30 Amazing Things To Do At Downtown Disney in Anaheim Disneyland
Headed to Disneyland in California? Want to visit Downtown Disney in Anaheim? Awesome! There are so many fun things to do in Downtown Disney!
In this post, we are going to show you the best of Downtown Disney! We will go over what to do in Downtown Disney, the Downtown Disney activities, and where to eat in Downtown Disney.
I think you will know exactly what to do in Downtown Disney when you get through this list! Let’s explore all the fun things to do in Downtown Disney in Anaheim California!
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What is Downtown Disney in Anaheim?
As you plan your first trip to Disneyland you might not know what Downtown Disney California is. Basically, it is an area located outside of the Disney Parks that has stores, restaurants, and entertainment. Some of the entertainment is put on by Disney and other entertainment options are located within the stores at Downtown Disney.
Downtown Disney California
Downtown Disney is located in Anaheim California. Just for a reference the term Downtown Disney use to be used in Orlando but was changed to Disney Springs. So when you hear Downtown Disney…. think Disneyland!
Where is Downtown Disney District?
Downtown Disney is located right outside of both Disneyland and California Adventure.
Does it Cost to go to Downtown Disney?
No, you do not need a ticket for Downtown Disney. You can walk around and check out the shops and enjoy the live entertainment.
How Long Should I Spend at Downtown Disney California?
I would give yourself 1-2 hours to shop at Downtown Disney in Anaheim. If you decide to eat at one of the restaurants that will take more time.
Hours at Downtown Disney California
The hours are:
8:00 am – 1:00 am
Directions to Downtown Disney in Anahiem
Walk to Downtown Disney
There are so many hotels within walking distance of Disneyland. For most people walking to Downtown Disney is a great option. There are signs located around the perimeter of Disneyland that will guide you to the Downtown Disney District.
Driving/Parking at Downtown Disney
If you are coming specifically to visit Downtown Disney there is a special parking lot. You do not want to park here if you are visiting the park. All-day in this lot is $66.
The first hour to park at Downtown Disney is $10. You can get a 3-hour validation ticket if you spend over $20 at any of the Downtown Disney stores. If you eat at the table service restaurants you can get a 5-hour validation.
The tram is located at the Mickey and Friends parking structure. It gives direct access to Downtown Disney CA. This tram is also used by those staying in hotels near this parking structure. You can usually walk from your hotel room and get on a tram.
At the entrance of Downtown Disney, you will have to go through security no matter if you walk or park. If you take the tram you will have already gone through a screening process and will exit the tram and be right at the Downtown Disney District.
1. Grab Breakfast at Downtown Disney
Want to grab breakfast at Downtown Disney before you enter Disneyland? A lot of people do. Downtown Disney doesn’t really get busy until mid-day so you can hop into one of the very popular restaurants without waiting.
Breakfast at Downtown Disney Options:
- Le Brea Bakery – serves breakfast until 3:00 pm
- Catal – Mediterian breakfast 8:00am -11:00am
- Jamba Juice
- Ralph Brennon’s Jazz Kitchen – Beignets at Downtown Disney!
- Tortilla Jo’s – Breakfast Burritos – Weekends Only
Character Dining Breakfast
There are a few Disney Sponsered character dining breakfast options located near Downtown Disney.
Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet
Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet is located in the Grand Californian at Storytellers Cafe. The Grand Californian has direct access to the Downtown Disney District. This breakfast includes character meet and greets from Mickey and all of his pals.
Disney Princess Breakfast
The Disney Princess Breakfast is also located at the Grand Californian at Napa Rose. This is a three-course breakfast that includes reading stories with Belle and learning fighting poses with Mulan.
You can make a reservation for the breakfast options directly through Disney. This will be one of the most memorable things to do in Downtown Disney with your kids.
Things to Do in Downtown Disney in Anaheim
Maybe you just want to grab breakfast and hit the parks but if you want to spend a little more time exploring all the things to do at Downtown Disney then keep reading because we are going to go over all the activities at Downtown Disney.
Stores, Restaurants, and Entertainment
You might be wondering what to do at Downtown Disney. I am going to list the different stores and restaurants and then we will dive into all the things to do at Downtown Disney.
What Are the Stores in Downtown Disney?
- World of Disney
- Disney Home
- The Disney Dress Shop
- The Lego Store
- Star Wars Trading Post
- Wonder Ground Gallery
- Love Pop
- California Sole
- Curl Surf
- Sunglass Hut
What are the Restaurants in Downtown Disney?
