Disney California Adventure opened 20 years ago on February 8, 2001. The second theme park at the Disneyland Resort, it was part of the largest expansion in Disneyland history at the time. For the past 20 years, guests at the Disneyland Resort have been captivated by the imagination, creativity and evolution of Disney California Adventure park. Here are 20 fun facts for 20 fabulous years of Disney California Adventure Park.
- Disney California Adventure used to be a parking lot. Guests visiting Disneyland parked where DCA is now.
2. The park was originally supposed to be WestCot, a west coast version of Epcot. The project was put on hold due to financial concerns and later the idea was changed to a California-themed park. Construction began in 1998.
3. Initial reviews of the park were not good. In the beginning, attendance was low and honestly the park was kind of boring. As more rides were added and new themed lands opened, park attendance increased.
4. The park is 72 acres with 7 different areas. The areas are Buena Vista Street, Pixar Pier, Paradise Gardens Park, Grizzly Peak, Hollywood Land, Cars Land, and the upcoming Avengers Campus.
5. Buena Vista Street has a 1920’s & 30’s feel to it. The boulevard depicts a typical Los Angeles neighborhood where a young Walt Disney lived and worked after arriving in Southern California in 1923.
6. The Carthay Circle Restaurant at the end of Buena Vista Street is modeled after the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles. Walt Disney’s first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered there in 1937.
7. In the store Elias & Co. guests can see a replica of the suit Walt wore to the premier of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It is a gray suit with a pink tie and hat.
8. The Hyperion Theater at the end of Hollywood Land is a nod to the historic Disney Bros Studios that was located at 2719 Hyperion Avenue in the Silver Lake District of LA.
9. There is a hidden Nemo on the Monsters Inc. ride. You can see Nemo behind the Harry Hausen’s Sushi Chef.
10. Toy Story characters are hiding in Cars Land at the Cozy Cone. Inside the office you can see Buzz, Ham, and Rex hiding in the cones.
11. The Red Trolley Cars have special numbers. There are two trolley car numbers: 623 and 717. The 23 in 623 refers to the year that Walt’s studio in Kansas City went bankrupt and when he decided to try his luck in Hollywood. The 600 in 623 refers to the historic model number of the trolley car used in Hollywood. The 17 in 717 refers to the opening day of Disneyland which was July 17, 1955. The 700 refers to the 700 series trolley car that was used in city areas in the mid 1920’s.
12. There is a yeti hiding in Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission: BREAKOUT! In the boiler room you can see Harold, the old Matterhorn yeti.
13. The whole downstairs dining room of the Lamplight Lounge is filled with art and memorabilia from Pixar movies. You’ll need to dine here multiple times just so you can see it all! Even a trip to the bathroom will take longer than normal as you take in all the details.
14. While on Buena Vista Street take a look at the flag on display in the window of Los Feliz Five & Dime. It only has 48 stars! That is to keep with the early Hollywood theme. Hawaii & Alaska were not states during the 1920’s and 30’s.
15. You’ve heard of Club 33 in Disneyland, but did you know there is a similar location in DCA? Club 33 members can enjoys drinks and food at the 1901 Lounge (named after Walt Disney’s birth year) next to Carthay Circle Restaurant.
16. The bridge at Pacific Wharf shakes subtly to simulate California’s earthquakes. It’s a subtle tremor, but super fans swear it vibrates intentionally.
17. Guests can visit the Beast’s library! It is tucked away inside the Sorcerer’s Workshop at the Disney Animation Building in Hollywood Land is an interactive exhibit that transforms every four minutes. The room goes from dark and terrorizing to its normal pristine conditions. The Beast’s portrait hung above the fireplace even shifts to a clawed version.
18. Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission: BREAKOUT!, formerly Tower of Terror, is the tallest attraction at the Disneyland Resort. It is also one of the tallest buildings in Anaheim.
19. The Incredicoaster, formerly California Screamin, reaches a top speed of 55 miles per hour. It is the fastest ride at the Disneyland Resort and one of the fastest rides at any Disney park. It is also the eighth longest roller coaster in the world!
20. World of Color uses more than 1200 fountains of water. That’s one BIG water show!
What do you love most about Disney California Adventure park? We can’t wait until the parks can reopen and guests can return to the magic!
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