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Downtown Disney

The Downtown Disney area is an exciting metropolis of restaurants, nightclubs, theaters and merchandise shops incorporating the Marketplace, Pleasure Island and the 66-acre West Side.

Location: The 120-acre area borders the south shore of Buena Vista Lagoon at the intersection of Buena Vista Drive and Hotel Plaza Boulevard in the east-central portion of Walt Disney World Resort. Downtown Disney parking is free.

Downtown Disney West Side: West Side, lardowntown-disney.jpggest of the three Downtown Disney areas, includes 344,000 square feet of buildings and a 9,500-square-foot area for events and entertainment.

  • AMC Pleasure Island 24 Theatres Complex — 24 separate auditoriums with stadium seating in 18 theaters for unobstructed viewing. Total area: 110,000 square feet.
  • Bongos Cuban Cafe — Restaurant created by Emilio and Gloria Estefan brings the sizzle of Miami’s South Beach with Cuban cuisine and Latin rhythms. Seats 500, total area: 16,000 square feet.
  • Cirque du Soleil — The theatrical show La Nouba is filled with action, humor, color and light, blending the ancient traditions of circus with dance, acrobatics and street entertainment.
    Seats 1,671, total area: 73,800 square feet. The Cirque du Soleil Store is located in the Lobby-Plaza level.
  • DisneyQuest — The ultimate interactive adventure. A 100,000-square-foot family entertainment environment which includes The Wonderland Cafe for desserts and drinks, and FoodQuest for quick-service dining. The DisneyQuest Emporium is a themed shopping experience.
  • Disney’s Candy Cauldron — Southern style sweets in an open candy kitchen.
  • House of Blues — Live music every night including blues, jazz, country and rock with Mississippi delta cuisine. World famous Gospel Brunch. Restaurant seats 400, music venue holds 2,000, total area: 33,000 square feet.
  • Hoypoloi — A gallery filled with an eclectic collection of uncommon art.
  • Magic Masters — Elegant magic shop inspired by Harry Houdini’s personal library.
  • Magnetron Magnetz — Specialty refrigerator magnet shop with an assortment of collector-quality magnets.
  • Mickey’s Groove — Clothing, souvenirs, pins, toys and more can be found in this shop dedicated to all things “Big Cheese.”.
  • Planet Hollywood — Colorful three-floor-up-to-the-ceiling eatarena with famous movie memorabilia and a menu featuring sandwiches, pizza and steaks, and a store featuring themed merchandise. Restaurant seats 550.
  • Planet Hollywood on Location — Custom Planet Hollywood Orlando sweatshirts, leather jackets, T-shirts and movie-themed souvenirs get top billing.
  • Pop Gallery — Original, artist-signed sculptures and paintings, as well as upscale gift items.
  • Sosa Family Cigars — Premium cigar store features the art of hand-rolling cigars.
  • Starabilias — Nostalgic items including music, movie, political and historical memorabilia.
  • Sunglass Icon — Extraordinary collection of designer sunglasses and eyewear.
  • Virgin Megastore — State-of-the-art music, video and book showplace with more than 300 audio and video preview stations and an in-store cafe. Cafe seats 50, total area: 49,000 square feet.
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels — Features fresh hand-rolled soft pretzels in a variety of flavors, fresh-baked pretzel dogs, Haagen-Dazs ice cream, fresh-squeezed lemonade and more.
  • Wolfgang Puck Cafe — Boldly colored, full-service restaurant featuring wood-fired pizzas and an array of classic Puck entrees. Restaurant seats 552, total area: 15,000 square feet.

Downtown Disney Pleasure Island: 72,000 square feet of themed nightclubs and shopping.

  • 8Trax — Especially for the ’70s disco crowd, a music and talk haven for dancing or rubbing shoulders with the inner circle.
    Lounge seats 96.
  • Adventurers Club — A slightly dazed troupe of veteran world travelers entertain audiences in a terribly British club library where even the trophy heads on the wall take part in the fun.
  • BET SoundStage Club — Rhythm and blues, reggae, soul and hip-hop, interactive VJ/DJ, opened by BET Holdings, Inc., which owns Black Entertainment Television.
  • Fuego by Sosa Cigars — An upscale cigar bar/lounge where hand-rolled premium cigars are featured and wine, beer, spirits, plus specialty coffees and other non-alcoholic beverages are served.
  • Mannequins Dance Palace — Rotating dance floor with colored strobes, laser shows and today’s hottest music plus live entertainment by the Explosion Dancers. Lounge seats 178.
  • Motion — A DJ spins the latest chart-topping favorites nightly at this high-energy dance destination.
  • Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant — A true slice of Ireland, featuring the very best of authentic Irish food, drink, heritage and live entertainment. Seats 600, total area: 16,500 square feet.
  • Orlando Harley-Davidson Store — Official Harley-Davidson apparel, from T-shirts to leather jackets, plus an array of gifts and collectibles from miniature motorcycles to products for pets — all anchored by two Harleys guests can sit on.
  • Portobello Yacht Club — Contemporary regional Italian cuisine. Homemade pasta, gourmet pizzas and imaginative seafood dishes are favorites. Seats 350.
  • Rock ‘n Roll Beach Club — Music from the ’50s to the ’90s fills this three-story rock ‘n roll mecca with DJs and live bands.
    Houses 438 guests on three levels.
  • The Comedy Warehouse — The Who, What & Warehouse Improv. Co. takes the stage to make fun of everything in sight as they interact with guests. Every show is different! Club seats 290.

