If you’re staying at Disney for an extended period of time, or you’re traveling with an older crowd that isn’t as interested in the parks, consider visiting Downtown Disney. It’s a strip along the water full of shops, restaurants, interactive games, and nightlife.
There are some brand name stores along the strip, including Sunglass Hut and apparel from House of Blues and The Rainforest Cafe. Many of the shops are Disney specialties, including the enormous merchandise store, World of Disney; the Art of Disney collectible shop; and the sweet Goofy’s Candy Company. You can purchase just about anything along the strip. There are plenty of dining options as well, like Wolfgang Puck’s fancy cuisine, Planet Hollywood and Rainforest Cafe, or an assortment of food trucks.
You’ll also want to check out some of the entertainment that Downtown Disney has to offer, including a movie theater, a bowling alley, and performances like Cirque de Soleil and concerts at the House of Blues. Young guests might also enjoy DisneyQuest, a unique interactive theme park with high-tech games.
Downtown Disney is currently under renovation, though their website says that over 70 establishments remain open through construction. The expansion will be called Disney Springs, and is expected to double the amount of shops, dining, and entertainment options.
Worried about having to carry bags of souvenirs on your day at the park because you don’t have time to stop back at your hotel? Here’s a quick tip: ask the cashier to package up the items and have them sent back to the room you are staying in. Though this is a very popular tactic for veteran park-hoppers, a lot of vacationers might not realize this option exists. As long as you are staying on property, cast members can bundle your purchases and have them shipped right back to your hotel, where they will magically appear waiting for you. It doesn’t cost any extra, and it’s a great way to avoid carrying your souvenirs all over the parks!
Similarly, if you’re worried about carrying cash, remember that your Magic Band can now be used to charge items to your room bill. This means that you can now scan your Magic Band at any restaurant, quick service, or store in the Disney parks, and have the total purchase automatically added to your overall hotel bill.
Image courtesy of wdwhints.com.