Here’s What Is Coming to San Fransokyo Square at Disney California Adventure Park
For anyone that has had the chance to watch Disney animated film Big Hero 6, you’ve probably wished that you could experience the neon-lit metropolis of San Fransokyo for yourself. Well, beginning sometime this summer, you will soon be able to, sort of, with the reimagining of the Pacific Wharf area at Disney California Adventure Park into San Fransokyo Square. Once it’s unveiled, this unique East-meets-West mash-up will merge the landmarks and heritage of San Francisco with futuristic elements and cultural traditions inspired by Tokyo.
Although San Fransokyo Square hasn’t opened just yet, let’s take a deep dive into everything we know about it so far, from exploring its Big Hero 6-style design and meet-and-greets to digging into the new restaurants and stores coming to the area, like Aunt Cass Café, Port of San Fransokyo Cervecería and San Fransokyo Maker’s Market. We’ll also touch on the basics, including when San Fransokyo Square will open and where it’s located. Let’s get started!
San Fransokyo Square Overview
If you’re a fan of Big Hero 6 and the loveable Baymax, get excited because Summer 2023 is going to be, well, big. The magic of Disney is bringing your favorite characters and settings from the movie to life in an exciting new area called San Fransokyo Square, which is set to open in what is currently Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure Park sometime during the next few months.
Where Is San Fransokyo Square?
Disneyland Resort’s newest land, San Fransokyo Square, will be taking over the area currently known as Pacific Wharf. Once it opens, San Fransokyo will be located between Pixar Pier and Cars Land and across from Paradise Gardens Park. The new San Fransokyo Gate Bridge will link the reimagined land with the latter near the Paradise Gardens Park obelisk.
When Will San Fransokyo Square at Disneyland Resort Open?
Although there hasn’t been a specific opening date announced yet, the teaser page for the area on Disneyland’s website says that it “will continue its transformation through mid-August as the San Fransokyo Public Works Department brings this area to life.” Given that, we’d say it’s safe to assume that, unless something unexpected happens, San Fransokyo Square will open at California Adventure Park sometime around the middle or end of August 2023.
During the reimagining period, Pacific Wharf will remain open, including the various restaurants located there. The only thing to be aware of is that some entrances may be temporarily unavailable due to construction. So, keep that in mind if you are visiting Disneyland prior to San Fransokyo’s official debut.
Design & Backstory of San Fransokyo Square at Disney California Adventure Park
This immersive new land will transport guests straight into the heart of the vibrant, bustling metropolis from the animated film. Once it opens, you’ll be able to stroll through an all-new landscape illuminated by neon lights and paper lanterns, adorned with colorful new landmarks and dotted with eateries that offer a combination of American and Japanese flavors. As we mentioned, San Fransokyo Square is setting up shop in the area currently known as Pacific Wharf. Presently styled like a quaint cannery town in coastal California, most of the area will simply be reworked, adding in Asian-inspired elements while maintaining the Fisherman’s Wharf-like charm and ambiance that hints at San Francisco.
Of course, as this is Disneyland, everything has a backstory, and that includes San Fransokyo Square. According to Disney Parks Blog, San Fransokyo Square is set in the not-too-distant future. As the story goes, San Fransokyo’s local fishing trade was in a slump due to the rise of the tech industry, playing off of the fishing heritage and tech-heavy economy of both Tokyo and San Francisco. (Tokyo was once a small filling village named Edo before it became the metropolis we know today.)
Fortunately, the city’s entrepreneurs put their heads together to reinvigorate the harbor district, turning the area’s old seaside canneries into a thriving multicultural neighborhood filled with local restaurants, shops and other small businesses. The centerpiece of San Fransokyo Square will be the San Fransokyo Gate Bridge, which will connect the area to Paradise Gardens Park. This iconic landmark will put a Japanese-inspired twist on the Golden Gate Bridge, swapping out torii gate-like spires.
And keep your eyes on the sky—there you’ll see a koi fish-shaped wind turbine floating high atop a former fishing net tannery and powering San Fransokyo from up above. While you’re at it, you’ll also want to be on the lookout for design details like street art, signage, banners and lanterns, as well as the new restaurants and storefronts that pay tribute to both Japanese culture and Big Hero 6 and their battle against Yokai. Think subtle touches like signs for the restrooms with male and female icons with eyes like Baymax and paper lanterns shaped like everyone’s favorite crime-fighting health companion. Here, technology meets tradition, just like in the beloved animated film.
Everything Coming to (or Staying at) San Fransokyo Square
Alright, now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s take a look at some of the character experiences, restaurants and stores making their way to San Fransokyo Square in California Adventure.
