When Disney California opened in 2001, becoming the second component theme park in Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort, it could seem hard to believe that originally the area it stood on was a parking lot for the original Disneyland for four decades.
And even when it was planned to make Disneyland a multi-park, the first idea for remaking the parking lot in 1991 was as WESCOT, the West-Coast EPCOT. Plans fell through however, and Disney went with theming the new park on California history and culture; thus was DCA born. Here’s a list of its current themed area, along with pertinent info.
- Buena Vista Street – the entrance area, though it’s one of the more recent expansions in Disney California Adventure (2012); themed after Los Angeles in the 1920s; has a narrow-gauge rail connection to Hollywood Land
- Paradise Pier – statistically the largest themed area in all Disneyland Resort, themed after waterfront boardwalks like in Santa Cruz; its façade, dominated by Mickey’s Fun Wheel, took Grizzly Peak’s place as the icon of DCA; while active, it’s being renovated into Pixar Pier, to be completed in mid-2018
- Grizzly Peak – themed after the natural beauty of California’s national parks and wilderness areas; it was originally the iconic image of the DCA until it was replaced by Paradise Pier (soon Pixar Pier)
- Pacific Wharf – themed after California’s commercial and industrial waterfronts like Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row; filled mainly by restaurants and bakeries
- Hollywood Land – originally called Hollywood Studios Backlot, this area is a throwback to the Golden Age of Hollywood’s motion picture industry; its Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror attraction was renovated into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, the first Marvel attraction in a Disney theme park in North America
- A Bug’s Land – the first expansion which opened in 2002, themed after the Disney-Pixar film A Bug’s Life; set to close this summer 2018 to be remodeled into a Marvel-themed land
- Cars Land – opened in 2012 and themed after another Disney-Pixar animated franchise, Cars; its primary feature is a recreation of the film setting of Radiator Springs, with associated themed rides and attractions
- “Marvel Land” – set to open in 2020, this will be the new form of A Bug’s Land following its mid-year closure this 2018