The Ice Cream Treats of Downtown Disneyby Megan Walker, contributing writer
We all know the Disneyland Resort is a fantastic place to eat and eat well, especially in the dessert department. Whether you're finishing off your day or looking for a midday sugar rush, you can always find something frozen and delicious at the Disneyland Resort. I've already highlighted the many different ice cream offerings at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, and now we're moving out of the parks and into the Downtown Disney District.
Probably the most obvious of the ice cream locations resort-wide is Häagen-Dazs, located near the middle of Downtown Disney. This location offers a wide selection of scoops of ice cream, ice cream sundaes, "Dazzlers" (think McFlurrys or Blizzards), smoothies, sorbet, and even frozen bananas. This location also doubles as a Peet's Coffee provider, so they serve up delicious coffee and espresso beverages all day long, too. Häagen-Dazs is actually one of my favorite ice cream spots when I'm visiting the resort; their ice cream is delicious, it's a different array of flavor choices, and I like the large selection, as well. This place can get pretty busy at night, but it's always a solid choice.
The smaller, to-go version of the delicious Naples, Napolini (located across from World of Disney) offers a lot of quick grab-and-go food options, including their signature pizza. However, they also have a small selection of desserts…including ice cream. Included in their ice cream options are: an Italian ice cream sandwich, which is brioche bread filled with your choice of either vanilla, chocolate, or pistachio gelato; an Italian soda float featuring either chocolate, strawberry, or raspberry club soda and vanilla gelato; or an American float, which is vanilla gelato and root beer.
La Brea Bakery & Express
Located right at the start of Downtown Disney (parkside) is La Brea Bakery, and to the left side of the main building is the La Brea Bakery Express section of the restaurant (the other side being sit-down dining). La Brea Bakery Express can be a fantastic choice for a quick morning breakfast and coffee on your way into the parks, or a delicious mid-afternoon sandwich on your way out, but a little-known fact is that they also have dessert. While you won't technically find "ice cream" here, La Brea Bakery Express does serve up dark chocolate gelato; lemon or strawberry sorbet; and chocolate, vanilla bean, or strawberry "Push-Pops."
Smack dab in the middle (literally) of Downtown Disney is Uva Bar; you cannot miss it if you tried. Uva Bar is a great, often overlooked, location for breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizers, drinks, you name it—and they also have dessert. I include it here on the list because it's a very quick and easy place to stop by solely for dessert. Uva Bar offers root beer floats made from Craft Root Beer, homemade ice cream milkshakes (with fun flavors like vanilla sea-salt caramel, chocolate-chocolate, and orange 50-50), and their signature S'mores Root Beer Float, with root beer and marshmallow ice cream, topped with a homemade s'more. Come by at night and you'll even hear the different musical offerings throughout Downtown Disney…making for a nice, relaxing evening.
California Churro Cart
The churros in Disneyland are of course, delicious, but if you're a churro fan and you haven't stopped by either of the two California Churro Carts located in Downtown Disney (one near the park side, one near the hotel side) then you're missing out. Not only do they have tasty, fun flavor options of churros and a rotating seasonal churro flavor, they also have churro ice cream sandwiches! Yes, you read that right—churro ice cream sandwiches. The sandwich part is made out of two round, cinnamon sugar churros, and they sandwich a hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream. This means if you can't decide between a churro and an ice cream treat, you're in luck, because you get the best of both worlds.
Marceline's Confectionery, located near the middle of Downtown Disney, near the entrance of Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, is your go-to spot for candy, food, or other treats. But, this is also a great place to stop while wandering up and down Downtown Disney if you have a craving for the classic Disney ice cream treats, because Marceline's Confectionery now has a freezer case full of Mickey Ice Cream Bars, Mickey Ice Cream Sandwiches, fruit bars, and cookie sandwiches.
As you can see, no matter where you find yourself during a trip to the Disneyland Resort, you can find a delicious, frozen treat nearby. Even when you're not in the parks, you've got a few options. Next time you find yourself wanting dessert after dinner, or just while wandering through Downtown Disney, you'll be able to find the perfect treat!
What's your favorite ice cream treat at Downtown Disney?