During the summer months it can get pretty hot in Florida. Combine that with the summer crowds in Disney World and it can make for an uncomfortable day. There are ways to cool off while in the parks though.
The World of Disney Store is probably one of the most popular stores on Disney property. There is good reason for that, it’s huge. Seriously, if you are looking for Disney souvenirs or gifts to bring back for people this is your store. There are several rooms, each with different themes and products. I could easily spend hours in this store, especially since it has just been expanded.
Downtown Disney is a great place to go for some really good restaurants and also fun shopping, but there are lots of things for the little ones to do too! You can easily spend a whole day at Downtown Disney and take turns seeing things everyone would like to experience.
Here is a list of things available that the little ones would like:
- The Marketplace Train – Our kids loved this! It costs around $2 and the kids get a fun little ride around the track. The ages of the kids who rode the train were 2, 3, and 6 and they all loved it. It’s really cute! You can find the train by Disney Pin Traders and Pearl Factory.
- The Marketplace Carousel – Kids love carousels, so it’s nice that Disney has one in Downtown Disney. It helps when the kids start getting a little antsy. The cost for the carousel is the same as the train, $2. You can find the carousel not far from the train. The carousel is by Marketplace Fun Finds, Goofy’s Candy Co., Mickey’s Pantry, and Spice and Tea Exchange.
- Goofy’s Candy Co. – This is a definite stop with little kids. They love all the colors in the store, not to mention all the goodies to choose from there. We usually let them pick out a cookie and sometimes we’ll do the make-your-own-treat. It’s fun to create your own treats and they have a few different options. Plus, they have those super delicious candy apples in character designs. If you time it right, you might get some free samples. You can find Goofy’s Candy Co. by the Marketplace Carousel and Marketplace Fun Finds. See above picture.
- Splash Areas – There are a couple of areas in Downtown Disney that have water that shoots up from the ground. Kids love this! Some adults do too, especially during the hot summer days in Florida.
- Build-a-Dino Workshop – This fun store is located right next to the T-Rex restaurant and is just like the Build-a-Bear Workshops. The kids will get to build their own Dino to take home. Prices will vary. The Build-a-Dino Workshop is located by the Lego Store and the new causeway, which connects you to Rainforest Cafe.
- Once Upon a Toy – This is a great store for kids and parents, because there’s some interactive areas. First of all, you can build a light saber here. That is a pretty popular area in the store, as you can imagine. You can also get all sorts of Mr. Potato Head accessories. They even have a big clear Mr. Potato Head that you can fill for one price. Make sure you pack it well so you can fit as much in as possible! You can find Once Upon a Toy by Disney Pin Traders and Earl of Sandwich.
- World of Disney Store – This store is huge. Seriously. It has 12 different rooms and has a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique inside. You can find everything Disney here. Whether it’s toys or home goods. The kids will love walking around the store, plus there are different character statues outside where they can take their picture. On a hot day look for the entrance with Stitch over it…you’ll get a surprise. The World of Disney Store is by Starbucks and across from the Waterside Stage. It’s huge, you can’t miss it.
- Waterside Stage – This will be a fun time with the kids. Check out the DJ Kids Dance Party at the Waterside Stage. Kids will love to dance along and chances are you will find yourself tapping your foot to the beat too. The Waterside Stage is located across from the World of Disney Store.
- The Lego Store – The fun at this store isn’t just limited to inside. They have Lego statues outside and even in the lake. It’s so much fun to walk around and see what they have built with Legos. I always make it a point to see the sea serpent in the lake. He’s so cute! Kids can play with the Legos in the store. It can be hard to get a spot at one of the tables, but if you get there when it’s slow the kids will have fun building. You can find the Lego Store in between World of Disney and T-Rex.
- DisneyQuest – If you have a gamer in the family, then you should check out this interactive indoor theme park. There are 5 floors of all types of games, from classics to virtual games, your video game fan will have a good time here. DisneyQuest is located on the the WestSide of Downtown Disney by La Nouba and Splitsville. There is a cost to go here, but it is included in the Water Park Fun and More option on the park tickets.
