On July 9th, Downtown Disney District (DTD) at the Disneyland Resort partially opened for guest experiences; however the opening timeline for both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park remains unknown. If you are itching for that Disney magic, are in easy driving distance to DTD, understand that there are still risks as noted by Disneyland for COVID-19 exposure, and are willing to be patient, then you can stop by DTD for shopping and eating. I really enjoy spending time in DTD. Here is an article I wrote about the fun we have when we go to DTD back when it was fully open. Many of these same places are open now, and a full list is available on the Disneyland website.
The Disneyland Resort has information you need to “know before you go“, and here are a few of my tips to make sure your visit to DTD is magical.
Tip 1 – Know where the Simba lot is located. The only official Disney parking for DTD is in the Simba lot. The good news is that they are not currently charging for parking! It’s free! The Simba lot is just to the south and west of Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Enter from Disneyland Drive into the parking lot, and then walk to the entrance to DTD near the Disneyland Hotel. NOTE: Disneyland will close this parking lot periodically if it becomes full. You can check Disneyland’s Twitter account @Disneyland Today to check for current status of the parking lot. Tip 1A – if the Simba lot is full/closed, consider being dropped off along Harbor Blvd at the east entrance or at the DTD drop off just north of the Disneyland Hotel on Disneyland Drive. You can also park at the Anaheim Garden Walk and take the 10-15 minute walk to the east entrance on Harbor Blvd, but you will be charted $3/hour after the first complimentary hour for parking.
Tip 2 – Bring the correct face covering. While World of Disney has current stock of Disney theme face coverings, you will need to bring one with you to be admitted through security. Face covering must be secured with ties or ear loops and must cover both your nose and your mouth. This requirement is for anyone 2 years of age or older.
Tip 3 – Make a dining reservation. If you want to have a leisurely lunch or dinner, make a reservation. As of this writing, dining reservations are available at Naples Ristorante e Bar and UVA Bar & Cafe are available for reservation on the Disneyland website or app. At the time of this writing, only outside dining is available based on a California Executive Order. There are other locations also open which do not take reservations such as Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes and Earl of Sandwich. In the mood for Starbucks? Both the east store next to World of Disney and the west store near the entrance at the Disneyland Hotel are open and accepting mobile orders.
Tip 4 – Get into the virtual shopping queue. If you want to shop at World of Disney, be sure to head to the far east entrance of the store. If the line is short, you can walk up the queue towards the west entrance to the store and either walk in if it is early in the day or have a short wait. If you are there and the store is near or at capacity, the Cast Member at the east entrance will take your phone number to put you into the virtual queue. When you time is set, they will contact you and then go back to the line to get into the store.
Tip 5 – Go on a weekday to avoid larger crowds. If your schedule allows, head to DTD on a weekday morning. The crowds will be exceptionally light. The Simba parking lot will be available, and you should be able to avoid having to join the virtual queue to shop. If you can’t go on a weekday, bring your patience, know that you may have to circle around for a while before the Simba lot opens, and that you may wait an hour or more for your time to pop up in the virtual queue.
Tip 5 – Bring your Annual Pass if you have one. Yes, Disneyland has not yet reopened and yes, your pass may have expired during the temporary shutdown. But the stores at DTD are honoring all Annual Passes that were valid prior to the March closures. So even if your pass has expired, you can use your discount when shopping and dining.
At the time of this writing, the hotels at the Disneyland Resort are not yet open. Guests with reservations before August 8th are being informed that the hotels will not be open for their visit. If you are planning to visit the Downtown Disney District and need a hotel, please contact Patricia at All For Dreams Travel and she can help you find accommodations to fit your travel needs.