What to Expect When Visiting Anaheim’s Downtown Disney

By now you are well aware that Downtown Disney in Anaheim is open. If you aren’t a Disneyland native, it’s the equivalent of Disney Springs at Walt Disney World. And if you REALLY aren’t aware of what either of those are, then it’s basically an outdoor mall that has a very close proximity to Disneyland and California Adventure.

With me being a Disneyland Annual Passholder, I have many memories of Downtown Disney. And because Disneyland is still closed to the public, I wanted to at least go to Downtown Disney to get a little bit of the magic it holds.

First off, the only Disney parking that is open is the Simba lot. The easiest way to map a route to it would be to map it towards the entrance of the Grand Californian or the Disneyland Hotel. It will be on that same road! Also, parking is free! Usually parking is around $20 for the day, or $14 an hour, on a regular park day. But seeing as the parks aren’t open, they aren’t charging.

Once you park, the path kind of leads you to the entrance of Downtown Disney. The cast members are everywhere to make sure everyone is following along the right path! Because walking in is a one way walking area. You will first come across a temperature check where groups need to stay together. From there we then had to walk through a dog-sniff station. We were told to walk at a normal pace and to not stop through this area as a K9 walked around us. Lastly, we came across the bag check area. We were separated from the cast member checking our bags by a clear shield. This was a very hands off bag-check which I think is why they had the K9 before the bag check to make sure no one is trying to use this system as a way to sneak anything in. Good call, Disney! This whole process seems a lot longer with how I am explaining it, but it probably took us around three minutes to get through it all.

Once inside Downtown Disney, we saw hand sanitizing stations directly after the bag check and at other random areas around the mall. They even had a photo opportunity with this amazingly fun wall which had markers on the ground to remember to keep six feet apart while waiting to take a picture! Disney definitely knows their clientele well.

All of the restaurants had outdoor seating which looked like the only option considering the new California regulations regarding restaurants. Ballast Point looked like they were able to participate by having all of their windows open in their upstairs seating area. Cody and I decided to grab drinks at UVA Bar where we were told that we HAD to order food (we forgot about this also being a new rule in California). Since the rule says that any establishment that has a food license is allowed to stay open, meaning that bars are closed, the establishment has to serve you food for them to be in compliance with the rule. So we ordered a couple of drinks and a basket of fries! And man were those garlic fries goooddddd.

Since we decided to go on a Thursday, I thought it would be pretty slow which was not the case. It wasn’t so busy that we felt uncomfortable and it wasn’t so busy that people had no where to sit or groups weren’t able to social distance. But it was busier than what I thought it would be. All shops or kiosks had markers on the ground to mark where six feet apart was, and most every shop had you wait outside in a line before entering the store to make sure that it didn’t get overcrowded. Some shops even had one-way-in and one-way-out doors (which I saw some people just not see – even with the signs that said “EXIT ONLY”, but don’t worry the Cast Members were VERY on top of getting those people back out of the store to wait in line). Even the sitting areas were also marked off with “six feet apart” markers!

In regards to World of Disney, they had a very long line! The entrance is at the side of World of Disney that borders Starbucks and the exit was at the opposite end of the store that borders La Brea. Keeping in mind that everyone in line out front of the store is keeping six feet apart, the line actually went all the way from the store, up towards the trams, and then out towards the front gates of Disneyland! Although it looked like a huge line, it took us about 35 minutes to get all the way from the back to inside the store. Once inside, it wasn’t busy and again they had plenty of markers to make sure people were kept apart. At no time when checking our merch did I feel like others were crowding me nor did I feel rushed to finish looking at stuff.

Overall, it wasn’t crazy and despite there being more people than I thought there would be, people were very well behaved and no one was blatantly disregarding the rules. A saw maybe six people with their masks under their nose while walking around outside, but that was about it! I would definitely want to go again and I felt very safe and comfortable being there and knowing that all of the employees and people were taking the situation seriously. If you have been considering going just to experience a little bit of the magic, I would 100% recommend it!

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Planning Disneyland and WDW Trips Amidst the Recent Openings

The news is out and so are our mouse ears – both Walt Disney World and Disneyland have planned dates for reopening! WDW is set to reopen July 11th and Disneyland on July 17th (on it’s 65th anniversary!). It should go without saying that both will have reduced capacity entries and both will have a reservation system in place, meaning that you will have to reserve your ticket date in advance to attending the park. Annual passholders will also have to do the same to plan which day they are using their pass. No news has come out yet as to how this reservation system will look, but I’m sure we can assume that it will look very similar to how Shanghai Disneyland has been running their system.

With this news buzzing in everyone’s ear, the big question is “how do we plan our trips?” Well first off, if you already had a vacation planned and you had not already re-booked it, then you all get first dibs! News went out effective immediately following the Disneyland reopening date that Disney was temporarily stopping the sale of new ticket purchases. Kind of a bummer if you didn’t already have something planned, right?

Well luckily Get Away Today was able to score a LIMITED number of tickets to purchase to start planning your vacation. If you aren’t already familiar with Get Away Today, it’s pretty much the Disney version of Expedia. They offer a number of vacation plans to various locations, resorts, and amusement parks nation wide as well as global, but their forte is helping you plan the best Disney vacation.

You may notice that once you click this link to be directed towards their Disney tickets that you will see a number of other notable amusement parks and attractions that you can book tickets to! Some are even packaged together! This page is literally the one-stop-shop for your SoCal vacation. But hey if you’re just looking at Disneyland, I don’t blame you.

The only real kicker here is that you can’t just buy a 1-Day ticket – the lowest tier price is for at least a 2-Day ticket price. You still save quite a bit by using Get Away Today though! Especially if you are booking for you and your family.

