Day 2 – Buena
As we had a lot of gear and wanted to stay on property to make sure we didn’t miss a thing during the event, we dug into the DisneyExaminer bank and pull out some cash to get a hotel room. Thankfully, we received a media rate for our stay, so it wasn’t too expensive, but not cheap to say the least as well. We decided to stay at one of the newly updated and certainly upgraded hotels – the one and only Disneyland Hotel!
We checked in pretty early around 7 AM that overcast June 14 morning. The front desk staff was very helpful and allowed us to check in AND get a room early even though rooms are not available until 3 PM. Upon check in, I asked for a high floor and good view and this is what we got:
It was gorgeous. I remember when I last stayed at the Disneyland Hotel about 6 years ago and how outdated and old it looked. This change was a very welcome change and the detail and contemporary yet retro feel that the new hotel evokes is something not to be missed should you decide to stay on property. That being said, DisneyExaminer highly recommends the Disneyland Hotel. It’s better than the Grand Californian, which is more expensive. Yes, cheaper is sometimes better, folks.
In addition to our wonderful sleeping quarters and newsroom workspace, our room also came with something else that I didn’t expect we’d have because, well, it’s hidden…at least at first glance at the exterior of the hotel. Our room came with…
It was amazing. Top floor, center placement, extra large balcony. We also had a view of the extra Downtown Disney Parking lot.
The parking lot was fine because we had views of pretty much the rest of the Southland beyond it. Not to mention we also had a view of Cars Land from afar.
It was all very buena.
Yes, the room was perfect and a dream to sleep and work in. We even dubbed it the ‘newsroom’ as we did a lot of reporting and post production work from there. It made work a lot more enjoyable. Take a look at all the other details of the room in the pictures below.
Morning chocolate and well wishes for the day.
This headboard was great. It sang “A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes” and revealed fireworks at the push of a button.
If there is one thing that was a prominent theme throughout the room and the rest of the hotel for that matter, it was the tributes to Walt Disney and HIS Disneyland.
Although we wanted to bask in the room and relax for a little bit, time was not on our side. The events that took place during the whole press event stretched us and didn’t provide that much time for us to really enjoy things such as the hotel room. Aside from sleep, the hotel room was used for work. Sleep was starting to creep in for the rest of the crew, but it was something that we couldn’t bask in right now! It was only a matter of hours until the next event we had to go to which was straight into a new part of Disney California Adventure Park – the entryway.
Buena Vista Street.
If there is one thing that was the most painful to watch being constructed as a part of the new DCA, it was Buena Vista Street. Why, you ask? Well it was the new entryway!
It was the new place that was going to welcome us back into a new California Adventure Park and it had to be completed in order to reveal the new DCA to the world. The reason we say that it was the most painful thing to watch being constructed is two-fold: 1) Because of the long, long walk which was the detour behind Condor Flats back to Grizzly River Run really made traversing the Park even more difficult and 2) It pretty much was a visual indicator upon entering DCA at the time of when the new would be revealed…which was painfully slow.
But now that Buena Vista Street had been completed, seeing it for the first time made us almost laugh…in a good way!
It was soo beautiful (‘so’ with two O’s).
If you recall from our 2011 D23 Expo coverage, we had the opportunity to participate in a special presentation with the designers and Imagineers who created the story that is Buena Vista Street. In short, the Imagineers detailed to us the overall theme and story they wanted to present in that start. That story was the story of Walt Disney when he first came to California back in the early 1900s.
He had a dream to make it big in California in entertaining guests and sought to work hard to make his dream a reality. When he did make his first big break, he built his first working studio on a real street in Burbank, California called Buena Vista Street. That same studio lot is now the Walt Disney Company Headquarters and yes, the real Buena Vista Street still exists today!
The Buena Vista Street you’ll see as you enter the new DCA is a recreation of what that street might have looked like back when Walt first came there in the early 1900s. As you walk in, you’ll immediately be thrown into that story. From the Red Car Trolley rolling down picking up passengers, the fresh fruit stand, the gas station, the policemen, and even the storm drain gutters that line the street, you’ll feel like you’re in a real town. It’s quite scary and perfectly executed.
The attention to detail is amazing here too. Just look at the buildings and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Disney actually hired many local artisans and artists to create the stained glass, tile, and other elements that a 1900s story. It’s also done quite well. Don’t know what we mean? Take a look at the pictures below and tell us you don’t see detail.
