Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - Christmas Time in DCA

By Daisy Sparks

Ready for another Walk in the Park article? This week we travel to Disney California Adventure to have a look at the wonderful Holiday festivities around the park. No need to make travel arrangements for this Disney experience, simply join us after the page break…

The holidays have arrived at Disney California Adventure. My favorite area that is completely decked out is the first place you walk through, Buena Vista Street.

Buena Vista Street represents a timeline of when Walt Disney first arrived in Los Angeles in 1923. The street is actually named for the existing street where The Walt Disney Studios is located. The stores and architecture have that 1920s and 1930s art deco vibe. The decorative bows, pine garland and swags look retro. All the holiday decorations on Buena Vista Street look like ones that you would find in that time period.
When you first come walk onto Buena Vista Street, you’ll find Oswald’sTires. You might even see Oswald the Lucky Rabbit walking around the area.

At the end of the street you can see the Carthay Circle Restaurant. It is modeled after the Carthay Circle Theater that was in Los Angeles from 1926–1969. It was at this theater that Walt Disney premiered his first feature-length animation “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” in 1937.

On Buena Vista Street, you can catch a ride on the Red Trolley. It is fun to see it go up and down the street. It is a treat to see someone famous riding in it, too.



One of my other favorite things to do is walk through the DCA stores. They emote an old fashioned department store feel. The windows and displays are all decorated with vintage Christmas trees, lights, and ornaments. The silver tinsel is a nice detail.

At Elias & Co, this store location becomes Santa’s home base. The most famous person in December is decked out in his vintage Santa suit, too. You’ll have to visit to appreciate all these little details.

As you round the corner of Carthay Circle, you’ll find the Christmas tree. The silver tinsel garland and giant retro ornaments make it the perfect tree for DCA. If you walk all the way around the tree and look at the ornaments, there are some elements to take in.



Stroll down Hollywood Boulevard and you find more old fashioned holiday décor on the light posts and buildings. It is a tiny glimpse into what it must have looked like back in the 1930s.

After walking through Hollywood and Buena Vista Street, I made my way to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The gingerbread “house” made its debut on Thanksgiving so I had to go see it.

It was nice to be able to walk through and just enjoy the holiday decorations in one or two particular areas so as not to get overwhelmed. There is so much that goes into all the details for each Disney location or area during the winter season. I hope you are ready to get your holiday cheer on!

Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her "college job" led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 

Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy's Duck's help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland's Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it "the happiest place on earth."

You can read more about Daisy's Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze.

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