Downtown Disney - Downtown Disney Marketplace - Down town Disney

Sunday, 20 February 2011 20:57

Downtown Disney is part of the Walt Disney World Resort and a destination in its own right; with plenty of activities to keep you busy, places to eat and a wide variety of shopping experiences including the home of the largest Disney store in the world. We are huge fans of Downtown Disney and believe we have provided the most complete guide to Downtown Disney anywhere with Downtown Disney Maps, Downtown Disney Restaurants, Downtown Disney Hotels, Downtown Disney Directions, Downtown Disney Attractions and even a Downtown Disney Address for your GPS. As always, we strive to make everything on Dis411 complete, so if you need anything or would like to add to our information, please contact us. 

Downtown Disney is made up of several areas broken down into the Downtown Disney Marketplace, Pleasure Island(Hyperion Wharf -- change taking place), and Downtown Disney West Side. Downtown Disney has a number of activities for both adults and children that are looking for something to do when they take a break from the parks. Nearby is the most popular water park in the world, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, as well as several resort hotels and golf courses.

Downtown Disney is a unique experience on Disney property. It's a shopping district like no other with everything from mega-stores to smaller specialty boutiques. If you like to shop, and are looking for a particular souvenir, this is definitely the place to go. Most of the large stores are in the Downtown Disney Marketplace area, with the specialty shops concentrated in the Downtown Disney West Side.

Downtown Disney also serves as a major transportation hub (especially late at night when the parks are closed), as it's the most reliable way to transfer buses in order to travel between two resorts via Disney transportation.

Downtown Disney History

Downtown Disney began in 1975 as the Walt Disney World Village (see the Walt Disney Village logo on this page). This small shopping district was started just a few years after Walt Disney World and was built to the southeast of the Magic Kingdom. At the time, Magic Kingdom was the only other developed area of the property. As the Walt Disney World Village, which would be renamed the Disney Village Marketplace, it was a remote area that didn't garner much attention from those visiting the Magic Kingdom. The only real attraction, aside from shopping, was the Empress Lilly, which was a non-functional replica paddlewheel boat named after Walt Disney's widow and featured three separate dining rooms. Interestingly, the Empress Lilly remains in Downtown Disney as a restaurant named Fulton's Crab House. 

Moving forward to the late eighties, the area remained somewhat stagnant, and Walt Disney World was preparing to open its third theme park, Hollywood Studios (MGM Studios at that time). The park executives realized that adult guests would enjoy having a location to go after the parks closed with access to more adult entertainment options. For example, a place to have a drink or go out dancing. With this in mind, Disney added Pleasure Island, a themed collection of nightclubs (with a few restaurants and shops scattered among them) built right next door to the Marketplace.

Before this option was available, guests interested in such entertainment were religated to finding options in Orlando. Pleasure Island was a huge success with keeping Disney visitors on Disney property. It was probably even more successful than imagined and attracted locals interested in unique nightclubs like the Adventurers Club and restaurants such as Planet Hollywood.

With the success of Pleasure Island, Disney further expanded the concept and in 1997 renamed it to Downtown Disney. At the same time, they opened Downtown Disney West Side which was located on the other side of Pleasure Island away from the Marketplace. Downtown Disney Web Side was, and continues to be, anchored by the arena created for Cirque du Soleil, and a five-story indoor play area Disney Quest to go along with several restaurants like Bongos Cuban Cafe and House of Blues.

Downtown Disney Hyperion Wharf

In 2008, Disney closed the few remaining Pleasure Island nightclubs. There were rumors that they were closing because of a drop in attendance or perhaps becasue of a refocus on guest requests for more family friendly experiences. Disney has announced plans to convert the old Pleasure Island into a new district called, Hyperion Wharf. It is slated to open in Spring 2013 and will represent what Disney calls, "early 20th century port city and amusement pier". It will add more shopping and dining options as well as a tranquil park along the shore of Village Lake.

There is no admission fee for Downtown Disney itself, but some of the attractions will require admission fees such as Disney Quest or Cirque de Solei, or the nearby waterpark Typhoon Lagoon.