Buena Vista Street is pretty much the “Main Street USA” of the new DCA, housing shops, eateries, etc. all beautiful framed in this artisan work.
Oswald’s Gas Station. A tribute to the first animated character Walt Disney created.
Tell me you don’t see any detail in that. That’s right – you can’t.
At the end of Buena Vista Street, you’ll find Carthay Circle Theater. The theater building itself is an actually recreation of the real Carthay Circle Theater that once stood in Hollywood, California back in the 1900s as well. The significance of the building and why its here in the new DCA off Buena Vista Street is because this was the theater that Walt Disney first debuted his first full length featured animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The theater is the “castle” so to speak of Buena Vista Street and stands as the new icon point of the new DCA. Although the theater itself is not a theater, what is housed inside is a fine dining restaurant as well as a new addition for Club 33 members only called 1901 – a longue on the bottom floor.
In front of Carthay Circle Theater is Carthay Circle, the “Hub” of the new DCA. This is the new center of the Park that has paths that go pretty much anywhere that you could want to go to in the Park (Cars Land, Hollywood Land, Paradise Pier, etc.). The hub featured a very nice fountain modeled after a real fountain in Los Angeles, as well as a very special statue…
Dubbed “Storytellers,” this new “Partner’s Statue” is basically a prequel to the one inside Disneyland Park showing a younger Walt and same ‘ol Mickey Mouse ready to set out and make their dreams come true. Be sure to read the plaques on the statue. They say a lot.
There’s was just so much detail to that Buena Vista Street possessed we couldn’t capture all of it in one event. Be sure to check back on our main site for a future story that we’ll be doing just highlighting the rest of the intricate details this street and new entryway to DCA has to offer.
As with any new Park area, there must be entertainment and Buena Vista Street has just that. Two new street shows that have made their way to us are called “Five & Dime” and “Red Car News Boys”.
Each show has a different personality and each show has a target audience, so to speak. Let’s look at each of them individually.
“Red Cars News Boys” is pretty much an entertainment show. What’s an entertainment show? Well for lack of a better term, it basically describes the fact that this particular entertainment offering at Buena Vista Street is pretty much just a show. It’s meant to tell a story and as the paper one of the News Boys is holding states, it’s about Walt Disney.
The basic premise of the show revolves around the tale of Walt Disney arriving in Hollywood/Los Angeles to make his dream come true. The News Boys tell that story through song and dance and real newspaper handouts from Buena Vista Street Bugle – the official paper of Buena Vista Street. Even through their song and dance tell Walt’s tale, you can be sure that you’ll see Mickey make an appearance and help tell the same tale. The News Boys want to make it big in Hollywood, too!
All that being said, this kind of entertainment is pretty much a stage show. There’s not as much interaction with the audience even though their stage takes up a large part of the street and uses the new Red Car Trolley cars as an entry and exit. I think this is fine for a show like this because the objective is to purely tell a story and tale of the street and why it’s itself and even though I found this show entertaining, I found the other Buena Vista Street show a lot more fun.
“Five & Dime” is the name. Great music while entertaining street crowds is the game.
What I really love about this show is the fact that it not only tells a story without really saying it, but does so in a way that engages the audience. With the typical Disney parade or street entertainment, you usually have the audience and performers as two different entities. The performers are roped off from the audience and there’s real no interaction between the guests and performers aside from the ocassional wave of the hand.
What “Five & Dime” aims to bridge that gap. I feel like it’s a cross between a traditional Disney parade and live show. It’s a rather interesting concept, but it works. And it works well.
The show is also musically based, meaning it is FILLED with pretty much big-band songs from the era that Buena Vista Street is set in – the 1900s. I am a big music guy and I feel that the music that this band plays, along with the awesome lead singer (named “Dime”) not only fits perfectly within Buena Vista Street, but also is good in quality.
Now to prove that, we will be posting a full video of the show to our YouTube channel very soon, so be sure to watch and listen to the music. Your ears won’t be disappointed.
Engaging with singer Dime.
These two shows are great additions to Buena Vista Street and we feel that they’ll continue to be entertaining to guests entering the new Park for years to come.
In addition to the new street entertainment offerings, Disney also decided to tell the story of the Buena Vista Street period with random people from the period! The next time you go to Buena Vista Street, be sure be on the lookout for some of these random people who come in the form of people who would probably be living right on or off Buena Vista Street itself and that means dressing and acting like people from the 1900s!
One of those people in particular happens to be very entertaining and tries to keep the peace by making you laugh. He’s the Buena Vista Street policeman!
