 Thanks for bringing Buena Vista St to us, though. The shops and mdse look incredible, I better start saving money now so I can go on a shopping spree (too bad we don’t have 1920’s prices, haha). Thanks so much, can’t wait to see it. Question – other than Carthay Circle, how does the rest of the street look at night?

    Sigh, can’t wait can’t wait. I think for my first time there, I’ll just plan on dinner at Carthay so I can enjoy walking in to DCA and taking in everything you’ve filmed here. I worry that if I go first thing and then rush to get a FP for RSR, it will take away from really what is an amazing entrance. Indeed a big improvement from what it was before. 🙂 (Can you tell I’m just a wee bit excited?) 🙂

    1. Carolyn

      D’oh – ignore my night time question, sorry!

  2. Jeff Lynch

    In the Men’s Department at Elias & Company, there are three sets of mannequins in three sections.

    * the first is a man in a tux and a lady in red
    * second is a man with fedora, a woman, and a little kid (looks like Dick Tracy, his girlfriend, and the kid who tagged a long in that movie)
    * third set is a woman and a man in a Rocketeer jacket (which looks like Jennifer Connolly and Billy Campbell in The Rocketeer)

    Numbers two and three look too much like Dick Tracy and Rocketeer to be a coincidence.

    So what is the first set of people supposed to be? I can’t guess that movie!

    1. Ricky Brigante

      The attire on the center mannequin is supposed to be modeled after one of Walt Disney’s own outfits, posed similar to a familiar photograph of him.

      But I haven’t heard of anyone figuring out the Disney connection to the pair on the left yet.

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