We checked out Downtown Disney on its first day of operation in July but since then have not ventured back until this weekend. Unsurprisingly, a lot has changed in this months following.
We were there to pick ourselves up some of the Wishes Come True Blue Collection face masks and on our visit, we noticed a few changes from our visit this summer. For one, there’s tweaks to help handle the unending demand for the shopping district which still boasts long waits for entry and there have been changes to store and restaurant availability.
All of this, of course, comes during a hard time for thousands of Cast Members as layoff announcements continue through this week following the announcement that Disney is reducing the workforce by more than 28,000 positions.
The walkway (on the left) is no longer used for queueing guests. Instead the driveaway (center) is now used as the primary queue which the extends over into the parking lot for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (on the right.)
Long waits to enter are a Disney trademark. It starts with just getting into the Simba parking lot — the only means of public parking currently on property.
Some unused kiosks from Downtown Disney are stored near the parking lot along with porta potties that have likely been necessitated with the long queues just to enter the shopping district.
Semi-permanent signage has been installed on the lightposts leading up to the main entrance.
After the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Downtown Disney debuted a touching tribute to the actor best known amongst Disney fans as the actor of the Marvel BLACK PANTHER films.
Rinse soaps has had a hard go of it since reopening with the awkward location of their shop and they now have a small kiosk with some of their best selling items.
In response to the overwhelming demand that befalls the shopping district often, mobile ordering and virtual queues are a normal part of the process.
La Brea Bakery has a special free cookie offer to entice diners.
The tram loading station has been reutilized as a new seating area. It’s a great use of all the shaded space.
The footwear store wasn’t quite ready when Downtown Disney opened in July but it followed shortly after.
Wonderground has closed (assumedly temporarily) to make away for a temporary Star Wars: Trading Outpost which sells some of the land-exclusive merchandise from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
THE VOID is permanently leaving Downtown Disney. An announcement has not yet been replaced. A lot of our Twitter followers had some ideas for what they’d like to see take the valuable piece of real estate.
The galaxy's edge store, and bring back Wonderground
— Mario Gravestone ⚰️ (@MarioGraciotti) October 25, 2020
Disney California Adventure “opening” soon
Disney California Adventure will return to partial use next month when Buena Vista Street is added to the roster of Downtown Disney offerings.
MORE INFO: Disneyland Resort finally moves towards partial reopenings adding Buena Vista Street to Downtown Disney offerings
Our understanding is that the service entrance near La Brea Bakery will be used for entry to the park which will feature Smokejumper’s Grill and the main offerings of Buena Vista Street.
You can see here new clear barriers have been installed at the turnstiles.
Another new addition since reopening is the Disneyland Resort Backlot Premiere Shop. The much-needed retail space offers favorite seasonal merchandise that you can alternatively find at World of Disney and other select Disney shops.
Located inside Stage 17 at Disney California Adventure, the new shop is accessible from the east side of the Main Entrance esplanade.
As with all of the Disney locations, expect lines. On Saturday morning the queue extended from the shop backstage and continued into the esplanade and utilized the ticket booth turnstiles.
BLACK WIDOW is actually now due out in theaters May 7, 2021. Disney-Pixar’s SOUL will now skip theaters and move to Disney+ — where available — on December 25, 2020. Meanwhile, THE MANDALORIAN is still on track for its October 30, 2020 debut on Disney+.
The entrance is through a side door at the location in a backstage area of the park.
Old signage inside tease at former lives for the space.
Wishes Come True Blue
Now through World Wish Day (April 29, 2021), with the purchase of any item in the Wishes Come True Blue Color Collection in the US, Canada and across Europe, Disney will donate 25% of the purchase price (up to US $500,000) to Make-A-Wish.
MORE INFO: WISHES COME TRUE BLUE color launch will include donations to MAKE-A-WISH through April 29, 2021
Haunted Mansion / Nightmare Before Christmas
More in Store
Had to take off my facemask for lunch at Earl of Sandwich.
In Other News
Tiffy’s Family Restaurant has been completely demolished.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
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