Buena Vista Street: Stories of Failure & Triumph at Disney California Adventure
Buena Vista Street is to Disney California Adventure what Main Street, U.S.A. is to Disneyland. As you walk down this street you are led to a circular plaza, similar to central plaza at Disneyland, but perhaps a little more quaint. Go one direction and you’re off to Grizzly Peak. Another takes you to Hollywood Land. And still another to places like Cars Land and Pixar Pier. But our focus is on 4+ icons in the center of this plaza. They are stories of Failure & Triumph, of success and dire consequence. And you can hear them on this podcast.
If you’re not familiar with Disney California Adventure, know that Buena Vista Street has a “certain rhythm” to it. That’s shown below in this clip featuring Five & Dime. Check it out:
Fidler, Fifer & Practical Cafe
One of the first Starbucks in a Disney theme park is here at Disney California Adventure. Only it’s not called Starbucks. It’s called Fidler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, or FF&P. This is a reference to a very successful short Walt Disney made in his early career, The Three Little Pigs. Fidler, Fifer & Practical were the names of the pigs. It doesn’t work to call it the 3 Little Pigs Starbucks Cafe & Bakery. So they went toward using the first names of these three.
In the very center of the plaza is a fountain. It is slightly reminiscent of a major fountain found in Los Angeles. Indeed, the fountain in real life sits half way between the original Disney Brothers Hyperion Studios, and the current Burbank Studios of today. That fountain is known as Mulholland’s Fountain.
Mullholland Fountain is named after William, or Bill Mulholland, who was responsible for engineering the infrastructure that would eventually bring water into Los Angeles and allow for the enormous growth we see today–to include this park!
Disney California Adventure opened with a depiction of Mulholland, as part of a film entitled, Golden Dreams. It played where The Little Mermaid–Ariel’s Undersea Adventure now stands. It was narrated by Woopi Goldberg. Take a look to see this depiction in film.
You can also find a much smaller, symbolic representation of the fountain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The truth is Mulholland, while triumphant in bringing water, also brought catastrophe upon the city, as we share in the podcast. Still, his story has messages for all of us today.
Red Car Trolley
The thread that weaves through all of this is the Red Car Trolley, which goes down Buena Vista Street, circles around the plaza, then heads down Hollywood Land, ending up at what is now Guardians of the Galaxy–Mission: BREAKOUT!
Carthay Circle Restaurant
Our podcast covers why the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was seen as Disney’s folly. It is a miracle that it was ultimately the success it was.
Plus One More…
In this same circle is another edifice known as Storyteller’s Statue. Two plaques are placed on either side of the statue. The one to the right quotes Walt Disney as saying, “We are just getting started.” The plaque to the left uses another, longer quote: “It was July 1923. I packed all of my worldly goods — a pair of trousers, a checkered coat, a lot of drawing materials and the last of the fairy tale reels we had made — in a kind of frayed cardboard suitcase. And with that wonderful audacity of youth, I went to Hollywood, arriving there with just forty dollars. It was a big day the day I got on that Santa Fe California Limited. I was just free and happy!”
Souvenirs for You & Your Organization & More
Here are some takeaways from these stories that you can ask yourself:
- What are the wolves I must encounter?
- How do I work through my fears?
- What consequences do I and others face when I take the “short-view” approach?
- What do I want as an ultimate destiny? How is it based on what I value?
- How persistent is my vision?
- What are the follies others see in my efforts? How do I face them?
That’s it for today. If you’re struggling with these difficult days, check out a recent podcast I referenced earlier is #70: Disney Closes It’s Parks and It’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.