*Read December 2020 California lockdown update for current information.
Buena Vista Street at Disneyland’s California Adventure has reopened!
If you miss the parks as much as we do, this is music to your ears!!!! And the timing couldn’t have been better!! Although the big Christmas tree hasn’t been put up, there are holiday bows, bells, garland, and ribbons everywhere!!! And if that isn’t enough, there’s holiday music too!!!!
We spent over four hours in DCA on November 23, 2020. Today we are sharing what made our visit a success and tips for your future visit during the reopening process.
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Our family thinks of the parks at Disneyland as home. So finally having the opportunity to walk through the gates of Disney’s California Adventure made my family feel like we were finally home.
For anyone who has wanted to visit this park, but couldn’t, this is an excellent opportunity to experience a little bit of Disney magic without having to purchase a theme park pass.
How to Enter
To enter Buena Vista Street in Disney’s California Adventure you need to enter the Downtown District.
There are two entrances. One on the west end near Disney’s Simba parking lot and the other on Harbor Blvd.
Parking in the Simba lot (next to the Paradise Pier Hotel) costs $10 per vehicle. It opens 15 minutes prior to the Downtown District opening time. Parking is paused without warning throughout the day to keep in accordance with social distancing protocols.
What’s Open on Buena Vista Street
All the stores on from where you enter Buena Vista Street to the hub are open for business. However, unlike the past where you could go into just one, guests now have to wait in a line to enter all on one side at once.
For example to visit Elias and Co. you need to make your way through to it from Big Top Toys.
All the stores are connected and with social distancing capacity limits, working your way throughout is easy.
On the other side of the street there is one line for Kingswell Camera, Julius Katz & Sons, and Trolley Treats. Again, it does not matter if you want to shop one or all, there is one line on that side of the street.
If and when either side reaches capacity, guests are then issued virtual line reservations. They will later receive a text letting them know when to return to the physical line.
*Update: On December 3, 2020 Off the Page, located across the street from Award Wieners is now open!
Buena Vista Street in DCA has a handful of dining and snack options.
At this moment, their normal hot dogs are NOT available. While disappointing, our family was thrilled that they were serving Disneyland’s famous corn dog, hot-link corn dog, and cheddar cheese stick. And you can’t go wrong with Apple Pie Funnel Cake Fries for dessert!
Along with the food are a bunch of alcoholic beverages as well as Disneyland’s Jingle Bell Ornament Sipper and Green and Red Mickey Jingle Bell Glow Cubes. Adult beverages may only be purchased in conjunction with an adult meal.
A bunch of tables with chairs and pub style counters have been sprinkled throughout the area to provide ample seating.
Mobile ordering is available for this location.
Carthay Circle Lounge – Alfresco Dining
View their menu and make reservations via Disneyland’s official app or online.
Because this is a popular dining experience, reservations are required.
The Carthay Circle Lounge is the most expensive option on the street and the only sit-down restaurant currently open in the park. Visit our Disneyland Reopening Checklist for a list of sit down restaurants open in the downtown shopping district.
Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe
Grab a cup of Starbucks coffee, something sweet, or healthy snack in this walk up counter service eatery. Extra tables have been placed outdoors and spaced according to social distancing regulations.
View their menu and order via the official Disneyland app. Like Award Wieners, they are not serving their full or normal menu at this time. They too offer adult beverages that can only be purchased in conjunction with an adult meal.
In the mood for a snack? Then grab a Disneyland churro and some freshly popped popcorn. There is a holiday popcorn bucket available at the popcorn stand.
Do not expect the opportunity to enter Buena Vista Street if you arrive later on a busy day. If you are not one of the first to enter, you will need to obtain a virtual queue placement from a cast member. Your virtual wait time could be an hour or several hours. Your virtual reservation will let you know how many parties are ahead of yours, but will not estimate time.
We were surprised and overjoyed that Disney took time to not only decorate Downtown and Buena Vista for the holidays, but to play holiday music too. Outside of not going on rides, strolling along Buena Vista Street, shopping, and sinking our teeth into corn dogs and funnel cake fries, while humming along to our favorite Christmas songs made us feel right at home.
Have you visited Buena Vista Street since it reopened? If so, what was your experience?