A quick blast from a Red Car's air whistle pierces the air. Above the candy shop doorway, a pair of bears paw at a bee hive in an elaborately carved frieze. Water gurgles from the blue glass fountain in the middle of the central hub.
Across the street, a family poses for a photo with the Walt and Mickey "Storytellers" statue, throwing their arms around the young artist newly arrived in California. The mouse who made him famous, who won't arrive on the scene until 1928, jauntily stands atop a cardboard suitcase.
All the Buena Vista scenes small and large set the stage for Walt's second act in Los Angeles, a fitting sequel to the Disneyland first act depicting his childhood in Marceline, Mo.
It's hard not to imagine how different Disney California Adventure would have been on opening day if the entire park had been infused with the level of detail and storytelling found in Buena Vista Street.
It's taken more than a decade, but Disney has finally gotten it right. With Buena Vista Street as a benchmark, I can't wait to see what's next for California Adventure.