Posts Tagged ‘Buena Vista Street’

Disney History: The Carthay Circle Theater

by on September 28, 2016


Carthay Circle Theater

Do you remember the first Disney movie you saw in theaters? I sure do! Even though that first time was years ago, I still love going to see Disney’s film at the theater, and I bet you fellow Disney fans do too! But have you ever thought of the first theater to ever show a Disney movie?

That honor belongs to the Carthay Circle Theater which was the site of the premiere for the first full length animated film in history, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. While the actual Carthay Circle Theater is no longer standing, it lives on in the Disney Parks! In this article, I’m taking a closer look at the presence of this historical theater at both the Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios in Disney History: The Carthay Circle Theater.


Inside the Carthay Circle Restaurant

History of the Carthay Circle Theater

The Carthay Circle Theater first opened its doors in 1926 in Los Angeles, California. The design of theater was a tribute to California’s history with its Mission Revival style of architecture and interior paintings and artwork. It’s glittering sign, iconic octagonal bell tower, and sweeping floodlights could be seen from afar and served as the backdrop for a number of Hollywood premieres that rivaled that of Grauman’s Chinese Theater at the time. In addition to hosting the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiere in 1937, the Carthay Circle Theater also hosted the premieres for Gone with the Wind in 1939 and Fantasia in 1940.

These premieres were elaborate affairs. For the opening of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a replica of the dwarfs’ cottage and diamond mine was constructed. Costumed characters from the film also entertained guests in attendance, and welcomed celebrities such as Shirley Temple, Charlie Chaplin, and Ginger Rodgers!

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Five Disney California Adventure Holiday Favorites

by on December 24, 2013

Disney California Adventure holiday favorites

Disney California Adventure is decked out for the holidays. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

It may not have the six decades of cherished Christmas traditions of its older sibling across the Disneyland Resort esplanade, but don’t dismiss the Disney California Adventure holiday celebrations. The park has made great strides since its Cars Land-fueled rebirth last summer, and this year’s enhanced seasonal offerings are no exception. Once you’ve finished checking out my five favorite Disneyland holiday additions, tackle these top picks among DCA’s Christmas presents.

Buena Vista Street Decor and Shows

As soon as you step through Disney California Adventure’s Art Deco gates into the 1920’s era Buena Vista Street, you’ll notice the seasonal spirit in the shop windows. DCA has been criticized for redecorating the original Imagineer-designed window dispays with non-period merchandise, but the retail corridor’s holiday treatments for 2013 represent a return to form.

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Top Five Ways to End Your Day at Disney California Adventure

by on April 22, 2013

Photos by Seth Kubersky

Recently, I shared some of my favorite ways to start a morning at Disney California Adventure. Today, let’s look at the flip side of the operating day. While crowds are arriving early every day at DCA’s front gate since Cars Land‘s arrival, some of the park’s highlights can only be experienced after dark. Here are my top five ways to finish off an evening at DCA:

Drinks With a View

One distinct advantage DCA has over its older brother across the Esplanade is the ability to imbibe alcoholic beverages as you tour. You’ll find spots to whet your whistle all around the park, from Carthay Circle’s swanky downstairs lounge to the imported beer kiosk near the Paradise Garden Grill. Nothing beats having a finely crafted cocktail in the night air, enjoying the park’s cleverly Imagineered aesthetics, and DCA has a couple of ideal evening watering holes.

I’ve already extolled the romantic virtues of the Alfresco Lounge at Golden Valley Winery, which has a second-story view down Route 66 to the stunning Cadillac Mountain range. Another great spot for a beverage is the Cove Bar behind Ariel’s Grotto; simply cut through the restaurant lobby to reach this often-overlooked gem. In addition to the standard extensive drink list, the Cove offers a small menu of large appetizers; the lobster nachos are big enough for four or more to share. Best of all, the bar recently rescinded its policy of levying a $10 cover charge during World of Color performances, making it a great place to watch the show, provided you don’t mind an obtuse perspective of the water screens.