 

Downtown Disney Directions and Maps

Now that you know a little about the history of Downtown Disney, you might wonder how to get there. If you staying at an onsite property, it's easy.  Just hop on a Downtown Disney/Typhoon Lagoon bus and you'll be there in no time.  The buses make stops at Typhoon Lagoon, at Downtown Disney Marketplace, and between the West Side and Pleasure Island. If you are staying off site or just wish to drive to Downtown Disney, we have provided the following map.

Disney roads are labeled well, and it is easy to find just drive east from Epcot Center Drive or west from Hotel Plaza Boulevard. As with admittance, parking is also free.  There are several parking lots to choose from, but the Marketplace area fills up most quickly.  Don't worry too much about which area you park in as Dowtown Disney is easy to navigate and has boats offering quick transportation between the Marketplace and Downtown Disney West Side. If you are driving and have a GPS, you can use this Downtown Disney address to get you there:

1494 E Buena Vista Dr.Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Downtown Disney is also accessible via ferries that travel the Sassagoula River from Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs to Downtown Disney. The ferry docks are at the Marketplace and at the far end of the West Side. Many people mistakenly believe you can get to Typhoon Lagoon by boat, but you cannot. Saratoga Springs and Downtown Disney Hotel Plaza guests are in such close proximity that they can also walk directly to Downtown Disney.

Downtown Disney BusFrom any of the four theme parks(Magic Kingom, Epcot, Hollwood Studios or Animal Kingdom), you can also take Disney bus transportation, but you will need to make your way to a resort first. You can pick any resort. Once there, you can go from that resort to Downtown Disney or Typhoon Lagoon. If you're in a hurry to get to  Downtown Disney, you can take a bus to Saratoga Springs and then walk to Downtown Disney. You can also drive very quickly from one of the theme parks to Downtown Disney using the above directions. If you paid for parking at the park, you are free to use the same parking pass to return to the same park or any other park on the same day.

Once there, it's very easy to get around as Downtown DIsney is very linear in design. You can basically walk from one side to the other in a relatively sraight path and see everything. It's worth mentioning again, that there are free shuttle boats that run between the Marketplace and West Side dock every 15 minutes. You are going to be looking for one of the boats that have a Green Flag to indicate its an internal ferry. The boats with other colors of flags travel to Saratoga Springs, Old Key West and Port Orleans. There are signs at the docs if you forget which one you are looking for and there are cast members available if you should have any questions.

What to do at Downtown Disney

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The shopping and food are excellent, but don't overlook the other attraction opportunties at Downtown Disney. You can play video games at DisneyQuest, go see a movie, see a show at Cirque du Soleil, rent a boat or take a "hot air baloon" ride (Characters in Flight) at the tallest attraction anywhere in Walt Disney World. As the geography of the area is very flat, the view is amazing. 

Downtown Disney AMCDowntown Disney Attractions

AMC Pleasure Island 24, (West Side), ☎ +1 407 827-1308. 10AM-2AM. We've heard many people second guess the idea of a movie theater in an area with so many other things to do. Why would you want to go inside when there are all the theme parks and attractions that are so near? There are a number of reasons -- sometimes you just need a break and to get out of the hot Florida sun, maybe you'd like to try the food at the new Fork and Screen option at AMC or maybe it's raining. Whatever the reason, this theater has everything you would expect and more.

Cap'n Jack's Marina, located in the Marketplace, opens at 10AM and closes at various times depending on the season. You can rent a canopy boat, a pontoon boat, or a small runabout to explore Village Lake and the Sassagoula River. Bass fishing tours are also available from here. You can call Disney Recreation at +1 407 WDW-PLAY (939-7529) for reservations. 

Characters in Flight is located in the West Side and is open from 9AM to midnight weather permitting. It's the only outdoor ride in Downtown Disney, and it's the tallest one in the entire Walt Disney World Resort. The ride is a hot-air balloon that is tethered to a platform and lifts you 400 feet in the air. We've already mentioned it, but its worth mentioning again. It's a breathtaking bird's-eye view of Walt Disney World. The attraction is priced depending on your age: ages 3-9 $12, ages 10+ $18.  

