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Robert Niles

Disney California Adventure update: Buena Vista Street takes center stage at the Blue Sky Cellar

Published: September 23, 2011 at 5:02 PM

We're at Disney California Adventure today for a look at the new exhibit in the Blue Sky Cellar, Walt Disney Imagineering's preview center for upcoming projects at the Disneyland Resort.

Blue Sky Cellar

The new exhibit shows off California Adventure's new entry land, Buena Vista Street, whose construction is forcing visitors along a detour around Soarin' Over California to enter and exit the park.

Temporary entrance to Disney California Adventure

Give Disney points for continuing the Streamline Moderne style of the park's new Pan Pacific Auditorium-inspired front gate along the construction walls. (Where you can see them behind the toy and plush displays, of course.)

Inside the Cellar (and by the way, let's take a moment to note the irony in the name "Blue Sky Cellar," shall we?), you can see the scale model of the new Walt and Mickey statue that will adorn Buena Vista Street when it opens early next summer.

Walt and Mickey statue

The Imagineering exhibit reviews many of the details that have been previously released in media events and at the D23 Expo last month. But it's nice for the public to be able to see these exhibits in person, and to linger over the details. I found myself spending several moments looking at these tile samples and concept drawings of the flooring in the Buena Vista Street shops. The 1920's-era tilework reminded me of the Bradbury Building in downtown Los Angeles, where I once worked. (Movie fans of a certain age might recognize the building from its appearances in Blade Runner and Chinatown.)

Flooring on Buena Vista Street

Here's a map showing the route the Red Car Trolley ride that will run up and down Buena Vista Street, continuing on to the Tower of Terror.

Red Car Trolley map at California Adventure

Concept art and visualization videos are great, but I find I most enjoy looking at scale models, which really draw me into a design in ways that 2D concept art can't. Here's the Carthay Circle that will stand at the end of Buena Vista Street. Note the Red Car Trolley wires running above the street.

Scale model of Disney's Buena Vista Street

Construction's coming along, for next summer's planned completion in late June. Here's a "real world" view of what the Carthay Circle theater looks like from that same angle, today.

Carthay Circle at DCA

And for those who are interested, here's a view from outside the Cellar, looking across the street at the emerging Cars Land. You can see the giant wingnut now topping the hubcap roof of Flo's V-8 Cafe.

Cars Land

Replies (4)

Will Chilcote

Published: September 23, 2011 at 7:01 PM

interesting, i was just there 2 days ago and blue sky was closed. did it just open today?
Robert Niles

Published: September 23, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Anthony Murphy

Published: September 25, 2011 at 8:25 AM

I like the statue!

Published: September 25, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Why the hell are the stories on your frontpage now incorrectly sized? Nothing fits on the screen anymore. Sort it out. I'm not scrolling across just to finish reading a sentence. What was wrong with the previous format?

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