Things are reopening rapidly at the Disneyland Resort. Most Downtown Disney Restaurants returned last week, and guests have been awaiting the return of Buena Vista Street restaurants on February 5th.
Below, we have listed the restaurants which have returned or announced a return date, including any additional information you may need to know. We’ve also listed some other Southern California attractions which have recently reopened, or are about to.
Expanded Buena Vista Street Dining Returns
As of tomorrow, February 5th, you’ll be able to dine outdoors again at select locations in Disney California Adventure. And no admission is necessary to access the park since the Buena Vista experience is being offered as a Downtown Disney expansion. The shops of Buena Vista Street, as well as some locations in Hollywood Land are also open for shopping.
Disney Dining Reservations
Most of the table service restaurants we mention below can be reserved. Disney Dining can be booked from the Disneyland mobile app or from Disneyland.com.
We’ll start with the Buena Vista Street Experience dining options:
Carthay Circle Restaurant – Alfresco Dining (Reservations Available)
Opening February 5th – The downstairs side patio and a new patio created behind the restaurant will be available to guests for lunch and dinner service. The limited menu is similar to the previous bar service menu offered before the park shutdown.
Note that most of the food on the menu is small plate sized and you’ll find far more beverage that food items to choose from.
- Baked Bay Scallop with Creamy Potato Chowder – $16.00
- Vietnamese Twice-cooked Beef Tacos – $16.00
- Ceviche of Kona Kampachi – $18.00
- Moroccan Roasted Chicken Meatballs – $16.00
- Duck Confit Empanadas – $18.00
- Carthay Shrimp Spring Roll – $17.00
- Winter Pear Salad – $12.00
- Tortilla Soup with Grilled Chicken – $14.00
- Strozzapreti Pasta – $20.00
- Sesame Soy-glazed Salmon with Soba Noodles, Cucumber, Edamame, Ginger Vinaigrette – $24.00
- Lemon-crusted Fish of the Day with Baby Green Beans, Lemon-Caper Vinnaigrette – $25.00
- Roasted Colorado Lamb with Calabrian Chili Harissa, House Hummus – $26.00
Smokejumpers (quick service)
Opening February 5th. Located just off the main Carthay Circle hub, in the Grizzly Peak Airfield, Smokejumpers offers lots of comfortable outdoor seating on both sides of the restaurant. However, the menu is VERY limited with only hamburger/cheeseburger, chicken strips, and an Impossible Burger.
Award Wieners (quick service)
Opening February 5th in Hollywood Land. While this location is most known for it’s wide selection of hotdogs, they are NOT currently on the menu. This location is currently serving original and spicy corndogs, fried cheese sticks, and Apple Pie Funnel Cake Fries.
Carts located near Carthay Circle will offer popcorn, churros, hot dogs, chips, frozen treats, turkey legs, and other items. You’ll also find balloons, cotton candy, specialty popcorn buckets, and collectible sipper cups.
Seating is available with a Grizzly Mountain waterfall view.
Now, let’s look at what’s available in Downtown Disney:
For the table service restaurants below, we recommend checking for reservation availability. While some will offer walk-up seating, that likely won’t be available on weekends and most evenings.
Ballast Point Brewing Co. (Table Service)
Unlike Disney’s Buena Vista Street offerings, Black Tap offers a full menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, wraps, appetizers, and an AMAZING short rib pot pie! Plus, their famous craft beers and beverages. If you are looking for a great veggie burger, the one they serve here is among the best.
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes (Quick Service)
Burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, fries, rings and . . . CrazyShakes! This location is kid friendly . . . they’ll be on a sugar high for hours.
Earl of Sandwich (Quick Service)
Earl is also serving a full menu of sandwiches. Their thanksgiving sandwich with turkey and stuffing is always a safe bet. They are currently offering a cheesy mac and beef sandwich. There’s generally enough patio dining, but if it isn’t available, you can easily take the sandwiches to go as they come foil wrapped.
Jamba (Quick Service)
This is the same Jamba you’d find in your local mall. If you need a smoothie or quick snack, that’s what they offer.
Naples Ristorante e Bar (Table Service)
While there’s a large outdoor patio here, you’ll want to secure a reservation if you can. Naples is currently offering a relatively small selection of salads and entrees, but a wide selection of pizzas.