Down town Disney Disney Quest

DisneyQuest is a five-floor indoor theme park and is located in the West Side and is open Su-Th 11:30AM-10PM; Fri-Sat 11:30AM-11PM. Times vary with season - be sure to check for yourself when you arrive. It is a one of a kind experience with video games and virtual-reality thrills for your entire family. The outside of the building, seen in the picture at the right, is rather unassuming. Don't be fooled by the exterior. Once inside, you'll find hours of activities that will keep everyone in your family involved. What else is brilliant, since you will be there a long while, Disney put a full service cafe inside to keep you energized! You can purchase admission tickets at DisneyQuest, or it is free with the Water Park Fun and More option on Magic Your Way tickets.  If you have questions, you can call DisneyQuest direct at +1 407 828-4600.

  • Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride: Located on the 2nd floor, it is a stationary unit that uses a head-mounted display to let you pilot a flying carpet through the streets of Agrabah. The head mounted unit (helmet) is a little difficult to get used to especially for those with glasses.
  • Buzz Lightyear's AstroBlaster: On the 3rd floor, the attraction is basically a very large bumper car type of vehicle. Once inside, you battle others riding in their own vehicles by shoting soft "asteroids" at their vehicles. If you hit them, it will disable their vehicles temporarily and you will score points. Two people per car for this attraction, so if you have several people that would like to compete together, this is the place to go.
  • CyberSpace Mountain: CyersSpace Mountain is located on the 2nd floor and is a virtual roller coaster designer. When you get a chance to design your coaster, you are instructed by Bill Nye the Science Guy on how to design a roller coaster that you will later get to ride from inside a "pitch and roll" simulation pod. It's a lot of fun and something an entire family can enjoy. The rides can be made very easy for little ones and can have lots of upside twists and spins for the more adventurous. It's unique in that you create the rides to your own liking.
  • Invasion! An ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter: Located on the top floor, you can team up with 4 people to virtually ride through an alien landscape while trying to rescue colonists from evil aliens. You will have one player driving the simulator and their job is to navigate the vehicle near the positions of the colonists to pick them up and rescue them. The other players will be blasting their guns at the aliens as they attack the ship and colonists.
  • Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam: This game looks like more fun than it really is. You compete with 11 other players on a pinball-like screen. You control your virtual ball by rocking back and forth on a platform. The attraction itself is fun, but it's very confusing and doesn't seem like the platforms work all the time. You should try it, but don't expect a great game.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold : One of the most enjoyable attractions at DisneyQuest, it's located on the 1st floor. You and a few other family members, friends or other guests will be placed in a virtual deck of a pirate ship. You are given headsets ("eyes of blackbeard" as the cast members call them) that will let you see the 3D enemy ships. From your group, there is one captain who steers the virtual ship while up to four others fire the cannons. Your mission is simple. You destroy other ships and objects on shore to steal their gold. This is a great game with amazing action. It's a like a combination of "Toy Story Mania" located in Disney's Hollywood Studios and Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom. A couple of helpful hints. First, near the end of the ride, you will be attacked by a ghost ship. At this time, the captain's commands are basically ignored and the ship is on "auto pilot". If you have players at all cannons, the captain is basically useless at this time. If you have any empty cannons, the captain can proceed to walk over and join the fight. When you begin your travels, steer left immediately, and you can travel through an area falling off the "edge of the Earth". It will place you back into the ride in a great location from which to continue your plundering.
  • Ride the Comix : Located on the fourth and fifth floors, it's another attraction that uses head-mounted displays. Up to six players enter a virtual world of comic books and characters. They each have a laser sword that will be used to strike down any enemies they encounter. 
  • Virtual Jungle Cruise : In this ride, located on the first floor, you will paddle a raft down a jungle river to recover the "gizmo". Each member of your party, up to four, will paddle together or strategically separate to navigate the river and its tributaries. It's a fun ride for an entire family.
  • The Create Zone : This is a large area located on the second floor and is not a single attraction but a group of a few all centered around creativity. These attractions include Animation Academy where you learn to draw famous Disney chracters, Living Easels that let you design your own scenes on a touch screen terminal, Radio Disney Song Maker where you can create serious or funny music, and Sid's Create-A-Toy where you can desing a one of a kind toy using parts from several. This is an area that will mostly appeal to younger children although the Animation Academy is interesting enough for adults too. The Create-A-Toy can be purchased as can a copy of the created music.
  • Arcade Games: On many of the floors, and nearly the entire 3rd floor, you will find arcade video games ranging from old classics like Pac-Man to the most modern available. The games are free to play once you have paid admission to DisneyQuest. Just a warning -- this area may be tough to get children to leave. They'll certainly love getting to play anything they want and as much as they want.

