Disneyland will never truly be completed. That was the idea set forth by Walt Disney and it has certainly remained true as all things in the Disney Parks continue to change and evolve over time. Today, we saw the newest big change at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort, the opening of San Fransokyo Square, replacing the park’s old Pacific Wharf area. Overall it’s a fine change, that just transforms a bit of the park’s old regional California design into what is simply Disney's version of regional California design, but I have a problem because Aunt Cass Cafe is just all wrong.
If you’re going to have a place to grab food in San Fransokyo Square, and it has plenty, you need to have a cafe run by Aunt Cass, since the place is a significant location in Big Hero 6, the movie that inspired the whole area. Never mind that in the movie it’s called The Lucky Cat Cafe. The issue is that when you walk inside, as siren in images from The Entertainment Connection, nothing has been done to the old Pacific Wharf Cafe to transform it into anything that resembles its namesake.
Aunt Cass Cafe is accepting only mobile orders. I got the new clam chowder.Not good until I salted and peppered it. Even then, it lacks compared to the old recipe pic.twitter.com/83zqo63XhPAugust 30, 2023
It’s fairly commonplace for Disney theme park fans to complain that the resorts don’t do enough when it comes to properly “theming” new locations these days. Generally speaking, I’m not among this crowd. Especially when it comes to a place like a quick-serve food spot that you’re not going to spend a great deal of time in. Having said that, other than the fact that it looks like the place got a paint job, there’s literally nothing else that has changed. A few cat decorations couldn’t have been placed on counters or painted on walls?
I guess the reason the two cafes have different names is they are not actually the same place. This is a new second location opened by Aunt Cass and maybe that's also the justification for not making other changes to make it more like the Lucky Cat Cafe. But even then, why wouldn't she use the same trademark aesthetics in her second location? Aunt Cass is one of Disney's unsung heroes and she deserved better than this.
Transforming Pacific Wharf, an area designed to evoke California’s Cannery Row, into San Fransokyo was only going to be little more than a superficial update. The area was basically Disney California Adventure’s Food Court, with several quick-serve spots highlighting food from different cultures that have influenced California. The only “attraction” was the Boudin Bakery Tour, attached to the old cafe. It’s still there. The one addition to the land was a meet and greet location where guests get pictures with Baymax and Hiro.
But that’s part of why Aunt Cass Cafe is disappointing. Since there’s no major attraction that will make guests feel like they’re “in” Big Hero 6 a new cafe that makes guests feel like they’re in Aunt Cass’ establishment could have gone a long way to solidifying the theme of the entire land.
I think Disney California Adventure is a wonderful park. there are many ways I prefer DCA to Disneyland itself, and I have no problem with the facelift that's been given to this new land on the whole. In the grand scheme of things I'll get over my issues