View Full Version : Soft Opening DTD @ D-land

01-02-2001, 02:03 PM
We headed to the park today and when we got of the Mickey and Friends tram we saw that the fences had been taken down around Downtown Disney. They are having a soft opening. The official opening is the 12th.

You can now walk between the Main Gate and the Hotels through Downtown Disney.
The LaBrea Bakery and the World of Disney were open on the East end. The Rain Forest Café was open on the West end. Most of the shops in the middle look like they are very close to being ready. There are a number of fountains and lots of landscaping. I didn’t notice any tables and chairs for general sitting. It looks like some of the eateries may have some outside. There were some concrete benches around the fountain areas to sit.

World of Disney was nice and big just like in WDW. They had Cast Members everywhere to assist. It was broken down into sections. Home and Garden, Kitchen, Villain etc. They had one section that specialized in California Adventure merchandise and according to the Cast Member some of it could only be purchased there. It would not be available in the new park once it opened. For all you pin fanatics they also said they had pins in the warehouse, but they would probably not put them out until the 12th. They also had lots of clothes. I stopped in the LaBrea Bakery. What prices I saw seemed a little high. Turkey sandwich ala carte $8, cup of soup $5 and small Caesar salad $8. They have a café attached to it, but I did not see the menu there. Rain Forest Café looked pretty much the same as the others I have been in. They did not have any Downtown Disney merchandise. I was hopping for a hat or pin that said Rain Forest at DTD. The employee I talked to didn’t now if they were going to get anything like that in or not.

I noticed that the ESPN Club is due to open tomorrow (1/3).

I didn’t have my camera with (I know MaryJo shame on me), but hope to get some pictures soon to put in my Photopoint album.

My first impression is that they have done a really nice job on DTD. It is a very nice place to walk around and I’m sure we will be dinning at some of the restaurants soon.

Keith ;)
WDW-87 Disney Villas
99 Wilderness Lodge

01-02-2001, 02:38 PM
Thanks for the update, Keith! I talked to a CM today who got to stay at the Grand Californian for CM previews, and he raved about it...plus the restaurant there, Napa Rose, is supposedly opening today too. Very exciting! :)

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Dan Murphy
01-02-2001, 09:41 PM
I need to put DL on my list of 'to-do's'. :)

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01-02-2001, 09:49 PM
Hey Michelle,
We took a little unofficial tour of the hotel tonight.
It's very nice. We felt the lobby reminded us of the Wilderness Lodge down at WDW. The lobby was not as big or grand as Wideness Lodge, but it was very nice. They have over stuffed chairs to sit in. A fireplace were a Cast Member was telling a group of young children a tall tale. Okay I listened to it too, but only for research purposes. We visited the wedding garden that was very nice. You could have your wedding facing California Adventure or a Rustic Fireplace. We walked around the pool area and ate at the White Water Snack bar. Basic fare. They had three breakfast dishes. Biscuits and Gravy, Breakfast Burrito and one more I can’t remember. They had 4 Sandwich type items. Beef Dip, Coney Island Chili Dog, Chicken Sandwich, Cheese Burger and Personal Pizza. They also had three kids meals choices that I did not read. I had the Chicken sandwich which was great. It came with a large chicken breast served on a bun with sliced tomatoes and lettuce and a chopped topping of Avocados, Tomatoes and a green chili slice. Shivahn and Alyssa had Cheese Burgers. They were a good size. Bigger than your local McDonalds. Jessica had the Pepperoni Pizza and said it was as good as if not better than the one she gets at Red Rockets. They also had soft serve yogurt, Ice Cream Cookies, Muffins etc.

Over all the hotel is very nice and a place that I would very much like to stay at.
All of the Cast Members were very helpful and friendly.

Keith ;)
WDW-87 Disney Villas
99 Wilderness Lodge

Molokai Gram
01-02-2001, 10:04 PM
Mahalo Keith. Now I will have to find money somewhere to get a trip to DL sooner than 2002! And I want to stay at the new hotel - you didn't happen to check out the rooms, did you? ;)

Did you notice if they had any aerial toppers from DCA?

Hope you are saving your pennies so we can have a DIS meet in LV or Orlando... :D

01-02-2001, 11:17 PM

Great info!



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Mary Jo
01-03-2001, 10:16 AM
http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/flowerface.GIF <font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color=#006600> Great report, Keith (even if you didn't have the pics ;) ). Now I'm all psyched up to go check it out!!

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01-03-2001, 11:01 AM
I did not see any toppers for DCA. I went in the Grand California gift shop and they had a lot of clothes and hats, but not much in the way of smaller items. Like pins, buttons etc. They had some key chains and a pen made out of a tree branch. Now they did have a lot of DCA stuff in the new World of Disney store in Downtown Disney.

Shivahn and I like the idea of a Vegas DIS meet.

Keith ;)
WDW-87 Disney Villas
99 Wilderness Lodge

01-03-2001, 11:52 AM
I'm interested in taking a look at Downtown Disney and the new Grand Californian, but I don't want to go to DL itself. What are my parking options? Are there any possibilities to park free, with or without purchase/validation?

01-03-2001, 11:55 AM
Downtown Disney does have its own parking. It's free for 3 hours. With validation at the movie theater or a sit-down restaurant you can get an addition 2 hours. Beyond that it's $6/hour. The Grand Californian has free valet parking for 3 hours with validation at one of its restaurants. Beyond that it's $6 every 20 minutes with a $36 daily maximum.

BTW, we've got pictures of Downtown Disney on our website and will have Grand Californian pictures up in about an hour at http://LaughingPlace.com


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01-03-2001, 12:43 PM
Any chance we will see PI at DTD? I loved it when I went to WDW in July. Oh, and hi all, I'm new here! :-)

01-03-2001, 01:03 PM
$18 an hour to park at the GC? $36 a day! Not a place to park if one just wants to look around. But if I can get three hours free at DTD, that ought to be enough to geta good look at the place.

01-03-2001, 03:40 PM
We were taking DS to see the IASW lights last night, so after reading Keith's post (thanks for the heads up!), we parked at the hotel and walked through DTD on the way to the park. It's pretty great! Different from Florida, and so much nicer and more "themed" than Universal City Walk.

The park was SO crowded, a 45 minute wait for IASW, and then they wouldn't honor our fast passes because they close the ride at 7:30 to get ready for the fireworks. We got our fast passes at 5:45, they said return between 6:25 and 7:55 or something like that, but when we went back at 7:30 they had closed the ride. They said to come back at 9pm, but of course my 20 month old is asleep before 9pm, we had driven down there just to do IASW. Soooooo, we were especially glad to check out DTD since IASW was a bust. The churro guy was out of churros (and said he had been out all afternoon), and the lady at Fantasy Faire scolded me for spending too much money on pins- not very CM-like.

Stopped at La Brea Bakery, small selection, slightly overpriced, but delicious. Went to Rainforest Cafe and was told there was a 2 hour wait, so we sat in the bar and ate (appetizers only but fine) - excellent hard working wait staff, couldnt be nicer or more helpful! And a new item on the menu that's not at Florida or the others yet "iceberg lettuce chicken cups" - excellent!

The hotel looks gorgeous, we have ressies to stay there for the 2/3-2/4 passholder preview days - cant wait!