Videos of the interior of DisneyQuest:

 

 

 

 

Cirque du Soleil Downtown DisneyLa Nouba (Cirque du Soleil) is located on the West Side and is a show designed by the famous circus company Cirque du Soleil. The show is called "La Nouba", and it can only be seen at Downtown Disney. The building that houses it, which is designed to look like an old-time circus tent, was created just for the show. Cirque du Soleil shows are unlike traditional circus acts. There are no animal performers, but there are clowns and acrobats that will be sure to amaze you as the story plays out. You can get tickets once at Downtown Disney or you can call +1 407 934-9200. Tu-Sa 6PM & 9PM

Saratoga Springs Spa

If you are at Downtown Disney and wish to visit a spa, you're in luck. Just across the lake sits Disney's Saratoga Springs which was designed to look like upstate New York. Saratoga Springs, New York, was once known for its healing and relaxing mineral waters, a tradition carried forward at this full-service spa and health club. There are a wide range of full body treatments, massages, manicures and pedicures that are available. You can make an appointment at the Spa even if you are not staying at the resort. To make an appointment, call 1 407 827-4455. 8AM-8PM.

Downtown Disney Shopping

Downtown Disney contains a wide range of shopping many with of which contain Disney-themed merchandise. Much of the Disney themed shopping is located in the Downtown Disney Marketplace, which is seen on the map above on the eastern part of Downtown Disney. If you need to contact a specific location, we have included as many phone numbers as we can. Otherwise, you can call Guest relations at +1 407 828-3150 using option '3'.

Downtown Disney Marketplace

Downtown Disney Marketplace Down town Disney

Marketplace shops open at 9:30 AM and close at 11PM (11:30 PM Friday and Saturday).

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The Marketplace is anchored by the 50,000-square-foot (4,500-square-meter) World of Disney:

World of Disney: The largest Disney Store in the world. It's certainly something to behold. If you are looking for a souvenir, this is the place that you will probably have the best luck. You can call the World of Disney directly at +1 407 828-1451.

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Arribas Brothers: Arribas Brother is an interesting view even if you don't intend to purchase anything. It is one of the most interesting of all of the store located in Downtown Disney. If you have a need to contact them, the phone number is +1 407 828-4840.

The Art of Disney: This is probably just what you would expect by its name with many, but not all, pieces of artwork having a Disney theme or touch. There are some reasonably priced items you can pick up, and it's certainly a great experience to look at the various pieces. Call them direct at +1 407 828-3929.

Basin: Contains bath and skin-care products. Their telephone number is +1 407 827-8080.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: Technically, this is located inside World of Disney, but it is seperated here so that we can talk about it. Similar to the offering in Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, it's the location for a little girl that wants to get the full princess treatment. She is assigned a "fairy godmother" who will help her with everything from hairsytle, to make up. It's extremely popular, so make an appointment if you are interested.  You can call +1 407 WDW-STYLE (939-7895). 

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Disney Design-A-Tee: Presented by Hanes, this store allows you to create your own T-shirt or sweatshirt. The shirts allow you to customize with your own selection of Disney characters and writing. Once finished with the design process, which only takes a few minutes, you can pay for the item, and depending on how busy they are, you can pick it up in a short while.

Disney's Days of Christmas:  This is the largest of the Christmas shops at Walt Disney World. Not really much to say about it as it doesn't really need a description. It has a much bigger selection than Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe at Magic Kingodm or It's a Wonderful Shop at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Call +1 407 828-3759 to talk to the store directly.

Disney's Pin Traders: The largest pin-trading store in the Walt Disney World Resort.

LEGO Imagination Center: If you love LEGO's this is a destination store for you. You can see all types of LEGO sculptures or even build your own. There's even a great section called, Pick-A-Brick, which allows you to buy LEGO bricks la carte brick. It's great if you are missing a particular piece or assembly from one of your sets. You can call them directly at +1 407 828-0065.

 Mickey's Pantry: An interesting store full of kitchen products and other housewares.+1 407 828-3886.

