Shopping Buena Vista Street & Cars Land

by Jennifer RIch, contributing writer

With the grand reopening of Disney California Adventure, I’d like to take you on a little retail-therapy shopping tour of all the fun and fantastic new shops on Buena Vista Street and in Cars Land.

Buena Vista Street

Oswald's Garage

Oswald's Garage is a small convenience store where you can buy items such as batteries, sunscreen, autograph books, hats, and plush. There is also a slight nod to being garage, Oswald's carries many of the Disney-themed car decals and road signs.

Oswald's Gas Station might look like a real gas station, but it's actually a convenience store. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

This is the first shop I encountered on my Buena Vista Street foray. I love the retro gas station style and the uniforms of the cast members here are great. This is also the first place I found the loveably squishable knit Oswald plush!

You can purchase an Oswald knit plush like this at Oswald's Gas Station. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Fun find: Go inside and listen to the old-timey radio dramas that are playing.

You can purchase all sorts of small items at Oswald's Gas Station. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Los Feliz Five & Dime

Modeled after the popular variety store of the last century, this is your catch-all shop for Buena Vista Street.

Los Feliz Five & Dime is a catch-all shop on Buena Vista Street. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

As the Five & Dime name implies, the store carries a little of everything. Here you will find the new Storytellers line as well as all of the wonderful Red Car Trolley merchandise. With a few walls full of hats and four embroidery machines, this is also the hat shop for Buena Vista Street. 

One wall in the Los Feliz Five & Dime store showcases photo frames. Photo by Jennifer Rich

A large section along the wall of Los Feliz Five & Dime is dedicated to hats. Photo by Jennifer Rich

Los Feliz Five & Dime offers a selection of the new Red Car Trolley merchandise. Photo by Jennifer Rich

Red Car Trolley diner-style mugs from Los Feliz Five & Dime make good souvenirs for your favorite coffee drinker. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Fun find: Did you ever want to be a train conductor when you grew up? Here’s where to find your hatMickey-style.

If you are a fan of the Red Car Trolley, make sure to pick up your own Red Car Trolley Conductor Mickey and Red Car Trolley Conductor Ears at Los Feliz Five & Dime. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Big Top Toys

With the construction of the new bridge, Disney added two new shop spaces. On the left side of the street is Big Top Toys while on the right is Julius Katz. The theming here is great: styled as the inside of a circus tent with cleverly painted panels of “fabric”. Since this space was created under the existing monorail bridge, the ceiling in here is noticeably lower, but the circus tent theme makes that seem part of the plan. The lower ceiling also makes the space feel more kid-sized.

The low ceiling is part of the atmosphere at Big Top Toys. Photo by Jennifer Rich

As the name implies, you will find the store full of toys here. Not only are there specific zones in the store for boys and girls, but you will also find a wall of Phineas & Ferb, another area for Toy Story, a corner full of Pirates gear, and plush of every shape and size.  

Fun find: Check out the painted murals on the walls. I’m especially intrigued by the ringmaster, who seems to bear more than a passing resemblance to Disney Imagineer Ray Spencer.

The face of the Big Top Toys Ringmaster in the wall mural may seem a little familiar. Who could it be? Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Elias & Company

Divided into four areas or departments, Elias & Co. is styled as a traditional department store. Taken as one shop, it is the largest shop in DCA. 

One of the many entrances into Elias & Co. Department Store. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

  • Men's Department – rich wood paneling defines this room. This area offers a great selection of Disney menswear, including much of the new Cars Land and "Storytellers" merchandise.

    Elias & Co.mpany's Men's Department. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

  • Women's Department – pink marble, light maple wood, and elaborate glass chandeliers let you know you’ve entered the Women’s Department. Here, merchandise consists mainly of T-shirts, tank-tops, sweatshirts, pajamas and flip-flops. Surprisingly, none of the merchandise here held much interest for me, and I found the shop mostly empty the few times I passed through.

    Elias & Compay's Women's Department. Photo by Jennifer Rich

  • Children's Department this area has great theming, with a storyland feel to the room. From the starry night painted on the ceiling and gold stars painted on the columns to the elaborate, almost Arabian Nights-style of the chandeliers, this room could fit into any fantasy story. Divided by age and gender, there are specific areas for boys, girls, toddlers, and infants. Girls' clothing seemed to outweigh the boys', including a whole wall of all Minnie Mouse-themed clothing. 

    Elias & Company's Children's Department. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

  • Accessories – come here to find the latest Dooney & Burke Disney purses, both high-end and costume jewelry, fashionable tops, scarves, and hair accessories. With gilded silver walls and art deco reliefs, the cast members here describe it as being inside a jewelry box. 

Elias & Company's Accessories Department is where you go for some expensive souvenirs. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

One example of a more expensive souvenir are these Dooney & Burke purses, sold in the Accessories Department of Elias & Company. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Fun find: The Men’s Department features 3 vignettes of dapperly dressed mannequins on a balcony overlooking the interior of the shop. Can you spot the Rocketeer? 

Elysian Arcade

Elysian Arcade is the Mall of Buena Vista Street. Inside you will find a number of shops.

From the exterior, it's not obvious what the Elysian Arcade contains. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Kingswell Camera Shop – this is the Photopass desk for Buena Vista Street. Here, you can purchase your best Disney memories and the frames to put them in.

One of the shops inside the arcade is Kingswell Camera Shop Photopass Desk. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Julius Katz is the other shop created by the monorail bridge redesign. Styled as a watch repair store, it is also a relatively small and has a low ceiling. Another catch-all shop, Julius Kats sells housewares and Red Car Trolley merchandise.

Fun find: Enameled Red Car Trolley wall placard featuring Car 717.

