What Are Your Favorite Things to Do at Downtown Disney in California?

Michele Himmelberg

by , Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

The Downtown Disney District in Anaheim has been a hit for 10 years – both with locals who enjoy the restaurants and entertainment, and with visitors who are staying at the Disneyland Resort for multiple days. We selected 10 fun things you can do at Downtown Disney, and we’d like to hear your ideas, too.

Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

  1. Enjoy local musicians such as violinist Drew Tretick, a regular since 2001.
  2. Check out ESPN Zone in the coming weeks as sports fans celebrate March Madness.
  3. See a new movie at AMC Theatres.
  4. Rock out at the House of Blues to the latest bands. Visit houseofblues.com for upcoming events.
  5. Use your creative skills to design your own plush at Build-A-Bear or remote-controlled car at RIDEMAKERZ.
  6. At Studio Disney 365, bring your child to get a rock star makeover.
  7. Pick up a sweet treat from Marceline’s Confectionery, named after Walt Disney’s childhood hometown.
  8. Grab a Wetzel’s Pretzel (one of my favorites!).
  9. Get your caricature drawn, or your face placed in a pictures template.
  10. Indulge your taste buds at one of the many restaurants, such as Catal, Tortilla Jo’s, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen or La Brea Bakery.

What’s one of your favorite things to do at Downtown Disney?

For more details on Downtown Disney, visit www.downtowndisney.com/Anaheim.


  • I like to just look around at night—the downtown area is so brilliant with lights that there’s a magical glow to the entire place. The kids and I usually do a lot of window shopping, oohing and aahing over the Disney Store window images, and we dance along to the live bands in the area.

  • Make sure to stop by Uva bar for a tasty cocktail and some great appetizers.

    If you’re visiting California Adventure, take a break and stop in and say hi to Ron at the Hearthstone Lounge-he mixes some tasty beverages.

    If it’s a special occasion, we always make sure to get reservations at Napa Rose, which is hands down my favorite restaurant around here.

    Oh, and one more thing! It wouldn’t be a trip to Downtown Disney unless we stopped by D Street and picked up a Vinylmation.

  • Its definitely the margaritas at Tortilla Joes.

  • beignets, snowball ice creams, and vinylmation trading!

  • I love going to the ESPN zone and shop at the disney store and buying a bunch of the vinylmations and going to BUILD A BEAR WORKSHOP!

  • By far the best thing is shopping at World of Disney. Nothing else compares. 🙂

  • Got to love sitting at Catal on the balcony and watching the people when there is no music at Ralph Brennan’s or House of Blues…ending dinner at Ralph Brennan’s with a Bananas Foster…walking though the World of Disney store and watching the little kids eyes light up when they see everything there, looking like they are in heaven…avoiding the long entry lines by taking the mono-rail into Disneyland and getting into California Adventure through the Grand Californian…not having to take purchases with you and have them taken to your Disney hotel for you to pick up when you depart…

  • Love, Love, Love Downtown Disney!

    We went over Thanksgiving in 2009 and there was a show going on in the amphitheater that involved all the kids learning dance moves. We laughed until we cried. It’s was fantastic!!!
    We love people watching, shopping, and eating at any one of the fabulous restaurants: Raglan Road; Wolfgang Pucks; House of Blues. .. the list goes on and on.
    Can’t wait to get back again. Really missing that Disney spirit.

  • Downtown Disney came along just as our daughters became young adults and it is PERFECT!! DTD has become yet another family tradition we always enjoy. Pizza and a glass of wine on the patio at Naples, the Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues, strolling the promenade and listing to the musicians, people watching from a balcony at the Grand, a Wetzle Dog and lemonade, a ball game and burger at ESPN Zone (best burger on site) all are favorite pastimes.

    Our absolute favorite however always includes a couple of nights at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen!! Friday and Saturday the band is GREAT!! Kenny, Johnny, Richard, and Jimmy really provide the Sounds of New Orleans. Now there are dueling pianos on Thursday nights after 9:00, a wonderful, kid friendly, brunch on Sunday with entertainment then too!! The food is great and don’t forget to save room for Bananas Foster!!

  • My girls love the Rainforest Cafe of course. I enjoy being there in the evening, strolling around and enjoying the pretty lights. I like to go to the World of Disney store and look around, but only if it isn’t too crowded!

  • I love looking around World of Disney and Compass Books. I also love to see movies at the AMC theatre.

  • Lego store is a must- even if my youngest is a teen. Rainforest Cafe is also a great place. And the grab and go pizza stand is great for a slice and salad – quick dinner when your too tired to keep going.

  • Get my sweety something sparkly at Something Silver!

  • Beignets… definitely beignets at Ralph Brennan’s Creole Cafe!! I haven’t seen then any place else at the resort.

  • 1) Buy/trade a pin.

    2) Dinner at the Rainforest Cafe (so many good memories of my little brother practically jumping over the table when the elephant started moving behind him!).

    3) Ice cream for dessert from the Haagen-Dazs shop.

    4) Floating blissfully through World of Disney in a merchandise trance.

    Ahh, sounds like a perfect evening…

  • I am a lego collector. So I usually hit up the LEGO Store then get a Jamba Juice then leave.

  • Oyster Shooters at Ralph Brennans!!!

  • Indulge in beignets at Ralph Brennan’s Creole Cafe.

  • Getting a Nutella crepe from the crepe place!

  • The kids love World of Disney Store. Everything little thing in there amuses them. When we’re hungry, we love going to Rainforest Cafe or ESPN Zone. The kids also love dancing around when the musicians are performing. We always end the night at the Confectionery with some Mickey Mouse rice krispy treats!

  • We always take my grandson to the Lego store which is his favorite. We love to eat at the Rainforest Cafe and shopping in a lot of the stores, but favorite is the World of Disney store. At night watching the street stuff going on is fun. I also love hitting a movie there at AMC.

  • I especially enjoy Downtown Disney in the evening. Enjoy dining at Rainforest Cafe and then relaxing at the Uva Bar with a Margarita.

  • mmmm wetzel pretzel or marcelines-confectionery these are my two favorites

  • When the “girls” have to go shopping and I need a break I just pop in to the Jamba Juice get a nice cool smoothie, grab a sit down near any one of the beautiful planter/islands outside and people watch!

  • We love to have a room at disneylands grand california hotel, downtown disney view, we sit at our balcony and listen to all the music and do people watching. We love to eat at ESPN its a must everytime we go. The drummer that plays out there is awesome!

  • Sephora!

  • I like to stand at Marceline’s Confectionery’s huge window and watch all those great sweet treats from being made. I can stand there for at lease 30 minutes, fascinated by the work the cast members do to make the caramel apples or other candies sold in the store. Yummers!

  • Everything is fun in Downtown Disney , but for myself and my children dinner at the Rainforest cafe and Shopping at Build a Bear ,and then more shopping at The World of Disney and enjoying the street activities as you walk

  • My husband and I love to go see movies at the theatre. It’s a great place to go rest our feet during the day and it’s nice and cool when it’s hot outside. It’s also super convenient since the monorail station is right there.

  • I became an Honorary Citizen in Downtown Disney!

  • Shop at the Disney store and smell the kettle corn

  • My sons like the Lego Store. The AMC has reasonable ticket prices and the best grilled hot dogs.

Comments are closed.