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Magical Things To Do in Downtown Disney with Kids (2023)

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A visit to the Disneyland Resort would not be complete without a trip through the shopping zone. Here’s what you need to know about a few magical things to do in Downtown Disney with kids for 2023.

Magical Things To Do in Downtown Disney with Kids

Welcome to Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, the ultimate destination for families looking for a fun-filled day of activities, shopping, and dining.

With so much to do, see, and explore, Downtown Disney is the perfect spot for your next family adventure. And guess what? It’s on the list of free things to do at Disneyland!

Here’s your everything-you-need-to-know guide to things to do in Downtown Disney with kids.

things to do in downtown disney with kids.

Downtown Disney in Anaheim

When you need a break from the theme parks, Disney has just the place for you to spend the day or even a few hours. Sometimes you just need to get away from the rides and lines and this is just the place to do it!

With live music, live entertainment, and yummy restaurants the downtown area is a great place to explore.

The entertainment complex offers unique experiences that the whole family will enjoy.

This comprehensive guide will give you lots of your favorite things about Disney to do when you need a break from Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, or for a day trip.

downtown disney sign. Things to do in downtown disney with kids at disneyland.

Disneyland Guests

While guests of the Disney resorts like the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, and the reimagined Pixar Pier Hotel all have access to the live performances and shopping district, there’s no extra cost or theme park ticket needed to enjoy this area or its the themed restaurants.

This makes visiting the Downtown Disney District on a day off, evening, or for a quick road trip (if you live locally) the perfect way to get a little Disney magic. 

lego store downtown disney things to do with kids.

Activities At Downtown Disney

Get ready to unleash your inner child with the many exciting activities available at Downtown Disney.

Start your day at the LEGO Store, where you can build and create your own LEGO masterpiece.

Kids of all ages will love exploring the newest Disney-themed Legos and the life-size Lego displays created by cast members.

For more interactive fun, visit the Build-A-Bear Workshop, where your kids can make their very own cuddly companion.

And don’t forget to hop over to the World of Disney store to pick up some souvenirs to remember your experience.

Fun things to do at downtown disney with kids. Shop at World of Disney.

Visit Splitsville Luxury Lanes for the ultimate bowling experience.

Nighttime means live music on the Downtown Disney Live! Stage.

Various musical acts perform throughout the week and it’s a fun way to cap off your day.

No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, Downtown Disney has just what your family needs for a great day out.

downtown disney musical stage. things to do in downtown disney with kids.


When it’s time to refuel, there are plenty of family-friendly dining options to choose from.

From classic New Orleans cuisine at the Jazz Kitchen Coastal Grill and Patio to dishes inspired by Celebrity chefs, and the delicious pasta dishes at Naples Ristorante e Bar, there’s something for everyone.

Love sweets? You’ll love Marcelline’s Confectionary where you can find ice cream, caramel apples, cake pops, sweet treats for everyone in the family.

And don’t miss the signature beignets at Jazz Kitchen Express, which are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face!

things to do in downtown disney.

Also, many of the restaurants offer kid-friendly meal options so be sure to ask about them when making your reservations. Here are some of our family’s favorite kid-friendly restaurants:

  • Taqueria at Tortilla Jo’s
  • Jazz Kitchen Express
  • Earl Of Sandwich

Finally, Downtown Disney is the perfect spot for those looking to buy a unique souvenir or two before they leave.

Be sure to check out all the shops and stores for some exclusive Disneyland merchandise that you won’t find anywhere else.

earl of sandwich downtown disney


Downtown Disney is packed with unique shops that cater to little kids, older kids, and adults alike, making it the perfect place to shop for gifts and souvenirs.

Check out the eclectic offerings at the WonderGround Gallery or browse through the fantastic selection of merchandise at the popular Disney home goods store, The Disney Home, to find everything from kitchenware to plush toys.

downtown disney: Home store.

Downtown Disney Tips and Tricks

When it comes to making a day of it at Downtown Disney, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind.


To make the most of your day at Downtown Disney, be sure to arrive early and take advantage of the parking at the Downtown Disney District Parking at the Simba Lot, located off of Disneyland Drive, between West Katella Avenue and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.

The lot provides easy access to all of the shops and restaurants in the area. The first hour of parking costs $10 for all vehicles

Parking can be validated for 3 additional free hours with a $20 minimum purchase and validation from any Downtown Disney location, or up to 5 additional hours of same-day parking with validation from any table-service restaurant.

Please note: Validation is not available for visits to any of the restaurants or lounges within the Disneyland Resort hotels.

If you choose not to validate your parking, each additional hour costs $14 and is charged in 30-minute increments, with a minimum of $7.

The maximum daily parking and lost ticket fee is $66 so make sure you stash your parking ticket in a safe spot.

Downtown Disney Hours

If possible, try to plan your visit during off-peak hours to avoid crowds and long lines.

And don’t forget to check out the daily calendar of events to see what special activities for kids at Downtown Disney are happening during your visit.

Security Checkpoint

Disney takes security seriously and has implemented a security checkpoint for all guests entering the district.

Be sure to bring valid photo identification with you while you won’t likely need it, it’s always smart to have on hand.

You’ll also want to limit the amount of bags and even the size of your bags, to get through the checkpoint quickly—not to mention you’ll probably need plenty of hands to carry your purchases!

disneyland security entrance

We hope you enjoyed our guide to things to do at Downtown Disney. Whether you’re visiting for a few hours or spending the day, there’s something fun to explore here that the whole family can enjoy.

Now that you have a guide of what to expect at Downtown Disney, what are you waiting for? Grab the family and head to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim for a day of fun, shopping, and dining. 

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