If you're looking for some fun there's a new place to check out at Downtown Disney! I recently went with my friend Sharlene and two kids, Bella (age 11) & Lil Bear (age 9). I was a little nervous because my daughter Bella has special needs (Down Syndrome & Autism) and she doesn't do very well in public spaces. She tends to freak out when we're in crowds. Anyway, I still try to get her out and experience the real world with us. So, I went fully prepped and ready to tackle the day and have some Disney fun! I really didn't have any idea what to expect from the new "Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration". The name alone led me to believe it was a fun, temporary pop-up shop of some sort. When I asked Ryan Manno for his opinion, he thought it was a makeshift, temporary building, with a beginning and and end that you walk through, almost like a car wash for humans. LOL! 😂 Well, get ready to read and follow along as I do my best to explain some short cuts and how to plan your next trip to the fun, new exhibit at Downtown Disney! Discovering this unique Disney experience with someone will be perfect for your Instagram! So make sure you come fully charged, picture ready and camera/phone charged with extended battery pack. 🤳📸🔋📱
First, I drove to the Disneyland Resort, like I usually do, except I didn't park in the theme park parking, I went through the Ball Road exit, turned LEFT on Disneyland Drive, veered to the LEFT for parking at the Downtown Disney District. Pulled a ticket, and drove around to look for handicapped parking (since I had my daughter with me.) We found a great spot, right at the front close distance to the front security entrance. *Keep your parking ticket to get validated at Pop-Up Disney! for up to five hours. Look: 👀
Now, you do have to go through security checks, which can take some time. So, just be sure to give your self plenty of time to find parking and get inspected. We went fairly early, it was a Saturday morning at 10am and our appointment wasn't until 10:50. We were advised to arrive at least 15-minutes early. It seemed like the Downtown District was wide awake and ready for the day, security lines were short but it was still enough to set Bella off and she had a major meltdown. Poor baby! 😔 Security was helpful and let us bypass. We sat on the benches outside and tried to let her catch her breath and let her familiarize herself with the area. We were able to make it to our 10:50 appointment.
Let this be known now, if you're going to make plans to go to "Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration" you must select tickets ahead of time. This doesn't mean you can't buy them there, but there could be a chance that tickets for that day have been sold out. The reason for the limited number of tickets per day is because they take in groups every 10-minutes. You'll be handed a different colored Mickey card, and they have you wait in a common area that is visibly appealing and calming (at least it was for Bella.) 😉 If you pre-order your tickets online, make sure you're planning to arrive at least 15-minutes early. Definitely recommend going to the restroom before your tour begins. If not, there is one in the middle of the exhibit.
Ticket prices range, depending on the day you go. You can get a $30 ticket during the week (Monday - Thursday before 4 p.m.). If you decide to do a date night, (Monday – Thursday from 4 p.m. to closing, and all-day Friday – Sunday) the ticket will cost $38. Kids under 3 years are FREE! You're definitely paying for the Disney experience. Worth it? Of course!
Our group time arrived and it was time to follow our group leader who collected our passes and up we went on the elevator to the second story. Music was definitely present, but not too loud, just at the right level. It was really a lot of fun for everyone. Each room was so wonderful and the details were impeccable as expected (It is Diner after all). I was browsing my Snapchat filters to see if any fun ones would pop up, but I didn't notice any new ones for this exhibit. Of course, the filters aren't really needed since this place is literally like a Social Media Disneyland! Get your Boomerang on, record the fun because there are so many vibrant spots to capture. Also, the art-filled walls are filled with Mickey's and a few hidden Minnie's! It was fun to try and find the hidden Minnie's in every room. People definitely come dressed for the occasion. Definitely take advantage, do your make up, get your ears on and smile!! Make sure to use the hashtag #PopupDisney
Check out all of our pictures, here: http://bit.ly/PopUpDisneyAlbum
You could walk through the entire thing in less than 1/2 an hour, it's almost impossible to not take a picture in the whimsical photo wonderland! You're allowed up to 90-minutes, so take your time and soak in the Disney deliciousness. Bella lasted 45-minutes and that was with a lot of breaks. She enjoyed it with zero meltdowns. It was easy for her to walk through and even take some pictures. Our friend/traffic reporter of the Ellen K Morning Show, Nick Pagliochini said he pushed almost 90-minutes total when he went.
Recommendations: It would be so awesome if they ever added a sensory day for those loved ones with sensory sensitives/needs to enjoy with their families. Also, at the end of the exhibit, there's a cute wall with the Mickey ice cream bars and I was craving one so bad! I was hoping they sold them downstairs in the gift shot but they didn't! Sell Mickey Ice Cream Bars, take my money please!! 😆 Afterward, we went walking through Downtown Disney (DTD) and had lunch at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen Express. Here are some notes of what we did while in DTD:
- There was a DJ playing outside of the Pop-Up Shop. He was super friendly & nice.
- Do dinner or lunch around there
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express: Order the beignets. Thank me later.
- Earl of Sandwich: Cheaper than a restaurant, good food.
- Watched Candy Apples being made.
- Disney Home store is super fun!
- Checked out the cute Art Gallery
- We even went walking to our favorite place to stay: Grand Californian. Just to sit in the lobby & relax is fun!!
- Bars, beer brewery’s & bowling!
- Lego Store is always fun to check out & play!