07 October 2012

31 Days:: All About Downtown Disney

{About Series}
Welcome to today's topic: All About Downtown Disney! You can find out all about the shopping and dining destination {here at the official Disney website}. We make it a point to stop here at least once every trip! So many places to shop and dine, so let's dive right in!!

Lego sculpture made entirely of Lego bricks

First off, parking here is free (yay!). Downtown Disney is separated into three areas...
  • West Side- here there's dining, shopping, and entertainment
  • Pleasure Island- a few eateries and shopping here, mostly under renovation these days. It used to be night clubs and dining in the evenings, but they've since removed the night clubs
  • Marketplace- more eating and shopping here
There's a water ferry that shuttles between the three areas, or you can walk it (we usually do)- it's not that long, maybe 15 mins from one end to the other at a brisk walk if you don't hit traffic :) You can either walk through the attractions or you can walk along the sidewalk by the parking lot.  

Top Dining Places
  • Wolfgang Puck Cafe- (West Side) this is one of our two favorites for eating at DD! They make one of my favorite Alfredo sauces here, and it's gluten-free too!! We have never been disappointed with a meal here, and the service is generally great too!
  • Portobello- (West Side) wow! we only recently discovered this restaurant and we were truly blown away! Everything was ridiculously amazing and the service was top of the line! It's Italian-themed cuisine, and just... well you'll just have to try it yourself! :)
  • Raglan Road- (Pleasure Island) a great little authentic Irish pub
  • T-REX- (Marketplace) although I personally have not been there, my family has and they enjoyed themselves, it's like Rainforest Cafe, but all dinosaur themed (they're owned by the same company)
  • Pollo Campero- (Marketplace) great place to grab a quick meal, all natural Latin themed foods
  • Babycakes- (Marketplace) gluten-free cupcakes and pastries! Be still my heart :) Located in the Pollo Campero building, inside to the right
  • Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop- (Marketplace) oh. my. goodness. some of the best sundaes you'll find anywhere- everything dish pretty much comes with Ghirardelli chocolates :)

trying to look scared of the broomsticks outside of Disney's Days of Christmas

Top Shopping Places
  • World of Disney- (Marketplace) pretty much every gift shop in all the parks (and then some!) rolled into one giant store! If you can only go to one shopping place the whole time, I'd say this should be it!
  • Disney's Days of Christmas- (Marketplace) tons of Christmas ornaments and decorations, we make a point to get something here every trip! 
  • Mickey's Pantry- (Marketplace) tons of great Disney-themed kitchenwares, Disney (and other) cookbooks, magnets, glassware, Disney coffee, and the last time we were there, they had a extensive, amazing spice shop too!
  • Lego Imagination Center- even if you don't plan on purchasing any of the little building bricks, check out the amazing larger-than-life sculptures they always have near the store!!

Top Entertainment Places
  • DisneyQuest- (West Side) although I've never been there (not a huge "gamer" myself), this could be a must-stop for the video gaming enthusiast- five floors of gaming and interactive rides
  • La Nouba- (West Side) Cirque du Soliel's show, a unique acrobatic, circus-style entertainment, truly amazing! I've not seen this particular show in person, but I've seen it on TV, and it's my favorite of their shows! Military can usually purchase discount tickets.
  • AMC Dine-In Theatre- (West Side) one year, I plan on doing this!! They have a 24 screen movie theatre at DD, including a theatre where you can order food and cocktails! Sounds so neat!!
  • Characters in Flight- (West Side) if you've ever wanted to take a ride in a hot air balloon (albeit, this one's tethered) here's your chance!
  • Splitsville- (West Side) coming soon to DD is their very own bowling alley! This 2-story alley will include "30 lanes, two kitchens, a dramatic balcony, ample outdoor seating, billiard tables and live entertainment" according to {this AllEars article}. Sounds fun!!
If you're interested in purchasing a Disney Vacation Club (Disney's timeshare resorts), this is one of the best places to stop by a booth and learn more (there's at least 3 locations in DD).

So if you're a big shopper or eater, this should definitely be on your list of places to visit during your trip to the World! :) Tomorrow I'll be talking about Disney's Boardwalk, so I hope to see you then!

1 comment:

Sage Grayson said...

I love Downtown Disney! Portobello is my favorite restaurant and my husband loves Wolfgang Puck. I could spend hours looking around the World of Disney store.