At the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, is the outdoor shopping area known as Downtown Disney (formally known as the Downtown Disney District). It was a part of the Disneyland Resort expansion project, together with Disney California Adventure theme park and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and it opened on January 12, 2001.
Running from the western side of the Esplanade to the Disneyland Hotel, Downtown Disney connects the two Disneyland Resort theme parks with its three resort hotels. In order to make room for a pedestrian bridge that links much of Downtown Disney to the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, West Street, which abutted Disneyland’s western side, was renamed Disneyland Drive and lowered. The pedestrian bridge is next to a Disneyland Monorail System stop.
The neighborhood contains a number of stores and eateries, ranging from well-known retail chains to various Disney-operated stores, including a World of Disney store that occupies all of the ground floor of the Grand California Hotel.
Up to 30 shops have previously been present in Downtown Disney, but owing to announcements made in late 2017, there have been adjustments.
Parking for Downtown Disney was moved south of the Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel in July 2019. (Simba parking lot).
In addition, on September 13, 2019, a pedestrian bridge connecting the Pixar Pals and Mickey and Friends parking garages to the commercial area was inaugurated.
The construction of a fourth resort hotel on the property was announced in 2017. The new hotel would have replaced a large piece of Downtown Disney’s westernmost section and been built in front of the Disneyland Hotel. It would have had 700 rooms.
AMC Theatres, Rainforest Cafe, ESPN Zone, and smaller tenants including Earl of Sandwich and a Starbucks outpost were among the prominent Downtown Disney tenants that closed in the summer of 2018 in order to make way for the new hotel’s construction.
Growing disputes over the subsidies and the hotel’s location between Disney and the City of Anaheim resulted in the project being shelved weeks after the closures.
Due of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Disneyland Resort, which includes Downtown Disney, briefly closed on March 14, 2020.
Till July 9, 2020, Downtown Disney remains closed. The district reopened with improved safety precautions in place, such as required face masks, a capacity reduction, and arrival temperature screening. After California reopened on June 15, 2021, these restrictions were removed. The park briefly expanded the neighborhood into Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure from November 19, 2020, until March 14, 2021.
Disney announced in November 2021 that the West Side of Downtown Disney would be transformed with additional dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Beginning in January 2022, construction got underway with the destruction of AMC theaters, Starbucks, and Earl of Sandwich. Din Tai Fung was designated as the expansion’s anchor on April 27, 2022. Along with the redesign of UVA Bar and Catal into distinct eateries with the names Centrico and Paseo, the announcement also included a mid-century modern design for the district’s new west end.
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