It’s the Happiest Place for Us, Too

Even though the words ‘Downtown Disney’ may elicit thoughts of Mickey and friends, don’t be fooled.
They remain locked inside the Disneyland Resort and California Adventure Theme Park, just a few feet away.
Downtown Disney has more of a grown-up feel to it, as it includes restaurants, live entertainment and much more.
Believe it or not, it’s a hot spot for college students who want to hang out during the evenings or earn a wage.
You may still be wondering, ‘What is there for us college students to do?’
Well, let me tell you.
If you happen to be an avid sports fan or just like anything related to sports, then make your way down to the ESPN Zone where you will be greeted with a jumbo-sized TV.
When it’s the NBA playoff season, you will find a crowd of fans either sitting or standing in front of the ESPN Zone, staring up at the screen. It’s better than watching the game on a small TV at home, right?
Nicole LeDuc, a 20-year old hostess at ESPN Zone said, ‘Twenty- to thirty-five-year-olds is our main crowd.’
College students ‘mostly go to the bar and play games,’ she added.
Anyone can find the bar on the left side of the restaurant and then go up the staircase to the second- floor game room, where someone can play hockey, ride a Harley Davidson and attempt to throw the game-winning touchdown at Sunday Night Football.
The ESPN Zone offers discounts during college nights, too, on select months.
Adjacent from the ESPN Zone is the AMC 12, where students can get tickets at a discounted price with their student ID.
But the thing is, college students like to stay out past regular evening hours, and watching a late-night flick at Downtown Disney is impossible because the latest showings are at around 10 p.m.
Perhaps the greatest incentive for our age group to venture out to Downtown Disney is the House of Blues.
Olivia Catron, a 23-year-old box- office concierge for the House of Blues said that different age groups are attracted ‘ [depending] on who the performer is.’
The House of Blues offers an array of artists like Chingy, Sugar Colt, Lisa Marie Presley and Unwritten Law, bringing in anyone from the high-school crowd to guys in their thirties who wear leather jackets.
On Feb. 15, Mos Def performed at the House of Blues and brought in a number of college students.
‘They [college students] go more to shows than to the restaurant,’ Catron said.
Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest for the House of Blues; things get ‘pretty crazy,’ Catron said.
Now, to the restaurant portion of Downtown Disney.
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen’offers New Orleans cuisine, and restaurant goers have the option to dine inside or outside in its wrought iron patio.
The Rainforest Caf