Monday, October 7, 2013

Disney Tips Day 8: Downtown Disney

This is a free shopping and dining location on Disney property accessible by Disney bus from all resorts (and boat at Port Orleans or Saratoga Springs resorts). This is a great place to go if you have some time on day of arrival or departure. It is also a place we go when we don’t have park hopper passes on the evening we go to Animal Kingdom (since you get back early from that park). Parking here is free if you happen to have a car.

Everything you buy here can be sent back to your resort gift shop free. This helps you spend way too much without realizing it! Thanks, Disney, how thoughtful of you!  

A few times in extreme rain we have actually watched a movie over at Downtown Disney's AMC theaters.

Shopping (There are all kinds of unique shops here.)
  • Disney’s Days of Christmas store is open year round and offers personalized Disney ornaments they will ship home for you (you will pay for shipping but the safety of your purchase is guaranteed). 

  • There is a neat art store, The Art of Disney, has Disney prints and original art for sale. 
  • Lego Imagination Store is fun for the lego lover and the rest of us. There are Lego creations of Disney characters. Look for the Lego play area for kids to design their own lego fun. Obviously, they are happy to sell you legos as well.

  • World of Disney is an enormous store that has all things available. Disney items for kitchens, bath, kids, adults, toys, jewelry, housewares and Disney HATS. If you are dying to get your Disney hat this is the place to buy it. There is every conceivable, wacky and ridiculous hat available. 

Snacks at Downtown Disney
  • ·        Goofy’s Candy Company has some interesting snacks including caramel apples, cupcakes, fudge and cookies.
  • ·        Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop is not on the dining plan but has become a family favorite for us.  First, if you go in the small chocolate shop connected to the dining area they ALWAYS give away small squares of chocolate. My daughter and mother go in and out of this store multiple times in fits of laughter about getting their free squares of chocolates!  The ice cream parlor is also great. My dad and I visit this and share an ice cream treat, our favorite is the Cable Car.

      Quick Service Meal Options

  •       Wolfgang Puck's Express: This is our favorite Quick Service location on all of Disney property...should I say that again, OUR FAVORITE!!!  This is a Quick Service meal and is one of the best values in Quick Service. We eat here at least once each trip and find items for everyone. Young kids will survive but may not find their favorites here (we don't care, they will survive one meal and our kids love the giant cookie for dessert here as well as refillable soda).  This is sandwiched between The Christmas Store and Mickey's Pantry set back a bit and it is easy to miss.  You might want a few dollars to tip. You order at a counter but someone brings your food and offers refills.  The servings are large and very easy to share. We usually get the kids a cheese pizza, it's about the size of a traditional Medium pizza.  There is a rotisserie chicken meal that is fantastic and abundant.  My favorites here are the refillable Mango Tea and dessert options.

  •      Earl of Sandwich: This is a very inexpensive option if you want to dine off the dining plan or are running low on meal credits. These are excellent style sandwiches and refillable drinks. HOWEVER, every time I attempt to eat here there is no seating and the line is out the door. In off season (winter or September) this is probably a great option. During busier times I don't bother waiting.

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