Once Upon a Toy: Walt Disney World's second-largest collection of Disney toys right behind the afformentioned World of Disney. At first thought, you might be wondering why they have two large stores right next to one another that both have Disney merchandise, but a quick view inside the story, will change that. Once Upon a Toy is a store that has a wide variety of third-party created toys that have Disney themes such as Mr. Potato Heads or board games. The Wonderful World of Gaming is located inside the store and contains a wide variety of game purchasing options. It also has three separate Wii game stations and a few Nintendo DS systems to play. You can call either store with the following number : +1 407 934-7775.

Goofy's Candy Co.: There are lots of treats here. Everything from M&M's to Mickey crispie treats.  You also can make your birthday extra sweet with a celebration in the private party room at Goofy's Candy Company.

Summer Sands: Contains a variety of swimwear and beachwear.  

Team Mickey Athletic Club: If you are a sports fan looking for ESPN or Disney themed sports clothing, this is a great shop. Has things you'll probably not find anywhere else. You can call Team Mickey directly at +1 407 828-3364.

Tren-D: This is an eclectic shop with contemporary Disney designs that are mostly unique to this store.

Little Miss Matched: This store has an eclectic mix of apparel for women and girls. As the name suggests, nothing in here for the guys. +1 407 938-9257.

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Hyperion Wharf and West Side

Stores on Hyperion Wharf (Pleasure Island), and on the West Side, open at 10:30AM and close at 11PM (midnight Friday and Saturday nights). It's different from the busier Marketplace as you won't see a great deal of items with Disney characters on them. These stores are mostly independently operated.

Curl by Sammy Duvall: Located on Hyperion Wharf, it has everything you would expect to find in a high-end surf shop. Even if surfing is not your thing, it's a fun store to browse. You can reach them via +1 407 842-1302 or email them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

DisneyQuest Emporium: Located at the exit of DisneyQuest, it's a store that is like the dreaded gift shops that are present at the end of seemingly every theme park ride. You can also walk in off the street. It contains a wide variety of Disney merchandise and candy. You can call the store directly at +1 407 828-4600. 

Disney's Candy Cauldron: Located on the West Side, the store is another in a long line of candy stores at Walt Disney World. This one has a show area where you can watch the candy being made. It's a nice bit of entertainment if you enjoy such things. Their phone number is +1 407 828-1604.

D Street: This is the West Side's version of "Tren-D", a trendy boutique for Disney fans. A unique offering at this store is the Vinylmation Creation Station, where you can design and decorate your own three-inch Mickey-shaped vinyl figurines.  

Hoypoloi: Located on the West Side, it contains a variety of conteporary artwork. You can call the store directly at +1 407 827-0112 

Magic Masters: Located on the West Side, this magic shop has supplies, and you can sometimes catch demonstrations as you walk by. If you have anyone in your family that is interested in magic, it's worth the stop. You can call Magic Masters at +1 407 827-5900.

Magnetron: This shop has more refrigerator magnets than maybe anywhere in the world. Even if you don't like such offerings, stop in to take a look. It only takes a moment and is very interesting. It's located on the West Side and can be reached a +1 407 827-0108.

Mickey's Groove: This store has a variety of Disney merchandise but is much smaller than those in the Marketplace like World of Disney. If you are already in the West Side, it may have just what you are looking for.

Orlando Harley-Davidson: The Harley-Davidson store is located in the Hyperion Wharf. They don't actually sell motorcylces, but have a huge selection of Harley-Davidson themed merchandise. You can call them at +1 407 938-0522.

Pop Gallery: A store that has high caliber, and price, artwork. It's on the West Side, and if you like high-end shopping, this might be just for you. You can call them +1 407 827-8200. They have complimentary drinks.

RIDEMAKERZ: Located on the West Side, inside this store you can design and buy custom made radio controlled vehicles. You can call them at  +1 407 938-9223.

Sosa Family Cigars, I'm sure you don't really need a description because of the name, but here it is anyway, it's a smoke shop at Downtown Disney. If you are into cigars, you'll probably recognize the name Sosa, a premium Dominican brand. You can reach them at +1 800 773-7412

Sunglass Icon: This is a store located on the West Side, and again, doesn't really need much of a description. They have sunglasses, and more sunglasses. Call them at +1 407 827-0110.

Downtown Disney Restaurants

Earl of Sandwich Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney has the single biggest collection of restaurants anywhere in Walt Disney World. Many of the restaurants are owned by outside companies so make sure to check if they accept the Disney Dining Plan if you are expecting to use it. Many of them do not accept the Dining Plan, but even if they do not, you can still use the normal number to setup a reservation +1 407 WDW-DINE (939-3463).

