Yester California Adventure at Yesterland

DCA Then & Now, Part 5:

Pacific Wharf

“Discover Pacific Wharf, an exciting waterfront district
within the Golden State land where you can soak up the
charm and character of a diverse seaside town — and
where you can tour two working food factories, savor
authentic Mexican, Asian and Continental cuisine!”

— official Disneyland Resort website, 2001

Pacific Wharf was one of the six “districts” of the Golden State “land” when Disney’s California Adventure opened in 2001.

Today, Disney California Adventure has eight lands and no districts. The Pacific Wharf district and the Golden Vine Winery district were combined to become Pacific Wharf, one of those eight lands.

This is part 5 of Yesterland’s DCA “then and now” series comparing the same spots in 2002 (or 2001) and 2013.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, December 20, 2013.


Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2002

Pacific Wharf portal (2002)

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Pacific Wharf portal (2013)

Pacific Wharf still looks much as it did when California Adventure first opened. Based on the weathered old canneries, seafood processing plants, and warehouses of Monterey, California, Pacific Wharf was large enough and detailed enough to provide sense of place missing from much of the rest of the park.

The pair of photos above are similar. A closer look reveals the evergreen trees on either side of the portal have been removed. Also, the handrails on either side of the concrete walkway are now attached to the iron fence instead of rising out of the concrete.

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2002

Bridge to Pacific Wharf (2002)

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Bridge to Pacific Wharf (2013)

In the pair of photos of the bridge, the big difference is the addition of the Cadillac Range of Cars Land in the distance. The back of Pacific Wharf was originally just an entrance into a backstage area. It now leads to a glorious entrance into Cars Land through a rockwork arch.

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2002

Lucky Fortune Cookery (2002)

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Cocina Cucamonga (2013)

Pacific Wharf still has the same three counter-service restaurants as when it opened—Pacific Wharf Café, Cocina Cucamonga, and Lucky Fortune Cookery—but two of them traded places.

Cocina Cucamonga, a Mexican restaurant originally in a small space behind the Mission Tortilla Factory, was popular with guests. In its own large building, Lucky Fortune Cookery remained closed for much of the park’s early years after failing to prove its popularity. The park had too many places to eat for too few guests.

The solution was to swap them in 2009. With increased park attendance, both restaurants are now open regularly. Cocina Cucamonga offers an expanded menu compared to its original location.

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2002

Rita’s Baja Blenders (2002)

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Rita’s Baja Blenders (2013)

Unlike Disneyland Park, which is dry unless you can get into Club 33, Disney California Adventure has always provided places—plenty of places—to buy alcoholic beverages. Pacific Wharf not only offers beer at Cocina Cucamonga and Lucky Fortune Cookery, it also has two walk-up drink stands. The Pacific Wharf Beer Truck sells craft beers from the Karl Strauss Brewery. Rita’s Baja Blenders sells margaritas.

It’s hard to make out the prices on the two photos above. A Rita’s Margarita went from $5.29 in 2002 to $7.25 in 2013. A Rita’s Grand Margarita (Rita’s Margarita with a splash of liqueur) went from $6.29 to $7.75. And the non-alcoholic Tropicool went from $4.29 to $4.99.

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2002

Path between Boudin Bakery and Mission Tortilla Factory (2002)

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Path between Boudin Bakery and Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop (2013)

Pacific Wharf opened with two attractions—The Boudin Bakery Tour, hosted by Boudin Bakery, and Mission Tortilla Factory, hosted by Mission Foods. The tour of the bakery is still going, attracting guests with the promise of a piece of freshly baked sourdough bread. Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, which attracts guests with the promise of a free Ghirardelli Chocolate square, replaced the tour of the tortilla plant, which had attracted guests with the promise of a freshly made tortilla sample.

The windmill in the background of the 2013 photo is at Fillmore’s Taste-In in Cars Land.

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Ian Parkinson, 2001

Outdoor seating adjacent to Lucky Fortune Cookery (2001)

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Outdoor seating adjacent to Cocina Cucamonga (2013)

The most obvious difference in the pair of photos above is that the umbrellas have a different color. Other changes include the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and a Cocina Cucamonga sign on the side of the former Lucky Fortune Cookery. The fabric hiding the Pacific Wharf Café in the 2013 photo was temporary for a refurbishment.

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Ian Parkinson, 2001

Outdoor seating adjacent to Pacific Wharf Café (2001)

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Outdoor seating adjacent to Pacific Wharf Café (2013)

Ignoring the temporary work on the Pacific Wharf Café, the two most noticeable difference in the pair of photos above are the addition of the fishing net photo opportunity and a life ring on the railing.

Disney California Adventure Then & Now, Part 5

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2006

“Record Catch” fishing net photo opportunity


Books Recently Reviewed at Yesterland

Did you read the reviews of The Disneyland Story by Sam Gennawey (reviewed November 15, 2013) and The Book of Mouse by Jim Korkis (reviewed November 22, 2013)?

The
Disneyland
Story

Paperback
book

The
Disneyland
Story

Kindle
eBook

The Book
of Mouse

Quality
Paperback

The Book
of Mouse

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eBook


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DCA Then & Now, Part 6
DCA Then & Now, Part 4
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Updated January 3, 2014.