Thursday, March 15, 2012

Carthay Circle Construction and Buena Vista Street

The original Carthay Circle Theatre opened in 1926. The site of many red carpet Hollywood premieres, Disney fans know it best as the theater that premiered Snow White in 1937. Another interesting tidbit is that it was also one of the few theatres to install the then high tech stereophonic sound system known as Fantasound, which Disney developed specifically for the film Fantasia. Fantasound paved the way for surround sound, and was so elaborate, just over a dozen theaters in the whole country went through the trouble of installing it. Disney is paying homage to this former theater by installing their own as the centerpiece of the soon-to-be opened Buena Vista Street, the much-needed remodel of the entrance to Disney’s California Adventure.

Pic courtesy of Trip Advisor

The old entrance of Disney’s California Adventure looked oddly like a “side” entrance, and seemed sort of like a cheap knock off of Disneyland’s entrance. In Disneyland after you walk through the turnstile, there is an area before you get to Main Street where people can gather, take pictures in front of the Mickey Mouse flower bed, purchase gifts, watch the train arrive/depart, and up until recently, rent a stroller. You then travel through a small tunnel (beneath the Disneyland railroad tracks) and presto, you are in Main Street. In DCA, a wide walkway flanked by lockers, restrooms, and Guest Relations narrowed as you approached gift shops and the Golden Gate Bridge. You could then walk under the bridge (underneath the monorail track), and you were in the land called “Golden State,” which was just a big circle with an empty hub, a huge unattractive sun fountain, and shops, several of which were complete eyesores.

No me gusta

Buena Vista Street, the “land” replacing the old DCA entrance, is going to be better by leaps and bounds. It will be themed after 1920’s Hollywood, symbolizing Walt’s arrival to Tinseltown in 1923. The aforementioned Carthay Circle will not only be a much more appealing visual than this, but it will also feature a lounge and a signature restaurant.

Also, as Eddie Valiant says, “Nobody’s gonna drive this lousy freeway when they can take the Red Car for a nickel!”

How cool is this poster? It even lists the route at the bottom

The Red Car will be rich in detail

The new hub will also be home to a new version of the Partners statue which is featured in other Disney parks around the world.

Notice the font on the suitcase, taken from Walt's first business card 

The three previous photos are from the Blue Sky Cellar. Here are some more photos of: maps, models, blueprints, and artist renderings.

Model of the new entrance - check out the Carthay Circle in the back

Carthay Circle and Buena Vista Street

Carthay Circle sketches and artist renderings

New cast member costumes

The new and improved DCA

This picture was hanging in the Blue Sky Cellar, and was too good not to capture!

The man himself

The construction of the Carthay Circle is coming along nicely.

Buena Vista Street is scheduled to open on June 15th, along with Cars Land. Looks like June 15th may be a busy day!


  1. Can't wait. The Carthay Circle looks fantastic! :)

    1. I can't wait either. I may have to brave the crowds and head down there in June!