Downtown Disney Marketplace Restaurants

The Downtown Disney Marketplace is where you'll find the most child friendly food options.


Downtown Disney Marketplace Map

Cap'n Jack's Restaurant: A seafood restaurant on a pier that sits on Village Lake. Dining Plan accepted.

Earl of Sandwich: A very popular restaurant, it is the flagship location for a chain of sandwich shops co-founded by John Montagu who is the 11th Earl of Sandwich himself. There are some unique sandwiches that are reasonably priced. There are usuallly long lines, but don't let that keep you from trying the location as it moves steadily. Dining Plan accepted.

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Fresh A-Peel. This is a new restaurant that shares space with Pollo Campero and specializes in healthy offerings. It has fresh salads and burgers along with turkey and veggie burgers. Other options are available. Guests who need gluten-free, low-sodium, or vegetarian entrees will find several options that are available. Within this location is a bakery sponsored by Babycakes NYC, which featuring a number of vegan, kosher, and allergen-free baked goods.

Pollo Campero: This is a fast food chain based in Guatemala and is the largest chain in Latin America. It has opened this new location in the former building that was home to McDonald's. "Pollo" is the Spanish name for "chicken", so it's probably no surprise that most of the menu is chicken in everything from fried, grilled, strips, or on a sandwich. No Dining Plan.   

Rainforest Cafe:  There are actually two locations of this chain at Walt Disney World, one in Downtown Disney and another at Animal Kingdom (theme park not resort). If you've never been, it's an interesting place to eat with animatronic animals, virtual thunderstorms, and good food. Also a good place to snag a cheap souvenir. Their gift shop often has clearnance items and discounted items, not something you find at many of the Downtown Disney stores. We'll caution you if you have little ones that don't like loud noises. When the virtual storm occurs, it's kind of loud and the lights get dark. It seems to frighten many smaller children. Dining Plan accepted. Their phone number is +1 407 827-8500.

T-Rex: Brought to you by the same company that owns Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex is a new restaurant in Downtown Disney that offers the same type of feel as its sister restaurant, but with prehistoric animal animitronics instead of the jungle animals. There is a Build-A-Dino area inside that is run by Build-A-Bear Workshop. No Dining Plan. You call them directly at +1 407 828-TREX (8739) 

Wolfgang Puck Express: This resturant is the most casual of the three Downtown Disney restaurants from celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. There is a nice mix of traditional favorites including Italian and barbecue entrees but each has a bit of a "twist" added. Dining Plan accepted.  Their direct phone number is +1 407 828-0107.

Hyperion Wharf (Pleasure Island)

Hyperion Wharf Downtown DisneyWe've already mentioned that Pleasure Island is being transitioned to the new Hyperion Wharf. They have already replaced some of the clubs with some very good restaurants. These restaurants are different from many of the Downtown Disney choices in that they are not necessarily themed. If you are looking for something a little more quiet, there are some excellent options available.

Fulton's Crab House: As you already know from the previous mention, this was once a replica paddle-boat named for Walt's widow. Now, the paddle-wheel has been removed and three original restaurants have been converted into Fulton's Crab House, which is a multi-floored seafood restaurant with high-quality selections and nice views of the Downtown Disney area. No Dining Plan. You can call them directly at +1 407 934-2628.

Paradiso 37: This is the newest eatery in Hyperior Wharf (Please Island). It has everything from burgers to burritos, Chilean salmon to Coney Island dogs. Lots of great choices. No Dining Plan. They can be reached directly +1 407 934 3700.

Portobello: A fine Italian restaurant and many entrees are definitely pricey. If you want to try it on a budget, you can check out the pizza which can be had for a reasonable price. Looking for a quick bite, check out the bar area for relatively inexpensive sandwiches and local organic beer. No Dining Plan.  You can call them at +1 407 934-8888.

Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant: A full service bar and live entertainment sets this apart from other choices. Typical Irish Pub style of food. Dining Plan accepted.  Phone +1 407 938-0300.

Cooke's of Dublin: Next door to Raglan Road, Cooke's is a small place that has fish and chips, which is cooked very well and worth trying if you happen to like fried fish. Dining Plan accepted.  

