Part of Disney California Adventure will open without rides Thursday but plenty of shopping and dining.

Billed as an extension of Downtown Disney, Buena Vista Street will be gussied up for the holidays, offering socially distanced outdoor dining at favorite restaurants including Carthay Circle Lounge where Chef Andrew Sutton, culinary director of Signature Restaurants, says Al Fresco Dining at Carthay Circle Lounge will be “like sitting in a European sidewalk cafe.”

“We literally borrowed tables from some of the other restaurants,” he said in remarks reported by the Orange County Register. “Then we started to get more serious about it, bringing in planters, and gardening, and making it look much more refined. The finished product is beautiful.”

Parts of the park are opening for retail and dining as an extension of the Downtown Disney District. Reservations won’t be accepted, but a mobile wait list system will be in place when the restaurant is at capacity.

Diners can choose to provide their name and mobile number to receive a text message when it’s time to return. Mobile ordering will be available at Smokejumpers Grill and Award Wieners.

Buena Vista Street will be open daily 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There’s no admission charge to enter and guests can park in the Simba lot as they do for Downtown Disney. A $10 charge to park in the lot goes into effect Thursday.

Safety precautions will be in effect such as taking guests’ temperatures, making hand-washing stations available, limiting party size at tables to six and requiring masks for those 2 and older.

The stores to reopen are Elias & Co., Julius Katz & Sons and Kingswell Camera Shop.

More details are available at

As for the menu, it’s been refreshed by Sutton and his team, Chef Alex Flores, General Manager Jose Barragan and Assistant Manager Steve Olson. They work well together, Sutton said. Barragan brings panache to the front of the house, Flores meshes perfectly with Sutton when it comes to cuisine and Olson is expert at selecting wines.

“It really is one of my favorite teams to work with here at the resort,” Sutton said, adding that he has collaborated with Barragan and Flores for more than 20 years. “We understand each other, we challenge each other to get better, and then we communicate how best to care for a guest.”

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