nullDowntown Disney district sits in between Disneyland, California Adventure, and Disneyland Hotel. The area is full of entertainment venues and restaurants.

The best things are free at Downtown Disney: You can stroll around, enjoy the scenery, or listen to street performers. At around 9:30 PM, you can catch the great fireworks display right from the district. The fireworks are launched above the Sleeping Beauty Castle but very prominent from several locations in the district.

If you feel like a big spender, you can indulge yourself with fine dining and happening shows.

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Some of my favorite venues:

AMC Theatres

Amc 24 Downtown Disney By Mark Goebel Wikimedia>At Downtown Disney’s AMC Theatres, you can catch the latest movie releases. Choose from 12 different movies in theaters equipped with stadium seating and digital 3D capabilities.

 

Build-A-Bear Workshop

Downtown Disney Build A Bear Workshop By Patrick Pelletier WikimediaBuild-A-Bear Workshop is a delightful place where kids and adults can create their teddy bears. Start by choosing your favorite character, then proceed to the stuffing station. After giving your bear a heart, it’s time to dress it up. With an extensive two-story selection, you'll find the perfect outfit to complete your new friend, whom you’ll officially adopt with a printed birth certificate.

Tip: Each May, there is a weekend known as Stuffed For Hugs Weekend at Build-a-Bear, where guests can stuff a preselected animal for charity at no cost. This event is quite popular, with many attendees choosing to dress up the donated animal before it's sent to charity. A similar event, The Spirit of Giving, occurs in late October.

The LEGO Imagination Center

LEGO Imagination Center at Downtown Disney Raise your hand if you've never played with Legos—it looks like you're the only one! The LEGO Imagination Center offers a unique interactive experience where families can engage in various Lego constructions or admire the latest sets. Don’t forget to snap a photo with the 23-foot giraffe.

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Catal Restaurant

Dining at Catal Restaurant Catal, my favorite spot in Downtown Disney, offers a delightful mix of American and Mediterranean cuisine and an extensive selection of wines and beers. You can enjoy your meal on the balcony with a view of the Fireworks Show.

Dinner choices include Filet Mignon, Rack of Lamb, Steelhead Salmon, and the Chef's Steakhouse Burger. For dessert, the Tres Leches cake—a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk—is a must-try.

La Brea Bakery Café

La Brea Bakery Café La Brea Bakery Café is another excellent dining choice, offering sandwiches, pastries, and scrumptious desserts. The outdoor patio provides a perfect spot to people-watch and, if timed right, to view the fireworks.

Tip: The Disneyland Monorail has a station at Downtown Disney. It's a convenient way to travel directly from Tomorrowland or Toontown to Downtown Disney for lunch or shopping. Starting your day from this station will drop you straight into Tomorrowland, offering a seamless park entry.

World of Disney

If you are eager to buy that Disney souvenir before you head home, then the World of Disney store is your ultimate destination. As the second largest of its kind, following only the Florida location, it boasts a vast selection of character merchandise. From backpacks, books, and boxers to children’s apparel, clocks, and collectibles, the array of costumes, dolls, figurines, gifts, hats, jewelry, and more offers something for every Disney fan. While you might not be ready to buy, merely browsing through this immense collection provides a delightful experience.

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Other Places Worth Mentioning

Whether you’re grabbing a snack on the go at Häagen-Dazs, watching candy being made at Marceline's Confectionery, or enjoying a refreshing drink from Jamba Juice next to one of the fountains, there’s plenty to do. Watch a game and dine at ESPN Zone, or explore Disney's Pin Traders, Illuminations, Sephora, and Something Silver for more souvenirs or a unique gift.

Rainforest Cafe (Closed)

Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney Though now closed, the Rainforest Cafe was a themed restaurant decorated with plants, trees, waterfalls, robotic animals, and insects, making it a family favorite. Guests often experienced long waits, but the large aquariums provided entertainment during the wait. The menu featured a wide range of tropical treats and traditional American cuisine, and meals were often accompanied by a simulated thunderstorm, adding to the immersive experience. Reservations were recommended.