Featured Attractions

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Theme Park Thursdays: Real Life in The Parks

When Disney California Adventure remodeled its front gate, the entry structure was modeled after Los Angeles’ historic Pan Pacific Theatre.

The tribute to the Pan Pacific is bittersweet, since the buildings in the original complex were demolished or destroyed long ago.

Long before the front gate tribute, however, there was already a tie between Disney Theme Parks and the designers of the Pan Pacific complex. The same team that designed the Pan-Pacific Theatre designed the DISNEYLAND Hotel. Both the theatre and the Hotel were designed with the same mid-Century atomic age style architecture that is more popularly referred to nowadays as “Googie”. The same optimistic look into the future found inside Tomorrowland spilled out into the contemporary futuristic look of the DISNEYLAND Hotel.

Speaking of “contemporary” design, the first hotel to open at Florida’s Disney World complex was designed by the same firm that designed the Pan-Pacific Amphitheater, the direct inspiration for Disney California Adventure’s Main Gate. Disney’s Contemporary Hotel had a revolutionary design in which each room was outfitted off-site then slid into place with a crane. Like its older sibling, it is directly connected to the monorail system, only this monorail glides through the hotel’s cavernous lobby- A much appreciated amenity considering Florida’s humid climate!