Downtown Disney

World of Disney at Walt Disney World and at Disneyland to See Updates

by on January 10, 2018

World of Disney

©Disney

Do you love shopping at World of Disney as much as I do? The large Disney-centric stores which are found in both Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and at Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort offer tons of souvenirs and I almost always end up taking something home when I visit. But soon, both of these locations will be receiving some love beginning mid-February 2018.

Work on the stores will be done in phases and the stores on both coasts will remain open during construction. When work on the interior is done, Guests will a dynamic and distinctly Disney retail environment.

A few shops will offer select merchandise while construction takes place. In Town Center at Disney Springs, Ever After Jewelry Co. and The Disney Corner, which opens in mid-February, will carry select merchandise while World of Disney undergoes renovations.

Over at Disneyland, at the Downtown Disney District, Guests can find some items in the recently opened Dream Boutique, as well as the Disney Home store which is opening in February in the former D-Street location.

I’m excited to share more details about what we Guests can experience once the refurbishment work is completed, so make sure to stay tuned to the blog for more!

Disneyland Planning for Walt Disney World Veterans – Part 1

by on December 4, 2017

For veterans of Walt Disney World, Disneyland planning can be a bit of a challenge in that there are several unknowns. Yes, Disneyland and Walt Disney World are similar in a lot of respects, but there are enough differences that your familiarity with the east coast parks will only get you so far. The good news, however, is that Disneyland planning is actually far easier than planning an Orlando trip — the park is set up to be equally accessible to day guests and locals as people who’ve planned for months — so with just a little bit of planning, you’ll quickly find the same comfort level out west in no time. Read on for all the info you need to take your Disneyland planning from newbie to expert!

The Basics

First and foremost, some basic info to help you get oriented: there are two theme parks at Disneyland Resort, three Disney hotels (for now) and the Downtown Disney area. The theme parks are Disneyland Park, which is similar in layout and content to Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s California Adventure, which I think of as sort of a smorgasbord of attractions you’ll find spread across Disney World’s parks (like Soarin’, Toy Story Midway Mania, and Turtle Talk with Crush), plus several original attractions that only exist there. Unlike Disney World’s parks, these two parks are very close to each other, and park-hopping takes about 90 seconds, exclusive of lines at the turnstiles. Yes, really!

The three Disney hotels are:

  • Grand Californian: the nicest, closest, and most expensive Disneyland Resort. It is attached to Disney’s California Adventure and has its own dedicated entrance to the park.
  • Disneyland Hotel: the original, throwback Disneyland lodging experience, and home to Disneyland icons like Trader Sam’s. It is typically the middle tier from a pricing standpoint.
  • Paradise Pier: the most spartan, and least expensive Disney hotel at Disneyland. Least expensive does not mean inexpensive, however, as will be discussed in more detail below.

Guests of Disney hotels can enter one park an hour early each day, sort of like Extra Magic Hours at Disney World. Disneyland does not do extra hours in the evening at all. In addition to the Disney hotels, there are several non-Disney “good neighbor” hotels that are within walking distance of the parks. While these guests do not get early entry every day, they can purchase multiday tickets that allow them to enter only Disneyland Park one hour early on certain days once over the course of their trip (called “Magic Mornings,” more on that below).

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Downtown Disney District to Offer Special Holiday Fun

by on November 28, 2017

©Disney

The holiday season is officially here and the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort is fully embracing the festiveness. Guests will see that the planters around the shopping and dining district are bursting with oversized ornaments and bright holiday lighting. There is also Christmas tree found in the center of the promenade.

Of course, there is lots of entertainment to experience, including a brand new caroling act called Holiday Harmony. The group is clad in ugly sweaters and they will perform fun Christmas carols.

Looking to meet the big man himself? Guests can attend Breakfast with Santa, which will take place at Catal Restaurant. Here, Guests are invited to join Santa Claus and his elves for a family-style breakfast, carolers and more! All kids will receive a Build-A-Bear Workshop teddy bear from Santa himself! This breakfast will take place on December 16 and December 21-22.

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Uva Bar – A Disneyland Dining Review

by on November 6, 2017

Uva Bar Review

Uva Bar, located in the heart of the Downtown Disney District, is one of Disneyland’s many hidden gems and a perfect place to hit when you’re looking for a quick bite to eat. A few weeks ago I headed out for a last-minute weekend getaway to the Disneyland Resort and was looking for an exciting late-night spot to check out on my first evening in LA. After taking the car service from the airport to my friendly Disneyland Good Neighbor hotel, I quickly dropped my bag in my room before enjoying the short walk to the Downtown Disney District in search of a tasty dinner.

