A Magical Celebration: Downtown Disney

Our second day at Walt Disney World Resort was dictated by Mother Nature; a cold front had been predicted to make its way through Orlando, with accompanying showers. A 60% chance of rain in Florida is pretty much a sure thing, so we altered our plans and decided to visit the theme parks on Sunday instead of Saturday.

After sitting down for our delicious breakfast buffet at Boma, we decided to take the WDW Bus Transportation over to Downtown Disney. Full of shops, restaurants, and attractions, Downtown Disney offers free parking and no admission charge. It’s a great alternative for non-park goers or for those seeking a day of rest. Downtown Disney features two sections: Westside/Marketplace and Pleasure Island. The bus dropped us off at Marketplace, where we found several Disney character shops, a Ghiradelli store (YUM), a LEGO store, Rainforest Cafe, among other shops. Pleasure Island features more restaurants (Planet Hollywood and Bongo’s Cuban Cafe), attractions such as DisneyQuest and Splitsville, and bars.

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Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam: I came in third!!

Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam: I came in third!!


It was chilly and rainy, and we did NOT prepare adequately, so we booked it to DisneyQuest get indoors. A gigantic interactive arcade with 5 stories, DisneyQuest contains everything from retro arcade games to fully immersive interactive experiences. Guests pay a flat admission fee (currently $45.99 for adults), and have access to all of the games and attractions at no additional charge. An arcade with no quarters required! Guests also have re-admission access for the entire day.

We spent about 3.5 hours in DisneyQuest and had an amazing time. It was PACKED because, as one guest stated, this is where everyone goes when the weather sucks. As a result, many of the games had lines that we didn’t feel like enduring. We still managed to have a blast and would definitely recommend this attraction to friends and family who enjoy playing games!

We returned to Downtown Disney later that night for a family event at Bongo’s Cuban Cafe. On Friday and Saturday nights from 9 pm until close, a live band appears to play salsa, merengue, bachata and other popular latin hits. A $10 cover for men is assessed after 10 pm. The dance floor was already full at 9 PM, which is impressive. The band was amazing and it was hard to leave, but…we were hungry and had a food voucher for Planet Hollywood!

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Just a few steps from Bongo’s was the massive globe that houses Planet Hollywood. There is an impressive stairway leading up to the restaurant. Because it was late, we were seated immediately. Music played loudly in the restaurant and the wait staff was all into it, even taking a break to do “The Wobble”. The food was decent; good for a late night snack.

We returned to the hotel later that night to prepare for our long day at the theme parks on Sunday….

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One thought on “A Magical Celebration: Downtown Disney

  1. Pingback: A Magical Celebration: Animal Kingdom and Epcot | Bon Voyage by Barbour: The Travel Blog

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