A stone's throw away from Disneyland, the Gardenwalk, is a stretch of outdoor shopping and dining which is a fairly short walk from the main Disneyland entrance (about 10 min). If you like to go where there is less of a crowd but still some fun, come here.
Major restaurants that front the Gardenwalk include the most entertaining American seafood stop Bubba Gump, the always popular Cheesecake Factory and the gourmet chain delight of Roy's Hawaiian Fusion. Retail boutiques at the center cater to women's fashions (White House/Black Market Fresh Produce, G-Stage) but for both sexes, the Harley's Davidson store is a unique option for apparel.
Gardenwalk has a light, cozy ambience and the environs are indeed pretty. Problem is: Gardenwalk's pretty empty, comparably to Downtown Disney. Why?
Perhaps geography is to blame. Though a relative short walk from Disneyland, many people simply don't bother to take the stroll along Katella Ave-either because of being too pooped after walking D-Land all day, physical disability limitations or simple laziness. Also, a good number of out-of-towners do not know of Gardenwalk's existence despite local advertisement. A concern of safety is not really the case, for the immediate area is well-lit, secured with police and guards, and is well-populated (safety in numbers) with no overt presence of criminality. To increase visibility, a great suggestion would be to construct a Monorail over Harbor Blvd (which runs along the main D-Land entrance) to the Gardenwalk area. However, there is no serious chatter about such an ambitious project. Visitors can take advantage of the buses that frequently pass along Katella for fast mobility, but a solution would be to have a cute trolley bus dedicated to Disney Resort-Gardenwalk connections.
Another troubling Gardenwalk issue is parking. Though the parking is ample, it can be a bit steep for some if going for dining or shopping alone. 2 hours costs $6. It is worth while to see a movie at the Ultra Luxe cinemas with the 4 hour free parking validation, or to bowl at with 3 hour free validation. Comparably, at Downtown Disney, parking is totally free for 5 hour validation and spots are usually available, even during the busiest of times.
Along with the slumping U.S. economy, Gardenwalk has fallen on hard times. In Oct 2012, the bankrupt property was sold to NY investment group which will attempt to revitalize the center with a new strategy. Time will tell if Gardenwalk will flourish. Last time there, a Sunday afternoon, there wasn't a huge crowd at all. Chances are that one would be hard pressed to bump into people walking towards you, outdoor dining tables will be empty even in good weather (which is almost always here) and the cinema will have no or minimal wait time.
Check website for latest mall directory. More restaurants are especially coming!
Located within the Gardenwalk is a huge movie theatre that has some unique amenties.
· Pure Digital Cinema® powered by DLP Cinema® Technology
· Deluxe high-back reclining chairs
· 14 auditoriums featuring stadium or luxury VIP seating
· State-of-the-art Pure Digital 3D
· UltraMaximum - The Giant 65ft. Screen Experience
· D-BOX enhanced motion chair technology
· Reserved Seating
· Cinema Cafe offering an assortment of gourmet movie fare - featuring UltraStar's famous specialty flavored popcorn and introducing an expanded menu including Panini sandwiches, roasted red pepper hummus and much more!
· Auditoriums for guests 21 and over, featuring beer and wine and in-seat ordering.
Katie and Ella the daughters of the Rea Family were early settlers of Anaheim. The family named their ranch "Katella Ranch" after their daughters. The orginal Anaheim wagon truck was later named after them and is now Katella Ave.
Artist: Ramon G Velazco
Developer: Anaheim Gardenwalk II, LLC
City of Anaheim Public Art Program
Located just down the road from the Disneyland Resorts and Park is the Anaheim GardenWalk, which is an oasis of outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment in the heart of Orange County. Discover fine dining restaurants, retail shops, an upscale bowling lounge and state-of-the-art movie theaters in a truly unique environment. Yet, while we strolled around, you could tell that business have come and gone sadly. Many empty stores. Still, it is a beautiful area and it was fun to explore.
Located all along the top and bottom floor are some pretty creative murals. I tried to take photo's of all of them, so enjoy!