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen (Table Service)
Brennan’s is in limited menu mode. Unfortunately, this isn’t their most inspired moment in time. We understand that they need to keep the options tight to speed up the kitchen and dining time due to limited table space. We gave it a try and will wait to visit again until their regular menu returns.
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express (Quick Service)
It’s beignets and gumbo only at the express window right now. If you are craving a po’ boy sandwich, you’ll have to go to the sit-down next door. We also highly recommend the special Mardi Gras beignets, with an almond glaze and sprinkles instead of powdered sugar. They are amazing.
Salt & Straw Salt & Straw (Quick Service)
Clever flavors abound at Salt and Straw. They are currently featuring many vegan options. If you’ve never tried vegan ice cream, you might enjoy giving it a try as it doesn’t leave you feeling bloated as milk-based desserts can. Let us know what you think.
Tortilla Jo’s (Table Service)
You’ll find your regular favorites here – tacos, enchiladas, salads, nachos, and really good margaritas. This tends to be a popular spot, reservations are very helpful.
Uva Bar & Cafe (Table Service)
Uva Bar has a small-ish menu, and is really just a great spot to relax and get a drink. We like the Carne Asada fries . . . and the mega blueberry sangria!
Wetzel’s Pretzels (Quick Service)
This is our go-to when we just need a really quick snack or a drink. Their pretzel bites or pretzel wrapped hotdog bites are just right. The lemonade is delicious, but very sweet. You can ask for a second cup of ice and split it or cut it with water as we do, to make it feel more refreshing and less sugary.
Disneyland Resort Health and Safety
Disneyland’s safety requirements once again allow guests to pull themselves aside to remove their masks and consume their food and beverage on property. They are advised to promptly replace their masks as soon as possible and not to eat while walking around. Masks and distancing are requested at all other times.
Please note that Disney strictly controls the number of guests in the Downtown Disney District. It is likely that you will encounter a long line to get into the area if you arrive on the weekend or some weekday evenings.
Additionally, Disney is charging $10 for parking in the lot behind the Paradise Pier Hotel.
Alternate Downtown Disney Parking
MiceChat makes parking and accessing the Disneyland Resort easier with a new spring parking offer. You can now park at the Anaheim Hotel on Harbor Blvd (just across from the Guardians of the Galaxy Tower) and walk across the street to Disneyland.
The new offer is good 7 days a week through April. Just show the image below at the front desk for all-day parking privileges.
Disney isn’t the only SoCal attraction with services returning . . .
Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Outdoor Dining Returns
Knott’s Berry Farm also has a big return. Their ever-popular Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant has reopened for outdoor table-service dining. And, if you what something a little quicker, Knott’s Chicken-To-Go is also available (an outdoor picnic area has been created to pull aside and eat if you’d rather not wait to go home).
Most Knott’s Marketplace shops have remained open for customers through the recent restaurant closures. We await word on when Knott’s will resume their popular “Taste of” food festivals. But we expect it could be as soon as the end of this month.
Aquarium of the Pacific
The outdoor exhibits at the beautiful Long Beach Aquarium have also returned. Since so much of the Aquarium remains closed, tickets to see the outdoor sections are deeply discounted.
The Aquarium of the Pacific’s outdoor exhibits will reopen on Saturday, January 30, in accordance with state health orders. Please visit https://t.co/PecPM8m2mS to book your visit now! pic.twitter.com/uU6osk2ZZ8
— Aquarium of the Pacific ? (@AquariumPacific) January 26, 2021
San Diego Zoo & Safari Park
This one makes us particularly happy. You can once again have a wild outdoor walk at both of San Diego’s zoos. While they will accept annual passes, you do need an advance reservation, as attendance is limited.
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We bought zoo passes during the pandemic just to have a nice spot to take a walk. If you avoid the most popular display windows, you’ll find it easy to stay away from other guests. Often times finding vast stretches of the parks which are completely unpopulated.
SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld will reopen in zoo-mode on February 6th with outdoor shows and exhibits open, as well as various dining options. However, no rides or indoor exhibits will be open. Admission is included for Pass Holders and Fun Card holders but advance reservations are required.
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