Downtown Disney reopened on July 9, and since then Guests have gotten to experience some true Disney magic in person in California. Even though Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are closed — and we don’t yet have a reopening date for the theme parks or onsite hotels at Disneyland Resort — there is still so much magic to experience at Downtown Disney.
Here, we’re going to outline all of our favorite ways to feel the Disney magic at Downtown Disney right now, since even during times like these there is plenty of pixie dust to go around.
Take a stroll in the morning or evening
It’s been quite warm in California this summer, so we suggest visiting Downtown Disney in the morning or evening, if you can, in order to beat the heat. Downtown Disney is officially open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., giving Guests the opportunity to visit in the morning before the afternoon sun is at its peak, or in the evening for a nice dinner. Keep in mind that mornings at Downtown Disney tend to be quieter, while evenings — with all of the lights illuminated and the jazzy Disney soundtrack playing — can feel a bit like strolling through a Disney Park in the evening, too.
Pick up a sweet treat at Marceline’s Confectionery
Who doesn’t miss their favorite Disney Parks snacks right about now? When we went to Downtown Disney last week for reopening day, we picked up a Mickey rice krispy treat, a Disney chocolate chip cookie, and the signature Mickey’s Really Swell Coffee. The best part? The sweet desserts are made by Disney just as they always have been. So you can pick up that caramel apple or churro toffee, and it will be the same as it was when the parks reopened: magical and delicious.
Browse the artwork at Wonderground Gallery
We love visiting Wonderground Gallery year-round, but there is always something special about stopping here at Downtown Disney when we aren’t heading into the parks. The shop showcases Disney artwork from a variety of artists, and even just browsing the different styles can bring us joy. If you want to buy a little souvenir without breaking the bank, we suggest purchasing a postcard with artwork you love. You can even frame it when you get home!
Find all the hidden gems at World of Disney
Yes, we love shopping at World of Disney. But since the store was renovated, so many new hidden gems were added. It is these elements that remind us why we love Disney Parks so much: it’s all in the details. Hang out by the registers to get a glimpse of Tinker Bell flying all around, and pay attention to the film posters on the walls, as some of them will surprise you and come to life. You can even ask a Cast Member about the design of the store so you can learn all about the hidden magic in every room.
Embrace the sounds of the Esplanade
Even though we can’t enter the Disneyland or Disney California Adventure gates, we can still enjoy the sounds of the Esplanade, the area in between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks. The most iconic Disney Parks music plays in the Esplanade, reminding us that we are at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Want to hear the music for yourself if you can’t make it to Downtown Disney right now? You can go to the Sounds of Disneyland website, or watch the video below, which has the complete soundtrack for the Disneyland Esplanade.
Have you visited Downtown Disney since it opened earlier this month? What’s your favorite way to feel the Disney magic right now? Let us know in the comments!
Remember: Disneyland is currently accepting new reservations for August 16 and beyond! To book your next trip, get in touch with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner at Academy Travel, who can help you navigate all of the changes coming to the Disney Parks and ensure your vacation is magical.