Downtown Disney to Expand into California Adventure for the Holidays

Downtown Disney - Disneyland Resort - 9/3/19 (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

Although Disneyland in California remains closed, and will stay that way for the foreseeable future, Disney fans have a new hope as Disney announced that Downtown Disney will expand into California Adventure for the holidays. The expansion means that Disney fans will be able to dine and shop at select locations, including different retail stores, quick service restaurants and a sit down restaurant. 

Retail Stores:

Elias & Co. – A deco, art-style building filled with different fashion finery, fit for the whole family. Whether you’re looking for a new handbag, a high-end watch or a new T-shirt you’ll be able to find it all in either the Men, Women, Children or Jewelry sections.

  • Julius Katz & Sons – If you want Disney themed home decor including kitchen appliances, towel and aprons then this is the place for you. 
  • Kingswell Camera Shop – Kingswell Camera Shop offers great gift-giving ideas like frames, photo albums and more.
  • Trolley Treats – “Hop off at this sweet stop on Buena Vista Street to tempt your taste buds with classic candies, old-fashioned confections and all kinds of freshly made treats—from toffee and fudge to caramel apples and other seasonal favorites.”

Quick Service Dining:

  • Smokejumpers Grill – features a “streamlined menu of burgers, fries, onion rings and craft beer.” 
  • Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe – Starbucks coffee and prepared sandwiches.
  • Outdoor vending carts – popcorn, churros and more.

Sit Down Restaurant:

Carthay Circle Restaurant –Inside this plush Golden Age movie palace, sophisticated cuisine and retro cocktails have top billing. Discover a modern, seasonal menu in nostalgic Art Deco surroundings. The innovative fare spotlights Southern California flavors and fresh, locally sourced ingredients courtesy of Chef Andrew Sutton, Culinary Director of the award-winning Napa Rose.”

Only the shopping and dining experiences along Buena Vista Street will be accessible from the Downtown Disney District at this time, as Disney California Adventure park is currently closed. 

Disney also reminded guests that they will still need to follow the protocols and guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19 including social distancing, face masks on all guests over the age of 2 and temperature checks.

So why is there a delay in opening the whole park if they can open this part of Downtown Disney? That’s because the state of California has a four tier plan in place. 

  • Tier 1 (Purple) is Widespread Risk, with many non-essential business closed (more than seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents)
  • Tier 2 (Red) is Substantial Risk (four to seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents)
  • Tier 3 (Orange) is Moderate Risk (one to three daily new cases per 100,000 residents)
  • Tier 4 (Yellow) is Minimal Risk (less than one daily new case per 100,000 residents)

A theme park cannot reopen until the county in which it is located reaches Yellow Tier 4, which allows most indoor business operations to open with modifications.

Covid-19 has caused unprecedented delays, derailed many plans and left millions of people sick all around the world. Although nothing can change what the virus did to the world this year, the expansion of Downtown Disney is proof that nothing can hold back the tenacity of the human spirit for too long. 

Gio Lambert
DVC Shop Contributing Writer

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