- La Brea Bakery
- Tortilla Jo’s
- Naples’ e Restorante
- Ballast Point
- Ralph Brennen Jazz Kitchen
- Catal Restaurant
- Black Tap Craft Burgers and Shakes
- Splitsville Luxury Lanes
- Pretzel Wetzel
- Marceline’s Confectionary
- UVU Bar and Cafe
- Salt and Straw
- Napolini Pizzeria
2. Visit World of Disney Store
World of Disney is the best! It is huge! You can spend a good amount of time shopping around and looking at all the latest and greatest merchandise.
Didn’t get a chance to buy something in the park? No problem. This store has every product you will see in the park and then some more. If you didn’t get a chance to buy souvenirs in the park don’t worry you can buy them here.
Visiting this store is one of the best things to do in Downtown Disney! It is so cool!
3. Stop by the Disney Home Store
The Disney Home Store specializes in home decor. It is a great way to bring some cute Disney decorations home with you.
- Living Room
3. Check Out LovePop
Lovepop is a card store that specializes in special occasions. Disneyland is always a special occasion for me!
These cards are 3D and “pop up.” Many of the cards are Disney-themed. This is a great place to buy birthday and anniversary and wedding cards.
It is fun to look around and see all the great designs.
4. Visit the Disney Dress Shop
The Disney Dress Shop is homemade-looking Disney-inspired products. I think I would have imagined princess dresses being sold here but it was more dresses with unique fabric and patterns.
More Shopping at Downtown Disney in Anahiem
There are lots of smaller stores that you can check out. It is one of the free things to do in Downtown Disney- window shop! It is fun to explore and walk around. You can shop and take your time checking out all the different stores.
Things to Do at Downtown Disney for kids
Most likely your kids are not going to like going shopping at most of these stores! At least mine don’t but don’t worry there are a lot of Downtown Disney things to do for kids.
Downtown Disney Activities for Kids
There are a few Downtown Disney stores that cater to kids. In fact, these stores have some of the best Downtown Disney activities. These make Downtown Disney fun!
Let’s explore the fun things to do at Downtown Disney!
5. Check Out The Lego Store at Downtown Disney in Anaheim
Walking into the Lego Store is fun! This store is amazing and probably one of the best things to do in Downtown Disney for kids.
6. Check Out Lego Creations
On both the inside and the outside of the store there are massive Disney Lego creations. There is Aladdin, Toy Story, and Beauty and the Beast all built with Lego’s. It is impressive to see and one of the best things to see at Downtown Disney!
7. Shop Around
The Lego Store has one-of-a-kind Legos. You can buy the Disney Castle Lego set. (And believe me, this thing is popular!) As we were shopping we heard many people asking for this item.
8. Make Mini Figures
The Lego mini-figure factory is one of the best activities at Downtown Disney. There are so many options to create mini-figures. They have lots of Disney options to help you create the perfect mini-figure.
9. Mosiac Lego
Mosaic Maker Experience is one of the more amazing and personalized things to do in Downtown Disney. You can book an appointment online. You will upload an image and head to the Lego Store. The image could be you at Disneyland. At the Lego Store, they will print out your lego Mosaic. It is a really cool experience.
10. Outdoor Activities
During certain times of the year, the Lego Store has an outdoor space where kids can play and build. It is a hands-on center. Kids love playing!
11. Pin Trading at Downtown Disney in Anaheim
One of the best pin trading stores is located at Downtown Disney. There are so many choices!
What is Pin Trading?
Pin Trading is a big thing at Disney. Disney has many cool pins that you can attach to a lanyard and start collecting. At different areas in the park, you can trade your pins with Disney Cast Members.
At the Pin Trader Store in Downtown Disney, you can find special pins. Like anniversary pins or special celebration pins.
If you want to start a pin collection plan ahead. Purchase your lanyards ahead of time on Amazon. And PLEASE DON’T TRADE EXPENSIVE PINS! Purchase cheap pins on eBay before you head to the park. These are perfect to trade!
12. Grab a Disney Treat at Downtown Disney in Anaheim
There are few places in Downtown Disney that you have to stop and get a treat! I will be honest, this is one of the best things to do in Downtown Disney!
13. Marceline’s Confectionery
Marceline’s has most of your favorite Disney treats you can get in the park. One of my favorite things about Disneyland is eating! I love snacking on all the amazing Disney treats!
Favorite Products at Marceline’s Confectionary
- Churro Cupcake
- Churro Toffee
- Jumbo Mickey Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Snack Co Products
Anyone with a sweet tooth has to stop by Sprinkles for a cupcake. There are 16 different flavors of cupcakes. They also have gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan cupcakes.
Yes, They Have Cookies!
Cookies are also a big hit, in fact, don’t be surprised if the chocolate chip is sold out. It is one of the most popular items.
15. Black Tap Shake Express Counter
Maybe you have heard of Black Tap. It is known for its crazy shakes. They are masterpieces. There are only a few locations in the United States and Downtown Disney in Anaheim has one!
It is worth going to the express counter and trying it out!
A super simple Disney treat is getting a churro in Downtown Disney. There is a little kiosk cooking fresh churros. They are so delicious and a perfect treat!
17. Salt and Straw
Salt and Straw is known for its homemade ice cream! They truly make it in small batches and actually use salt to freeze it. Dwayne Johnson is a partner in this ice cream franchise.
This is a perfect treat on a hot day. Getting ice cream at Downtown Disney is a great idea. If you are visiting Downtown Disney at night, stop by Salt and Straw, it is the perfect treat after a long day in the parks.
18. Wetzel’s Pretzels Downtown Disney
If you want a salty treat Pretzel Wetzel will not disappoint! Grab a pretzel and keep exploring the Downtown Disney District!
This is a fast and delicious Disney treat at Downtown Disney
19. Grab a Corn Dog
If you are not in the mood for a sweet Disney treat try a corn dog. This is a perfect grab-and-go kind of snack. This will give you plenty of energy to keep shopping and having fun!
20. Star Wars Trading Post
This is the newest and one of the hottest things to do at Downtown Disney. Opening in 2022, the resistance base has been recreated and is ready to explore.
The Star Wars Trading Post is amazing! If you love Star Wars you have to visit! There are so many cool things to see! It is one of the best things to do in Downtown Disney!
Products at Star Wars Trading Post
- Star Wars Souvenirs
- Star Wars Clothes
- Star Wars Toys
- Star Wars Light Sabers
21. Build or Buy your Own Light Sabers
Inside the trading post, there is an area where you can build your own lightsaber. You can also check out all the authentic-looking lightsabers from famous movie characters.
This is a really fun Downtown Disney activity for Star Wars lovers!
22. Join A Live Event or Dance Party
Disney Live is awesome! We have been a few times to Downtown Disney at night and have stumbled upon a live event. One of my favorites was a dance party. It is so much fun to grab the family and have fun.
During the weekends there will be more opportunities for live events! You can check out the Downtown Disney Schedule by clicking and scrolling down to the bottom of the Disney calender page.
23. Ride the Monorail
In Downtown Disney there is a monorail station. You can catch the monorail and go right to Tomorrowland. Cool. Huh!
Must-Have Park Ticket
To ride the Monorail at Disneyland you must have a park ticket. There are Disney cast members waiting at the entrance to take your tickets. Depending on the lines this may be a faster way into the park??
24. Go Bowling at Splitsville
Have a day off from Disneyland and want to do something fun at Downtown Disney. Splitsville Luxury Lanes is a bowling alley in Downtown Disney!
The is an upscale bowling alley with a restaurant. You can order delicious food with sit-down accommodation. This is a great place for parties and large groups!
Is There Entertainment?
Yes, there is the Kingpin Splitsville stage where performers are booked almost every night from 6:00 pm -10:00 pm
Is A Reservation Needed?
Yes, Reserve Your Table in advance! You can also just stop by and see what the wait will be.
Google gives Splitsville 4 out of 5 stars. The most recent reviews have all been 5 stars with comments that suggest people love the food here. Some said, “I can’t believe I was eating at a bowling alley” while others said ” Best food in all of Downtown Disney!”
25. Get Custom Disney Art
One of the fun things to do at Downtown Disney is getting your name painted with a Disney-inspired letter brush artist. These are fun souvenirs to take home! It is fun to watch the artist!
Dinner or Lunch at Downtown Disney
The restaurants at Downtown Disney are fabulous. I haven’t had a chance to eat at all of them but I give you enough information so you know which restaurant ranks the highest on Google!
Eating at Downtown Disney is a great option if you need a mid-day break from the parks or you are planning on exploring Downtown Disney at night.
Let’s check out all of the best restaurants at Downtown Disney!
26. Ralph Brennen Jazz Kitchen
Is a Reservation Needed?
Is There Entertainment?
27. Tortilla Jo’s
Is a Reservation Needed?
Yes, Tortilla Jos is a really popular restaurant in Downtown Disney. If you can plan ahead you should. However, you can add your name to the waiting list and then shop around as well.
Is There Entertainment?
No, Tortilla Jo’s is not as fancy as its neighbor the Jazz Kitchen. It is just a pleasant restaurant environment.
Indoor and outdoor seating is available.
Google rates Tortilla Jo’s a 4 out of 5 stars. All of the reviews rave about how delicious the food is! It is a good choice if you love Mexican food!
Taqueria by Tortilla Jo’s is a counter service option if you do not want to sit down at the restaurant.
Is a Reservation Needed?
Is There Entertainment?
There are a few seats inside and several outside.