From beach towel to collectible spoons, Julius Katz & Sons offers a wide variety of merchandise. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Julius Katz & Sons The back story is that Julius Katz did so well in the watch repair business that he expanded the store, and his sons joined the family business. The two shops blend into one another; the only noticeable difference is the increased ceiling height and the flooring change from carpet to stone. The store sells a good selection of Disney figurines and a surprising amount of Disney beach towels. This is also the spot to find Mickey and Minnie-themed wedding merchandise.

Fun Find: Take a moment to read the silly notes on the articles on the upper shelf that have been left here for “repair”.

A wide variety of Disney collectibles is available at Julius Katz & Sons. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Atwater Ink & Paint geared as an art supply store.The bays of paint jars on the wall is worth noting. There is also a great alcove near the register with all the local artists "want ads." This store sells nice selection of housewares, mugs and glassware. There is also one wall dedicated solely to the Wonderland Tea line and all of its various accessories.

Fun find: The Gourmet Mickey four-piece measuring cup set is a fun way to measure amounts: 1 cup of Magic, 1/2 cup of Sugar, 1/3 cup of Character and 1/4 cup of Love.

Atwater Ink & Paint is a store designed like an art supply store, although in reality they sell more souvenirs. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Disney's Gourmet Mickey collection is available at Atwater Ink & Paint. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Also to be found in the Elysian Arcade are Clarabelle’s Ice Cream Shop and the Trolley Treats Candy Store. After a long day of browsing the shops, be sure and treat yourself to something sweet.

Cars Land

Sarge's Surplus Hut

The first shop you come to in Cars Land (and the first place I encountered a line to enter a shop), Sarge’s is, of course, a Quonset hut. This store sells Cars-themed toys and children's clothing. Here’s the place to find the popular Pixar/Cars diecast vehicles and all of the Radiator Springs merchandise your little Cars Land fan could ever want. 

The first shop you come cross in Cars Land is Sarge's Surplus Hut. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Shop-specific merchandise is available at Sarge's Surplus Hut. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Fun find: Is there someone in your life who deserves an award? Present them with their very own Piston Cup! The cup comes either with a blank base or you can choose from variety of “Bests”: Best Husband, Best Wife, Best Parents, Best Boyfriend, Best Friend...   

Whether you're a race winner or not, you can get your own Piston Cup Award at Sarge's Surplus Hut. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Radiator Springs Curios

Need to bring back a little something for the folks back home? This may be the shop for you. Themed as a tourist trap/curio shop, there’s a little bit of everything here. 

Themed as a tourist trap, Radiator Springs Curios is sure to have some fun souvenir for you to take home. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

This is more a question of what don’t they have, but we can cover the bases with: Magnets, keychains, towels, T-shirts, Mickey ears, car decals, water spritzers, snacks, and more. Radiator Springs Curios also carries the largest selection of pins and Vinylmation in Cars Land.

The interior of Radiator Springs Curios is filled with souvenirs of various kinds. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Fun find: Like classic cars? Check out the wall shelves designed to look like the front grille of a classic car. And yes, they are for sale (even if the cast members don’t think so) at $99 per shelf.

Ramone's House of Body Art

Pinstriping and chrome exhause pipes on the display cases and checkerboard floors let you know this is the shop for all your gearhead merchandise. Ramone’s is the adult clothing and accessories shop in Cars Land.

Ramone's House of Body Art has a bright neon glow at night. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Besides the Red Car Trolley Line on Buena Vista Street, this was my favorite shop for merchandise. Here you find great theming on all the fantastic merchandise, from the Cars Land leather motorcycle jacket to the Luigi’s Flying Tires mechanic shirt. There is also a great (and very popular) series of Cars Land ride-specific shirts; the only disappointment is that they are not offered in women's cuts.

A customer wearing the very popular tire hat shops in the House of Body Art. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

You can own your own Cars Land Piston Cup leather jacket from Ramone's House of Body Art. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Even if you don't know how to change the oil in your car, you can still own a Luigi's Flying Tires Mechanic's Shirt from Ramone's House of Body Art. Photo by Jennifer Rich

Luigi's Flying Tires ride-specific T-shirt at Ramone's House of Body Art. Photo by Jennifer Rich.

Fun find: The lastest craze in the park, your very own flying tire... hat?

Katie Metzger models the wildly popular Luigi's Flying Tire Hat. Photo by Chris Metzger.

Thanks for window shopping with me through Buena Vista Street and Cars Land. Have you had a chance to check out any of the new stores yet?  What did you think? Share your thoughts on our discussion forum.



  1. By olegc

    great summary. My favorite Cars character - Doc Hudson - was nowhere to be found in the die-cast car rack at Sarge's. I thought Elysian was an interesting layout - but it's so open the rooms blend very quickly, whereas the shops across the street have definite "doorways" between them.

    Did you find that having the doors closed made the shops seem less crowded (less people going inside)?

  2. By Drince88

    I'm kind of scared for those of you doing MouseAdventure in the fall at Disneyland after reading the details to be found in the stores!

  3. By spectromen

    Unless I missed it, I found no pin selection on Buena Vista Street. Greetings from CA used to have quite a nice selection, and to me the pin location in Cars Land replaced P.T. Fleas, but I'm just surprised there's not more of a pin presence on BV St.

  4. By Jennifer

    Thanks olegc!

    I did notice that the automatic doors of the Elysian Arcade seemed to keep people from using those entrances, especially the one near Mortimer's Market. It's tucked away in the corner by the lockers and I don't think people realize it goes somewhere.

    The shops in the Arcade were definitely busy, but yes, I agree that they weren't as crowded as Elias & Co. and The Five & Dime.

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