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These days Disneyland is more popular than ever, which means that a lot of people need a place to stay. Disneyland is about to begin construction on its fourth hotel, and that means demolishing things to make room for all those rooms. We knew that, based on the new hotel's announced location, a lot of existing locations in Downtown Disney would be going away, but now we know exactly which shops and restaurants will be losing their space when construction begins. Here's the list.
AMC 12 Theatres
Starbucks (west end location)
Earl of Sandwich
Disney Vacation Club/Walt Disney Travel (will move to another location)
Most of these closings were predicted based simply on the proposed footprint of the new hotel, set between the Downtown Disney LEGO store and the Disneyland Hotel, but Disney has now officially announced the above list of closing locations. According to the Orange County Register, all of these spots will be closed by June 30, with hotel construction set to begin in early July.
The biggest loss of all these locations may be the Earl of Sandwich. The sandwich shop was buried in a quiet corner of Downtown Disney and so it wasn't all that well known to many visitors, but those who do know it generally love it, as it was pretty good food and was one of the less expensive places to get a bite at the Disneyland Resort.
The AMC Theater likely isn't a huge loss in the big picture, as the theater was never super busy. Few vacationers likely wanted to spend any of their precious theme park time watching a movie they could see elsewhere. Still, as a pedestrian mall separated from the parks, the theater helped make Downtown Disney a one-stop shop, and it was a nice option to have when inclement weather rained out your theme park day.
The loss of the Starbucks only means longer lines at the remaining locations in the resort. There is another Starbucks at the other end of Downtown Disney, closer to the parks, as well as one inside Disneyland and another in Disney's California Adventure. Interestingly, the west end location is the newest of the four, having only opened last July, meaning the location won't last a year.
Two large eating locations will also be closed with both the ESPN Zone and the Rainforest Cafe going away.
It remains to be seen if any of these will survive closure by moving elsewhere. There is a possibility that some of the spots may actually reopen inside the new hotel itself. For smaller spots like Earl of Sandwich and especially Starbucks that seems like a distinct possibility. Even a modified ESPN Zone could make the cut if a sports bar fits with the new hotel's theme, whatever that ends up being.
There are still a few more weeks left to grab a bite at the Earl of Sandwich or the Rainforest Cafe. With Pixar Fest starting in a couple weeks, it's the perfect time to visit the park and say goodbye to your favorite location before it's gone.
Photo courtesy DisneylandNews.com/Disney