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What’s New In The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2013?

by on September 11, 2012

On behalf of my co-authors Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa, I’m proud to announce that The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2013 is now available via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, a few days before the book’s 9/19 official release date. It can be pre-ordered from iBooks in advance of its digital release later this month.

This has been a year of remarkable change at the Disneyland Resort, and our latest update to the Unofficial Guide reflects all the radical reimagineering the Anaheim attractions have undergone.

Here’s a rundown on all the fresh material you will find in our 2013 Guide:


  • An all-new humorous “The Importance of Being Goofy” essay.
  • Revised overview of the resort, highlighting expansions at Disney California Adventure.
  • Updated comparison chart of Disneyland Attractions vs. their equivalents at Magic Kingdom in Florida.

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Last Week at Disneyland Resort (9/2/2012 – 9/8/2012)

by on September 10, 2012

All photos copyright Disney

September has arrived, bringing with it cooler temperatures, smaller crowds, and lengthy rehabs for numerous attractions at Disneyland.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Sunday 9/2 was a 7 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 7.9 and Disneyland Park at 5.7.

Busiest Day: Tuesday 9/4 through Thursday 9/6 was a 1 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 1.1 and Disneyland Park at 1.1.

Subscribe to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar for details on predicted crowds for the next 30 days.

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First Review: Buena Vista Street Restaurants

by on June 15, 2012

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café (menu)

Tom Bricker says:

“The menu seems very similar to Jolly Holiday in Disneyland Park, with the addition of Starbucks. The breakfast was better here than at the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land.”

  • Quality: Good-Excellent
  • Value: B
  • Portion: Medium

Starbucks coffee, cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing, hot breakfast sandwiches, sandwiches (including roast beef and Cheddar, turkey reuben, and paneer and roasted vegetable), and soups (such as cream spinach, chicken tortilla, or meat stew)


This new quick-service eatery — named after both the Three Little Pigs and an imaginary songstress trio whose manufactured mementos hang inside — boasts a large open dining area in the Arts & Crafts style. You can get your morning jolt of Starbucks-brand joe (or a venti half-caff soy latte, if you prefer) and grab-and-go breakfast pastries here. Lunch and dinner selections spotlight soups and sandwiches.

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First Review: Red Car Trolleys on Buena Vista Street

by on June 15, 2012

Red Car Trolleys

Our Rating: 2 1/2 stars

Tom Bricker says:

“The Red Car Trolleys are beautiful!”

  • What it is: Scenic in-park transportation.
  • Scope and scale: Minor attraction.
  • When to go: The first 2 hours the park is open.
  • Duration of ride: About 8 minutes.
  • Average wait time per 100 people ahead of you: 12 minutes.
  • Loading speed: Very Slow

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First Review: Buena Vista Street Overview and Entertainment

by on June 14, 2012

Buena Vista Street

From the Esplanade, where huge block letters spelling CALIFORNIA originally stood, you now pass through a new Streamline Modern entrance facade, designed after Los Angeles’s fabled Pan Pacific Auditorium. (If it looks familiar, that’s because it can also be recognized as the entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios park in Florida.)

Once past the turnstiles, you’ll find yourself on Buena Vista Street, a re-creation of 1920s Hollywood as Walt saw it when he first arrived.

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This Month at Disneyland Resort: June 2012

by on May 31, 2012

Welcome to the June 2012 edition of “This Month at Disneyland Resort,” your “CliffsNotes” guide to everything imminent at the Anaheim attractions. Better buckle up tight, because we are about to accelerate into the most momentous month at Disneyland since the turn of the millennium.

According to a count by the Orange County Register, 18 new “entertainment offerings” will be open within the next few weeks. So if you haven’t already booked your summer visit to Disneyland, you may want to consider holding off until autumn, since the resort is about to embark on what may be its busiest few months in memory.

All photos copyright Disney.

Crowd Calendar

Kiss that last relatively crowd-free month goodbye. As the June 15 relaunch of Disney California Adventure approaches, attendance is expected to intensify right up to the start of summer break, and stay stratospheric all season.

