Downtown Disney District
You don’t have to buy a ticket to Disneyland to enjoy all the Anaheim Disney fun, just head to the Downtown Disney District! While technically in the same general location as the park (Disneyland) and considered a part of the Disney conglomerate, Downtown Disney District is a completely separate experience than the thrills of the theme park, a retail paradise that you don’t have to pay admission to enjoy! The atmosphere, family friendly vibe, and Disney theme will ring true throughout, however.
This outdoor shopping center in the Disneyland Resort area was created in 2001 as a part of a major park expansion, changing the single theme park location into a multi-park resort complex, a truly great addition to the already entertaining area. The outlets sit along a lively promenade lined with ‘distinctive eateries, unique shops, and exciting entertainment.’ You can spend time here with your group shopping, dining, or enjoying a show, each a great option to wind down, or begin, a busy Disney day.
Retail-wise, you will find 23 shops total offering everything from Ana + Elsa’s Boutique to the World of Disney, with a few fan favorites in between such as the Lego Store and Ride Makerz. For dinner, you can enjoy several different options, both venue and cuisine-wise. Open-air cafes, after-hours nightclubs, and plenty of sit down casual eateries will make up your choices, including Mediterranean, American, Italian, Cajun, and Mexican cuisine throughout! Ready for some entertainment? Enjoy live music, club dances, and popular movie theater options, the area holding the popular AMC Downtown Disney 12, ESPN Zone, and Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen.