Downtown Disney District Reopens

The Downtown Disney District, including Buena Vista Street, is open with select retail and dining locations. Ongoing updates on additional restaurant and food and beverage location openings can be viewed here.

Everyone must wear a mask

To reopen, Disney has implemented new health and safety measures based on guidance from health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and appropriate government agencies.

Soon a limited-time, ticketed experience will be opening at Disney California Adventure Park, focusing on the world-class food and beverage. Also, 1,000 Cast Members are being rehired.

Right now you can enter and explore without a timed ticket.

Good signage for parking and entering Downtown Disney District

There are 6 key things to expect when visiting the Downtown Disney District:

  • Park at the Simba Lot only right now. There are cones and closures clearly defined for guests to enter the Downtown Disney District. Parking is $10 per car. There is no refund or validation.
  • Guests receive a temperature screening prior to entry and walk through a tent with two sniffing dogs with their handlers, before a bag check and walking through a metal detector.
  • Face coverings are required for guests ages 2 and older. There is a vending machine that sells masks for $2 for those without one.
Forget your mask? No worries they have a vending machine with $2 masks
  • Physical distancing measures, including physically-distanced queues and seating, and physical barriers at select locations.
Benches are marked with safe distance seating
  • Temporary operations modifications, including reduced hours at select locations and the suspension of entertainment offerings and high-touch interactive areas.
The park has hand washing stations and hand sanitizer machines

An increased focus on cleaning and sanitation, including the addition of hand-washing stations and hand sanitizers are located in key areas. The day I visited there seemed to be more Disney cast members than guests, as the district was getting ready to reopen more outdoor dining venues.

Disney “Cast Members” are keeping the parks clean

The Downtown Disney District has begun a phased reopening, including an expansion onto Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street. The brand new Star Wars Trading Post was a popular store that had a line of fans to enter. The stores are allowing a certain number of people inside, and have a social distance line and umbrella to keep guests safe and comfortable.

New Star Wars store in Downtown Disney

There is no entrance fee of ticket to stroll into Disney CA Adventure along some of Los Angeles’ most popular neighborhoods. Many of designs are inspired from where a young Walt Disney lived and worked after arriving in Southern California in 1923. Find the plaque next to Walt Disney and his friend Mickey Mouse statue that states, “It was July 1923. I packed all of my worldly goods – a pair of trousers, a checkered coat, a lot of drawing materials and the last of the fairy tale reels we had made – in a kind of frayed cardboard suitcase. And with that wonderful audacity of youth, I went to Hollywood, arriving there with just $40. It was a big day the day I got on that Santa Fe California Limited. I was just free and happy!”

Walt Disney’s dream came true
  • Downtown Disney District, including Buena Vista Street, parts of Hollywood Land and Grizzly Peak are open as of February 4, 2021. Certain retail and dining locations are also reopening. View Open Dining Locations for ongoing updates.
  • Starting Friday, Feb. 5, guests can once again make a reservation at Carthay Circle Lounge – Alfresco Dining, with its seasonal menu and unique dining environment on Buena Vista Street. Also beginning Feb. 5, mobile app order offers a contactless way to order corn dogs and soft drinks at Award Wieners, or bacon cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, onion rings, waffle fries, kids’ meals, and vanilla and chocolate shakes at  Smokejumpers Grill. Guests should place their mobile order once they are already on Buena Vista Street.
The park is reopening slowly and safely

Hours: I recommend arriving early when it opens at 10 a.m., before the lunch hour. Weekdays aren’t as crowded as weekends. During the week, it closes down by 8 p.m., and on the weekend at 9 p.m. Visiting Downtown Disney District awakens your senses. Listening to Disney music plays throughout the open areas, while smelling the pleasing aromas of creative Disney snacks, and colorful and appealing window displays and beautiful floral gardens.

Disneyland is not open yet, hopefully soon

Leaving Disney’s California Adventure to walk back through Downtown Disney District back to my car, I was drawn to the entrance of Disneyland. It was sad to see the gates all closed, yet the slope below the Train Depot continues to have a floral design of Mickey Mouse, giving hope that one day soon it will reopen safely again.

Hopefully Disneyland Hotels will open in 2021

The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Park and all of Disney California Adventure Park remain closed and will reopen at a later date, pending state and local government approvals. I’ve heard possibly the theme parks will partially open more areas by March, 2021.

2020 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival

Now through April 21, 2020 visitors at Disney California Adventure can enjoy the best of California in food and wine with a purchase of a Sip and Savor Pass. Explore your way through a variety of creative fare and beverages, classes, tastings and dinners.

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FESTIVAL MERCHANDISE: Stores and kiosks offer food theme related attire, cooking accessories, drink bottles and cookbooks.

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CULINARY EXPERIENCES: At Hollywood Backlot Stage kids ages 3 to 11 have the opportunity to whip up creative treats and stir up some fun with Chef Goofy. On the weekends Top Chefs including Brian Malarkey from Herb & Wood, and Cathay Circle Restaurant – Chef de Cuisine Alex Flores will lead outdoor culinary demonstrations and cooking exhibitions. Other visiting chefs include Nyesha Arrington, Richard Blais, Jet Tila, Amy Benson.

MEET A FARMER: Also on weekends, guests can meet farmers, ranchers and growers who grow the food we eat. They will provide guests a mini cooking demonstration using their own ingredients.

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FESTIVAL MARKETPLACE KIOSKS: Purchase a Sip and Savor Pass with 8 food tabs for $56, including tax. Passes are available at the Sip and Savor Cart, Seaside Souvenirs, Elias & Co., Kingswell Camera Shop, Rushin’ River Outfitters, Studio Store and each Festival Marketplace. The cleverly named eateries include Nuts About Cheese, One in a Melon, Peppers Cali-Ente, LA Style, Avocado Time, Off the Cob, I ❤️Artichokes, Cluck -A-Doodle-Moo, Berry Patch and Garlic Kissed.

