Downtown Disney

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Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney logo
Downtown Disney 2014 Fountain Build a Bear.JPG
Downtown Disney in 2014
LocationAnaheim, California, U.S.
Coordinates33°48′33″N 117°55′26″W / 33.809052°N 117.924027°W / 33.809052; -117.924027Coordinates: 33°48′33″N 117°55′26″W / 33.809052°N 117.924027°W / 33.809052; -117.924027
Opening dateJanuary 12, 2001; 20 years ago (January 12, 2001)
ManagementDisneyland Resort
OwnerDisney Parks, Experiences and Products
(The Walt Disney Company)
ArchitectElkus Manfredi Architects
Websitedisneyland.disney.go.com/downtown-disney

Downtown Disney (officially the Downtown Disney District) is an outdoor shopping center located at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. It opened on January 12, 2001;[1] a component of the Disneyland Resort expansion project alongside the Disney California Adventure theme park and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

Location and history[edit]

Downtown Disney connects the two Disneyland Resort theme parks with its three resort hotels, running from the western side of the property's Esplanade to the Disneyland Hotel. West Street, which bordered Disneyland's western side, was rechristened Disneyland Drive and lowered to accommodate a pedestrian bridge that connects much of Downtown Disney to the Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel.[2] A Disneyland Monorail System station sits adjacent to the pedestrian bridge.[3]

The area has featured several shops and restaurants, ranging from popular retail brands to many Disney-operated shops including a World of Disney store running beneath much of the Grand California Hotel.[4]

Downtown Disney has featured as many as 30 shops, but there have been changes due to announcements in late 2017.[5] In July 2019, parking for Downtown Disney was relocated to south of the Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel (Simba parking lot).[6] In addition, a pedestrian bridge linking the Pixar Pals and Mickey and Friends parking structures to the shopping district was opened on September 13, 2019.[4][7]

Canceled Fourth Hotel[edit]

In 2017, plans were announced for a fourth resort hotel at the property. Situated in front of the Disneyland Hotel, the new hotel would displace much of the westernmost portion of Downtown Disney and would have featured 700 rooms.[8] The cost of construction for the hotel would have been offset by up to $267 million in tax rebates over 20 years, allowing the resort to keep a percentage of the transient occupancy tax levied on Anaheim hotels.[9]

In Summer of 2018, several large Downtown Disney tenants closed in preparation for the new hotel's construction - an AMC Theatres cinema, Rainforest Cafe and ESPN Zone restaurants, and smaller tenants including Earl of Sandwich and a Starbucks location.[10]

Weeks after the closures took place, growing tensions between Disney and the City of Anaheim over the subsidy and the hotel's location led to the project being put on hold.[11] Days after the announcement that the project was postponed, Disneyland requested that the tax subsidies be rescinded. The Anaheim City Council voted to rescind the tax subsidies days later.[12]

After weeks of inactivity at the hotel's proposed site, Disney announced in October 2018 that the fourth hotel project had been canceled.[13] In October 2018, Earl of Sandwich and Starbucks reopened. After several years of vacancy, Disney announced that the former Rainforest Café location would become home to the Star Wars Trading Post, a retail location selling Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge merchandise, set to open on February 19, 2021. As of February 2021, the former AMC Theatre and ESPN Zone remain vacant.[14]

Operation during COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

On March 14, 2020, the Disneyland Resort, including Downtown Disney, temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [15] Downtown Disney remained closed until July 9, 2020. The district reopened with enhanced safety measures, including mandatory face masks, reduced capacity and temperature screening upon arrival.[16] On November 19, 2020, the resort expanded the district into Buena Vista Street at Disney's California Adventure.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ebnet, Matthew (January 13, 2001). "Despite Rain, Crowds Flock to the Opening of Downtown Disney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  2. ^ RECKARD, E. SCOTT (2000-07-16). "Anaheim Losing Out on Disney Growth". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  3. ^ "Disneyland Monorail". Disneyland. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  4. ^ a b Fisher, Marla Jo (July 19, 2018). "Empty buildings await transformation at Downtown Disney in Anaheim". Orange County Register. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  5. ^ https://wdwinfo.com/news-stories/more-changes-coming-to-downtown-disney-in-2018
  6. ^ "Explore Disneyland Resort: Downtown Disney District". Disneyland. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  7. ^ MacDonald, Brady (2019-09-11). "Disneyland to open new pedestrian bridge between Downtown Disney and parking garages". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2019-09-15.
  8. ^ "New Hotel Coming to the Disneyland Resort in 2021". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  9. ^ "Disney Pulls Plug on Proposed Luxury Hotel in Anaheim, Citing Loss of Tax Break". KTLA. 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  10. ^ "Here's what's closing at Downtown Disney to make way for a new hotel". Orange County Register. 2018-03-27. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  11. ^ Martin, Hugo. "Disney promised a luxury hotel and Anaheim offered $267 million in tax breaks — but a growing feud has plans on hold - Los Angeles Times". latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  12. ^ "Anaheim Ends $267 Million in Disney Theme Park Subsidies". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  13. ^ "Disneyland Cancels Luxury Hotel Plans After Tax Incentives Removed Despite Being Exempt From Anaheim's $15 Min. Wage". NBC Southern California. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  14. ^ MacDonald, Brady (2021-02-01). "https://www.ocregister.com/2021/02/01/disneyland-sets-opening-date-for-star-wars-trading-post-in-downtown-disney/". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2021-02-06. External link in |title= (help)
  15. ^ Macdonald, Brady. "Disneyland postpones July 17 park reopening until further notice". Orange County Register. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  16. ^ Macdonald, Brady. "Disneyland installs COVID-19 temperature tents for Downtown Disney reopening". Orange County Register. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  17. ^ "Downtown Disney district extension onto Buena Vista Street opens, but no rides yet". ABC7 Los Angeles. Retrieved 19 November 2020.

External links[edit]