20 August 2012

Where in Walt Disney World: Downtown Disney

I am a HUGE Disney buff, and my specialist subject would be Walt Disney World. I've been lucky enough to visit Disneyland in California and the one in Paris, but WDW is by far my favourite and in my opinion the ultimate.

After many years of travelling to the Sunshine state of Florida, and visiting Disney World i thought i'd impart some wisdom, tips and tricks, the best things to do and maybe what not to, just in case any of you are ever thinking of taking the trip or maybe i can intrigue you to do so. So, get ready for a the ultimate guide to Walt Disney World and the surrounding area while i'm away at the same destination.
Walt Disney World covers 30,080 acres and holds four theme parks, two water parks, 23 on-site Disney themed resorts and 8 resorts that aren't Disney owned. You can even find a campground, two spas and physical fitness centres, five golf courses and a plethora of other recreational activities and entertainment. Walt Disney developed the resort in the early 1960's but sadly died in 1966 before his original plans were fully recognised and before it's completion in 1971. Disney World opened on October 1st 1971 with only the Magic Kingdom but EPCOT was added in 1982, Hollywood Studios - formerly MGM Studios - in 1989 and Animal Kingdom in 1998.

It's a place where dreams are made. Come with me and explore the ins and outs of the happiest place on earth.

Downtown Disney is split into three areas: Downtown Disney West Side, Downtown Disney Marketplace and Pleasure Island. The Marketplace is the most frequently visited for families and during the daytime. It's described as a place to take a break from all the parks, especially if you're after Disney merchandise - this is the place to come! Downtown Disney is home to the largest Disney store in the world, named World of Disney. It's home to 12 rooms overflowing with the best, and official, Disney merchandise. You can find everything from men's, women's and children's clothing to art and food, sweets, trading pins and watches, and much, much more. Here you can also find the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, tucked away inside. At this special salon children from ages 3 and up can be transformed princesses, pirates and beyond. The Marketplace isn't just home to World of Disney but also to one of the biggest trading pin stops, The Art of Disney - where you can watch one of Disney's artists draw your favourite characters. Why no visit Once Upon a Toy, one of the largest toy stores home to hundreds of plush toys, steam trains, build your own Mr Potato Head, your favourite CDs and much, much more. If you're looking for something a little less Disney there's Basin, full of handmade soaps, chemical-free bath products as well as build your own candles and mix and match bath salts. The Arribas Brothers is home to a collection of fine collectables made from glass and crystal, from around the world. There are daily glass blowing demonstrations, as well as glass cutting. There's plenty to see and do here, and there really is something for everyone.

My favourite place to eat at Downtown Disney is the Rainforest Cafe. It's, obviously, a little pricer than your average quick service you'd find in the parks but sometimes it's nice to do something different. It's great for your littleuns too because there are so many things to see inside of the restaurant such as rainforest animals, like gorillas, and every so often the restaurants turns into a rain storm in which the lighting changes darker, with them flickering, the animals become very active and there are projections on the walls. It's a magical experience to be a part of, especially for the kids. There are plenty of food options, for everyone, but be warned the portion sizes are pretty large so just take that into consideration when you're thinking about starters and if you want to indulge in a pudding. When it does come to the pudding, why not try the Volcano? A sweet built in layers of chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream topped with a sparkler and when your server brings it to your table, they shout 'Volcano!' and the other servers then say it to. Overall it's an exciting experience and well worth every penny.


If you're looking for something a little cheaper, there are plenty of options for example Wolfgang Puck Express, Ghirardelli and Earl of Sandwich.

Downtown Disney Westside is like your city centre; stuffed with top notch restaurants, a 24 screen AMC Cinema and uncommon, boutique like shops. Here you'll also find the home of Cirque de Soleil La Nouba and the DisneyQuest indoor interactive theme park. Cirque de Soleil is a must see attraction at Walt Disney World. It boasts opulent sets and amazing choreography, with a mix of mesmerising high wire, flying trapeze stunning acro-gymnastics and other astounding displays of coordination and strength.

By day Pleasure Island, soon to become Hyperion Wharf, offers an enticing array of shopping and dining experiences but by night it becomes the after hours, party hub of Walt Disney World. It boasts live music, pubs, bars, clubs and many open air eateries.

While at Downtown, you may notice a giant yellow and red bubble and this would be Characters in Flight - a hot air balloon type attraction. You're taken up in up 400 feet above Downtown Disney in a tethered balloon and are held there for approximately eight to ten minutes. You'll experience a breathtaking 360 degrees view of Walt Disney World and can see for miles. You can take advantage of the balloon up until midnight, weather permitting, so you can see WDW by day and night.

Downtown Disney is a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the parks and there's plenty to spend your hard earned cash on, as well as browse, eat and occupy the kids.

All Images Sourced from Google Images

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blogger Template Made By pipdig