Downtown Disney District is Now Open

Open Daily Monday – Thursday 10:00AM to 8:00PM and Friday-Sunday 10:00AM to 9:00 PM

I was so very excited to be able to preview the reopening of Downtown Disney. While it’s not Disneyland nor Disney California Adventure Park, it was nice to visit the shopping center and restaurants that are located so very near to the one and only “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Where to Park Your Noble Steed: AKA Your Transportation

Rideshare and Guest drop-offs are located in two places, one is on Harbor Boulevard at the designated Guest drop-off and pick-up location. The second drop-off location is at the Downtown Disney District, located on Downtown Drive, just past the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.

Where to Self Park: Parking is currently complimentary at the Simba Parking Lot. This lot is located behind Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel off of Disneyland Drive. 

⚠️Be Aware. Guests are counted and monitored by Disney throughout the day. Based on these counts, both the Simba Lot or the entrance to Downtown Disney may need to temporarily close in order to reduce crowd size.

*If the Simba Lot is closed when you arrive, and you have a dinner reservation, Disney has instructed guests to show that reservation confirmation to the APD for entry.

Are you excited yet? After four months of being closed, a glimmer of Disney hope is on the horizon. You’re nearly there, almost onto the pathway that you can offically call Downtown Disney. To enter such a magical realm, however, you and your clan must first pass a few tests to prove yourself worthy.

As Merida once said, “There are those who say fate is something beyond our command. That destiny is not our own, but I know better. Our fate lives within us, you only have to be brave enough to see it.” Are you brave enough, like Merida, to take your fate into your own hands and pass the tests to gain entry? Continue reading to find out what you must do to gain entry into the realm of the Downtown Disney District.

Your Shield of Armor: Wear a Mask

Everyone must wear a mask, exceptions are children age 2 and younger as well all guests who may have a disability preventing them from wearing a mask.  Disney states that “All face coverings should: Fully cover an individual’s nose and mouth and allow the Guest to remain hands-free. Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face. Be secured with ties or ear loops. Be made of breathable material, either disposable or reusable. Costume masks are not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with our existing rules.”  Sorry friends, that means Storm Trooper helmets are not approved.

Updated Mask Requirements Effective Immediately: Neck gaiter tube-style face scarves and open-chin triangle bandanas will no longer be allowed as face coverings at Downtown Disney. Also no longer allowed are face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind. Which means, no, you may not insert a straw into the hole in your mask to sip that tasty beverage. No More “Sip and stroll” Loophole.

Visitors may remove their masks only while actively eating and drinking outdoors in a stationary position while maintaining social distancing.  To reiterate, if you want to drink your beverage or lick your ice cream cone, you must do so while sitting or standing in one location. You may not eat and drink as you walk throughout Downtown Disney.

Stay as cool as Elsa: Temperature Checks

First stop is a temperature check. Disney has stated, “Based on guidance from health authorities, anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 F or above will be directed to an additional location for rescreening. A Guest with a temperature of 100.4 F or above—in addition to everyone in the Guest’s traveling party—will not be allowed entry.”

You are all One Team, One Dream! It’s very important everyone in your group checks their temperatures before leaving their homes and arriving to Downtown Disney.

The Tests of Gallant Chivalry

Don’t Provoke the Noble Beast.
Pass Through the Metal Gate of Good Fortune

You have now donned your shield of armor (mask), your temperature has been checked and is nearly as cold as Elsa’s, and you did not provoke the noble beast (K-9). There is but one final test. Thou must pass through a metal gate of good fortune (metal detector). If you are able to pass through the mighty iron gate without ringing its alarm, you will be proven victorious! Congratulations! Huzzah! Give yourself a pat on the back! You did it! You are on your way to having a most joyous day.

All kidding aside, it did feel great to be home once again on Disney soil. I was impressed with the new health and safety measures that the Disneyland Resort has implemented.

Disney Helping Guests Stay Safe

Plenty of Stores to Peruse

Plenty of Dining to Taste

Only Outdoor Dining is currently allowed at this time throughout Downtown Disney. Bars must also be closed for the next couple of weeks, as Orange County must follow the state mandated guidelines due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the area.

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen‘s is NOW OPEN! BeignetsHERE I COME!

Thank you to Mike and Lori from Arizonalifetothemax on Instagram for allowing me to use their Ralph Brennan’s beignets photo. I never have been able to pause long enough to take a photo. Mike and Lori must have great will power.

Locations Currently Open for Business

Asian Street Eats, Ballast Point Brewery and Kitchen, Black Tap Craft Burgers and Shakes, California Churro, California Sole, Curl Surf, Disney Home, Disney’s Pin Traders, Earl of Sandwich, Jamba, Kayla’s Cakes, La Brea Bakery, Marceline’s Confectionery, Naples Ristorante e Bar, PANDORA jewelry, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, Rinse Bath & Body Co., Salt & Straw, Sephora, Starbucks (2 locations), Sugarboo & Co., Sunglass Icon, The Disney Dress Shop, The LEGO Store, Tortilla Jo’s, Uva Bar and Cafe, Wetzel’s Pretzels, WonderGround Gallery, World of Disney.

Should You Choose To Visit Downtown Disney…

Be safe, have fun, remain gallant and be sure to enjoy that California sunshine.

Check back here on my blog for updates.

⚠️COVID-19 Warning⚠️
Disney has done a great job at implementing enhanced health and safety measures for guests when they visit the Disneyland Resort.
But don’t forget that there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 when visiting public spaces. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.
Disney states, “By visiting the Disneyland Resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”⚠️

Holiday Fun in the OC

There are so many special holiday offerings in Orange County for locals and visitors alike. One of the ways to soak up the spirit of the season, along with a dusting of Disney Magic, is by visiting the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, California, which is one of my family’s holiday traditions.

No entry ticket to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure is required to enjoy Downtown Disney’s dining, shopping and live entertainment experiences.
Along with top notch eateries like Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and Catal, there are newer dining locations to experience, like Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes. At Black Tap, you’re in for a whole new scensory experience with over the top shakes and award winning burgers.

Let’s also not forget the shopping! According to Disney, their World of Disney store is “the ultimate Disney shopping experience.” I completely agree, as it contains the largest selection of Disney goods anywhere on the West Coast.

Adjacent to Downtown Disney are the Disneyland Resort’s three hotels. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and the classic, Disneyland Hotel. The hotels are always fun to visit, even if you’re not a guest, as each have their own unique way to decorate for the Christmas holiday.
Did you know that Santa Claus visits each hotel? So be sure to stop by to see if Santa has made a stop so you can provide him with your wish list.

Downtown Disney brings phenomenal entertainment to its stages. This year my family and I had the best time listening to the live group WestBeat Sing’s “Holiday Harmony.” They are an amazing a cappella group who perform throughout California. I was very excited to hear that they were performing at the Disneyland Resort. They’ll be performing through the Christmas season. Be sure to follow @westbeatsings on Instagram to find out set times and locations, not only at the Disneyland Resort, but throughout SoCal.

Parking costs are quite reasonable at Downtown Disney, as long as you spend at least $20.00 at any store or vendor. Just be sure to show the vendor your parking ticket, which they will validate, and that’ll provide you with 3 hours of free parking. If you dine at a sit down eatery, you’ll receive 5 hours of free parking, when your ticket is validated.

There’s so much fun to be had at the Disneyland Resort, without having to enter the parks. The total cost of our 3 hour adventure for our family of four was less than a one day park hopper ticket for one person. The time we spent together was full of fun and Disney Magic.

We had the most wonderful time at Downtown Disney and look forward to returning soon, how about you?