The Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop at Disney California Adventure is “moving” from Pacific Wharf to San Fransokyo Square, and in preparation, the iconic animated mural behind the serving area has been altered to focus on the fictional “Big Hero 6” town instead of the real home of the famous brand, San Francisco.
Ghirardelli San Fransokyo Mural
From far away, you may not even notice that a change was made, but upon closer inspection, quite a bit is different.
Effects take place on the 3D mural. The trolley car moves, lights turn on and off, and an “earthquake” shakes up the mural. The Ghirardelli building seems to break apart, though the real thing survived the 1906 quake with minimal damage.
Watch the quake effect below.
A fish-shaped wind turbine straight out of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film is flying high atop the scenery (including Ghirardelli Square, now complete with Japanese characters on the signage) with the Ghiradelli logo printed on its side. Rita’s Turbine Blenders will be topped with a giant dimensional prop resembling these as well.
Compare these photos to the old version, pictured below from the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop’s opening in 2012 (when the World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae cost only $8.25 rather than $15.75).
The houses across the street now resemble the ones from the film, blending Japanese and American influences from the two famous metropolises.
The San Fransokyo Gate Bridge replaces the Golden Gate Bridge as we await the completion of the real one just steps away.
The trolley now belongs to the city of San Fransokyo, adorned with new signage and lanterns.
Lanterns featuring the letters “SFS” to represent San Fransokyo Square line the streets, as do red ones.
Even some of the smaller details, like half-obscured posters and a distant trolley, received an update.
A skyscraper in the background was not safe from the changes either.
Japanese characters are printed on various sections throughout the design.
Cherry blossoms adorn the top central section of the backdrop. In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms are especially symbolic, representing human life, beauty, and more.
Ghiradelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop is open daily and can be found in what is currently known as Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure. It will be a part of San Fransokyo Square when that officially opens to guests on August 31, 2023, but has also promised to introduce some new menu items inspired by the new theme. Details for the new items have yet to be released.
Pacific Wharf Becomes San Fransokyo Square
Pacific Wharf’s primary entrance bridge is currently closed for installation of the Torii gate towers, as it is transformed into the San Fransokyo Gate Bridge.
. The Port of San Fransokyo Cervecería will also officially open. In the weeks, following, more dining options and shopping opportunities will be come available through mid-August, when the transformation will presumably be complete.
Locations from the Cappuccino Cart to The Bakery Tour will also be decked out in street art and colorful banners celebrating the Big Hero 6 team.
Guests will be able to interact with Hiro and Baymax (who will talk!) outside the Hamada Bot Shop.
Near the Hamada Bot Shop will be the San Fransokyo Maker’s Market, a storefront stocked with unique apparel, homewares, and more featuring Baymax and friends. As seen in the concept art above, the market’s shelves are situated on robot storage cases, with decommissioned battle bots on display. Hiro’s Megabot will be in the rafters above.
Across from the Maker’s Market, vending machines will have golden medallions featuring Baymax and other San Fransokyo images.
Dining options will include current Pacific Wharf venues and new options inspired by Asian cuisine and “Big Hero 6.”
Aunt Cass Café, the second bakery café operated by Hiro’s loving aunt, will serve soups in freshly-baked Boudin sourdough bread bowls and more inspired by Japanese cuisine. On the outside of this quick service restaurant, you’ll find a mural of Aunt Cass’ lucky pet cat, Mochi.