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Florida Guide > Disney General

Downtown Disney - An Overview

Our first visit to Downtown Disney was in January after 3 visits to Orlando can not believe it took us so long to visit here.

This is not a Theme Park but a mix of shops (the world’s biggest Disney shop), attractions (Disney Quest), along with some great restaurants. Set around the Buena Vista Lagoon.

Downtown Disney is divided into three areas Marketplace, Westside, and Pleasure Island. This area is open later than the Theme Parks. With Pleasure Island opening until 2am and you must be over 18 or accompanied by an adult, to buy alcohol you must have ID, even if you look or you are over thirty.

Marketplace as it name suggests is mainly shopping with the biggest Disney Shop which has pile upon pile of soft toys that any kid could ever want; the shop is decorated through-out with classic Disney characters. “The Art of Disney” is also here which contains some simply stunning pieces of Art, along with “Days of Christmas” a shop that has everything to do with Christmas but with a Disney twist, they do stock other decorations for other celebrations like the 4th July.

There are other shops here including a Pin Trading shop and several places to eat these include “Earl of Sandwich” and the “Rainforest Café” which comes complete with animatronics.

Between the Marketplace and Westside is Fulton Crab house an old fashion paddle cruiser, we have not as yet eaten here but we plan too on our next visit to Orlando.

Westside is a new development and houses two great attractions along with a 24 screen cinema with the latest technology. The two attractions are Disney Quest which is a virtual playground. Disney Quest has been divided into various areas all with a different theme. The other attraction is the Cirque du Soleil in a custom built theatre which houses the world famous Circus, I can not describe how great this show is with imagination, humor, and athletic ability of the performers it really is a must see show.

Also located in the Westside is the House of the Blues, which is a live music venue for a whole host of Artists and bands, it is worth checking their web-site www. hob. com for their gig guide.

We found the best place to escape is within the Virgin mega store and their Café on the second floor and have a caffeine hit, and maybe buy the odd CD.

Two of the restaurant’s here are Bongo’s Cuban Café which offers Cuban inspired dishes incidentally this restaurant is co-owned by Gloria Estefan . Also here is Wolfgang Puck this is up-scale restaurant with wonderful views across the Buena Vista Lagoon, Gentleman you must wear a collared shirt.

Pleasure Island is one for us has our kids get older, but we still enjoy walking through Downtown Disney in the evening after a meal at one the various restaurant’s. This is for adults only with various attractions including clubs playing various genre of music and a comedy club.

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Page added on: 19 April 2005
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