Updated: May 21, 2015
Guide to Downtown DisneyDowntown Disney is an outdoor promenade separate from all the other Disney parks. It consists of a variety of stores, shops, restaurants, and clubs, and is especially enjoyable to visit at night. What's the easiest way to get to Downtown Disney? All of the Disney resorts offer bus service to Downtown Disney, and the Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, and Old Key West Resorts offer boat service every 10-15 minutes in the evenings, dropping you off on the far edge of the downtown near Parking Area A and the Rainforest Cafe section. If you choose to drive, you may want to park close to the area you want to visit. Facing the lake, the far right edge of Downtown Disney is anchored by the Rainforest Cafe and Ghirardelli store, and is closest to parking areas A and B. Parking lots C & D give you closest access to the World of Disney megastore. Parking lots E & F get you close to McDonalds and the big Fultons Crab House steamboat restaurant. Parking areas G&F are both close to Pleasure Island.
Getting to Downtown Disney - Parking (continued)Parking lots H & I will get you close to Planet Hollywood while K&J will put you near the Virgin Megastore and Disney Quest arcade. LMN are close to the Cirque du Soleil tent, on the far left of Downtown Disney. So figure out in advance where you are trying to get to, and park accordingly. The Disney bus will drop you off near parking area G, close to the middle of downtown, near PLeasure Island and Planet Hollywood. Once you get there, there are many options for entertainment and shopping and eating. We will cover the restaurants below. There is a 24 screen AMC theater here, Virgin Mega Store, a huge World of Disney Store, a Lego Store, a Ghirardelli chocolate and ice cream shop (be sure to stop by and get a free chocolate they hand out at the door), and lots of little shops to fill in the gaps.
Pleasure Island GuidePleasure Island is Disney's attempt to offer some adult nightlight to the resort, with its collection of dance clubs, pub, comedy club, music venues. The entertainment spots all require separate admission fees unless you have the Magic Your Way ticket with Water Park Fun and More option. Ticket price is about $20 for admission to the clubs, and you must be 18 or older to get in, though anyone is free to wander the streets in the area. Comedy Warehouse is a fun evening for stand up comedy. Motion is a good club with top 40 music, and 8Trax will get you groovin to 70's and 80's tunes. The BET Soundstage Club features R&B and hip-hop tunes, and Mannequins Dance Palace has a cool revolving dance floor and amazing sound and lights. If you want to dance or just people watch and enjoy some music, you will have fun at all these clubs. The old jazz spot has been converted into an Irish pub called Raglan Road - nice spot to take in a beer (no admission fee here, anyone can stop by). The Harley Davidson store is also in this part of Downtown, if you are into that scene.
Cirque du Soleil La NoubaThe addition of Cirque du Soleil to Downtown Disney has been a big hit. These musical, acrobatic circus shows are popular all around the world, and for good reason. They entertain and delight both children and adults, and if you can afford the ticket price, you will not regret it. Tickets run from about $65 to $120 per person, so be warned it is not a cheap evening. Think of it more as a broadway show than a circus, and pay accordingly. Shows are nightly at 6PM and 9PM, except for Sun. and Mon. (no shows those nights). You can get tickets by calling (407) W-DISNEY.
Best Restaurants in Downtown DisneyFor kids, the Rainforest Cafe is probably the best restaurant in Downtown Disney. You may wait 1-2 hours for a table, but there is plenty to do and see nearby as you wait (just don't show up with little ones at 7:30 expecting a meal - get there early, or expect to eat 90 minutes later). We also like the House of Blues, with a decent menu and good service, and live music Thurs. - Sun. at 11PM. Wolfgang Pucks Cafe probably has the best cuisine at Downtown Disney - we like the sushi bar, but the Dining Room option is great as well. Fultons Crab House is hard to miss, located in the giant white-lit riverboat next to Pleasure Island. Their fresh seafood menu is usually great, and the ambience of being on an old riverboat only makes the meal that much more special. Cap'n Jacks serves some pretty basic food - we weren't overly impressed with their menu or food presenation, though they were accomodating of children with snacks while you wait for a table. Planet Hollywood offers the same food you will find at all their locations - nothing new here, but if you are into the movie memorabilia scene and don't mind the noise, not a bad spot to spend an hour or two.
Map of Downtown DIsneyWhere is a map of Downtown Disney? Common question.. You can see a large map of Downtown Disney here.
More Disney World Guides
- Magic Kingdom Guide
- Disney MGM Studios Guide
- EPCOT Center Guide
- Disney Animal Kingdom Guide
- Disneyworld Hotel Guide
- Disneyworld Transportation System
- Downtown Disney Guide