My family and I were lucky enough to spend a whole week in Walt Disney World a few months ago, and when we were planning the trip, we decided to save ourselves a little money and skip purchasing park tickets for one of the days – which left us free to enjoy all that Downtown Disney to offer (which is a lot!)
One great thing about Downtown Disney is if you plan on spending the day there, you can SLEEP IN!!!! That’s right, no 7am rope drop or mad dash to rides necessary here – as many of the stores and restaurants don’t open until 9am or later (9am may not seem late to some, but in the World of Disney vacations – 9am is heavenly!)
We started off our day with a breakfast at the Earl of Sandwich where we grabbed breakfast sandwiches on hot, freshly made rolls. Once we were done eating, we took a leisurely stroll past some of the shops, and it was late morning but it was pretty empty, as the area tends to not fill up until lunchtime or after. This provided us the perfect opportunity to do one of my favorite things – SHOP. They have a lot of great stores in Downtown Disney (for a current listing check out the official WDW website). Personally my favorite is the Christmas store – it combines my two favorite things, Disney and Christmas, and they have a great assortment of ornaments and décor for the holidays!
Once our credit cards had gotten a thorough workout from shopping, we decided to get some lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express. It’s a counter service restaurant with some delicious options – I had an amazing turkey sandwich, and my husband devoured the BBQ chicken flatbread.
We would have stayed there for dessert, but Ghiradelli was calling, no wait, it was SCREAMING our names – and a delicious Gold Rush sundae (ice cream, peanut butter and hot fudge oh my!) was a perfect end to our lunch!
Once we were nice and full, we headed on over to Downtown Disney’s West Side to take a look at some more shops, and since there were looming clouds above (the kind that guarantee a mid afternoon Orlando downpour!) we decided to take refuge in the new AMC Movie Theater, where we sipped a drink in their lounge while we waited for our movie to start. While we did not take part in this option, we have heard great things about the Fork and Screen experience available at the theater, where you can dine and catch a movie all at the same time!
The theater was comfortable (and super air conditioned yay!), so we emerged refreshed, rejuvenated, and hungry? Yes, we were hungry yet again, no surprise there. Luckily it was just about time for our Advance Dining reservation (or ADR) at Raglan Road, which we had been to before and were very excited about – and it did not disappoint this time around either!
The Irish Pub atmosphere is great here, and we loved the dancers and live music, and most of all they have some great FOOD – the fish and chips, bangers, and bread pudding are all definitely worth trying!
After dinner, it was getting dark, and we were full and tired from our super strenuous day full of shopping, eating, and relaxing at the movies, so we decided to head on back to our Resort.
While we managed to fit in some fun stuff that day, there is still so much more to experience at Downtown Disney – you can shop, eat, check out some live music, have fun at La Nouba, go see a movie, or just stroll around and enjoy the atmosphere!(a great rainy day option!), go see Disney’s exclusive Cirque show
There are so many possibilities at Downtown Disney, and the best part is that admission is free – no Park ticket or fee needs to be paid to get to enjoy all that this entertainment complex has to offer!
So the question is, how will you spend YOUR day in Downtown Disney?
- Where are your favorite shopping spots at Downtown Disney? (pics.chipandco.com)
- Making the Most of Counter Service Dining – Downtown Disney Area (chipandco.com)
- Make Use Of Those Disney Park Maps With These Easy To Make Coasters! - January 20, 2020
- Disney World Character Meal Tips with Toddlers - March 22, 2017
- Tips for Traveling to Disney World with your WHOLE Family - March 14, 2017