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  1. #1

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    "A Walk in the Park" - A look at DCA's upcoming Walt Disney Plaza

    An interesting run-down of what to expect as you enter DCA's Walt Disney Plaza a few years from now was posted on Blue Sky Disney.

    A Walk In The Park...
    http://blueskydisney.blogspot.com/20...k-in-park.html

    ...We'll just start at the entrance...

    It's a lovely, warm summer day in Anaheim and we're just passing through Downtown Disney. As we come across the Esplanade we look over and see the new entrance to Disney's Second Gate. The architecture in front of the turnstiles reminds us of the Pan-Pacific Amphitheater. We approach the gates and notice all the lovely foliage and plant life around the entrance... already we sense a difference from the park we remember. As the cast member takes our ticket we push through the turnstiles and see the new Partners statue in front of the pole that is flying the California flag. We walk over and stare at the statue. It's a lovely homage to the original Partners statue across the Esplanade. Walt, looking young and wild-eyes as he stares out at Southern California and the opportunity it holds for him, all the while hanging on to his dear friend, Mickey. After a moment we hear a noise and come out of our dreamstate.

    Turning we see a Pacific Electric Red Cars pull to a stop on our right. As it's passengers get off we stare ahead at the rest of the entrance. It's almost as if we've walked back into the late 20's or early 30's Los Angeles. We stare at the Spanish architecture that was so prevalent at that time and move on down the entryway with the rest of the crowd. As we walk towards the new Carthay Circle Theater, we notice the new stores along the way.

    Not all of them are new, but their facades are much different and they've been re-branded with new names. We smile as we admire the vintage Oswald’s Gas & Oil station on our left. A clear homage to Walt's forgotten creation and a bygone era. Mortimer Market is on your right. Nice... the theming is top notch. Over to our right is Carolwood Trains, Craft & Hobby, the new train station that sells Disney merchandise... this store has far more theming and atmosphere than the pop culture concoction that was here before.

    I look directly across from where I stand and see Seward’s Five & Dime, a charming representation of an early Southern Californian shopping store. Right then I notice Horace’s Pawn Shop and walk in to take in all the trinkets and baubles that are available in the re-branded park. Nice merchandise, I say... cool new logo. Maybe I'll pick up a new shirt before I head out of the park. Coming up to Walt Disney Plaza, I can't help but wonder if I've passed into the past looking at that classic theater staring across from me as I peer over the fountain, past all the foliage and trees. Could "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" be showing? An old car putters by. A bell rings, startled, I watch the Red Car head back down the tracks, rounding the circle in the plaza, it heads into the Hollywood area. As it passes I notice the Elias & Co. Department Store with its big glass windows. I smile at this nod to Walt's father.

    Maybe I'll takes some pictures? Unfortunately, in my hurry down here I left my digital camera at home on the coffee table. I look around and see Kingswell Camera and decide to go and purchase a disposable camera so I can take some pictures. As I exit I look around at what I want to shoot first. The theater? No, that's too obvious... maybe the Duesenberg limo that is passing by? Nah, I'll wait till I ride in it later today and shoot photos from it. Whoa! How about that nice looking place over there, Doc Sherwood Apothecary. I start snapping shots off trying to take it all in, I look at the camera and realize I'd better take it easy... I've used up half my roll of film and I'm not even out of the entry plaza yet. Wow. I'm gonna have to buy more film... this could get expensive!

    I'm getting kind of hungry so I head over to Clarabelle’s Corner Café for a little bite. Along the way I pass Julius & Sons Tailors and notice a snazzy new jacket. Maybe I should stop and... no. I must eat first. We've got way too much to see before I start spending money. There's so much to see and I haven't even gotten down to the Pier yet. Wait a minute, my stomach is growling.


    I'm amazed at how much stuff is reportedly going into the new entry plaza. So many shops, in what seems like so little space!

    The LA Times Travel blog had this information a while back about the new shops and restaurants coming to Walt Disney Plaza.

    Disney shops to reflect Walt’s history
    http://travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog/?p=973

    According to artist concept sketches, each store along the re-themed California Adventure main street (lower case for now) will carry a historically significant hommage to Walt Disney’s past. Here’s a rundown of the shop names and their subtexts:

    Western shop façades
    * Mortimer Market — Disney’s original name for Mickey Mouse before his wife, Lillian, persuaded him to change it
    * Carolwood Trains, Craft & Hobby — Name of Disney’s miniature railroad in the backyard of his Hombly Hills home
    * Horace’s Pawn Shop — Animated horse friend of Mickey Mouse and boyfriend of Clarabelle Cow
    * Julius & Sons Tailors — Animated cat considered Disney’s first regularly recurring character
    * Clarabelle’s Corner Café — Animated cow friend of Minnie Mouse and girlfriend of Horace Horsecollar

    Eastern shop façades
    * Oswald’s Gas & Oil — A pre-Mickey Mouse animated rabbit created by Disney
    * Seward’s Five & Dime — Early Disney animation studio in Hollywood
    * Doc Sherwood Apothecary — A retired doctor in Disney’s hometown of Marceline, Mo., who paid the young artist to draw pictures of his horse, Rupert
    * Kingswell Camera — Early Disney animation studio in Los Feliz
    * Elias & Co. Dept. Store — Disney’s middle name and the name of his father




    For me, Walt Disney Plaza sounds like it will be the most thematically rewarding part of the new DCA. It sounds like it will be really great.

    Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

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  2. #2

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    Re: "A Walk in the Park" - A look at DCA's upcoming Walt Disney Plaza

    Sounds like a winner to me too. I sure hope they follow through with it. Thanks MG.

  3. #3

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    Re: "A Walk in the Park" - A look at DCA's upcoming Walt Disney Plaza

    Fingers crossed...


  4. #4

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    Re: "A Walk in the Park" - A look at DCA's upcoming Walt Disney Plaza

    Sounds good I only wish there could be great concept sketches to go with it

  5. #5

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    Re: "A Walk in the Park" - A look at DCA's upcoming Walt Disney Plaza

    Quote Originally Posted by Oswald the Rabbitt View Post
    Sounds good I only wish there could be great concept sketches to go with it








    Further reading:
    Disney's California Adventure Project Tracker
    Disneyland Resort Cast TV - Announcement Video stills
    ABC7 News Segment - Video Stills

    Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

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  6. #6

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    Re: "A Walk in the Park" - A look at DCA's upcoming Walt Disney Plaza

    Thanks those look really nice

  7. #7

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    Re: "A Walk in the Park" - A look at DCA's upcoming Walt Disney Plaza

    I'm excited!

    Those drawings are the sweet.

  8. #8

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    Re: "A Walk in the Park" - A look at DCA's upcoming Walt Disney Plaza

    I'm excited too. The amount of description the new park affords, even before it's built, gets at the heart of the problem in the existing DCA: a lack of depth. When the buildings and hardscape have texture, when the names have history, when there's an obvious backstory and a sense of place, then DCA will be magical.

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