ANAHEIM, Calif. – “If Main Street, U.S.A., is the romanticized version of Walt Disney’s hometown, Buena Vista Street is the next chapter of Walt’s life when he came to California,” says Ray Spencer of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI). “It’s an extension of where we started at Disneyland park . . . and now our guests can step across the plaza and get the rest of the story.”
A big part of that story was the premier of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937 at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles, and that landmark building is the inspiration for the spectacular Carthay Circle Theatre that anchors Buena Vista Street. This new landmark for Disney California Adventure park becomes one of the premier dining locations at Disneyland Resort, the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge.
The upstairs Carthay Circle Restaurant and downstairs Carthay Circle Lounge recall the grandeur of the original theater’s 1920s Spanish Revival architecture with custom tiles, plaster arches, custom woodwork and other historic touches. The cuisine is the star of this production with artisan ingredients, locally sourced produce and seafood and meats from throughout Southern California. Executive Chef Andrew Sutton from Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa created the restaurant’s seasonal menu, and Chef Gloria Tae, also from Napa Rose, is at the helm in the kitchen.
“The culinary team is a group of true artists with passion and confidence for creating delicious food,” says Sutton.
Located on the second floor, the 256-seat restaurant (200 inside, 56 on the terrace) is open daily for lunch and dinner.
On the ground floor, the 68-seat Carthay Circle Lounge features cocktails from the 1920s with tableside service for signature beverages including martinis and classic punches. “The focus in the lounge is appetizers and tapas – international tastes that celebrate the diversity and heritage of Los Angeles in the 1920s and ’30s,” says restaurant manager and sommelier Joy Cushing.
Hours for both the restaurant and lounge are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
More Eats on Buena Vista Street
Buena Vista Street also offers three spots for quick bites: Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe; Mortimer’s Market andClarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream.
The 178-seat Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe (134 inside, 44 outside) offers Starbucks coffee drinks; signature sandwiches such as a turkey Rueben, paneer and roasted vegetable and salami with olive tapenade, and roast beef and cheddar, as well as savory soups including vegetarian cream spinach, chicken tortilla, classic chicken noodle and cheesy enchilada. Sweet rolls, pastries and breakfast sandwiches are on the morning menu along with specialty coffees.
Mortimer’s Market will offer whole and cut fruits, bottled water, juices and soft drinks. (According to Disney legend, Mortimer Mouse is the name Walt Disney gave his new creation in 1928. He later changed it to Mickey.)
Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream features Dreyer’s ice cream, including bars dipped in milk or dark chocolate that guests can finish with sprinkles, pop rocks and other fun toppings. Hot fudge and strawberry sundaes and other frozen delights round out the sweet offerings.
A Culinary Journey Through Cars Land
With a nod to landmark diners along America’s historic Route 66, guests will feel as if they have stepped into the town of Radiator Springs at Cars Land, with a contemporary spin on classic tastes from the 1950s.
“We started working nearly four years ago on the concepts,” says Disneyland Chef Chris Maggetti. “For Cars Land, we’ve developed fast-casual restaurants with lots of fun tastes, from dill pickle popcorn to chili and cheese – we call it chili cone queso – in an edible bread cone.”
Cars Land has three spots for guest to fuel up: Flo’s V8 Cafe, Cozy Cone Motel and Fillmore’s Taste-In. Each location has a story, of course.
Flo’s V8 Cafe is inspired by timeless roadside diners and boasts “the finest fuel in the 50 states.” To cater to the growing number of Route 66 visitors and race fans coming to Radiator Springs, Flo expanded her place by adding a “showroom” dining area, the story goes.
“The showroom is part of the 300-seat dining room that looks out directly over the Radiator Springs Racers attraction,” says Chef Sean Layne, area chef for Cars Land. Layne developed the restaurant’s signature vegetarian dish, a veggie-tater casserole that’s sure to be a hit with guests.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu for Flo’s will change often, with the centerpiece of the restaurant an on-stage rotisserie where guests will see meats grilling, such as New York strip loin, citrus-marinated turkey breast and pork loin flavored with Coca-Cola barbecue sauce. Breakfast specials include brioche French toast with salted caramel and bananas and chicken tamales with scrambled eggs. Craft beers from Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, Calif., and California wines also are on the menu.
House-made pies are the recipes of Disneyland Pastry Chef Jean-Marc Viallet. The single-serving pies come in strawberry-rhubarb, Apple-Cheddar, chocolate mud, cherry and blueberry-peach, to name a few.
Cozy Cone Motel is inspired by the quirky “wigwam” motels along Route 66 with each of five teepees offering tasty cone-themed treats. Cone Number 1 offers churro bites with cinnamon-chocolate sauce, cinnamon-spiced hot cocoa and Ramone’s Pear of Dice Soda made with dessert pear syrup, mojito syrup and Sprite. Cone Number 2 features soft-serve ice cream and “route” beer floats. Cone Number 3 offers savory bites all served in edible bread cones, such as a bacon-scrambled egg cone for breakfast, chicken verde or chili “cone” queso for lunch and dinner. Cone Number 4 is pretzel bites with cheesy sauce and Red’s Apple Freeze, a fat-free, frozen concoction with apple juice, toasted marshmallow syrup and passion fruit-mango foam. Cone Number 5 features two flavored popcorns daily, such as dill pickle and sweet & spicy.
Fillmore’s Taste-In is home to resident hippie, Fillmore, where “natural fuels” are on the shelves in his tie-dyed geodesic dome, including whole and cut fruits, bottled water and juices, and soft drinks.
Other Dining Highlights at Disney California Adventure Park
Throughout Disney California Adventure park, guests will find diverse culinary styles and tastes in an array of eateries. The park’s Pacific Wharf offers plenty of spots for a quick bite, from a sandwich or sweets at Pacific Wharf Cafe to tacos at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill and hearty Asian creations at Lucky Fortune Cookery. Also at Pacific Wharf, enjoy al fresco dining at Wine Country Trattoria at the Golden Vine Winery, with a menu of pastas, grilled sandwiches and California wines by the glass. At dinner, the menu adds dishes such as hearty balsamic-braised short ribs, braised lamb shank and sustainable fish.
The dining pavilion in Paradise Pier provides plenty of seating and two restaurants. Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta offers something for everyone, from hearty pasta dishes to delicious salads and flatbread pizzas with flavors from traditional cheese to Portobello mushroom and spinach with pesto. Next door, Paradise Garden Grill gives dishes aMediterranean spin with chicken, beef, vegetable and tofu skewers served with a choice of sauce, including Moroccan chili tomato and tandoori-spiced yogurt. Refreshing Greek salads and a kid’s menu also are available. Corn Dog Castle serves a popular beach snack in two flavors, original and link, with a deep-fried cheddar cheese stick as a delicious meatless option. For guests 21 years of age and older, Bayside Brews offers domestic and specialty beers on tap, along with a selection of non-alcoholic beverages and warm, salted pretzels.
At Ariel’s Grotto, the lively Ariel’s Disney Princess Celebration for breakfast, lunch or dinner is one of this park’s most-requested reservations, with Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty greeting guests at every table.
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