San Fransokyo Square Characters
As you might imagine, no visit to San Fransokyo will be complete without meeting some of the from Big Hero 6. Over at the Hamada Bot Shop, where Hiro and the rest of the team work on crafting their high-tech gear, you’ll be able to say “hello” (or “Konnichiwa”) to the boy wonder Hiro Hamada himself, as well as his huggable healthcare robot companion Baymax. Here’s hoping we get to see them do their signature fist bump. *Balalala* As you wait in line, take some time to look around the lab—you may catch a glimpse of some of the team’s latest inventions.
San Fransokyo Square Restaurants
Although the area is being rethemed, you don’t need to worry about your favorite California Adventure dishes disappearing for good. With the exception of Pacific Wharf Café and Rita’s Baja Blenders, which are being reimagined while maintaining some of their menus, most of the restaurants in San Fransokyo Square will stay largely the same as they were in Pacific Wharf, albeit with new additional offerings. There will also be one brand-new eatery. Stay tuned for a foodie guide as more information becomes available! You’ll also be happy to know that the Bakery Tour, which is hosted by Boudin Bakery and gives guests a primer on how sourdough bread, a San Francisco staple, is made (and fresh, free samples!) isn’t going anywhere.
An experienced restauranteur, Hiro’s aunt is opening up a second bakery and café in San Fransokyo Square called Aunt Cass Café. Taking over the old Pacific Wharf Café, this quick-service restaurant will cook up an assortment of Japanese-inspired dishes. Happily, it will also serve one of the Pacific Wharf Café’s most popular offerings: cozy soups in Boudin sourdough bread bowls. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for Mochi, Aunt Cass’ adorable cat, who welcomes guests in mural form from the outside of the eatery.
Craving Mexican food while you’re exploring San Fransokyo Square? Well, you’re in luck because Cocina Cucamonga is here to stay. Best of all, its menu will be receiving some new additions in honor of San Fransokyo Square. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for Asian-inspired tacos.
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
Ghirardelli is a San Francisco staple. So, Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop will still have a home in San Fransokyo Square. However, new menu offerings will be added to the menu which nod to its updated surroundings and the area’s backstory.
Lucky Fortune Cookery
Don’t worry, Asian food fans! The cheekily named Lucky Fortune Cookery isn’t going anywhere. Better yet, it will be getting brand-new menu items to celebrate its “new” San Fransokyo location. These additions will be available starting around the middle of July, so be sure to keep a lookout for those.
(New!) Port of San Fransokyo Cervecería
While most of the dining options in San Fransokyo Square will either be holdovers with menu changes or rethemed locations, there will be one new outlet joining the lineup: Port of San Fransokyo Cervecería. Conveniently located right next to Cocina Cucamonga, this welcoming open-air beer garden will embrace three unique cultures. Not only will signs throughout the area feature a fusion of English, Spanish and Japanese, but there will also be culturally inspired touches like red and white papel picado, referencing both Baymax and the Japanese flag, as well as paper lanterns. Port of San Fransokyo Cervecería is currently set to open in mid-July.
(New!) Rita’s Turbine Blenders
Like Aunt Cass Café, Rita’s Turbine Blenders isn’t so much new as it is updated. Previously Rita’s Baja Blenders, this rethemed refreshment stand, which whips up (marga)ritas and frozen drinks, will get a San Fransokyo-inspired makeover. Its new name is coined for the establishment’s owner, a handy repair tech who keeps the koi fish-shaped wind turbine that floats above it up and running.
San Fransokyo Square Shopping
Hoping you’ll be able to take a souvenir from San Fransokyo home with you? You’re in luck! The area will also see the addition of a couple of new shopping opportunities. The San Fransokyo Maker’s Market will be located not far from the Hamada Bot Shop meet-and-greet location. This unique storefront will stock all things Baymax and Big Hero 6, like homewares, apparel and more.
The shop also pays tribute to the battlebots, like banners proclaiming the current and past champions as you enter. Plus, not only are the store’s shelves incorporated into robot storage cases, but if you look carefully, you may even notice Hiro’s Megabot, the reigning champ, up in the rafters. Looking for something smaller? A vending machine will also be available nearby that dispenses collectible golden medallions emblazoned with quintessential San Fransokyo images, including Baymax.
Well, Big Hero 6 fans, that’s all we know so far about the upcoming San Fransokyo Square. What are you most excited about? Will you miss Pacific Wharf? Let us know in the comments! Then, learn how to save on your trip to San Fransokyo and the rest of Disney California Adventure Park with our discount Disneyland tickets.