As one of the largest resorts in the world, Walt Disney World enjoys widespread popularity and has so many sights and activities to see and experience that it is impossible to take all of it in during a single visit. Most guests who regularly visit Disney World are well aware of this and always plan a return trip.
Or, in many cases, consider revisiting as many times as possible in their lifetime. With a unique experience every time, it is always worth every trip, and every dime spent.
Apart from the usual places to visit in the Walt Disney World Resort, like the Magic Kingdom and all the rides, the downtown area of Disney, Orlando has plenty more to offer, for both the kids and adults of the entourage. Located a short drive from the main attraction, the entertainment that can be found in the downtown Disney streets are bountiful and a pleasant break from the standard main features of Orlando.
If you happen to stay within the Walt Disney World Resort hotels, a shuttle and bus service will take you to the downtown area quickly and conveniently. For those who have never experienced downtown magic, it is highly recommended to visit it at least once.
There is something for everyone as it is dotted with shops, restaurants, and numerous forms of entertainment that are hosted both indoors and on the streets. Here are a few things to do in Downtown Disney Orlando.
Family-Friendly Entertainment for The Whole Family
If traveling to Disney World and the downtown area with the whole family, there is enough entertainment and activities to look forward to. Here we have listed a few activities that perfect for children and every member of the family.
Toy Shopping and Lego Building
Located in the downtown area, you will find the paradise of all children’s dreams. Here, at Once Upon a Toy, you and your kids can shop and browse among the greatest selection of Disney toys. Including hard to find collectibles such as board games, puzzles, and plush toys, it is the one place that you would find it most challenging to keep your children away from.
You can also take photographs outside the shop in front of enormous displays of characters like Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato Head, and Tinker Toy for unforgettable moments that your children will appreciate for the rest of their lives.
There is also a Disney World gift shop where the shopping adventure continues. If that is not pleasing enough, you can always visit the Lego store. Entry is free, and kids can build to their wildest creations with the most extensive collection of Lego for as long as their little hearts’ desire.
Not only is it educational, but it is a lot of fun too. You can also purchase plenty of available Lego sets to convince your kids somehow to leave the store.
The Marketplace Carousel and Train
Located in the Disney Downtown area of the marketplace, not too far from the above-mentioned shopping must-visits, you will find an adorable carousel and marketplace mini-train rides that will be an absolute delight for children of younger age groups. While admission is not free, it will not empty your wallet as much as the previously mentioned shopping sprees.
Smaller children are not allowed to board unsupervised by a guardian, but only the adult will be paying the ticket fare so you will save a bit of money. The carousel is not as grand as the ones in the theme parks, but this delightful little jewel would nonetheless be very entertaining for the kids, especially if your children are a bit too young for the more adventurous rides.
The mini-train would probably be the biggest attraction for children. This trike-sized train ride promises to be a fun adventure for little ones. Admission is not free, but adults with too small children should ride along for safety and are allowed free entry.
Dining With The Kids
Among the plenty of other entertaining activities in the downtown area, you will also cross plenty of dining options. There are so many options that we could not possibly list all of them. Some include familiar names like Starbucks, and others are more specifically themed to entertain children, like the T-Rex.
There are also plenty of truck stalls, where dishes include a wide variety from traditional American, Mexican, Asian, and Irish cuisines. There are also plenty of ice cream parlors and candy shops. Some of the favorites are D-Luxe Burgers located in the Towncentre, the Rainforest Cafe in the marketplace, and on the westside, you can look for the Splitsville Dining Room.
Entertainment For Adult Parties and Visitors
When traveling as a group of friends, a young couple, or even as a solo adventurer, there is plenty of adult-themed entertainment for you in the downtown Disney area. From bars and pubs to dancing clubs and plenty of adult-specific gift shops, and for the ladies, a few eclectic boutiques, Disney Springs has plenty to offer. Although we could not possibly list everything, there is one place you should definitely not miss out on.
Raglan Road Irish Pub
If ever in the downtown area, one place to look for would be the legendary Irish pub, the Raglan Road. You don’t have to drink like an Irishman to feel free to visit this lively place, but even if you do, you will feel more than welcome. Nearly all of the elements of the pub were made in Ireland. From the mahogany featured furniture and decor to even the stained glass, and possibly the barkeep too.
For a most authentic Irish experience, with lively spirits, good drinks, and fine Irish cuisine, you should visit the Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at least once on your trip to downtown. The pub features friendly services, and to those with allergies, the food is prepared custom to your demands. With regular Irish bands and dancing performers, it is a must-see at any time.
Having changed its name to a fitting title, Disney Springs, the downtown area continues to expand and grow, becoming all the more popular. There are plenty of things to look for, including the Boathouse Diner. It is a lovely experience and ideal for those looking to find a romantic setting.
With so much to offer, you could likely forget about all the theme parks and want to stay just in the Disney Springs area. Indeed, look for it, as there is plenty to experience and no shortage of fun for the whole family!
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.