Did you know it’s possible to have a Disney experience without paying the admission prices to one of the parks? Downtown Disney is home to many shops and restaurants but also has several activities for children of all ages. If you’re not eager to pay admission to the parks, or you simply want a different kind of experience Downtown Disney may be the perfect option.
If you’re driving, parking here is free. You can also take the shuttle buses from any Disney resort hotel or the water shuttle from Port Orleans, Saratoga Springs, and Old Key West Resorts. If you’re not staying at any of those resorts, you can take the shuttle from Downtown Disney across, walk around and check them out at no cost, and you’ll get a boat ride to boot!
It’s possible to spend only a small amount of money by finding free activities. Some of these might be playing with the Legos at the Lego Experience, watching entertainers preform on one of the many stages throughout the area, or running through the splash pad, water fountain area. You can even get some free treats at the Ghirardelli Chocolate store and Goofy’s Candy Company. They of course also have treats for sale, many of which are at reasonable prices.
Once Upon a Toy is Disney’s largest toy store and inside there are interactive, hands-on play stations that kids can enjoy and parents can relax knowing it’s ok for them to touch and play! Dinosaur Dig at the T-Rex Café has a giant sandbox outside where kids can dig for “fossils” or take a walk through the inside of the store/restaurant for true dino lovers! There’s even a Build a Bear location on site where kids can make their own dinosaurs.
If you’ve budgeted a little room for experiences or souvenirs at Downtown Disney there are many fun options. Inside the Disney parks one of the most popular experiences is a princess or a pirate makeover, but you don’t have to go to the parks for this! There are two locations of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Downtown Disney and a princess parade as well! If you want to take some time to relax, the AMC 24 screen theatre shows some of the latest releases with a variety of options. You can choose from 4D movies, dine-in theatres, and special programs like sensory friendly films for families affected by autism.
Disney World may seem like a total drag for older boys but Ridemakerz may be just what they need. This store lets you build and customize your own remote control car from the bottom up. Disney Quest is another stop for families with older kids to enjoy. This indoor, interactive theme park has five floors of virtual worlds and classic video games. Build and ride your own virtual roller coaster or sit down with Disney animators to learn how to make your own cartoons.
Of course you can also walk around and enjoy the dozens of shops, snap some pictures with Disney cast members that regularly make appearances, or sit down and enjoy some of the world class restaurants that call Downtown Disney home.
What are your favorite Downtown Disney Experiences?