We are annual pass holders so we love Disneyland, but I also love to visit downtown Disney as a totally separate activity! We recently took my in-laws for an afternoon here and they had the best time! Plus read on for the exciting changes and new parking rules. Parking downtown in the downtown Disney lot was always my favorite place to park even if we went inside the park for a few hours. It is so easy to park here, the security lines are always short and you used to get 5 hours of free parking with validation but things have recently changed a bit. Now you 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. I love that they added the 3-hour validation with smaller restaurants where before they would only validate at table service which really isn’t fair if you were shopping and getting a coffee or ice cream! So the new changes are going to be great! Beyond these validations, each additional hour costs $12, charged in 30-minute increments, with a minimum $6 charge after the initial 15-minute grace period.
Here is a photo of my in-laws and the kids! My son clearly just wants to get down and chase the birds into the water fountain! That is is the absolute favorite thing to do in downtown Disney .. just visit all of the gorgeous water fountains! Who even needs to go in the park and get on a ride when you have all of this fun out here haha.
We had an early dinner in Naples. They are undergoing a remodel and there will soon just be one restaurant instead of the to-go side and the table service side. We like it here because they entertain the kids for free with balloon making and the pizza is amazing. Just make sure you have some cash to tip the guy.
After the shopping, dinner, a few glasses of wine and all of the fountain fun we headed over the live music. They always play really good swing/oldies that you just can’t help but dance too! All of the kids dance and it’s such good fun that is free, and never really that crowded! My in-laws loved watching the kids and dancing.
What else is coming soon?
They have shut down the rainforest cafe and ESPN zone and a few other small places at the furthest end of the block. There will soon be an amazing new hotel that I cannot wait to see! Projected to be finished by 2021. I was sad to see the rainforest cafe go – the food has always been awful but it was such a fun place to bring the kids too! Now the only rainforest cafe left in California is at Ontario Mills.
The New Bowling Alley & Splitsville Dining RoomThis place is really cool bringing an old vintage vibe with classic food choices and lots of fun music! There are 4 seating areas with indoor and outdoor options that overlook all of downtown Disney. You can Play and then eat or you can order right from the lanes! I think this is a great birthday party option and will probably check it out for Charlie’s 6th birthday next year 🙂 Call (657) 276-2440 to make dining or bowling arrangements for groups larger than 8.