If you’re a fan of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you may be surprised by Disney California Adventure’s entrance—it looks identical to the one in Florida. The park’s entrance moves backwards about 10 years from the 1930s of Hollywood Boulevard, and forward 20 years from the era that is Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland. This is largely the Los Angeles of the 1920s, at a time when Walt and his brother Roy set up business in California. It’s a charming entrance to the park—even more intimate than Main Street, U.S.A.
Pass under the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge where the Disneyland monorail sails by and start out in the morning with a visit to Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe, a Starbucks shop. Mid-day you may want to hit Trolley Treats, the park’s candy store. Better yet, Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream offers customized ice cream bars you design.
At Disneyland, there is a Partners statue of Walt and Mickey called the Storytellers Statue. There’s a similar pairing on Buena Vista Street. Only here, we find Walt at about the time he created Mickey Mouse. He comes with a briefcase as if he’s arriving in Los Angeles. Unlike the other statue that stands on a pedestal, this one stands on the street as a sort of “everyman”. It’s a great place for a photo.
If you want a superb dining experience, you may want to check out Disney California Adventure’s signature restaurant: The Carthay Circle Restaurant. The building is modeled after the Carthay Circle Theater, which is where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered. It serves as the park’s symbol in the same way that Sleeping Beauty Castle serves as Disneyland’s park centerpiece. Here it’s a fine dining establishment, done in the tones of the original theater, but mixed with touches of Disney’s first animated feature.
At night you can find a lot of great shopping options on both sides of the street. All of the popular Disneyland souvenirs can be found here. Not into shopping? No problem. Take a slow stroll to see the endless references made throughout the street to Walt’s early career. Mortimer’s Market references the original name Walt considered for Mickey prior to his wife Lillian stepping in with a better suggestion. Oswald’s Filling Station at the entrance references the character Walt created prior to developing Mickey.
It’s also fun to take the Red Car Trolley up and down the street as it heads into Hollywood Land.