When I went to California last month I had the opportunity to visit Disneyland. I had been to Disney World before so I thought I knew what to expect going to Disneyland. Little did I know that the parks while similar is some areas are completely different.
Buena Vista Street was recently renovated and given a huge facelift. While there, I was able to talk with a few of the creative minds behind the renovation.
Buena Vista Street was created with Walt in mind.
The creators decided to create a street set in Los Angeles in 1932. A street familiar to Walt, when he took the train from Missouri with a cardboard suitcase, $40 in his pocket and a couple reels of animated film so he could begin his adventure.
“The idea was to create a street so that when the guests walked down it, you get to see the way Walt would of seen it and get inspired like he was.” says creator Lisa Girolami
Disney creators love to create layers in their attractions. They want to tell a story with everything they create. In this case they wanted to create a back story. Seeing it as Walt arrived and his characters were not yet created.
One example is a Mortimer’s Market on Buena Vista Street. Up above in the architecture you see a beautiful cornucopia with fruit and vegetables and of course beautiful little mice sculpted in. And there is part of your backstory. Walt created a mouse, named him Mortimer the Mouse. When he was showing his wife Lillian his creation she told him that was not a good name, how about Mickey Mouse. And so Mickey Mouse was born, named by Walt’s wife Lillian.
Another example of the creators creating layers is at Clarabelle’s Ice Cream. Walt may have gone into this shop often, taken his girls for some ice cream and thought, “Clarabelle…that is a cute name. Maybe I can come up with a character, a cow and name her Clarabelle.” We of course know that this last piece happened. He did intact create a cute cow character and named her Clarabelle.
The most significant piece of layering is Carthay Circle Theater, which is the place in December of 1937 that Walt Premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.Before this time, no one had seen an animated film that was a feature length film. This theater is the version of the castle at the end of Main Street. Walt mortgaged his house and placed his future on this one pivotal night. That night was going to make or break Disney and determine whether they would stay in Los Angeles or not. And as we all know, it was a huge success! Walt used the profits to build Disney Studios.
Buena Vista Street is full of family fun for any age but the rich stories behind each building is truly something to explore. You can literally pick a building and find some sort of story behind it that make you think of Walt, back in Los Angeles in 1932, ready to start his journey. His adventure.
It is the perfect way to begin your adventure as well at Disney California Adventure.
*Disclosure: I was given an expense paid trip to Los Angeles in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. Photo’s are courtesy of Disney.