West Side

Downtown Disney West Side

The West Side could just as easily change its name to the celebrity side with the wide variety of celebrity restaurants created by movie stars, comedians, singers, and a celebrity chef.

Bongos Cuban Cafe: Brought to you by singers Gloria and Emelio Estefan, Bongos offers an authentic Cuban experience in the food and in the entertainment. There is a two-story pineapple that marks the entrance to perhaps the most vibrant eatery in all of Downtown Disney. No Dining Plan.  Call them directly +1 407 828-0999.

Food Quest / Wonderland Cafe: If you happen to be experiencing all of the interesting things to do in DisneyQuest, and don't wish to leave to go eat, then check out Food Quest on the fifth floor or Wonderland Cafe on the fourth. Dining Plan accepted.  

House of Blues: Dan Aykroyd co-founded this chain that is both a restaurant and live music venue. You'll find free music in the various dining rooms with some higher profile acts booked in the main hall. The nightly music is free but the special bookings have a separate admission fee. The food is mostly Southern meals from burgers to jambalaya. No Dining Plan.  Phone +1 407 934–BLUE (934-2583). This is a restaurant that can sometimes be had for a bargain. Check out our Coupons and Deals page for discounted Restaurant.com gift certificates that can be used to be greatly reduced gift certicates from House of Blues. 

Planet Hollywood: Demi Moore, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis originally founded this chain which is packed full of celebrity items. The giant planet shaped building that houses this restaurant is impossible to miss. Dining Plan accepted.  Call them directly at +1 407 827-7827.

Wolfgang Puck Cafe / 'The Dining Room': We've already alluded to it, but Wolfgang Puck is certainly well-represented in Downtown Disney. Wolfgang Puck Cafe has everything from pizza to Tuscan rigatoni to Chilean salmon. This is the middle of the road offering for Wolfgang Puck. Looking for something a bit more high-end? You can head upstairs to 'The Dining Room'. This is the most high-end of all the Downtown Disney Restaurants. The menu has a number of choices with everything from steak and chicken to goulash and wiener schnitzel. There are two special prix fixe options available: the 'California Tour' is four-course and there is a 3-course called 'Austrian Tour'. The kids menu offers four entree options with items like 'smiley fries'. Dining Plan accepted. Phone +1 407 938-9653.

Wolfgang Puck Express: This is the same as the one on the Marketplace side of Downtown Disney. Dining Plan accepted.  

Downtown Disney Snacks

If you are looking for something like a snack, there are options nearly everywhere you may be. The availability may be seasonal but there are a few that are a notch above the food cart types of offerings and deserve special mention.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop and Soda Fountain: Located in the Marketplace, you can enjoy ice cream, chocolates and other outstanding desserts. Often times, they have free samples available of the chocolates.

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Wetzel's Pretzels: Located on the West Side, Wetzel's has gourmet flavored and cheese-infused pretzels, along with Haagen-Dazs ice cream.

Downtown Disney Resort Dining

All restaurants at Disney resorts accept the Dining Plan. We have information about the table service and counter service variety of options at each Downtown Disney Resort.

Disney's Port Orleans Resort

Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter were separate resorts in the past, so they both have food courts for quick counter-service dining. They share a single table-service location called Boatwright's Dining HallThis is a huge restaurant that serves traditional Southern options like chicken, ribs and steaks. 

Disney's Old Key West Resort

Goods To Go is a standard basic counter-service location with burgers, chicken nuggets and a few other options. Olivia's Cafe is a table servie offering that has a Caribben accent to its food choices.

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort

Artist's Palette is a counter-service restaurant that has hot sandwiches, salads, and flatbreads. Turf Club Bar and Grill serves traditional American food and offers good views of the Buena Vista golf course.  

Typhoon Lagoon

Leaning Palms is the main eatery at Typhoon Lagoon. It's often the only restaurant open during the slowest parts of the year serving burgers, pizza and chicken. It's also the only one with indoor seating. Typhoon Tilly's has outdoor seating, is open seasonally and located near the Shark Reef. BBQ pork, hot dogs, and PB&J are a few of the most common items.

Downtow Disney Hotels

The budget hotel options in this area are non-Disney hotels with none of the theming or amenities provided to Disney resort guests. The Moderate and Deluxe resorts are Disney resorts, and maybe the most scenic and tranquil options in the entire Walt Disney World Resort.