- Characters in Flight – This is a tethered balloon ride that will take you 400 feet in the air and will give you 360° views of Downtown Disney. Kids will love the characters on the balloon too. The ride lasts for about 8 to 10 minutes and is located near the Westside Starbucks and Exposition Park (food trucks). The price is $12 for children and $18 for adults.
There really is quite a bit to do in Downtown Disney. This list should give you a good amount of options of things to do if you go there with kids. Some of the stuff is fun for both kids and adults!
Thanks for reading!
It is very easy to be so busy on a Disney World trip that you don’t have time to relax. There is so much to do in Disney World and it is not possible to do it all in one trip, which is why it is good to have relaxing days where you are not running all over the place. Here is one way to spend a relaxing day at Disney.
Downtown Disney: A Good Place to Relax
Downtown Disney has something for everyone. There are lots of shopping and dining options available. Shopping is always a good way for me to relax! There are so many different restaurants, serving different types of food, and decorated with different themes, you won’t get bored with the choices. For the little ones there are even a couple of rides! Plus, there are lots of entertainment options available all over Downtown Disney. I love going there!
This is my favorite part of Downtown Disney. There are so many different shops to choose from and they all have their own theme. Of course, there is the World of Disney, which is gigantic. This is the Disney store to top all Disney stores.It pretty much has every Disney item you could possibly want. Even the entrances to the store are impressive. Look for the entrance that has Stitch above it, he “spits” water into the crowd. The kids love this! You will also find the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique inside World of Disney.
Stitch spraying guests with water.
At Once Upon a Toy they have a build-your-own Mr. Potato Head section. For $20 (that was the price at the time of our visit) you get to stuff as many Mr. Potato Head pieces as you can into a box and for an additional cost you can put them into a, pretty big, clear Mr. Potato Head. Also available is a build-your-own lightsaber station and a build-your-own droid station. All three of these are very popular. My daughter was still pretty little the last time we went, but I have a feeling on the next trip she will be very excited to do the build-your-owns at Once Upon a Toy.
A fun store for kids (and adults) is The Lego Store. There are areas for kids (and adults) to play with legos and build whatever their imagination comes up with. Plus, in the store and surrounding the store there are a lot of fun lego statues. It’s pretty amazing that they built these with legos!
If you like art then you should check out The Art of Disney. Here you can see lots of different impressive art works that are based on Disney. Plus, if you are into pin trading they have pins here.
For those that love Christmas, check out Disney’s Days of Christmas. They have ornaments, stockings, tree toppers, and more. It is a good sized store and there are a lot of fun things to look at. I love this store! Christmas is one of my favorite times of year and I feel like I can never have enough Christmas decorations. Even if you are not buying anything, this is one of those stores where it is fun to walk around and look at the decor.
Some decorations in Disney’s Days of Christmas.
My Daisy and Donald ornament from Disney’s Days of Christmas
If you are craving something sweet while you are shopping you can go to Goofy’s Candy Company. This is a fun candy shop where you can create your own sweet treat! They have a lot of options to choose from when creating your special treat, so take your time and come up with the perfect creation.
One of the new places in Downtown Disney that I am excited to check out is Marketplace Co-Op. This actually houses quite a few different shops under one roof and it looks like a lot of shopping fun!
With more than 40 shops in Downtown Disney I’m sure you will be able to find a few that appeal to you.
The restaurant options in Downtown Disney are not lacking either. There are plenty of dining options available to you. One restaurant I have been to is Fulton’s Crab House. They serve seafood and steak on a replica of a riverboat. Each time I have been here I have been very pleased with the food. Plus, it’s fun to eat on a boat, even if it’s not moving!
