Wondering what to do at Disneyland outside of the Parks? Let me show you 12 things to do in Downtown Disney that don’t require a Park ticket. Scroll down for all the info!
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Depending on how many days you are at Disneyland, you’ll probably find yourself with time you are not spending inside the Parks. Think about your arrival day, departure day, and any rest days you may have planned.
Both Walt Disney World and Disneyland have downtown locations that you can shop and dine at, until your heart’s content. At Walt Disney World, it’s called Disney Springs and is located away from the Parks and you’ll need to drive or take a shuttle to get there.
At Disneyland, it’s just steps away from both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Plus, you can walk there from lots of Disney Good Neighbor Hotels, Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
There are places to shop, but also places to enjoy a bite to eat!
Whatever you’re wanting to do, you’re sure to find it in Downtown Disney on your non park day.
Top 12 Things to do in Downtown Disney on your Non Park Day
When you’re in Downtown Disney on your non park day, take the time to go to the World of Disney.
This is an interactive store that is overflowing with toys. You’ll also be able to find collectables, Minnie ears, pins, and apparel.
My kids (and husband) love going to this store because we can literally shop for hours!
This is a great store for kids to just have some downtime in too. They can explore, pick up toys, and just have hours of fun. I have found that it’s also family friendly, which makes it a go for us!
When it comes to souvenirs for Disney, this is where we head.
Are you looking for that perfect gift for someone in your life? Sugarboo & Co. focuses on selling jewelry, artwork, and decor.
You will find lots of fancy goods in this store. I could literally spend hours in this store enjoying all the lovely pieces that they have in stock.
If you’re looking for a place to find something special for someone, Sugarboo & Co. is the place to go. You can even splurge on yourself and buy something Disney related!
If you’d like dinner and a show, head to Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. They offer live jazz music every night, plus they have authentic New Orleans style Creole food and a fantastic cocktail menu.
You can enjoy lunch or dinner here. They even have a nice kids menu with food your kids will actually eat.
They also have Jazz Kitchen Express, which offers a smaller menu. This is perfect for families with little kids who don’t want a full restaurant experience. Or you can just grab a bag of beignets to eat as you explore Downtown Disney!
A family favorite in Downtown Disney is Salt and Straw. This is a family run scoop shop featuring innovative ice cream flavors and combinations.
We first discovered it on a trip to Portland, Oregon and now we have a location near our home in Seattle!
After a few busy days at Disney, it can be a real treat to head down to a local ice cream shop and enjoy handmade ice cream. The interesting part of the Salt and Straw is that the ice cream is created in small batches.
The ingredients used to make the ice cream is sourced from local artisans, chefs, and farmers. If you love small businesses and delicious ice cream, this place is for you.
How many of you have seen those amazing crazy shakes floating around?
CrazyShake Window by Black Tap is one experience in Downtown Disney that you need to check out. CrazyShakes are those amazing huge shakes you see everywhere.
You can order a CrazyShake or other beverages here. Most people love coming here to enjoy something they haven’t had before.
CrazyShakes are a craze that is unstoppable. Think big cookies, brownies, and anything else sugary that you are craving!
6. LEGO Store
If your kids love LEGOs as much as my boys do, you’ll want to block off time to hang out at the LEGO Store.
While they don’t really offer many exclusive items, you’ll find all kinds of Disney LEGO sets.
You’ll want to take a few moments to look around and see all their huge LEGO builds, like the Hulk, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and more!
They have their famous create-your-own-minifigure section, which makes a cheap Disney souvenir.
What’s really awesome is they have a large outdoor LEGO play area in the shade for kids to create LEGO cars and race them down ramps. Or just build!
On the go in Downtown Disney? Napolini Pizza is probably the place to go!
I love this place because whether you want a hearty sandwich or a pizza, they have it all. It’s notorious for being an Italian food focused restaurant.
You can even get fresh salads and traditional desserts.
Napolini Pizza has become a family favorite around here, plus they are a newly renovated pizzeria, where you can even make your own.
When you’re craving something delicious, La Brea Bakery Cafe may be just what the doctor ordered. Actually it’s hard to go past here without smelling the delicious aroma, especially at breakfast time.
Of course, there aren’t only desserts here, there is fresh baked bread and California Cuisine. I’m a huge fan of their sandwiches and their caprese salad.
