Located just outside of Disneyland Parks, Downtown Disney District is the perfect mixture of food and entertainment with a little something to do for the whole family! It’s the perfect getaway when you’re needing that Disneyland fix, it’s a great date night spot, or even a pre game to your Disneyland Hotel vacation before you head to the parks. Here are some recommendations for where to eat, what to see and things to do while at Downtown Disney.
Where to eat
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
Get a little taste of New Orleans at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. From traditional New Orleans eats like jambalaya and Gumbo to its similar architecture to that of the French Quarter, this restaurant is definitely a must. Additionally, The Jazz Kitchen has live jazz music every night!
A trip to The Jazz Kitchen isn’t complete unless you’ve tasted one of New Orleans famous Beignets. They are to die for. I’m not much of a sweets person but beignets just seem to always get me. They are french donuts that are deep fried and then packed with powdered sugar. They are so delicious and fairly addicting.
Napolini is the perfect place to grab a quick bite. They have a variety of pizza, pasta, and salads to choose from. The ultimate grab and go stop depending on what your day looks like because….kids….
- Earl of Sandwich
Because sandwiches are always a good idea, Earl of Sandwich is a nice casual eatery with indoor and outdoor seating. It’s also prime for people watching 😉
Where to shop
- Curl Surf
I love this shop. It’s the ultimate California boutique store that celebrates surf culture with familiar brands like Billabong, Hurley, Vans and more. Their clothes are super cute, their jewelry is trendy and their knick knacks are too fun.
- Disney Vault 28
At first, I thought this shop was super dark and grungy but as we walked around I started to notice that the stuff in there is chic, unique and most things are designer. I especially loved all their Mickey shirts, Alex and Ani bracelet collection and the Kate Spade Minnie Mouse display. They also have all kinds of The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Haunted Mansion items.
- World of Disney
I can’t even begin to tell you how much Disney memorabilia is in this store. It has to be named one of the top Disney souvenir stores onsite. It’s pretty amazing how much stuff is in there. From plush toys to pens, bubble wands, apparel, mugs and so much more, The World of Disney is the perfect spot for gift giving or a souvenir from your trip to Disney.
For The Kids
- Anna & Elsa’s Boutique
Prepare for Frozen overload when you enter this store. If you have a Frozen lover, I’m sure you will definitely find yourself in this store, and I can guarantee your little one will put up a fight for almost anything in there. My husband even found a Frozen soundtrack on vinyl in there! Everything is so well thought out, it’s unreal.
They have the movie Frozen playing in the front of the store and in the back they have a salon where they give makeovers around the clock.
- The Lego Store
I’ve actually never stepped foot in the lego store but their displays right outside of the doors are always spectacular. They always have something that is relevant for that time, whether it be a recent movie release or Disneyland show or attraction.
There is also a station right outside of the store where your little ones can create anything they want with thousands of legos.
Additional things to do:
- Don’t worry Mama’s….there is coffee onsite at Downtown Disney. There are two locations…so if you’re needing a caffeine pick-me-up, Starbucks is to the rescue.
- WonderGround Gallery
- This gallery is so awesome! The artwork is unique, eclectic and downright impressive. They also sell home & lifestyle merchandise. Try to stop by when there is an artist showcase or an artist onsite. It’s a really unique experience to talk to them and hear about their work in person.
- Disney’s Pin Traders
- Pins galore! Of course you have to stop by this kiosk to see what collectibles they’re working with. I’m thinking about starting a pin collection!
- Catch the Disney Parks Fireworks
- After dinner, head over to the fountain and catch the firework show at Disneyland.