Date Nite at Disneyland: Buena Vista Street offers glamorous evenings at Disney California Adventure

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, Theme Parks

When you’re ready to level up with your Dinseyland date nights, head to Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure. It’s a small area, but it offers a level of detail and quality that deserves to be savored, an easy assignment for romantics enjoying a date night at DCA.

Take your time basking in Buena Vista Street’s glamorous, vintage glow – and may we suggest you do so literally. Time this date so you’ll spin through the turnstile in the golden light of late afternoon, about an hour before sunset. At this moment, you and your date (as well as everything around you) will be bathed in soft, warm light that’s perfect for capturing in photos (think of it as nature’s sepia tone), so bring your camera and prepare to take a lot of them. Call it a date night photo shoot if you like, and consider dressing for the occasion. Vest and bowtie, perhaps? Dress and t-straps and a heavy application of red lipstick? Here the internet is your friend. Search for fashions from 1937 (the premiere of Snow White at the Carthay Circle Theater) and go from there. Some spots you may want to pose:

With the shiny brown and cream auto parked at Oswald’s…

The hood ornament on this car should definitely photobomb your snaps.

At the fountain outside of Carthay Circle…

Hand off your camera to a bystander and steal a kiss from your date.

Amid the chandeliers and storefronts of Elias & Company…

To capture your date with the dreamy deco details at Elias & Co., get low and point your camera up.

Boarding the Red Car Trolley…

An action shot is best. No mugging for the camera on this one.

Once you’ve made memories in all the best places, relish the experiences of both waiting for and riding the Red Car Trolley. What could be more retro-suitable? Note the smart uniforms of the trolley conductors. Appreciate the bi-fold entrance doors, the retro ads inside for shops on Buena Vista Street, and the snappy welcome announcement at each new boarding location.

Ride with your date all the way to the Hollywood Tower Hotel and disembark (as required) for a quick jaunt into the gift shop at the Hollywood Tower Hotel. It’s worth the slight location cheat (Hollywood Land is technically its own thing) to check out the new merch available to “hotel guests.” Hotel-branded souvenirs have been for sale at the shop for about as long as it’s been open, but they’ve finally acknowledged how unique and special those items are by adding even more. Check it:

This is only a sampling of the goods. Dig that luggage tote.

In a truly just world, the packaging for items purchased in the hotel gift shop would be branded as HTH and include paper sacks, square-bottom totes, and hat boxes, but until that day arrives, go ahead and bring your plastic Disney shopping bags back on the trolley for a return trip to Buena Vista Street. It’s time for a tipple.

The intrigue! The romance!

The Carthay Circle Lounge is your destination for affordable(ish) luxury of the liquid variety. The bar does also offer nibbles, but the value is a little low for our liking (e.g., deviled eggs are $11 for three). On the other hand, cocktails at the lounge are expensive but provide a good value with top-shelf hooch and creative mixology. Enjoy them in ambience that’s sexy and fun. Amber light, deco pinstripes, and textures aplenty will transport you to the time and place where just raising a cocktail to your lips was saucy, decadent, and illegal.

There are plenty of seating options in the lounge. The tables closest to the bar are out of traffic’s way and tend to be enjoyed by grown-ups.

Speaking of bathtub gin, may we recommend the Botanical Gin & Tonic from the drink menu. With cardamom, mint, and an anise star, the herbal influence is just a delicious, suggestive whisper – which is probably what you should break out right about now and place in your date’s ear.

Chin chin, darlings!


Photo Credits: Oswald’s and Fountain by Michaela Hansen, Carthay Lounge exterior by Matthew Hansen.

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