This is one of our favorite places to grab a bite to eat. Everyone in our family loves something here!
It’s a safe way to ensure everyone in the family LOVES their food. This is one place you won’t have to fight for the kids to enjoy.
Are you looking for something to do with the family that will keep their attention?
Splitsville Kingpin Stage at Downtown Disney is the place to go! When it’s a non park day, this is something enjoyable to do.
You’ll notice that local musicians grace the stage. You’d even have access to this stage 365 days a year. It’s always fun to do a little grooving, when you have some down time.
Plus, I have to admit that their food is pretty tasty!
Do you have a few Disney pin traders in your family? Our kids just started trading pins and we spend a lot of our time hunting down new (and limited edition) Disney pins.
Disney’s Pin Traders is an awesome place to check out, while in Downtown Disney on your non park day.
Here, you’ll be able to find collectable pins in every style you can think of.
Disney Pinning is a family tradition and many people do it! It’s exciting, fun, and gives the kids something extra to do,
Who is ready for something sweet and yummy? Marceline’s Confectionary is an old fashioned candy shop and it’s amazing!
When Walt Disney was a boy, he grew up in Marceline, Missouri. This confectionery is named after his hometown. How cool is that?
It’s hard to find an old fashioned candy shop that the whole family can enjoy. Well, guess what? This is the place!
We always stop here to pick up caramel apples (they are the best we’ve ever had) and the boys like picking out Mickey Rice Krispies Treats!
Marceline’s Confectionery is an awesome place to spend time. They have a bunch of candy to explore.
My absolute favorite place at Downtown Disney is the Disney Dress Shop.
I’m seriously obsessed with their adorable vintage-inspired dresses, bags, wallets, and other accessories. While you can find many of their dresses online at ShopDisney, they also carry a few exclusive Parks items.
Last time I was there, I picked up a cute Minnie doll wearing the same Disney Up dress I own!
Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, they have a dressing room so you can try on the different styles and see what suits you!
Top Questions about Downtown Disney
Do we need to buy tickets to go to Downtown Disney?
Nope! That’s what is so cool about it. No park tickets are required.
In fact, you can just go to Downtown Disney for your Disneyland experience if you don’t want to pay to enter the parks. It’s a great place to grab Disney souvenirs, Parks merchandise, Disney treats, and more!
What can we do in Downtown Disney at night?
At nighttime, head to Splitsville Luxury Lanes for bowling, music and food.
Where is it good to see fireworks in Downtown Disney?
In the courtyard between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, many families bring blankets and have a little picnic as they watch the fireworks outside the parks.
In Downtown Disney, you’ll want to head over by Splitsville and Tortilla Jo’s. This is where you’ll find the clearest view of the fireworks.
And you can also get a great view from the Downtown Disney parking lot near the security area.
Where can I park at Downtown Disney?
Downtown Disney has its own parking lot. You can get 3 hours of parking when you make a $20 minimum purchase and receive validation from any Downtown Disney location (including quick-service restaurants, merchandise locations and kiosks)—or up to 5 hours of parking with validation from any Downtown Disney table-service restaurant.
Otherwise, it’s $14/hour (charged in 30-minute increments) with a minimum $7 charge after the initial 15-minute grace period.
What are the Stores in Downtown Disney?
- World of Disney
- Curl Surf
- The Disney Dress Shop
- Disney Home
- Disney’s Pin Traders
- The LEGO Store
- Marceline’s Confectionary
- PANDORA Jewelry
- Pressed Coin Machines
- Rinse Bath & Body Co
- Sugarboo & Co
- Sunglass Icon
- WonderGround Gallery
What are the Restaurants in Downtown Disney?
- Asian Street Eats
- Ballast Point Brewing Co.
- Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes
- Catal Restaurant
- CrazyShake Window by Black Tap
- Earl of Sandwich
- La Brea Bakery Cafe
- La Brea Bakery Express
- Naples Ristorante e Bar
- Napolini Pizzeria
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express
- Salt & Straw
- Splitsville Luxury Lanes
- Tacqueria at Tortilla Jo’s
- Tortilla Jo’s
- Uva Bar
- Wetzel’s Pretzels
If you’re ever in Disneyland, I hope you’ll take the time to head Downtown. It’s a popular attraction for those who are looking for something to do on their non park days.