In front of the Sun Icon of the former Sunshine Plaza,
To all who believe in the power of dreams, welcome. Disney's California Adventure opens its golden gates to you. Here we pay tribute to the dreamers of the past: the native people, explorers, immigrants, aviators, entrepreneurs and entertainers who built the Golden State. And we salute a new generation of dreamers who are creating the wonders of tomorrow, from the silver screen to the computer screen, from the fertile farmlands to the far reaches of space. Disney's California Adventure celebrates the richness and the diversity of California... its land, its people, its spirit and, above all, the dreams that it continues to inspire. -Michael D. Eisner, February 8, 2001
On the plaque of the flagpole in Buena Vista Plaza on Buena Vista Street,
To all who come to this place of dreams, welcome. Disney California Adventure celebrates the spirit of optimism and the promise of endless opportunities, ignited by the imagination of daring dreamers such as Walt Disney and those like him who forever changed- and were forever changed by- The Golden State. This unique place embraces the richness and diversity of California... Its land, its people, its stories and, above all, the dreamers it continues to inspire. —Robert A. Iger, June 15, 2012
History and Development
Originally, the Disneyland Resort's second theme park was to have been Westcot, a West Coast version of Epcot. It would've featured attractions similar to those found at Epcot, but instead of Spaceship Earth, it would've had Space-Station Earth--a golden structure much bigger than Spaceship Earth.
Ultimately, Westcot was left on the drawing board and a California-themed park was greenlit instead.
The area that Disney California Adventure now occupies was once the original Disneyland Parking Lot, which was closed and demolished in 1998 when construction began on the park, Downtown Disney and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
The Disney California Adventure is separated into several different lands.
When it opened as Sunshine Plaza, it served as the entrance plaza to the park, and was anchored by several stores and quick-service restaurants, including Greetings From California, Engine Ears Toys, Baker's Field Bakery, and Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream. The latter three locations were integrated within a replica of a Western Pacific Railroad California Zephyr EMD FP7 locomotive and rolling stock.
As part of the re-imagined park, Sunshine Plaza was transformed into Buena Vista Street, representing the Los Angeles that Walt Disney saw when he first arrived there in the late 1920s. Transportation to Hollywood Land is now provided by the Red Car Trolley attraction. Buena Vista Street officially opened on June 15, 2012.
Main article: Hollywood Land
Hollywood Land (formerly Hollywood Pictures Backlot) is divided into two areas: one representing Hollywood Boulevard and the other a movie studio backlot. Many of the building facades in Hollywood Land are inspired by real-life buildings in the Los Angeles area. Attractions in Hollywood Land include The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney Animation, Muppet Vision 3-D, Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! and Disney Junior: Live on Stage!. Shopping destinations include Gone Hollywood, Off the Page and the Studio Store, while dining is provided by Award Weiners and Schmoozies!.
The Golden State was divided into several areas: The Bay Area, Condor Flats, Golden Vine Winery, Grizzly Peak Recreation Area, and Pacific Wharf.
As of Summer 2012, Condor Flats and Pacific Wharf are now their own lands, The Bay and Recreation Area names were discontinued, Golden State became known as Grizzly Peak, and Golden Vine Winery is now a part of Pacific Wharf.
Attractions include Grizzly River Run and the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
Pacific Wharf includes dining locations such as Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, Lucky Fortune Cookery, and Pacific Wharf Cafe. There is also the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, the first Ghirardelli location inside a Disney park. Attractions include The Bakery Tour, and the Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar.
Condor Flats is the home of the Soarin' Over California attraction and the dining location Taste Pilot's Grill.
Paradise Pier, located at the south end of the park, is a tribute to the beachside amusement parks of early 20th century California. Paradise Pier features a sprawling bay, which plays host to World of Color as of June 11, 2010. The Pier features most of the park's thrill rides, such as California Screamin', Mickey's Fun Wheel, and Mulholland Madness, but also features the interactive Toy Story Midway Mania! attraction and family-friendly attractions such as Jumpin' Jellyfish, King Triton's Carousel of the Sea, and Silly Symphony Swings. Paradise Pier also used to include the Maliboomer thrill ride, which closed on September 7, 2010. Dining options include Ariel's Grotto, Paradise Pier Ice Cream Co. (formerly Catch-a-Flave), Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta (formerly Pizza Oom Mow Mow), and Paradise Garden Grill (formerly Burger Invasion).
As part of the re-imagined park, Paradise Pier underwent a transformation into a more elegantly-designed beachside amusement park, with more Victorian-inspired architecture and less of the carnival-style theming the park was criticized for in its early days. The now-highly popular Toy Story Midway Mania! was added in 2008. The Sun Wheel was converted to Mickey's Fun Wheel and the Midway Games were completely redesigned in 2009, and the Orange Stinger was removed and replaced with the Band Concert-inspired Silly Symphony Swings in 2010. Mulholland Madness was converted to the Victorian-style Goofy's Sky School, and the Omnimover attraction, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, opened in 2011 on the former site of Golden Dreams.
A Bug's Land
A Bug's Land (usually typeset as "a bug's land") is based on the 1998 Disney/Pixar film, A Bug's Life. It opened in the fall of 2002 to provide more attractions for young children, integrating the former Bountiful Valley Farm area that opened with the park with the Flik's Fun Fair expansion area. It features the 3-D film, It's Tough to Be a Bug! (originally opened with the park in 2001 as part of Bountiful Valley Farm), while the Flik's Fun Fair section features Francis' Ladybug Boogie, Flik's Flyers, Heimlich's Chew Chew Train, and Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies.
Main article: Cars Land
Cars Land is a 12-acre addition to Disney California Adventure and opened on June 15, 2012. Cars Land represents Route 66 and the California car culture, and is based on the 2006 Disney/Pixar film Cars. Cars Land includes three new attractions: Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi's Flying Tires, and Radiator Springs Racers. Luigi's Flying Tires is an updated version of the Flying Saucers, an attraction that operated in Tomorrowland at Disneyland from 1961 to 1966. Radiator Springs Racers, the centerpiece of the California Adventure expansion, is a massive E-ticket thrill ride similar to Epcot's Test Track technology.
|Disneyland | Disney California Adventure|
|Downtown Disney District|
|Disneyland Hotel | Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel | Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa|