Tips that you should know before visiting the Downtown Disney District

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“Buena Vista Street” by Scott Thomas Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Red Car Trolly transports guests up to Buena Vista Street at Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif.

Minjeong Kim

To kick off 2021, consider checking out what the “Happiest Place on Earth” has to offer.

Even though the main amusement parks with rides remain closed to the public, Disney Resorts began a phased reopening on Nov. 19 that includes Downtown Disney, which celebrated its 20th anniversary on Jan. 12. 

An expansion onto Buena Vista Street was included to the Downtown Disney District with select retail locations and restaurants that offer take-out orders as an alternative to indoor dining.

Newly enforced safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as enhanced cleaning and sanitation, were implemented in the reopening shops to ensure safety for all visitors, according to the Reopening Information page on the Disneyland Official Website.

The resort has also tightened the requirements on COVID-19 face masks by updating the two face covering policies to require masks for those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine, according to OC Register.

Meanwhile, the Star Wars Trading pop-up shop at Downtown Disney will be moving to its new, more permanent home in the former Rainforest Cafe on Feb. 19.

In response to the relocation of the Star Wars pop-up store, Star Wars fanatic junior Abigail Hahm plans on making a visit to Downtown Disney when COVID-19 becomes less severe and the number of cases decrease.

“I’m a fan of Star Wars, especially the first six movies,” Hahm said. “I think it’d be cool to look and admire the creativity of people’s interpretation and work of Star Wars from Disney.”

However, food and beverage restaurants that do not offer takeout remained closed while other retail stores will continue to operate at reduced capacity, such as Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes, Jamba Juice and California Sole.

Disney fanatic junior Celeste Franco does not have immediate plans on going to Downtown Disney anytime soon but already has her list of places to visit when the pandemic situation becomes safer.

“If COVID gets better and I’m able to visit, I’d definitely visit the World of Disney Store, which is my favorite store in the district,” Franco said. “I also really want to go to Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen as one of my favorite desserts is their famous beignets.”

According to Disneyland’s website, those planning on visiting these venues need to abide by the following guidelines:

  • “Guests may self-park only in the Simba Parking Lot for a daily rate of $10 per car.” Simba Parking Lot is on Katella Ave. 1.1 miles away from Downtown Disney.
  • “All guests are required to undergo temperature and security screenings prior to entering the Downtown Disney District.”
  • “Cleaning procedures are enhanced throughout the Downtown Disney District.”
  • “Face coverings are required for all guests (ages 2 and up), cast members and operating participant employees.” 
  • “Temporary adjustments are in place to promote physical distancing.”

Implementing these rules, eight restaurants will be available for visit for take-out orders:

  • Asian Street Eats, Ballast Point Brewing Co., Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes, Earl of Sandwich, Jamba Juice, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express, Salt & Straw and Wetzel’s Pretzels.

In addition, here is a list of open shops to visit that capture the adventurous memories with special souvenirs:

  • For apparel and accessories: California Sole, Curl Surf, Disney’s Pin Traders, Disneyland Resort Backlot Premiere Shop, Pandora Jewelry, Sephora, Sugarboo & Co., Sunglass Icon, The Disney Dress Shop and WonderGround Gallery.
  • For gifts and housewares: Disney Home, Marceline’s Confectionery, Rise Bath & Body Co. and World of Disney.
  • For arts, collectibles and toys: The LEGO Store and Pressed Coin Machines.

Hoping to visit the reopened shops, junior Brandon Park eagerly awaits his first visit to Downtown Disney and the Adventure Park to reopen.

“I don’t think it’ll be safe to visit Downtown Disney any time soon because the number of COVID cases don’t seem to go down,” Park said. “But I am really looking forward to go there and feel the disney spirit before I get to go to the Adventure Park.”

Visitors can access to get updated information about these venues before going there from https://disneyland.disney.go.com/experience-updates/downtown-disney/ .