Better yet, if you combine these tickets with at least a 2-night hotel stay, then you can use my promo code, DGB10 to save an extra $10 off your package. Click HERE to start planning your vacation!

Now let’s start planning your next magical trip!

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Into the Unknown // Frozen 2 Review

When Frozen came out in 2013, it was an automatic hit. And like most people who watched it, I actually really liked it! I especially liked that after countless princess movies, in just one sentence Elsa practically crapped on all of them and how it was impossible to know someone after only one day. Love doesn’t work like that and I was happy that Disney put an end to that trend in their princess movies.

But soon enough, Disney started to see just how big of a success Frozen was and decided to start making it seem like it was the only thing that mattered. As such, I got pretty sick of it.

So why am I seeing Frozen 2? Honestly because I am curious to see if the hype is truly warranted or if it’s another thoughtless praise to Disney. I know that sounds harsh but I am not afraid to say that a movie made by Disney was not up to snuff! I think sometimes bloggers or influencers inflate their feelings towards movies as to not ruffle any feathers. I want to continue bringing genuine content, and if that just so happens to not line up with the majority opinion, then I am ok with that!

I am writing this portion of the blog a day before seeing the movie. What is to follow will be a NON-SPOILER review and a SPOILER review. Obviously if you don’t want to ruin anything about the movie, then don’t read the spoiler review. But if you have seen it already or don’t care about spoiling it, then the discussion below should be a good one!


I honestly don’t know where to begin. But let’s get this started – it was incredible! In saying that, I am really hoping Frozen 2 does not get inflated out of proportion because I never want to think anything negative from it or get sick of this movie. It was much more mature than the first. The themes that were produced of love and loss were beyond anything I have seen in any princess movie, and those themes were perfectly displayed in song form as well. I appreciate that there are so many small children who love Frozen and are probably patiently waiting to see it, but I have no doubt that this will be a movie they see in 15 years with all new eyes from their own struggles through this crazy journey we call life. I also love that each individual character had their own separate journey within the story line, yet it was not separated from the overarching story itself. And the music! WOW! While watching, I was already waiting until I could get out of the theater and add the songs to my Spotify! Everything about this movie was better than the first, and I adored that the story line matured through the six years that the time line progresses through.


Oh my gosh do I need to talk to someone about this movie and how much I love it. If you didn’t read the section above, then the recap of it is that I adore that the story line matured through the six years that the time line progresses through. The characters and the individual journeys they make and the song production overall showed that Frozen 2 was not a movie to take lightly and this was not just a frilly princess movie. Because each character had their own journey, I want to talk about that individually.

Elsa: Honestly, Elsa hasn’t changed at all. She was shutting Anna out, she was closing doors and trying to not break the status quo. She hears a voice, but doesn’t want to mess anything up so she keeps it to herself – only to bring destruction to Arendelle. The group begins their journey and all Elsa wants to do is protect Arendelle, protect Anna, but also find answers about herself. It’s only when she dies that she realizes that she needed Anna’s help all along to not make this huge mistake. It reeks of the first movie. I will say that more often than not though, the moments with Elsa (especially the big scene with her mother in that ice cave) did make me tear up a little bit. I guess we all needed the satisfaction of finding out where she came from and what her true role was. I am happy that at the end she found out where she truly is supposed to be, even if that is not in Arendelle and with her family. But you can tell that she feels much more free – I mean obviously, her hair is down! Which was a pivotal moment of freedom in the first movie when she “let it go”.

Anna: The six years during which the timeline has progressed, Anna has definitely become less naive and, although still tries to protect Elsa from literally everything, she has gained a wider sense of self. Once the group gets divided and they start going on their different journeys, you can really see the maturity of Anna. She is now responsible for herself and Olaf and has to act on the decisions she makes with no help whatsoever. At the point where Elsa dies thus killing Olaf in the process, she grieves as any normal person would. But the song to follow that is something no kid in that audience will understand without first having a family or friend loss or even heartbreak. That song rings true to the core of how all these characters have grown up. This whole movie leads up to her eventually becoming queen, and after what we see during the movie, it makes sense!

Kristoff: He’s still a goof ball which is obviously his nature but I love that during the entire movie he is trying to find the perfect moment to ask Anna to marry him. The reason I love this so much is because this is the first time a Disney princess movie goes over the REAL time line of love for a couple. They have had six years of love together and only then did he decide was it the time to take the next eventual step with Anna. That’s how true love works. It doesn’t happen over night, it doesn’t fast forward through the ups and downs, and the big question is well – BIG! Along his journey, he also has a solo song and although it starts BEYOND cheesy, it actually works well with the movie!

Olaf: Olaf’s character development is the biggest one of all the characters. Through his life over the last six years, he has grown this immense love for learning. The other thing he is coming to terms with is that he’s just a kid! And as a kid there are a lot of things he doesn’t understand but hopes that one day when he’s grown up he will understand. So yes, he is naive but he is naive with the understanding that he is still growing up! I really loved that about this movie – that it centers around growing up. Not just for Olaf but for all the characters.

Overall, I loved that this is hopefully the first in many princess movies that don’t have the princesses falling in love over the course of three days or are hell bent on “I don’t need no man in my life”. It’s refreshing to have something that is close to what actually happens in real life where the love is real, the timeline is real, and the steps taken to get there are real! I especially love that these characters matured over these six years and although they have their original character traits of being flighty, protective, cheesy, and naive, they have all grown into those traits, developed more, and by the end of the movie they all have a true sense of belonging. I would highly recommend seeing this movie!

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