One of the really popular restaurants there is called Raglan Road. This is an Irish pub and restaurant that has Irish dancers that perform every night starting at 5 and they perform hourly. They have a Facebook page for the Irish dancers and there are videos on the page if you would like to see some Irish dancing. I have not been here yet, hopefully the next trip, but I hear only good things about the food, atmosphere, and entertainment that Raglan Road offers.
If you are looking for somewhere fun to take the kids you can check out T-Rex. This restaurant is owned by the same people who own Rainforest Cafe and it is pretty much the same thing, just with dinosaurs. There are animatronic dinosaurs that entertain you during your meal and every 20 minutes there is a meteor shower. Some people will say the ice cave is the best place to eat and others will tell you to steer clear, I think it looks cool (no pun intended, I swear), but I have not had the opportunity to eat in the ice cave yet. Tripadvisor has a good amount of pictures people have posted from T-Rex, so you can always look at those to see the different rooms at T-Rex. Plus, you can Build-A-Dino (just like Build-A-Bear) in the Dino Store next to the restaurant. This is a big hit for the kids (and some adults)!
These are just a few of the many restaurants that Downtown Disney has to offer. Plus, in 2015 two new restaurants will be opening. The Boathouse and Morimoto Asia will both be signature dining restaurants. They are not accepting reservations at this time, but we will keep you posted on their projected opening and when reservations open up for both restaurants.
As if there wasn’t enough to do in Downtown Disney already, there is a nice variety of entertainment available as well. If you are in the mood for bowling, Disney has a bowling alley for you! Splitsville Luxury Lanes is a bowling alley with a menu you won’t find at any other bowling alley…they even serve sushi! There are 30 bowling lanes and they have live music, outdoor dining, and billiard tables. This is definitely not your typical bowling alley.
For the gamers in the family there is DisneyQuest, a two-story arcade building with lots of different games which include some virtual reality games. It is actually called an indoor interactive theme park, so that gives you an idea of how much is offered at this “arcade.” The virtual rides are pretty interesting. They have CyberSpace Mountain where you design your own roller coaster and then they will put you in a simulator and you get to “ride” the roller coaster you just created! Pretty cool! They also have virtual rides for Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise. You can probably spend a whole day in DisneyQuest. So, if you have a rainy day while you are in Disney World that would be the perfect time to try out DisneyQuest.
Looking to take in a show? Disney has their own Cirque du Solei and it is called La Nouba. This is a popular show and it runs five days a week, they do not have performances on Sundays or Mondays. Trapeze artists, jugglers, clowns, singers, and acrobats will all keep you entertained for the hour and a half performance. If you are interested in seeing La Nouba just call or go to the website for tickets. All the info is in the link above.
For the kids there are actually some rides to keep them entertained, plus there are other little fun things throughout Downtown Disney. The Marketplace Train goes around a small track and is perfect for little kids. It is located by Disney’s Pin Traders and Once Upon a Toy. When we were in Downtown Disney with our friends, all of our kids (minus the baby) went on the train and they all loved it! It’s very cute. They can even sit in the engine or in the caboose. It only costs $2.00 for the train ride, not bad at all. While the kids are going in circles on the train, the adults can sit down and relax while watching them. It’s a win/win!
Another ride in Downtown Disney is the Marketplace Carousel. Kids will have lots of fun riding the horses on this ride. It is in the same area as Rainforst Cafe, across from Mickey’s Pantry, and there is a $2.00 fee to ride the carousel. Again, not a bad price, especially for Disney. In addition to these rides, there are also two areas in the Marketplace where water shoots up out of the ground. Kids love these little splash areas, especially on a hot day!
At night, make sure to check out the Waterside Stage for DJ Kids Dance Party. It starts at 7 and it is fun for everyone! What better way to end a day at Downtown Disney than by dancing the night away!
As you can see there is a lot to do in Downtown Disney and you won’t be able to see it all in one day. I didn’t even list everything! This is only a sample of what is available. So take a day to relax, walk around, shop, dine, and enjoy the entertainment that Downtown Disney has to offer!
Thanks for reading!
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