Construction Begins in Drained Pacific Wharf Lagoon at Disney California Adventure

Shannen Ace

Construction Begins in Drained Pacific Wharf Lagoon at Disney California Adventure

Construction has officially begun on transforming Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure into San Fransokyo from “Big Hero 6.” Last week, draining began on the Pacific Wharf lagoon, and now construction materials have moved in.

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Some scaffolding is sitting in the drained lagoon, between the two bridges. The small mini-land of restaurants at Disney California Adventure is currently themed to San Francisco.

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The scaffolding reaches up past the rockwork to the hedges lining the water.

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Diggers have also arrived and were parked under the bridge when we passed by.

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More materials were under tarps, keeping them safe from the sun.

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Just beneath the bridge leading into the soon-to-be-former Pacific Wharf, construction vehicles are flanked on either side with temporary fencing that are housing supports used for stabilization near digging zones.

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Nearby, scaffolding and stairs lead down to the site for workers preparing for the new San Fransokyo area.

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Aluminum appears to be framing off the section and perhaps helping to secure the framing in place as jersey barriers can be seen sectioning off another dig section in the photo below.

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Given the lagoon’s connection with Grizzly River Run, the water could only be drained when the attraction is closed. The Pacific Wharf lagoon typically serves as an overflow, particularly when Grizzly River Run is drained for maintenance. The ride’s regularly scheduled annual refurbishment happens to be underway at the same time as the San Fransokyo construction, allowing for crews to handle both projects simultaneously.

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Right now, Pacific Wharf is largely known as a food court for Disney California Adventure. Options in the land include Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, Lucky Fortune Cookery, Pacific Wharf Cafe, Rita’s Baja Blenders, Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, and Pacific Wharf Distribution Co. When the construction is complete, the new version of the land will include a Baymax meet-and-greet, food, and more.

Are you excited to see “Big Hero 6” come stateside for the first time? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Shannen Michaelsen

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at