And yes, you can go up and actually talk to these people too. Trust me, it’ll be interesting on what they’ll say.
As darkness began to fall on the land, it was about to get our party on once more – Buena Vista style.
Disney decided to hold another large party of the media that evening and yes, that included free food and drink and moreover, more good music!
Great music. Big-bands are awesome, folks. Love ’em or hate ’em, the quality of music that came from the world of the 1900s in America prevails any and all music that comes out today.
Gourmet desserts in all shapes and sizes were all for the media’s taking during the party. Throughout Buena Vista Street and into Hollywood Land, Disney pulled out all the buffet tables that held sumptuous foods like pastas and meats. It was very yummy and we thank Disney for such a wonderful meal…for both days!
In front of Carthay Circle Theater, not only was there the big band, but also a dance floor! Guests were invited to dance along to the great music, but as with most media, not everyone was there to have a great time. So although we, including us, we were not able to dance because we had to work, Disney brought on some of their own dancers. There were also magical moments around the dance floor as well that included some time with the characters.
Sure, we’re not the dancing type either. There, we said it.
In addition to the party going on in Carthay Circle, there was a small area just down the way that featured a red-headed princess and her “brother bears.” We’re talking about Disney*Pixar’s newest animated film and Disney’s newest princess Merida. “Brave” is a great movie and media and guests had the opportunity to meet with her and her brothers…who became bears.
Don’t know what we’re talking about? Watch the movie, but before you do, read our spoiler-free REVIEW!
As the party was going nonstop into the evening, it seemed to have made it way through Hollywood Land and into the Mad T-Party, DCA’s new nighttime entertainment experience for RESPONSIBLE adults.
The post ElecTRONica experience is filled with references to ‘Alice In Wonderland,’ but with the Tim Burton twist. Although the atmosphere can get a little funky at times, we do enjoy it. In particular, the special acts that they have on stage called “WHO AM I?” has grown on us. It’s basically an act that involved a giant human slinky.
Yes, folks. It’s best you visit Mad T-Party just for that.
And the great music that consists of variations of your favorite contemporary songs from today!
As the Mad-T Party and the Buena Vista Street parties were winding their way down for the evening, Disney then used their Cast Members to pretty much herd all the media and other various guests to Paradise Bay. It was time for a special presentation of DCA’s biggest gamble at nighttime entertainment since Park opening.
It was time for a loosely used term on our itinerary. It was time for a “Special Presentation of World of Color”.
What did that mean? We had no idea, but the first thing that was special about this showing was when we arrived in Paradise Bay.
As you can see in the above photo, each member of this “Special Presentation of World of Color” was given ear hats. Not just any ordinary ear hats folks, but ones that ‘glow’.
It was indeed a “Special Presentation” because that marked Disney’s official debut of “Glow With The Show,” the new promotion that allows guests to purchase these glowing ear hats and wear them to the new DCA where those hats will indeed change color and interact at various locations inside the Park! Where the effect is best seen though is when you bring those ear hats to a showing of World of Color.
For our “Special Presentation,” you can see that with every member of the audience wearing those ear hats, you will be able to see how amazing these simple glowing ears do to make a presentation of World of Color really special.
We’ll be posting a video of the highlights of the show with everyone wearing the glowing ear hats in a future post and on our YouTube channel. In the meantime, enjoy some more pictures!
The glow can’t be beat. The only caveat we found later on after the event was that not everyone will have these ear hats! Disney gave them out for free to us that night, so everyone was able to get a hat. In the “real world” though, not many guests either know or are willing to shell out $21+ for these glowing ear hats. Furthermore, I feel that any World of Color show you go to, you won’t be able to appreciate the full effect of these ear hats and the glow it creates in a massive audience like what we experienced.
In conclusion, even though this promotion is great, I feel that it was only great for us and the fortunate passholders that were able to attend one of three showings where Disney gave away the ears for free again. We’ll see how this pans out and keep you posted!
After having our eyes and minds filled with various colors of all kinds, it was time to call it a night. The DE Team was pretty much exhausted covering everyone for the past two days and we knew we still had one more day to go!
If anything, we needed to get a good night’s rest for the following day because that day would live on in Disney history. Not to mention that the event was to begin at 8AM and we were only living on pretty much 10 hours of sleep for the past two days. We just had to wake up
The new DCA was about to reveal herself to the world.
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Go back to Day 1 – Entry.
Go on to Day 3 – Exit.
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