Downtown Disney District, wedged between Disneyland Park, and California Adventure, is a 20-acre shopping and dining destination perfect if you have just arrived at your hotel and are not going to one of the theme parks until the next day.
The first store you'll want to visit is the World of Disney. Anything and everything you can think of, from dozens of different types of mouse ears and trading pins to mugs and plush toys, are available here. The store is enormous. Even if you don't plop down $29.99 for a pair of Mickey Mouse ears, you'll have fun looking around at all the offerings. The store offers the most extensive selection of Disney wares on the West Coast—including an entire wall devoted to T-shirts.
Another great store is the country's second-largest LEGO Store―only surpassed by the Disney Springs location in Orlando, Florida. Life-sized Disney characters are rendered in LEGO inside and outside the store, from a fire-breathing Maleficent to Belle and the Beast preparing to take the dance floor.
There is a massive Pick-a-Brick Wall. This enormous display of LEGO components makes it easy to find what you're looking for. Then, with help from a LEGO assistant, select specific LEGO bricks, elements, and mini-figures in various colors and shapes. Buy only one brick or an assortment for your next creation.
Other stores include Star Wars Trading Post, The Disney Dress Shop, Disney Home, Disney's Pin Traders, Lovepop, and many others.
Hungry? Check out Marceline's Confectionery. Here you can watch nostalgic sweets and novel treats being made. Offerings include Minnie Mouse candy apples, chocolate-dipped pretzels, giant toffee slabs, milk chocolate-covered marshmallows, and other delectable treats.
Or maybe you fancy ice cream. Salt & Straw is a family-run ice cream scoop shop. Here you can get handmade, small-batch ice cream treats with local ingredients collaborating with artisans, chefs, and farmers.
If you want to dine here, try Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes, a brand-new restaurant where you eat in a luncheonette-style dining room with a New York City vibe, circa the '80s and '90s. Sink your teeth into a savory selection of craft burgers, chicken sandwiches, wings, salads, vegan sandwiches, and veggies.
Downtown Disney District is an upscale shopping experience. It's fun to look at and find just the right souvenir. Walk around, enjoy the water fountains and other design elements. Simply take in a little magic before you head for the parks later in your visit.