The First Timers Guide to Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort

The First Timers Guide to Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort

Downtown Disney is one of my favorite places to go when I want some Disney Magic but don’t want to spend money ton a park ticket. It offers just enough magic to fill your Disney cup. They offer a variety of shops, restaurants and entertainment that you will be sure to find something for the whole family.

I have been going to Downtown Disney for as long as I can remember. I try to make a it out there a couple times a month to get my Disney fix. This place has definitely changed throughout the years but in my opinion is now better than ever.

Downtown Disney Disneyland Resort Anaheim California Earl of Sandwich Restaurant

What is Downtown Disney?

Downtown Disney is just south of the main entrance for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. You do not need a ticket to enter or enjoy it but You will want to have some extra cash to buy some souvenirs and try all the food they have to offer.

How to navigate Downtown Disney

There is so much to do here! I like to take a lap to take it all in. I’ve been a few times so I have all the shops and restaurants memorized but it’s still nice to see what entertainment they have going on that evening. If you enter Downtown Disney from its Main entrance ( near the Disneyland Hotel) you will be welcomed with what is currently Mickey’s Pop up Shop. As you continue walking you will notice a stage where live performers come to play. As you continue through the strip you will you see

From quick service to sit down meals, The Lego store, and the famous World of Disney you will not leave empty handed or with an empty stomach.

Downtown Disney Disneyland Resort Anaheim California Earl of Sandwich Restaurant

Tips for a Great Time

I personally enjoy going in the evening. The lights are beautiful there’s usually live music or ‘street’ performers scattered throughout that make walking the loop enjoyable. There is so much to see and eat that you definitely will need to make another trip back.

Downtown Disney Disneyland Resort Anaheim California Earl of Sandwich Restaurant

Common Questions About Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort

What is there to do at Downtown Disney?

Lots! There is plenty to do especially if you are a first timer. The strip is lined with plenty of restaurants , shops, and entertainment for the whole family. You can enjoy a milkshake at BlackTap, or enjoy a delicious pizza and Napoli.

Do I need a ticket?

You do not need a ticket as it is free to the public. There may be some events or attractions that require a cost but going in is free. So even if you don’t plan on buying anything,( which is hard not to) it’s still nice to walk around and be a part of the Disney ambiance.

Can you see the Disneyland Fireworks from Downtown Disney?

Yes, There are certain areas that allow you to see the fireworks. Usually, people will hang out in the esplanade (the big open space between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure) to watch the fireworks. Keep in mind you won’t hear the music to it.

Do I need a reservation to eat at Downtown Disney?

Most restaurants do not require reservations,however, if you plan on going during the summer, or the holidays I would definitely recommend calling ahead. You can check out the Disney Dining website for details.

Can I bring my kids?

Of course! there is plenty to do for kids and the kid at heart.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney is the best place to get a bit of magic we all need once in awhile. I promise you will not leave with an empty stomach or empty handed as there are plenty of amazing food options and Disney shops. please check the Disneyland Resort Website to stay up to dates on safety precautions and mask requirements.

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite part of Downtown Disney is.

Related: The Best Hotel to Stay near Disneyland



  1. May 2, 2019 / 4:42 pm

    This makes me want to take a trip to Cali to take my kids to see Downtown Disney!

    • admin
      May 2, 2019 / 4:53 pm

      Oh you definitely should! It is so much fun!

  2. May 2, 2019 / 4:58 pm

    This sounds like a fun place to go for an evening. If I ever make it to Disneyland I will check it out.

    • admin
      May 2, 2019 / 5:07 pm

      Thank you! I hope you do!

  3. May 2, 2019 / 7:33 pm

    My kids have been asking to go on a Disney vacation – this makes me want to go now. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this guide!

    • admin
      May 2, 2019 / 10:19 pm

      My pleasure! I hope you and your family get to go on a Disney vacation soon!

  4. May 2, 2019 / 8:18 pm

    How nice that they offer something free! Sounds like a neat place, too. It would be fun to go eat at a restaurant there.

    • admin
      May 2, 2019 / 10:19 pm

      Right? Their restaurants are amazing!

  5. May 2, 2019 / 10:19 pm

    I love that coffee cup!!! Great post, I’ll have to check Disney out soon 🙂

    • admin
      May 2, 2019 / 10:21 pm

      Thank you! The coffee cup is so adorable. I wish I bought it haha

  6. Kat
    May 3, 2019 / 2:20 pm

    Thank so much. If We ever go to Disney we will be very informed.

    • admin
      May 3, 2019 / 5:04 pm

      I’m so glad!

  7. May 3, 2019 / 8:47 pm

    Thanks for great info on Downtown Disney. I love that Disney offers this little bit of magic for free! Now I know what to expect if we head up that way!

    • admin
      May 3, 2019 / 10:24 pm

      Yes definitely! It’s great especially on days we don’t go to the parks. I hope you enjoy when you go!

  8. May 13, 2019 / 11:09 pm

    ahhh I cant wait until we take our family trip to Disney. Its two years away but we’re still in he planning stages and i just cant wait to share the Disney experience with my little ones. Downtown Disney is one of my favorite places.

    • admin
      May 14, 2019 / 7:49 pm

      Omgosh that sounds amazing! two years will go by so quickly! I’m happy to answer any questions if needed!

  9. May 22, 2019 / 7:02 pm

    Wow! Down town Disney would be fabulous to take a one night trip with my daughter! I’m a bit shameful I have never heard about it till now..

    • admin
      May 22, 2019 / 8:04 pm

      It is definitely a great way to spend the evening!

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