An ‘Inside’ Look at Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Park

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Here on the Disney Parks Blog, we’ve talked about rooftops, storefronts and bridges on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure park, but now it’s time to take a peek inside a few of the doors. I recently chatted with Lynne Itamura, Senior Principal Interior Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering, to find out how colors, materials and design are bringing the whole experience to life – inside and out.

Lynne told me that her team worked very closely with WDI creative directors to make sure that the environment which envelops guests on the exterior of Buena Vista Street translates to the interior spaces as well. They also focused on making the design elements fit the time period of the area – the 1920s through ‘30s. Even the patterns and glazing used for the tile will be typical of the time.

An ‘Inside’ Look at Buena Vista Street

She also explained how different design elements can help create separate spaces – for example, the different spaces within Elias & Co., which will be the main merchandise location for the area. Separated into four areas, it will be built to resemble a classic department store. The main space, inspired by some of the older department stores along L.A.’s Wilshire Blvd., will make a grand statement with lots of stone – especially lighter-toned, pinkish-hued marble as seen in the rendering above. By contrast, the kids’ “department,” which will be the toy location, will be colored with a brighter, more playful palette.

“Color is a very important design element,” Lynne said. “It creates mood and volume.”

An ‘Inside’ Look at Buena Vista Street

The accessories space, pictured in the rendering above, will feature more earth tones, while the jewelry location – at the end of the street – will shine and sparkle as if you’re inside a jewelry box. When choosing colors, Lynne’s team looked at historical color palettes from the time period.

“Because of the range of that time period, we had a lot to choose from,” she said.

An ‘Inside’ Look at Buena Vista Street

For Trolley Treats and Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream, the team looked for colors and materials that would showcase the candy and ice cream treats that would be available in those locations. Tiles on the wall of Trolley Treats will look like NECCO Wafers and the colors on the walls of the ice cream shop will be reminiscent of neapolitan ice cream.

“We had a great time talking about what would make this place say ‘ice cream,’” Lynne told me, adding that guests will find the decor very “lickable.”

“Although we really don’t encourage that,” she said.


  • I’m Excited!

  • Thank you so much for keeping us updated on Buena Vista Street. As excited as I am about Cars Land and Radiator Springs Racers, I think everything going on at Buena Vista Street is just as important. It’s such a good sign that the Imagineers are placing as much emphasis on the building interiors as they are the exteriors. The interiors of most of the buildings of original DCA were so bare and contemporarily decorated — such as exposed ductwork and modern lighting fixtures and exposed roof structure instead of real themed ceilings. It was a real heartbreaking letdown every time I went inside, my thoughts being, “c’mon guys, this is NOT Disney theme park quality development!”

    Buena Vista Street will fix all of that. Thank you… simply, thank you.

  • The new shops look amazing I can’t wait to take a journey back in time and go shopping on Buena Vista Street and take ride on the red car.

  • Sounds awesome! Thanks for the post!

  • How cool!! Can I go shopping *now*?? And how about a scoop of that ice cream! Mmm MMM!!! 😀 I think it’s really neat that it’s only about 10 or so years after Main Street U.S.A. Obviously, I’m SO looking forward to this!!

  • I love how much thought is being put into the interiors of the Buena Vista Street stores and restaurants. I’m so excited for this section of the park. I’m a big fan of Main Street across the way and can only imagine that this will make a perfect bookend. I wish it were 2012 now! 🙂

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