Commemorating 20 Years at Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort

Michael Ramirez

by , Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Disney California Adventure park opened on Feb. 8, 2001 – more than 45 years after Walt Disney opened his original theme park – as part of the largest expansion in Disneyland history at the time. Since then, the Disneyland Resort has become a world-class family destination with two theme parks, three hotels and the Downtown Disney District. 

For the past 20 years, guests at the Disneyland Resort have been captivated by the imagination, creativity and evolution of Disney California Adventure park. 

In the winter issue of Disney twenty-three, which celebrates the park’s milestone anniversary, Jeanette Lomboy, site portfolio executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, captures the essence of this special place: “[Walt Disney] knew that we were going to continuously evolve over time and I think that’s what the spirit of California is, and that’s what the spirit of adventure is—and really, that’s what’s unique to Disney California Adventure.”

Today, while our beloved theme parks remain closed, we explore some of our favorite spots throughout the park, showing how “adventure is out there” – just waiting to be discovered.

Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure park

We start by taking a step back in time, strolling down the idyllic Buena Vista Street. The boulevard depicts a typical Los Angeles neighborhood where a young Walt Disney lived and worked after arriving in Southern California in 1923.

Take a deep breath and soak in the great outdoors at Grizzly Peak. Once your moment of respite passes, think about braving Grizzly River Run, a one-stop destination for thrill-seeking rafters.

Paradise Gardens Park at Disney California Adventure park

Peruse the boardwalk-inspired Paradise Gardens Park filled with retro-style fun. It’s even groovier at night!

Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure park

Then, let’s enter the wonderful worlds of Pixar and discover four whimsical neighborhoods at Pixar Pier’s seaside waterfront—Incredibles Park, Toy Story Boardwalk, Pixar Promenade and Inside Out Headquarters. 

Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure park

A favorite spot for foodies, eat your way through Pacific Wharf and enjoy the charming waterfront setting.

Slow down as you cruise through the vibrant Radiator Springs, taking in the majestic Ornament Valley and living the stories of your favorite “Cars” characters in Cars Land. No trip is complete without revving your engine on the high-octane Radiator Springs Racers!

Red Car Trolley in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure park

It’s easy to feel like a star in Tinseltown when you step into the lights, cameras and action of Hollywood Land.

Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure park

Looking ahead, Avengers Campus – an entirely new land dedicated to discovering, recruiting and training the next generation of heroes – will open at a future top secret date.

What is your favorite memory from Disney California Adventure park?


  • From my umpteenth time seeing Aladdin and laughing at the Genie’s latest jokes – to visiting the Grid at ElecTRONica – to dancing the nights away at the Mad T Party – to listening to the sweet sounds of The Silver Lake Sisters at the Tower – to dancing with Star-Lord and Gamora at the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance-Off! – to being inspired by Captain America, challenged by Thor and driven to mischief by Loki at their meets – to cruising along with Yachtley Crew, Grilled Cheese Soundwich, The Suffragettes, Tomasina and more at the Food & Wine Festival and Festival of Holidays – along with Minnie’s Fly Girls, the Red Car Trolley News Boys and Five & Dime – DCA has truly been my happy, magical, AND MUSICAL place for over a decade! Looking forward to the park reopening and all the great entertainment coming back! Hey, Star-Lord, I’ve been practicing my dance moves for ya!

  • Watching the park evolve over the years. Soarin’ Over California with my mom and brother is my favorite memory. That was always our last attraction for a long time. Best way to end a Disney day.

  • From the music when you enter to the fun waiting around each corner DCA has something for everyone. My family loves the sourdough Mickey. Halloween and Christmas were always fun. The food & wine festivals were awesome for date nights. Watching my girls faces light up the first time they saw WOC brought me so much joy. The mad tea party was a favorite theme of mine, but my hands down favorite memories of DCA are the magical family moments. Learning to draw characters, turtle talk with crush, finding out which Disney character we were, watching Aladdin, winning prizes on the boardwalk, dancing in the street, to cracking up the first time we heard Roz talk to us on Monsters Inc. They are memories we will have forever!

  • Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of DCA.
    We want to get back there soon.
    May the covid19 pandemic converge soon.
    I pray from Japan.

  • My Memories At DCA was back to 2001 my First Time with Disney characters and good rides like soarin, MuppetVision 3-D, California Screamed, And More Fun Lot

  • My favorite memory at DCA has to be the snow moments by the Redwood Creek Challenge trail at Christmas time. It is absolutely magical! I also love getting fresh sourdough from the Boudin bakery!

  • My favorite memory at DCA has to be the snow moments at the Grizzly Recreation Area pathway by Redwood Creek Challenge trail during Christmas. It is absolutely magical! I also love getting fresh sourdough at the Boudin bakery.

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