Buena Vista Street Photo Tour!

Following up on my  Ultimate Photo Tour of Cars Land Part 1: Daytime and  Ultimate Photo Tour of Cars Land Part 2: Nighttimetoday’s installment covers our tours up and down Buena Vista Street at last weekend’s annual passholder preview of Cars Land.

When we entered Disney California Adventure for the Cars Land preview, we had the option of stepping through a doorway in the construction walls to talk a stroll down brand-new Buena Vista Street. We couldn’t help but gasp as we discovered the transformation. Certain parts—the entrance area especially—are reminiscent of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but overall, it was like being no place we’d ever been before. And when’s the last time you felt that at a Disney park in the US?

There was so much to absorb, we could only take a few steps before being compelled to take another photo.

I think I could devote an entire blog post to the signage…

… And another to the lights!

Having taken a lesson from Disneyland, the Imagineers carved out a huge space for a display candy kitchen. And if they ever make them in something besides weird fruity flavors, I’m gonna buy out their stash of homemade marshmallows!

Now I coulda sworn that at the D23 Expo presentation on Buena Vista Street they said the re-creation of the Big Rock Candy Mountain was going to be displayed in the middle of the store or behind the registers or something. Instead, they’ve put it in a window, making it nearly impossible to photograph.

One of my favorite trips to Disneyland was the one where I spent the whole day poring over the details in the façades on Main Street, U.S.A. Looks like I’m due for a similar trip to DCA!

When we walked into Trolley Treats, I suddenly felt like I was standing in the Emporio in Mediterranean Harbor at Tokyo DisneySea. It was very weird. It was even weirder once I went back and looked at photos of the Emporio that make Trolley Treats look like a chain store at The Grove. Don’t go Googling… it will make you sad…

It’s easier to shoot at night…

Looking into Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream…

Hmph... that dog's costume isn't exactly period-appropriate.

The inside of Elias & Co. (which extends along the entire block) is not as ornate as we were expecting. Disney really embraced the Streamline Moderne look, which is cool, but it felt a little too spare to us.

At least the lighting fixtures are unique!

We were VERY excited to see unique, park-specific merchandise in Elias & Co. We’re sick to death of the endless “character jamboree” clothing with generic “Disney Parks [insert year]!” on it.

But then we looked up and found this stuff …

Can’t win ’em all!

The red car wasn’t actually running that day, but you could sit on it and hear the spiel, which was nice. We were too worried about getting in line for Cars Land to wait, though. Maybe next trip!

So what's the excruciatingly elaborate back story behind this shop name?

Later that night, while Radiator Springs Racers was down, we killed time on a nearly empty Buena Vista Street.

Bad show—call Kevin Yee!

LOVE the natty new costumes on the characters in the area!

That's motion blur you're seeing 😉

Overall, Patrick was a little disappointed by how much less ornate Buena Vista Street is than Main Street, U.S.A., and I was surprised by how blank a canvas the insides of the shops are. To be fair, Victorian and Art Deco design philosophies are pretty much diametrically opposed. So maybe it will just take further examination for us to discover the depth of the details on Buena Vista Street. At the end of the day, it is a million-bazillion times better than what was there before and definitely a place we’ll love spending time.

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14 Responses
  • Kaylin
    June 30, 2012

    I got back from Disneyland about a week ago. I gotta say that all of the new CA Adventure is beautiful! I would just love to stay there even longer just to see it more!

    • Carrie
      July 2, 2012

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  • Claire
    June 16, 2012

    Wow, great pics as always! I love that you guys get stuff a lot of others don’t bother with. I’m hoping they add more to the interiors of the shops over time. They look so unfinished.

    • Carrie
      June 17, 2012

      OK, so I’m not just imagining it! I do remember Al Lutz saying that the shops might not open in time for the grand opening, so I wonder if there is more decor that they had to put on hold in order to make the deadline…

  • Claire (Chilly)
    June 16, 2012

    I can’t even think what it looked like in the past now!

    Next up Marvel land do ou think?

    • Carrie
      June 16, 2012

      >shudder< I hope not! I love Marvel movies, but all I can think of is that dreadful comics-themed area at Islands of Adventure. I hear that they're mostly going to be putting Marvel stuff in the overseas parks first.

  • Laura B
    June 15, 2012

    Thanks for all the photos! Also loving the podcast. Can’t wait for someone to get married in front of the courthouse in Carsland. How awesome would that be?

    • Carrie
      June 15, 2012

      Totally! I was just thinking that—SO many great new places for events!

  • Hope
    June 15, 2012

    WOW! Everything looks beautiful. I’m probably the only person who’s going to admit to missing the DCA of yesteryear (yeah I said it!), but new DCA looks great! I’m so glad you took detailed shots of Buena Vista St. because I don’t think we’ll be able to truly appreciate it on our upcoming trip. I must say I’m a little disappointed by the inside of Elias and Co. I thought it was supposed to be like the fancy department stores of the era. When I was little my Mom used to take me downtown and I loved browsing the finer dept. stores with her. With all the malls and chain stores, there’s no more “dressing up and going Downtown” anymore. 🙁 Maybe it’s a work in progress?

    I thought it was funny that you pointed out that the Security Pup’s uniform wasn’t era appropriate. What about that Starbucks? lol

    • Carrie
      June 15, 2012

      My grandma and great aunts used to talk about dressing up to go downtown! What they need to do is hold a Dapper Day inside DCA. Those photos would look awesome!

      • Hope
        June 15, 2012

        See! We totally could’ve had a Downtown Date with your grandma and great aunts back in the day! 😉 I agree about Dapper Day. In fact I’m not even going to wait for it to be an organized event. I’m going to get gussied up for our anniversary at DCA this year, for sure! 😉

        • Carrie
          June 15, 2012

          Cute! I hope to see photos!

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