Buena Vista Street is the main entrance area and first themed "land" that guests encounter at Disney California Adventure upon its re-opening on June 15, 2012. From the park's opening in 2001 until 2011, the area was known as Sunshine Plaza.
Sunshine Plaza (2001–2011)
When Disney California Adventure opened on February 8, 2001, the first area of the park that guests encountered was Sunshine Plaza, a collection of shops and restaurants themed to an idealized California postcard, anchored by a scaled-down version of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, over which the Disneyland Monorail passed. The large, colorful and stylized Greetings from California store dominated the Plaza's northeast side, while the building on the northwest side resembled an early 20th century Mission Revival-style railroad station, featuring a non-functioning replica of a Southern Pacific RailroadCalifornia Zephyr train, with an authentic EMD F7 locomotive cab. This faux station housed Engine Ears Toys, Baker's Field Bakery and Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream. The south end of the Plaza featured a large metallic sun, surrounded by mirrors that shifted throughout the day to reflect the actual Sun's rays onto the Plaza's miniature version.
Engine Ears Toys
Greetings from California
Baker's Field Bakery
Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream
Buena Vista Street (2012–present)
In 2007, the Walt Disney Company announced a $1.1 billion redesign and expansion of Disney's California Adventure Park, which had faced numerous setbacks and criticism since its 2001 opening, owing largely to its non-Disneyesque theme and small number of attractions, especially for younger children. Included in this redesign was a complete reconstruction of the park's main entrance plaza. While Sunshine Plaza, with its contemporary architecture and novelty and pun-filled overtones, was intended to represent the feeling of stepping into a stylized California postcard, Buena Vista Street represents an idealized 1920's Los Angeles, as it may have appeared to a young Walt Disney when he first arrived there, with a more respectful, subtle design owing to the time period. Storefronts include the large Elias & Company Department Store, Oswald's Gas & Oil, and Los Feliz Five and Dime, with dining locations such as the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, Clarabelle's Ice Cream Parlor, and Trolley Treats. The street is anchored by a replica of Los Angeles' bygone Carthay Circle Theater, the theater where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in 1937. A statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse called "Storytellers" faces the fountain on the corner of the street.