DCA Week: A Trip Down Buena Vista

This week we are celebrating Friday’s grand reopening of Disney California Adventure (DCA), which has undergone a five-year re-imagining that has included both new and renovated attractions. First up we will take a look at the brand new Buena Vista Street, which is the first area DCA guests will encounter as they enter the park.

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly five years since Disney first release the artist renderings giving us a glimpse at what the beautiful Buena Vista Street would look like once completed. In a matter of days, you’ll be able to see the street up close and personal.

A press release from Disney reads:

“When guests walk into a Disney theme park, they find themselves in a place apart from the everyday world they leave behind. At Disneyland Park, the adventure begins on turn-of-the-century Main Street, U.S.A.  At the newly expanded Disney California Adventure Park, it now begins on Buena Vista Street, a nostalgic look at Los Angeles as it may have appeared to Walt Disney in the 1920s and ’30s when he first arrived in California.”

“Buena Vista Street welcomes guests to a very specific “Disney California Adventure,” the adventure of a young Walt Disney stepping off the train from Kansas City and into 1920s Los Angeles, the beginning of a wonderful, inspirational period of his life. The dynamic themed environment transports guests to another era, along this boulevard of dreams.”

“On Buena Vista Street, guests board the Red Car Trolley to take a tour and clang-clang-clang their way into Hollywood Land. The tour includes Carthay Circle Theatre, a striking, new Disney California Adventure landmark that stands at the hub of the park, with a beautiful fountain and avenues that lead to the eight themed lands of Disney California Adventure. It’s also home to one of the premier dining locations at Disneyland Resort, the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge. Guests may stroll around a Buena Vista Street “downtown” featuring vintage architecture and a dozen shops and restaurants.”

Some of the highlights of the Buena Vista Street area:

The new entry turnstiles of Disney California Adventure are inspired by the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.


The Carthay Circle Theatre stands 89 feet 6 inches to the top of the cupola spire. It is approximately a ¾ scale to the original Carthay Circle Theatre building. In comparison, Sleeping Beauty Castle stands 77-feet high, with a design that makes it appear taller through forced perspective.

Inspired by, and lovingly modeled on the historic Pacific Electric Railway system which operated in Southern California from 1901 through 1961, the Red Car Trolley runs through Buena Vista Street and into Hollywood Land, making multiple stops until it arrives at the Hollywood Tower Hotel, aka The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror.

The red cars of the Red Car Trolley are modeled on two Pacific Electric Railway designs, representing different eras of the system’s history. The attraction evokes the original Red Car line with large windows all the way around the cars, a distinctive single headlight in the center of the front panel, and even overhead “catenary” electrical lines (all part of the show).

The Red Car Trolley makes four stops. Trolley car conductors, in uniforms evoking the ’20s time period, call the stops, toot the trolley whistle and entertain guests with historical tales of Buena Vista Street.

A plethora of dining, shopping and other entertainment options will exist on Buena Vista Street, including the: ”The Red Car News Boys” show which will “roll into town on shiny Red Car Trolleys, singing “California, Here I Come!” and other fun tunes from the 1920s and ’30s.”

Buena Vista Street, along with Cars Land, will both make their debut on Friday, June 15, 2012. Stay tuned as we’ll be bringing you more Disney California Adventure content this week as we count down to the grand reopening!

All photos and artwork © Disney California Adventure