Disney California Adventure shops to reflect Walt’s history

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The shops and restaurants along Disney California Adventure’s re-themed entrance promenade will pay homage to the Los Angeles that Walt Disney encountered upon his 1923 arrival.

When the main esplanade reopens in 2012, Buena Vista Street will reflect the Spanish Revival, Arts & Crafts and Art Deco architecture of the 1920s and ‘30s-era Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Pasadena and Wilshire Boulevard areas of the city.

> Photos: Concept art of Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure

The names of the Buena Vista Street shops will draw inspiration from Walt Disney’s personal history and the animated characters created by his movie studio. Just like Main Street USA at Disneyland, many of the second-story windows will pay tribute to legendary Disney artists.


While the Hollywood Boulevard area of Disney California Adventure replicates recognizable landmarks including the Max Factor building and the Crossroads of the World, Buena Vista Street will use architectural bits and pieces from Los Angeles buildings rather than create carbon copies.

Two exceptions to the rule will be found at either end of Buena Vista Street: the Pan Pacific Theater-inspired entrance turnstiles and the Carthay Circle Theatre at the park’s main hub.

The Carthay Circle Theatre — the original hosted the 1937 premiere of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” — will house an exclusive restaurant and lounge on the second floor. Plans have not yet been revealed for the theater’s first floor.

A statue depicting Walt Disney in his early 20s and an early pie-eyed version ofMickey Mouse will sit in the hub in front of the theater. Visitors will be able to pose next to the statue for photos.


Plans for Buena Vista Street were revealed Saturday at the D23 Expo in Anaheim by Lisa Girolami, Ray Spencer and Coulter Winn of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Let’s take a closer look at the storefronts along the west and east sides of Buena Vista Street, many of which will have distinct addresses:

West side of Buena Vista Street

Julius Katz Shoe & Watch Repair (2701 Buena Vista St.) — Named for an animated cat considered Disney’s first regularly recurring character, the home goods shop will be located underneath the Monorail bridge.


Atwater Ink & Paint (2719 Buena Vista St.) — Named for the area near an early Disney studio, the art supply-themed store pays tribute to the ink and paint girls who worked on the studio’s animated films. The shop is expected to sell home goods.

Trolley Treats (2741 Buena Vista St.) — The candy store makes reference to the Red Car Trolleys that will ply Buena Vista Street. The shop’s window display will feature a model of Big Rock Candy Mountain, a shelved attraction envisioned for Disneyland that was never built.

Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe (on Carthay Circle) — Using the names of the Three Little Pigs from a Silly Symphony cartoon, the restaurant overlooking the central hub will draw its theme from the musical instruments played by the pigs.

Kingswell Camera Shop (on Buena Vista State) — Named for an early Disney animation studio in Los Feliz, the photo shop and picture pickup location will draw inspiration from Los Angeles’ Union Station.


Mortimer’s Market (on Buena Vista State) — Mortimer was Walt Disney’s original name forMickey Mouse before his wife, Lillian, persuaded him to change it. The fruit stand will be open on two sides.

Clarabelle’s Ice Cream Parlor (926 Carthay Circle) — Named for the animated cow friend ofMinnie Mouse and girlfriend of Horace Horsecollar, the frozen confection shop will feature a custom tile interior with an ice cream theme.

East side of Buena Vista Street

Oswald’s Filling Station (2600 Buena Vista St.) — Named for a pre-Mickey Mouse animated rabbit created by Disney, the sundries stand near the main entrance will draw its architectural influence from the Richfield gas stations of the period.


Los Feliz Five and Dime (2628 Buena Vista St.) — The park’s main merchandise shop will have a souvenir selection similar to Disneyland’s Emporium. Disney’s Hyperion studio was located in the Los Feliz area.

Big Top Toys (2642 Buena Vista St.) — The toy shop under the Monorail bridge will pay homage to Dumbo the Flying Elephant with a circus theme.

Elias & Co. Department Store (2750 Buena Vista St.) — Divided into departments like the World of Disney shop in Downtown Disney, the store will sell higher-end clothing, jewelry and collectibles. Elias was the middle name of Walt Disney and the first name of his father.