Welcome to San Fransokyo Square
These photos were taken two months ago, but with Halloween Time already begun at the Disneyland Resort, I've been saving them till that sliver between the autumn and winter holiday seasons at the parks to post.
San Fransokyo Square debuted at the end of August, marking the transformation of Pacific Wharf into the latest IP-based themed land at Disney California Adventure. At this point, the only original lands left in the park are Grizzly Peak and Hollywood Land (and even the latter is rooted inherently in intellectual property). But I don't really mind Pacific Wharf's transformation here. For one, it was never a major land--more a hub for dining and [originally] a couple of food-related tours. Secondly, it at least retains the name of the fictitious area, rather than be on the nose and be called "Big Hero 6 Plaza." Something about a semblance of keeping a bit of make-believe appeals to me. And finally, the execution of the reimagination has been super charming, mixing east and west aesthetics together in a way that doesn't feel too forced from Pacific Wharf's original Bay Area inspirations while lending a fresh vibe to the area (not to mention some delicious new culinary flavors.
I must admit that this vibrance really comes alive at night, when the lights turn on, and the ambiance feels more electric. From the Golden Gate Bridge-esque structure with its suspended string lights marking more prominent lines at night compared to the day to the glowing lanterns that evoke the ambiance of Japan to the colorful murals lit up in the evening light, the end result has been quite photogenic and creative. While Disney should lean back toward developing more original attractions, this more moderate integration of IP has turned out pretty positively!
|The Golden Gate Bridge returns to DCA in a new home of sorts.|
|The Ghirardelli store is still here, but spruced up a bit.|
|Colorful murals and graphic signage are now a recurring part of the land.|
|Some restaurants have been renamed, like Pacific Wharf Cafe to Aunt Cass Cafe.|
|Rita's Margaritas is now Rita's Turbine Blenders. Aptly named.|
|Lucky Fortune Cookery is still here, though, with an enhanced menu and repaired neon!|
|This nook hosts the Baymax meet-and-greet by day.|
|A section of Cocina Cucamonga has been carved out for a retail stall.|
|The new murals and hanging lights remind me of Osaka.|
|The twin piers of the reimagined bridge are very prominent!|