Just like all Disney parks, Downtown Disney is never finished with the new temporary expansion going into Buena Vista St. in the end of November, adding the Backlot Premiere Shop and having new food to try at their restaurants and carts. Saturday we spent the evening in Downtown Disney to eat, shop and explore. It's the little touch of Disney we have and it's always nice to go and see what's new and the cast members are always welcoming and ready to have fun and we always seem to have a great conversation with at least one cast member every time we go. To start our day we walked from our hotel that was less than 15 minutes from the parks and entered on the Harbor side where all the busses are. It is usually way less crowded then the parking structure side if you are not driving.
We got there around 4 PM and were greeted by some awesome security to get a temperature check, bag check and walk through the scanner. Once inside we walked through the Esplanade to Disney music and saw signs for Backlot Premiere Shops, we chose to wait to go in because we had a 5:15 reservation for La Brea Bakery so we wanted to do our check ins to the stores and then head to our restaurant.
In case you didn't know most stores in Downtown Disney have a queue that you sign in to and get a return time like fast passes so they can make lines smaller since they have a capacity for all stores. The last we checked once you got your text you had a 3 hour window to go back but that can change at their discretion. World of Disney just had a normal line this day with no check in but we put our names in at HOME and Marceline's and explored for a little while before our reservation. We ate a late lunch and so we decided to split a meal. We got the Pan-fried Mahi Mahi that comes with a mango citrus salsa and cilantro rice. It was really tasty and perfect to split for a smaller meal! Josh got a Yeti Imperial Stout as well.
After dinner we headed to Backlot to check it out. It's a large area to look around and it mostly has seasonal merchandise both Halloween and Christmas right now. They also had Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion and Make a Wish merchandise as well. The Make a Wish was themed with Sorcerer Mickey leggings, jersey spirits, ears and masks. I was loving all the Christmas merch that is coming out this year and already adding things to my Christmas list. I restraint myself pretty well and only got the Madame Leota sipper.
Next we headed to World of Disney and the line took less than 5 minutes to head inside. We went to Downtown Disney 3 weeks ago and there was already new stuff to look at. We didn't have a particular goal in this store, mostly ideas for Christmas shopping.
For our third store of the night we went to Marceline's because I always have to get my Churro Toffee fix but it was after 7 by then and they close at 9 PM and they were already sold out. It was so sad but the cast member was the best so it made it better. Joshua got his Walker's shortbread cookies and I got a M&M's rice crispy treat. They have a ton of cute Halloween selections to pick from and I can't wait to see what they do with Thanksgiving and Christmas. At the end of the night they had the spider web cookie and 2 caramel apples (Ursula and Hades) left for the holiday selections.
Our last store of the night was HOME. Both Marceline's and HOME took two hours to get a
return time so it is so good to check in right away because you have plenty of time to come back but if we waited until after dinner it would have been closer to closing. This line does take longer as well because the occupancy is only 12 people from the size of the store. We
waited in line for about 10 minutes and then were able to go in. We saw a few more things for the Christmas list but it was probably 10 minutes in line and 10 minutes in the store.
The final treat for the night was Salt & Straw. I am lactose intolerant so I love the vegan
options here and each month they have a new selection of usually 3 or 4 flavors. Some are very interesting to say the least. For Halloween they had an insect ice cream that I stayed far away from. I chose the Mummy's Pumpkin Spice Potion in a waffle cone which I was hesitant it would be too much pumpkin spice but the worker told me it was
more sweet potato and cinnamon so I tried it. Let me tell you, it was AMAZING! It was very creamy and had a good mix of cinnamon in it. It felt like Fall in a cup for sure. The hubby got the Strawberry and Coconut Water sherbet because he wanted to try the Hopped Apple Spice Cider sorbet but they were sold out. Every time we eat at Salt and Straw we are never disappointed in our choices. It is definitely a nice end of the day treat before the walk back to the hotel.
Downtown Disney is a nice way for California to get a touch of Disney right now and the cast
members do an awesome job to help with Covid guidelines with social distancing, store
capacities and making sure everyone is wearing a mask. I feel totally comfortable there and
I appreciate all that they do with the limitations of what they can do. It's nice to spend a day
or an evening in Downtown to have a little bit of Disney magic and fun. I always have a list of
new things I want to try or new merch I want to look at for my next trip. What do you think of
Downtown Disney right now? Have you gone recently?