Downtown Disney is Disneyland’s shopping and entertainment complex.
You’ll find great dining options, many merchandise stores (Disney and others), as well as many entertainment venues here.
The merchants at Downtown Disney are a mix of Disney and non-Disney owned locations. While Disney does not offer any military discounts on food or merchandise, some of the non-Disney locations do!
Downtown Disney is much smaller than Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs., it is a single path, about a quarter of a mile long with restaurants and stores on each side, running from the Disneyland Hotel to the Esplanade between the theme park entrances. This is the route guests staying at the Disneyland Hotel and some from the Grand California take to get to the parks.
Downtown Disney Transportation
The Disneyland Resort is quite small in size when compare to its big brother in Florida, making getting around so much easier. The Disneyland Resort doesn’t have or need the internal transportation that Disney World does. The Disney Hotels are all walking distance from the parks, as are many off-property hotels.
Driving and Parking
The designated parking lot for Downtown Disney is on the south east side of Disneyland property (the lot at the bottom right of the aerial pic above. To enter Downtown Disney you will walk north from the parking lot to the main Downtown Disney security checkpoint. It’s about 0.15 miles from the most Northern point in the parking lot.
Note the Downtown Disney parking lot used to be right next to Downtown Disney, In the pic above it was the furthest right of the 3 lots in the top left of the pic (just to the left of the word Security). But, recently Disney turned that lot into a cast member paring lot and made their guests walk from the new further lot.
- The first hour of parking costs $10
- Each additional hour costs $14, charged in 30-minute increments, with a minimum $7
- The maximum daily parking and lost ticket fee is $66
Validations – Your $10 fee for the first hour can be extended by:
- An additional 3 hours of same-day parking with a $20-minimum purchase and validation from any Downtown Disney location
- An additional 5 hours of same-day parking with validation from any Downtown Disney table-service restaurant.
You must bring your parking stub with you to Downtown Disney in order to get a validation. Locations will not give you a validation otherwise.
Enjoy an additional 3 hours of same-day parking with a $20-minimum purchase and validation from any Downtown Disney location—or up to 5 additional hours of same-day parking with validation from any Downtown Disney table-service restaurant.
Downtown Disney is just steps from the Disneyland Hotel and Grand Californian Resort and Spa and about a 0.20 mile walk from the Paradise Pier Hotel.
Disneyland’s monorail only has one route with 2 stops. There is a station in the Disneyland Park’s Tomorrowland and one in Downtown Disney.
All rides on the monorail are one-way. You cannot ride full circle in one shot, you must get off when you arrive at a station. If you want to return to where you started, you must get in line and re-enter the station.
In order to board the monorail at the Downtown Disney Station, you must present a valid theme park admission ticket. Doing so is the same as entering the park through the front gate. This is because the other station is within the theme park.
Anyone may ride from Tomorrowland to Downtown Disney as you are in the park at the beginning of the journey.
Guests entering Downtown Disney go through security screening, which consists of 100% of guests going through a metal detector.
The main security location is at the Disneyland Hotel end of the venue. Guests from the hotel and parking lots process through here.
At the far end of Disney Springs at the Esplanade, is another large security check area. This one serves off-property guests.
In between there is one small security check point for those leaving the Grand Californian into Downtown Disney.
Downtown Disney Locations
Below you’ll find an overview of what Downtown Disney has to offer. Any locations with military discounts are noted.
Note if you are told by your server that one of the locations I mention has no military discount, be sure to speak to a manager to check. The availability of military discounts has been known to change over time and also servers have been known to be wrong. Also feel free to ask about a discount at locations that are not listed as having a military discount, it never hurts!
Note military discounts are subject to change, as are the current list of open locations.
Downtown Disney Dining
Ballast Point – $$ – A “family friendly brewery.” Enjoy handcrafted drafts and local, seasonal fare at the only onsite brewery at Disneyland Resort.
Black Tap Burgers & Shakes – $$ – Craft burgers and Shakes. An homage to the great American luncheonettes of our childhoods.
Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar – $$ – American and Mediterranean cuisine. Fine dining in the restaurant and more casual dining outside at the Uva Bar. (10% Military Discount)
Crazy Shake Window by Black Tap – $ – Over-the-top milkshakes stacked with slices of cake, cookies and retro candies rolled in frosting.
Jamba – $ – Healthy fruit smoothies.
La Brea Bakery – $ – Coffees, pastries, sandwiches, and more. (10% Military Discount)
Naples Ristorante e Bar – $$ – Italian specialties including pastas and pizza. (10% Military Discount)
Napolini Pizzeria – $ – Quick service location for Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria (10% Military Discount)
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen – $$ – Cajun and Creole menu items. (10% Military Discount)
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express – $ – Quick Service Cajun and Creole menu. (10% Military Discount)
Salt & Straw – $ – Small-batch ice cream, seasonal flavors created with local ingredients in collaboration with artisans, chefs and farmers.
Splitsville Luxury Lanes – $$ – Upscale entertainment center that combines bowling with billiards, dining, music and nightlife.
Sprinkles – $ – Bakery Items.
Starbucks – $ – The usual Starbucks stuff.
Taqueria at Tortilla Joes – $ – Quick Service Mexican food.
Tortilla Joes – $$ – Mexican food.
Wetzels Pretzels – $ – All things pretzel.
Downtown Disney Shopping
California Sole – Dedicated to offering the best selection of shoes and sandals for the whole family in many styles, colors and sizes.
Curl Surf – High-end Surf Shop featuring trendy Surf Wear clothing and accessories.
Disney Dress Shop – Disney themed dresses that pay homage to your favorite Disney icons and park attractions.
Disney Home – Seasonally curated home décor, gadgets and other goodies.
Disney’s Pin Traders – The ultimate pin-purchasing-and-trading location.
The LEGO Store – A huge Lego store.
Marceline’s Confectionary – Candy and sweets galore.
Pandora – The jewelry, not the movie with blue aliens.
Pele Soccer – Selection of club and national team jerseys, apparel, cleats, balls and accessories for men, women and children.
Sephora – Beauty products.
Star Wars Trading Post – All the Star Wars merch that you could want!
Sunglass Icon – Sunglasses designed with the athlete, sports and outdoor enthusiast in mind.
WonderGround Gallery – Disney inspired artwork.
World of Disney – A super huge Disney character merchandise store. Clothing, jewelry, home goods, toys, tech needs, etc.
Downtown Disney Entertainment
Splitsville Luxury Lanes – Upscale entertainment center that combines bowling with billiards, dining, music and nightlife. (Coming in 2017)(Disney location, no military discount)
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen – Flambeaux’s Jazz Club – Nightly live entertainment.
Downtown Disney Stage – Outdoor stage featuring phenomenal local musicians.
Downtown Disney Construction –
In January 2022, the former AMC Theater will be removed, and a whole new area will be built. This open, grassy area will provide a space for guests to relax as well as an area for some events that will be held in Downtown Disney.
You can check out this Related Post:
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This MDT Post By: Steve Bell
Steve is the the Military Disney Tips Founder. He a retired U.S. Military Member who's been touring the Disney Parks since 1971! Steve's mission is to help military families with their Disney vacations in every way. Check out Steve's Bio.
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