Downtown Disneyland

Anaheim, California.

A few weeks ago, I found myself in Anaheim, less than a mile from Disney’s Magic Kingdom. My work there precluded going to the park, yet somehow I was feeling I would be missing out if I didn’t spend some time in the land of the mouse. The Disney theme parks are not inexpensive so if that’s your destination, you need to consider the amount of time available and plan to spend several hours there. For those of us who simply didn’t have the time, we are fortunate that in 2001, after the construction of the second theme park and the Disneyland Resorts, a large promenade housing restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues provided enough of a taste of Disney to satisfy me.

Best of all, there is no admission fee (as that should be… after all, it is a shopping mall.) The mall acts as a core area for transition between resort hotels and the Disney theme parks. Ticket windows and queues are available in the area for entering the theme parks, or you can simply head westerly past those gates and enjoy the atmosphere.

Along the way, street musicians and other buskers entertain the crowd, which was pretty large on the Saturday evening of my visit. Our conference hotel is about a mile south of the parks, and we didn’t have vehicles to worry about so we didn’t worry about parking. Disney parking is not free, but if you purchase at least $20 from one of the businesses, you can get three hours of free parking validated at the location you visited. Sit down restaurants provide up to five hours of parking with validation.

The goal for my visit was twofold… pick up a souvenir for my grandson and find a nice place for dinner. There were plenty of choices for food, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a food truck grill. I ordered a cheeseburger, onion rings, and a drink and spent around $15, far less than I expected.

My grandson is always looking for new Lego projects to add to his very large collection. Once I stopped in, I found that I really didn’t have the space in my travel bags to carry home a Lego kit. The sculptures inside and out are all Lego constructions and they are pretty impressive.

I ended up walking into a gift shop and found Disney t-shirts. It would be no big deal to add three child-size T’s in my garment bag. I was not about to leave Anaheim without picking up something from the land of the mouse.As you might imagine, the entertainers are quality acts. I’m sure they are selected by the Disney entertainment team. The band in the image above entertained us as they were will within earshot of our choice for evening meal. We spent about two hours wandering around and could have stayed longer, but it was our last evening in Anaheim and it would be an early Sunday morning departure via the shuttle taking us back to John Wayne Airport. It was too soon time for us to walk back to our hotel and call it a night. All of the images are available in most browsers for a more detailed view. Select an image to enlarge it for a better view.

John Steiner

2 thoughts on “Downtown Disneyland

  1. We were in Anaheim um prolly 9 years ago & like you, the promenade was enough of Disney. They had BMX & skateboard demos that were fun to watch! Tony Hawk was there but I had to meet N, and Hawk injured himself right away so we missed him… Such is middle aged. Haha! How interesting I just learned the word Busker or Busking the other day and here it is again. Anaheim travel tip: after hours go to Bubba Gump shrimp as there’s no other place open. When the kitchen crews & chefs hit the bar, if you hit them up in conversation, maybe buy them a drink while they talk shit about the Celtics… They might just invite you by their restaurant the next day & quite possibly you’ll have the most rock star dining experience ever. At least it worked for us.

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