Quietest Day: Tuesday, June 12, will be the last “slow” day before the Cars Land crowds descend, with the resort at 5 out of 10 overall, and Disneyland Park predicted at only 3.1 (though it is a Grad Night).

Busiest Day: Because DCA will be closed on June 14, Disneyland will be at peak capacity on that day. After June 15, crowds will remain high at DCA and moderate at Disneyland, peaking on June 30.

Subscribe to the Touring Plans Disneyland Crowd Calendar for full details on predicted attendance for the next 30 days.

Special Events

  • The entire Disney California Adventure park will be closed to the public all day on June 14 for press events, and to prepare for the grand opening the next day.
  • A dedication ceremony will be held at the entrance to DCA on June 15 prior to its 9am opening. Thereafter, a daily “rope drop” ceremony will be held each morning.
  • Grad Nights continue at both parks on June 1, 6-8, 12-14 (Disneyland on on 14th), 19, 21, and 22.
  • Sneak Preview events at DCA will be held on June 9 and 10 for Passholders, Club 33 members, and D23 members purchasing special tickets.
  • Annual Passholders can register now online for two early entries (one for each park) on select days between June 18 and September 13.
  • Disneyland Resort introduces Extra Magic Hours on June 18, allowing Disneyland Resort hotel guests early entry into both parks on alternate days. The existing Magic Morning Hours program will continue to operate alongside Extra Magic Hours for purchasers of “bonus” parkhopper tickets.

Openings, Closings and Refurbishments

Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure
Downtown Disney

Be sure to visit us daily during the DCA grand relaunch week for on-the-scene reports from the Touring Plans team!

Last Week at Disneyland Resort (5/6/2012 – 5/12/2012)

by on May 14, 2012

Welcome to the latest weekly installment of Last Week at Disneyland,‘s regular round-up of recent events and operations in and around the Anaheim resort. This column is your weekly refresher of what’s new at the Happiest Place on Earth.

In addition to and the Official Disney Parks Blog, much of the following news and photography comes courtesy of our friends at MousePlanet and MiceAge. Visit those sites for more images and up-to-the-minute updates.


Crowd Calendar

Attendance was seasonably slow at the resort this week, but look for crowds to build as Memorial Day approaches.

  • Quietest Days: Resort attendance was lowest on May 7-10 (Predicted 2 out of 10, Actual 2).
  • Busiest Days: Resort attendance was highest on May 6 (Predicted 4 out of 10, Actual 6) and May 12 (Predicted 5 out of 10, Actual 6)

Subscribe to the Touring Plans Disneyland Resort Crowd Calendar for full details on predicted attendance for the next 30 days.

Special Events

  • Reservations are now being accepted for special after-hours Annual Passholder parties being held on May 14, 15, 21, and 22 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fantasmic!
  • You still have until amay 24 to enter the sweepstakes for Annual Passholders to win a preview visit to Cars Land and Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure on June 11.
  • The episode of Modern Family that was shot at Disneyland on Leap Day was broadcast on ABC on May 9. During the show, a new commercial for Cars Land at DCA debuted.
  • On May 11, Disney Legend Alice Davis was honored with a window on Main Street (next to her husband Marc’s) in recognition of her costume design work on it’s a small world, Pirates of the Carribbean, and other classic attractions.

Opening, Closures, and Refurbishments


  • The Carnation Plaza Gardens closed forever on April 30, to be transformed into the Princess Fantasy Faire in 2013. Saturday swing dancing has been relocated to Downtown Disney in the interim.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds remained closed for a major overhaul until June 15. Disney announced that the mountain climbers will return to the peak when in reopens, and released a video highlighting the new paint and “snow” being applied.
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition is closed now through May 25.
  • The Enchanted Tiki Room was closed May 7-10.
  • Cultivating the Magic, a new 2-hour guided tour of the Disneyland Resort’s horticultural delights, is now being offered on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings.

Disney California Adventure

Downtown Disney

  • The former home of Island Charter is now transforming into the WonderGround art gallery which will open on June 9.
  • The former Compass Books is now being renovated into an Earl of Sandwich outlet (no opening date announced yet).