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Tickets Available Now for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Experience

by on October 11, 2017

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

©Star Wars

Recently I told you about a brand new experience that Guests would be able to take part in called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire. This is a new collaboration between Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and THE VOID that will take Guests into the Star Wars world via a hyper-reality experience at two new new VOID Experience Centers. These centers will be found at locations at both Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort and at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Guests will be able to walk freely and untethered throughout the multisensory experience in groups of four. During the mission, under the orders of the budding rebellion, the teams will go undercover as stormtroopers to capture Imperial intelligence that is vital to the budding rebellion’s survival. The experience will take your team to the molten planet of Mustafar. Alongside K-2S0, your team must navigate through an enemy facility where you will walk into danger at every turn. Guests will grab their blaster, solve puzzles, and fight giant lava monsters in an effort to fulfill your team’s orders.

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New Dream Boutique Opens at Downtown Disney

by on October 9, 2017

Dream Boutique

©Disney

This weekend, following a brief refurbishment, Disneyland Resort opened up the new Dream Boutique shop in the Downtown Disney District. This location offers a wide variety of character apparel, accessories, headwear and other products. The location also carries Disney Princess costumes complete with matching accessories. In addition, a variety of plush and toys are available too.

The Dream Boutique has replaced the Anna & Elsa’s Boutique and is now solely a merchandise location; the shop no longer offers makeovers. Guests ages 3-12 looking to get makeovers  into elegant princesses or dashing knights can visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique found inside Disneyland. Reservations for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique can be made by calling (714) 781-STYLE.

Halloween Time Hits the Downtown Disney District

by on September 22, 2017

Halloween Time

©Disney

With today being the official first day of fall, it’s time to celebrate the Halloween Time season at Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney District.

Guests will be welcomed into Downtown Disney with festive Halloween décor, seasonal entertainment and for the first time, special fall-themed landscaping.

To start with, there will be more than 1,600 real pumpkins that have been integrated into the landscaping in unique ways. There will be themed plants nestled into planters among flowers and raised high above in towers. Guests will find a mix of tropical fall plants, such as canna lilies and copperleaves, as well as traditional plants, including mums and marigolds.

If you’re looking for a Halloween treats, Guests can pick up a Sprinkles Halloween BOO box loaded with Vanilla Milk Chocolate, Red Velvet, Black and White and Caramel Apple cupcakes. Or if you head over to Wetzel’s Pretzels, you can enjoy pumpkin spice bitz with pumpkin caramel dipping sauce. (What?!) If you’re in the mood for a beverage,  pick up a Halloween-inspired cocktails at UVA Bar and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. Or choose a pumpkin-flavored smoothie at Jamba Juice.

Finally, Guests will be able to enjoy SCAREolers who will entertain guests with ghoulish songs on Wednesday and Thursday evenings in October. (And, yes, also on Halloween night.) They will perform songs such as “Grim Grinning Ghosts” and “I Put A Spell On You.”

Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort this year just seems to be getting better and better, and with these events at Downtown Disney, it going to be a spooktacular time!

Two Shops at Downtown Disney Closing to Make Way for New Virtual Experience

by on August 17, 2017

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire - Downtown Disney

©Star Wars

Recently it was announced that an all new virtual experience themed around Star Wars, called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire would be coming to Downtown Disney in the Disneyland Resort. The question was, where will this experience be located? It seems that it will officially be going in the space of Disney Vault 28 and Fossil. Both stores will be closing soon, by the end of September to make way.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will be a brand new collaboration between Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and THE VOID which will take Guests literally into the Star Wars world via a hyper-reality experience. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will allow fans to move freely in an untethered, social, and multi-sensory experience and Guests will be able to interact with friends, fans, and even some characters.

It is still currently unclear where the experience will be found at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will open this holiday season on both coasts. Stay tuned to the blog for more details!

Parking Policy Changes at Downtown Disney in Disneyland

by on August 8, 2017

©Disney

Changes are taking place at Disneyland in regards to the parking policies at Downtown Disney.

Beginning on August 16, Guests will only be able to receive two hours of free parking when they make a $20 minimum purchase where they will be able to receive validation from any Downtown Disney location, including kiosks and quick service dining locations. For those who dine at a Downtown Disney table service restaurant or who watch a movie at the AMC Theatres, Guests will be able to receive up to four hours of free parking with validation.

Any additional hours will cost $12, which will be charged in 30 minute increments, with a minimum $6 charge after the initial 15 minute grace period. The maximum daily parking fee and lost ticket fees will be increased as well, from $36 to $48.

Currently, any Guest can park in the lot for free for up to two hours.

 

Brand New Immersive Star Wars Experience Coming to Disney Springs and Downtown Disney

by on August 3, 2017

Today, it was announced that a brand new collaboration between Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and THE VOID will take Guests literally into the Star Wars world via a hyper-reality experience. Called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, Guests will be able to be thrust into the Star Wars universe at two new new VOID Experience Centers. These centers will be found at unannounced locations at both Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort and at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will allow fans to move freely in an untethered, social, and multi-sensory experience. Guests will be able to interact with friends, fans, and even some characters.

Star Wars

©Star Wars

“At THE VOID, we combine the magic of illusions, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds,” said Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at THE VOID. “A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of THE VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.”

The fun begins sometime during this holiday season. Stay tuned to the blog as I find out more information about this ground-breaking experience.