New Turnstiles Open at Disney California Adventure Park Today

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

New Turnstiles Open at Disney California Adventure Park Today

As we’ve been sharing here on the Disney Parks Blog, there are even more changes coming for Disney California Adventure park over the next year – especially toward the front of the park. Today guests can see the first bit of this exciting makeover as we’ve just unveiled the brand-new turnstiles that will welcome them each day.

New Turnstiles Open at Disney California Adventure Park Today

Inspired by the iconic Pan Pacific Auditorium, the turnstiles will set the stage for the new Disney California Adventure park entrance. Buena Vista Street will transport guests to Los Angeles as Walt Disney found it when he first arrived in California, with buildings inspired by structures that existed during the 1920s and ‘30s – including the Pan Pacific Auditorium. A landmark structure in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, the auditorium was the premiere location for indoor public events until it closed after almost 40 years in 1972.

Designed by the Los Angeles architectural firm Wurdeman and Becket, the auditorium itself was a modest wooden structure with seating for only 6,000 people; however, the building’s façade was hailed as one of the finest examples of Streamline Moderne architecture in the United States. The four stylized towers and flagpoles were meant to evoke upswept aircraft fins.

One of the principal architects on the Pan Pacific Auditorium, Welton Becket, was a neighbor of Walt Disney’s and went on to become very influential in future Disney projects. It was Becket who suggested to Walt that he use his own artists – not an architectural firm – to design, plan and build Disneyland, and it was this advice that led to the creation of WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering). Later, Welton Becket Associates (formed in 1949 after Walter Wurdeman’s death) designed Disney’s Contemporary Hotel at the Walt Disney World Resort, though Becket himself did not live to see it completed.

On May 1, 1989, a nearly full-size replica of the Pan Pacific Auditorium façade opened as the main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Sadly, little more than three weeks later on May 24, the original building was destroyed in a fire.

As Buena Vista Street continues to take shape at Disney California Adventure park, there are more exciting transformations that will be taking place. On Sunday, the Golden Gate Bridge, which guests now pass underneath when entering the park, will begin to make way for a re-creation of the historic Glendale-Hyperion Bridge. We’ll have more details on this project next week on the Disney Parks Blog, so be sure to check back!


  • I personally do not think that the Little Mermaid ride was over-hyped.

    Its a great addition to Paradise Pier.

  • Thanks for clearing that up Karen. 🙂

  • I just wanted to clear up – I don’t think Disneyland wishes it were WDW. I actually prefer Disneyland – mostly because I didn’t go to WDW for the first time until I was an adult, yet I have tons of fantastic childhood memories at Disneyland. It’s a nostalgia thing. I just think it’s sad that there are people who write Disneyland off.

    There’s nothing wrong with with theming the entrance to 1920’s LA. From a story perspective, I think it’s a neat idea. I just liked the unique look of the old entrance.

  • Karen–
    I wouldn’t worry about that. All the Disneyland Resort is trying to do is be a multi-day vacation destination. Saying that it “wishes it were WDW” is really cutting it short.

    WDW patrons can say whatever they want, the fact of the matter is that bigger does not necessarily mean better. Its really a matter of quality v.s. quantity, and the Disneyland Resort has a lot of quality. And it will have even more quality when Buena Vista Street and Cars Land open at Cailfornia Adventure.

    What is so wrong with making the entrance themed to 1920’s Los Angles? That does not mean that it wishes it where WDW. Disney parks are all about transporting guests to a different time and place, and as nice as the original entrance was, it just didn’t transport people to a different time and place.

    We need to remember that Disneyland was the original Disney theme park, without Disneyland, there would most likely be no WDW. In fact, Walt’s big idea for Florida was actually Epcot, not the magic kingdom park. He was not interested in making another Disneyland, but the board of directors wanted a Disneyland style park.

  • I miss the old entrance. DCA made the California location really unique. I’ve overheard people in WDW commenting that they don’t need to go to Disneyland because Florida has everything, that Disneyland is just the smaller version that wishes it were WDW. Aside from arguing that Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom has a lot of cool stuff that the WDW MK doesn’t have, I say that DCA is really different. And while I realize that making the entrance look like Studios in WDW doesn’t make it the same park, it just adds fuel to the argument that Disneyland wishes it were WDW.

  • Looks good! but, I miss the big C A L I F O R N I A sign… like everyone else said before me… I hope the use the sign somewhere within the park.. 🙂

  • With the Little Mermaid ride, I think that they were trying to celebrate the music of the film, like the Fantasyland dark rides, its not a “book report” ride.