Google rates Taqueria 3.7 out of 5 stars. Personally, I love this place. I eat here every time I visit Downtown Disney. The Nachos are incredible and it is a great value! I highly recommend it!
29. Catal Restaurant
Is a Reservation Needed?
Yes, but you can usually get them even on the day of dining.
Is There Entertainment?
Not really, but if you sit on the balcony you will have an amazing view of the fireworks.
There are both indoor and outdoor spaces. If you can request a seat on the balcony, you will love it.
Google rates Catal Restaurant a 3.9 out of 5 stars. The ambiance is amazing at Catal. The food is good. It is a fun place for a date night at Downtown Disney.
30. Ballast Point
Is a Reservation Needed?
Is There Entertainment?
Indoor and rooftop patio seating
Google Rates Ballast Point a 3.8 out of 5 stars. One thing to note about this restaurant is that you order your own food through a QR code. You do not really have a server but you are expected to pay a tip. Someone will bring your food to you. It is a casual dining experience, just know that going into it.
31. Visit The Grand Californian and the Disneyland Hotel
It is always fun to walk around the lobbies of the Disney-owned hotels. You can decide if it is worth paying a little extra money and staying there.
The Disneyland Hotel is located at the very backside (away from the parks) at Downtown Disney.
The Grand Californian
The Grand Californian is amazing. You have access to Downtown Disney but also you can walk right into California Adventure Park from the hotel.
The Grand Californian is part of the Disney Vacation Club which means you can get discounted rooms from David’s Vacation Club Rentals. I have used this website and it has saved me over $1000 for one night on my Aulani trip!
Things to Do at Downtown Disney
Now you know what to do in Downtown Disney! Hopefully, this post helped you know all the best things to do at Downtown Disney. There really are so many fun Downtown Disney activities and restaurants.
I know you will have so much fun at Downtown Disney California! Let us know what your favorite Downtown Disney restaurant is in the comments!
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I didn’t know about this place, to be honest! It looks like there are a lot of fun activities to do! Thanks for sharing this article!
It is a fun area outside of Disneyland. Good food and fun without having to pay the park prices.
Oh my gosh, I LOVE how detailed this post is. I visited a few years ago and reading your post makes me realise how much I seriously missed out on. I also didn’t eat at the restaurants there so I like how you break down if any places need a booking. Definitely saving this so I can re-read it when I’m ready to rebook my trip!
Yes, there are really yummy choices in Downtown Disney!
All things Disney? What’s not to love? I would spend most of my time in the Star Wars area and in the Lego store. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!
The star wars store is so cool! We love the Lego store too!
I haven’t been to Downtown Disney in Anaheim, but I have been to the one in Orlando. There is so much to see and do.
Orlando is bigger than California! Both our fun!
I love all the info on food options at Downtown Disney in Anaheim. I would definitely grab a churro.
That sounds really yummy!
Oh my goodness I would much rather spend money on a good meal and then get validated, rather than spend $60 on parking! Parking lots are expensive these days, but I’ve never seen it that much before! This is a great guide to know what to expect ahead of time.
Yea, and Disney is expensive!
I’ve been to Disneyland several times. I didn’t know though that there was a Downtown Disney! Sounds so fun.
It is right outside of Disneyland and California Adventure.
I love Disneyland!!! We did the one in Florida Orlando twice, but I had no idea Anaheim had one. It look like a great place full of adventures. Very informative post.
Disneyland California is the orginal Disney built when Walt was alive!
I’ve been to Disneyland twice now, and I really love it! I didn’t know if I would miss WDW, but I really appreciate both for what they are. We stayed in hotels across the street, so we loved strolling along Downtown Disney on our arrival evenings so we wouldn’t use a ticket but still get some Disney magic. This makes me want to go back!
That is what I did too! I went on the our off park day.
I had no clue there was a place called “Downtown Disney”. Everything looks so cute and fun. Love the Disney Home store! I bet they have some pretty cool stuff in there. Great guide with so many things to do!
Thanks! Yes Downtown Disney is a fun area in California!
Downtown Disney sounds like an awesome place to spend at least part of your day. Thanks for the information.
It is a fun little adventure near Disney!
churros. I’m in love with food at Disney! Disney at Anaheim has the best churros!
So true! I love all the food too!
Downtown Disney sounds so much fun! We never knew there was one. Thank you for sharing! We are putting this on our bucket list!
Oh good!you can shop around and eat delicious food!
Downtown Disney is so much fun! We love to grab a churro and wander through world of Disney. The lego store is so fun, they make the most incredible figures!
They really do have amazing creations!
I love Downtime Disney! So many great restaurants and fun things to do. Great guide!
It is such a fun place to visit!