One of the things to consider with a Downtown Disney Hotel is the location. While close to Downtown Disney itself, the parks are all a relatively large distance away by bus or car. There are no monorail or boat transportation available. If you plan to spend a lot of time at Downtown Disney or just looking for a quiet place, these hotels are excellent options.

Budget Hotels

The Downtown Disney Budget Hotels range in price of $0-$150. The Downtown Disney Hotel Plaza is located next to the Marketplace and is made up of seven franchised or independent hotels. These are fairly generic hotels that are perfect for guests who are on a tight budget or who prefer a more traditional hotel experience. The Best Western, Buena Vista Palace, Doubletree, Hilton, and Wyndham have car rental kiosks in their lobbies.

Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort: A tall hotel, but other than that, it's your average Best Western. 2000 Hotel Plaza Blvd, +1 407 828-2424. 

Buena Vista Palace: Located closest to Downtown Disney. 1900 Buena Vista Dr, +1 866 397-6516.

Doubletree Guest Suites: The only all-suite hotel of the seven. 2305 Hotel Plaza Blvd, +1 407 934-1000.  

Hilton Resort: The second closest, just across from the Buena Vista Palace. 1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd, +1 407 827-4000.

Holiday Inn: Lots of floors, but other than that, like any regular Holiday Inn. 1805 Hotel Plaza Blvd, +1 407 828-8888. 

Royal Plaza: Similar to the others. 1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd, +1 407 828-2828.

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort (Regal Sun Resort): Nice resort that offers Disney character breakfast. 1850 Hotel Plaza Blvd, +1 800 624-4109

Downtown Disney Mid-range Resorts

A couple of "Moderate" resorts, priced $150-$250, lie at the northern end of the Sassagoula River and have boat access to Downtown Disney.

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - RiversideBuilt to look like the towns along the lower Mississippi River. Originally called Dixie Landings, the Port Orleans Riverside has two distinct sets of buildings. Alligator Bayou features rustic buildings that are almost cottage looking with lots of water and reeds surrounding them. Magnolia Bend has the look of stately southern mansions on neatly-manicured grounds. Outstanding theming in this resort which is very laid-back, relaxing, and feels isolated from the rest of Walt Disney World. 1251 Riverside Dr (adjacent to Port Orleans-French Quarter), +1 407 934-6000.   

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter: Desinged like Bourbon Street, the French Quarter is visually much livelier than Riverside. French Quarter is much smaller than its sister resort. You'll need to walk to Boatwright's to reach the only table-service option in the resort. It's closer to Downtown Disney, and as such, is a shorter trip on the ferry. 2201 Orleans Dr (off Epcot Center Drive), +1 407 934-5000.

Downtown Disney Deluxe Resorts

The Deluxe resorts near Downtown Disney are priced beginning at $250. They are both dedicated Disney Vacation Club resorts. As such, the smallest villas are studios, which have a kitchenette but no separate living room. It also means that existing DVC members can rent the rooms first, but because the resorts are so large, you should have an option if you so choose. Both resorts offer a full array of amenities and recreation, including boating, tennis, basketball, playgrounds, and swimming pools. You will get a list of special daily activities when you check-in. Both resorts also have general stores, but as you would expect, the prices are high and selection is poor. That being said, they're extremely convenient when you need something and sometimes the prices is worth the convenience.

Disney's Old Key West Resort: Themed after the Florida Keys, the rooms have a beach house feel, with scenic views of the woods, the river, or the golf course. 1510 North Cove Rd,+1 407 827-7700. 

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Modeled after Upstate New York and the Saratoga Race Course, this sprawling resort has a horse racing theme throughout. The resort is large, but wherever you stay in the resort, you'll be within walking distance of the main amentities and there is a shuttle bus that takes you throughout the resort. 1960 Broadway, +1 407 827-1100. 

The Treehouse Villas at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort: Octagonal self-contained units on stilts that are in a heaviliy forested area. They opened in Summer 2009. The "treehouse" units sleep nine in approximately 1,074 square feet of space. The the novelty of the elevated treehouses and a lack of quantity makes them tough to get reservations.


Last Updated on Saturday, 28 January 2012 20:25
 
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