Everything you need to know about visiting Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort including shopping, dining and more. Visiting this area is a great option on a non park day. Don’t have a ticket to Disneyland no worries. You can easily spend the day here. Let’s dive into the details as well as share some helpful tips if you plan to visit. Here’s what you need to know for the best time!
There is only one self-parking lot for Downtown Disney, the Simba Parking Lot. The parking lot opens about 15 minutes before posted DTD hours. Parking payments are hourly prices with validation returns. Payment is collected when you leave the lot like it used to be. The first hour of parking costs $10. Validations apply after the first hour of paid parking. 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. NOTE: you can not get parking validation from GCH Craftsman Bar or Grill inside the Grand Californian hotel. Beyond these validations, each additional hour costs $14, charged in 30-minute increments, with a minimum $7. The maximum daily parking and lost ticket fee is $66. Parking is subject to capacity.
After parking guests will walk to the Downtown Disney entrance adjacent to the Disneyland Hotel, near Earl of Sandwich. (see map included)
The Harbor Boulevard Guest drop-off and pick-up location is open for drop-offs as well. In addition there is another guest drop-off and pick-up location on Downtown Drive.
Other parking options
If you don’t want to park in the Simba parking lot there are other parking options. You can always park in the Mickey and Friends parking lot for $25 per day. There are a few parking options along Harbor Blvd also. The Toy Story parking lot on Harbor is now open for $25 per day to park. The Anaheim hotel, offers parking, the Anaheim Garden Walk is across Harbor and down the street (about 10-12 min walk). You pay by the hour at the Garden Walk to park. The first hour is free and then it’s $3 per hour to park up to $30 total for the day. Plus this location is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. The Best Western, Fairfield Inn, Tropicana and Grand Legacy no longer offer parking. The last option is just take and Uber or Lyft to the Harbor side entrance and get dropped off. These locations and prices are subject to change. I continue to update this as things change. Updated 6-26
Once you have parked you will head to security. There are 2 spots you pass through at security, a walk through past the sniffing dogs and bag check.
I’d bring only bare minimum to keep bag check easy. If you don’t want security to touch your bag with their gloves you can ask them to change into new gloves. Or you can ask them to check with their flashlight only as you open each compartment. But as long as you cooperate they will work with you.
Hours of Operation
Downtown Disney District hours vary, you can check the Disneyland app for sure on the day you plan to visit. Scroll all the way down on the home page and click on All Hours. Then click the date you plan to go and it will tell you the hours for Downtown Disney.
The following announcement was shared on the Disneyland website. “Starting June 15th, face coverings will no longer be required for fully vaccinated guests both indoors and outdoors. Guests (ages 2 and up) who are not fully vaccinated must continue wearing face coverings indoors, except when dining. While guests will not be required to show proof of vaccinations, vaccinated guests will self-attest they they are in compliance prior to entry. In addition, all guests will need to attest that they are aware of the State of California’s strong recommendation that guests be fully vaccinated or receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the theme parks when making their Disneyland Resort theme park reservations. When the Toy Story parking area opens on June 18, 2021 all guests will be required to wear face coverings on the bus transportation from the lot to the parks.”
Dining options and tips
Make a reservation in the Disneyland app ahead of time at many dining locations: La Brea Bakery Cafe, Naples, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, Splitsville, Tortilla Jo’s, Catal and Uva Bar. Another option, you can look for a reservation in the app Open Table for many of the Downtown restaurants. The other option is to just go directly to the dining location once you arrive. You will be added to the wait list or be seated depending on availability. Many locations don’t offer reservations it’s just first come first served. Look in the Disneyland app to see all the dining options that are open at this time. Search under Dining in the app.
Marceline’s is open and has treats from inside the parks. So even if you can’t go in the parks on one of your days you can still grab a caramel apple, rice crispy treat, cookie, marshmallow wand or my favorite churro toffee! In addition to treats in the bakery cases they have packaged items like popcorn, toffee, candy etc.
World of Disney is stocked with all the Disney merchandise you need. They carry the latest items and are always dropping new stuff. There is also a Disney Home Store, Disney Dress Shop, Star Wars Trading Post and more. Search under Shops in the app.
- If you can go during the week to Downtown Disney you will find there are less people. It gets busier on the weekends. So if you do go on the weekends arrive early in the day to maximize your time.
- It can get hot in Southern California plus add a mask so remember that when you’re planning your visit. There is not much shade in the heat of the day. Keep this in mind as you decide what time to go. Check my Amazon park items list for my favorite Disney fan to keep you cool!
If you are looking for a place to stay check out these posts.
Everything you need to know about Disneyland reopening is found in this post!
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