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UNCORK CALIFORNIA: Enjoy flights and cheese plates on the Sonoma Terrace at Golden Vine Winery. During the weekends beer, wine and mixology classes and tasting seminars are $25 per guest 21+. Over at Carthay Circle they are offering Winemaker Receptions for $100 per person. Starting at 7 pm, enjoy an intimate evening tasting a variety of wine and hors d’ oeuvres. Tom Johnson from Skywalker Vineyard will pour end enlighten ticket holders on Friday, March 20. Ashley Parker Snider from Fess Parker Winery will be pouring on March 27, and Jonathan Emmerich of Silverado Vineyards will pour on April 10.

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On Wednesdays and Thursdays starting at 1:30 pm, journey backstage into a kitchen to learn about the the sweet and savory secret stories behind the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival.

 

What’s new at Disneyland Resort in 2020

Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is kicking off 2020 with exciting new experiences and special vacation values. For a limited time, park tickets and three hotels in Southern California are offering a Special Ticket Offer for Southern California Residents.

Southern California residents can redeem their tickets on any three separate days through May 21, 2020. Disneyland Resort theme park tickets start at $67 per day with the purchase of a three-day, one-park per day ticket. Park Hopper options also are available. Eligible guests may purchase up to five tickets per person, per day, and prices are the same for adults and children. This special ticket also includes one Magic Morning, which gives admission to select attractions on select days at Disneyland park one hour before the park opens to the general public. These special tickets may be purchased at https://disneyland.disney.go.com/3-day-southern-california-ticket-offer/  or through a travel agent. For families visiting from outside of Southern California, there is a Special Ticket Offer for Kids Everywhere. 

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Guests may use their park admission to enjoy thrilling and distinctly Disney experiences including the Lunar New Year through February 9, 2020. This multicultural festively decorated celebration includes Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession, live holiday entertainment, Sip & Savor Pass with Festival marketplaces, special appearances by Mickey and Minnie dressed in colorful costumes, innovative menus celebrating Asian delights, commemorative clothing, merchandise and souvenirs, kid-friendly crafts and activities.

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The groundbreaking new Disney attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, opened on Friday, Jan. 17 adding immersive adventures to guests inside the largest theme 14-acre expansion land Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that opened in May 2019.

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Guests join the climactic battle between the Resistance and the First Order in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and take control of the most famous ship in the galaxy aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and encounter some of their favorite Star Wars characters, including the resourceful and loyal astromech droid R2-D2.

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While exploring this expansive new land, visitors can also sample galactic food and drink, and enter an intriguing collection of merchant shops.

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Disneyland Resort will debut its all-new “Magic Happens” parade at Disneyland Park on Feb. 28, 2020. The daytime spectacular celebrates the magic of so many Disney stories. This new parade, led by Mickey Mouse and his pals, celebrates the magic from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios films with stunning floats, colorful costumes and an energetic musical score of beloved Disney tunes. Highlights include “The Sword in the Stone,” “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty,” “Frozen 2,” “Moana,” “The Princess and the Frog,” as well as Disney and Pixar’s “Coco.”

More to come later in 2020 at both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure theme parks.

Sip & Savor during the Lunar New Year at Disney’s California Adventure

This Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure Park is a multi-sensory celebration now through Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. Guests have the opportunity to purchase a 2019 Year of the Pig Sip and Savor Pass. It costs $36 for annual passholders, and $39 for non-passholders. The big laminated card is attached to a lanyard to wear it around your neck. Also attached to the card are six tags that one tears off when ordering multicultural menu items of traditional treats and drinks. Here are 6 dining carts around the park to use your pass. Guests may purchase a la carte too.

1. At the Red Dragon Spice Traders select Firecracker Three Cup Chicken, Steamed Short Rib Shumai and a Purple Yam Macaron with Creme Fraiche. At this stand they are serving Raspberry Lychee Chia Tea.

2. Over at the Paradise Garden Grill select a Vegan Orange Tempeh, Korean Grilled Chicken and a Banh Mi grilled pork belly sandwich on a crispy baguette. For a sweet treat they are offering Mango Mousse.

IMG_93673. Prosperity Bao & Buns they are offering Mickey Chinese Hot Dog Buns, Char Siu Pork Bao, and a Mango-Pineappe Pastry.

4. Longevity Noodle Co has a variety of Asian dishes that includes Pan-fried Wheat Noodles with Chicken Meatballs, Cabbage Salad and Apple-Ginger sauce. Order the Vegetable Egg Roll and Chilled Sesame-Garlic Noodles. Finish with an Egg Tart and Orchid Spitz garnished with Rose Popping Petals.

5. Lucky 8 Lantern has Crispy Shrimp Fried Rice, Stir-fried Vegetables & Pineapple with Soy Protein, Mandarin Orange-Green Tea Tart and a Vietnamese Iced Coffee. The alcohol drink is a Lucky Buddha Beer with (4.8% ABV).

6. At a nearby food cart you can enjoy Gochujang Chicken Wings and mini almond cookies.

While walking through Disney’s California Adventure, be sure to watch the enhanced Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession. Mulan and her dragon friend Mushu along with beautiful Chinese umbrella and ribbon dancers, drummers, and dragon dancers entertain the crowd. The Three Little Pigs are the guests of honor to kick off The Year of The Pig.

IMG_9402Mulan is also available for meet and greet photo opportunities in the Paradise Gardens Park.

IMG_9346There are tables for young guests to receive a complimentary face painting, and make their own Chinese lantern.IMG_9369

This special Lunar New Year is until February 17, 2019. Go to Disneyland

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