Downtown Disney is Open – And We Show You It All!

Downtown Disney is Open – And We Show You It All!

We’re there for the opening day of the Downtown Disney district, and we show you every inch of the experience!

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This week marked another milestone in California Disney news – the reopening of Downtown Disney! Opened in 2001, the shopping and dining district is a popular way to start or end a day of adventuring in Disneyland. So, what to expect from opening weekend, and more importantly, is it worth the trip?

We found most shops in the district open for browsing and a smattering of dining options available. Restaurants Uva Bar, Catal, Naples Ristorante, Earl of Sandwich and Black Tap offer a chance to dine outdoors while socially distanced.

The most popular shopping attraction? The queen of the downtown ball was definitely World of Disney, the massive flagship Disney store located at the base of the district. When lines grow too long, Disney “turns on” a virtual queuing system for the store to help maintain crowds.

Tip: If the virtual queue is in effect for World of Disney, you can sign-up for a “spot in line” at the fountain near Downtown Disney’s entrance. Once you have a re-entry text message, you’ll be granted one admission into the store for your party anytime during the day. Texts do not function like Fast Passes, meaning you do not need to return immediately upon receiving the message! 

Guests were welcomed back to Downtown Disney for the first time in 4 months

While the Disney stores are drawing lots of attention, there are still plenty of other shopping options to choose from. Here’s a complete list of what’s open:

Food & Beverage

  • Naples Ristorante e Bar

  • Salt & Straw

  • Starbucks

  • Starbucks West

  • Earl of Sandwich

  • Catal

  • Uva Bar & Cafe

  • Black Tap Craft Burgers

  • Wetzel’s Pretzels

  • Wetzel’s Diggity Dog

Retail shops

  • Curl Surf

  • Disney Dress Shop

  • Disney Home

  • Disney’s Pin Traders

  • Lego Store

  • Pandora Jewelry

  • Rinse Bath & Body Co.

  • Sephora

  • Sugarboo & Co.

  • Sunglass Icon

  • WonderGround Gallery

  • World of Disney

The coolest part of the trip (and the part most worth making time for) is, without a doubt, a walk through the esplanade. Affording you a stroll all the way up to the nearly deserted park gates, this is a real treat! We loved the rare chance to take photos in front of an empty park entrance! The Disney esplanade soundtrack playing on loop is also a welcomed bit of magical nostalgia too.

 

For a great time, try Perfecting The Magic’s perfect afternoon pastime at Downtown Disney. Grab your favorite snack (churro, candy apple, hot dog, dealer’s choice!) and stroll to the bench pictured below. You’ll camp out directly in front of Disneyland’s entrance, enjoy the esplanade music and have a lovely snack. This was one of our favorite moments from the weekend!

Find your seat at the last bench across from the Disneyland main entrance

Many tables and seating areas have been stripped out of Downtown Disney in order to maintain proper social distancing. We went searching to find great shaded locations and discovered yet another gem! The tram loading area has now been outfitted with several rows of benches. This location is an excellent place to relax when you need time off your feet (and out of the sun!) .

Find plenty of shade and seating at the tram loading area.

Got burning questions for us? We’re hosting a few more live streams throughout the weekend on our Instagram account where we’ll answer all your questions. Be sure to follow along for highlights and more gorgeous photos from Downtown Disney! Are you planning on exploring the shops and restaurants in the district this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

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