    The great thing about the ride is the music and environments, and the animatronics and effects are awesome.
    Its still a very cool ride and a good addition to DCA, and has helped the park.

    Also, I think that the main reason why they went with Cars is because of the Route 66 connection, along with the Disney twist.

    After all, when designing the movie, the filmmakers took a trip on Route 66, and the town of Radiator Springs is directly inspired by the buildings, landscape, and people that they found along Route 66.

    And when creating the land, the imagineers took their own research trip on Route 66, and that inspired a lot of new things for the land that were not even seen in the movie, as well as the inspiration for the food that Cars Land will have.

  • It isn’t that the Little Mermaid ride isn’t fitting, it is. I just was disappointed with the ride itself. I was expecting much more as much as it was hyped up. There are aspects of the ride I enjoyed, but for the most part I felt let down in a way.

    I hope Cars Land is great, but I probably will not be a returning AP do to the raising prices, so who knows when I will get a chance to see it for myself. I love Disney and I do hope that this will be something great for the parks, I just do not see Cars as the best ride to make such a huge project out of.

    The new turnstiles do look great, and I think are many great aspects of the park that are coming to it. I am looking forward to many of the changes and in all honesty if I don’t like Cars Land, it won’t be what is keeping me out of the parks, it will be the constant price hikes.

  • I don’t care what anyone says, I loved Cars and Cars 2. And make no mistake, there is an emotional point in Cars 2, its not just comedy.

    Also, Cars Land is supposed to represent Route 66. So it fits for California.

    And the Little Mermaid ride fits the seaside Boardwalk theme of Paradise Pier. (Plus, the Ariel’s Grotto restaurant and King Triton’s Carrousel were already there, anyway.)

    I love the new turnstiles, and the changes being made to DCA’s entrance are definitely an upgrade.

  • I would like to point out that the new DCA turnstyle structure is not an exact duplicate of the one at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While ours houses the DCA turnstyles, theirs houses ticket windows. Regardless, the Pan Pacific Auditorium was an important Los Angeles architectural landmark that has been lost, so I think it is more than appropriate that it be recreated in Southern California as a part of DCA’s new entrance and the 1930’s Los Angeles theme of Buena Vista Street. There is one additional connection between Walt Disney and the Pan Pacific that was not mentioned in the blog post. In 1952, Walt displayed the miniature replica of Granny Kinkaid’s cabin from So Dear to My Heart that he had built by hand (which is on display in the One Man’s Dream exhibit at the Studios park) at an exhibition at the Pan Pacific. It was a test for an idea that he had for a larger display of miniatures, called Disneylandia, which eventually evolved into Disneyland.

  • I was at Disneyland this past weekend for Disneyland’s 56th birthday. And even though teal isn’t my favorite color, the new gates look amazing!!

  • They look great! When I was there last week, I could tell they were almost ready!

    – It will now make it faster to get into DCA ! Good Stuff !!

    – BTW … I LOVE the new Paradise Garden area with the bandstand and the shaded area for eating !! The band, SLIGO RAGS, you’ve been having there is FANTASTIC with their Irish / Bluegrassy tunes! Will they be performing all the time now ?
    – Thanks, and keep up the great job, DCA !

  • I love the new entrance compared to what it used to be. I think that this is the step that DCA needs to go with. I just wish Cars Lands wasn’t real and Ariel’s ride had never been built. There is so much more that could be done. Cars is not a classic movie in my opinion. I see the 2nd one more as a way to make more money than anything else. Love the new entrance and other ideas that are going on with the park, just not the 2 I mentioned.

  • How many cast members does it take to change a lightbulb at Disneyland? 10. One to change it and nine to remember how nice the old one was. Oh, I must say I am dreading the GG Bridge from coming down and I miss the old entrance already. The letters were perfect, classic and so CALIFORNIA. Show the GG Bridge to anyone in the world and they say California. Show the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge and a handful of much older people from Glendale will know it. I am sorry to see main concepts of the brilliant original designs pushed aside to try and bring more guests to this park. Not that the new stuff is not good, I am just one of the nine with this change.

  • Wow, My family and I was just there last week and took pictures of the awesome wall blocking the new turnstiles.. I will be back this weekend and I can’t wait to see it in person..

  • The new entrance looks wonderful at night. Ready for Telly line to be complete. Also the many who don’t know that in a few weeks those gates are going to stay closed and a tempory entrance turnstiles will be at gate 14 (in between world of Disney and La Brea Bakery) as they work on the troly line, monorail bridge, and new cement)

  • Okay, I think more than enough people responded to JoLyn’s question. 🙂 Anyhoo, I look forward to checking out the new entrance next month.

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