Guests must be 21 or older for admission to BET Soundstage Club, 8TRAX, Mannequins Dance Palace, Motion and Rock ‘n’ Roll Beach Club at Pleasure Island. The Adventurers Club, The Comedy Warehouse and Fuego by Sosa Cigars are open to guests of all ages; anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult of 21 or older.


Downtown Disney Marketplace: Exciting restaurants and extraordinary shopping experiences in a strolling street environment with more than 20 venues. A variety of outdoor artisans with merchandise from cloth-covered balloons to creative hair wraps, and silhouette portraits to personalized wood nameplates can be found throughout the Marketplace.

  • Arribas Brothers — Glassware, crystal and metal artisan products.
  • Basin — All-natural bath and skin care products in a rustic setting.
  • Cap’n Jack’s Restaurant — Fresh oysters or clam chowder with accompanying refreshments, sandwiches and other fare served around the Captain’s copper bar.
  • Disney Tails — Pet care and pet pampering products include fun toys and fresh-baked animal treats; personalized collar ID tags and more.
  • Disney’s Days of Christmas — Christmas collectibles, ornaments and Disney character holiday items.
  • Disney’s Pin Traders — The premier location for pin trading at Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories — Disney scrapbook supplies, stationery and postcards.
  • Earl of Sandwich — A 220-seat casual restaurant with freshly prepared hot sandwiches, salads and delicious desserts.
  • Fulton’s Crab House — A three-deck dining emporium featuring fresh seasonal seafood favorites flown in daily from seaports around the world and served in a riverboat setting. Seats 700.
  • Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop — San Francisco’s famous sweet-maker finally comes East with a soda fountain featuring its world-famous hot fudge sundae.
  • Goofy’s Candy Co. — An assortment of candy, cookies, taffy, chocolates, frozen drinks and more.
  • LEGO Imagination Center — A dynamic showplace and retail store for famous LEGO bricks and toys with an interactive playground and towering LEGO displays indoors and out.
  • McDonald’s — The Golden Arches rise in a showcase restaurant themed “Ronald’s Fun House.”
  • Mickey’s Mart-Everything Ten Dollars and Under — Unique gifts, surprise grab bags and highlighted item of the week, all at value pricing.
  • Mickey’s Pantry — The family chef can explore culinary trends and find kitchen gadgets galore, from unique cooking utensils to mugs, teas and coffees.
  • Once Upon a Toy — This 16,000-square-foot toy store
    features fun new toys, games and collectibles combining the magic of
    Disney and the fun of Hasbro.
  • Pooh Corner — A friendly forest setting with Winnie the Pooh merchandise for the young and young-at-heart.
  • Portobello Yacht Club — Contemporary regional Italian cuisine. Homemade pasta, gourmet pizzas and fresh seafood dishes are favorites. Seats 350.
  • Rainforest Cafe — A wild place to shop and eat with favorite sandwiches, pastas, pizzas and an amazing array of appetizers in a unique rainforest setting. Fantastic gifts, too. Seats 500.
  • Summer Sands — Catch the latest wave in swimwear at this stylish boutique offering all-ages apparel from Quiksilver, Roxy, Calvin Klein and Hana.
  • Team Mickey’s Athletic Club — Character apparel with Mickey and friends to suit any fan of any sport, all in an interactive “stadium” setting.
  • The Art of Disney — Disney animation art and collectibles.
  • Wolfgang Puck Express — World-famous chef Wolfgang Puck turns his talents to fast service and signature treats including pizzas, sandwiches, soup and fresh salads.
  • World of Disney — Centerpiece of Downtown Disney, this 51,000-square-foot retail palace is the biggest Disney shopping destination on Earth. Specialties include Disney-themed merchandise rooms, each telling stories based on classic Disney films; Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in the Princess Room, a magical salon for little princesses ages 3 and up; and a world of pirates and heroes in the Adventure Room.


Downtown Disney

“Lake Buena Vista Village” was the original name of The Disney Village Marketplace when it opened on March 22, 1975, it was later changed to “The Walt Disney World Village.” In 1989, the name changed to “The Disney Village Marketplace,” and in 1997 became the “Downtown Disney Marketplace.”

Throughout its identity crisis, the Village has been home to numerous shops and restaurants. The shops included everything from antiques (Von Otto’s Antiques), to surfing gear (Board Stiff), to Spanish artwork (Artespana), and yes, even a liquor store (Village Spirits). (After 7 days of running through the Florida heat with 5 screaming kids and a maxed-out credit card, you’d need a drink, too!)

Technically located inside the Walt Disney World Resort, these hotels are located just a short walk from the Downtown Disney Marketplace, Pleasure Island and the West Side, and offer free bus service every half hour to all four parks.

The hotels currently are:

  1. Best Western Lake Buena Vista
  2. Courtyard by Marriott
  3. Doubletree Guest Suites
  4. Grosvenor Resort
  5. Hilton in the Walt Disney World® Resort
  6. Hotel Royal Plaza
  7. Wyndham Palace Resort & Spa

“Cirque du Soleil,” (which means “Sun Circus” or “Circus of the Sun”), was formed in 1984 by a troupe of street performers known as “Le Club des Talons Hauts” (the high-heels club). It was founded on the principle of promoting circus arts and street performers. One of the original members of the troupe, Guy Laliberté, is now Cirque’s Founding President.

In its first year of existence, just 73 people worked for the company. Today, Cirque du Soleil has over 2,500 employees across the globe, with an average age of just 24 years old! Although they started with just one traveling stage show, Cirque du Soleil now has no less than nine productions running on three continents.

In 2003 alone, nearly 7,000,000 people attended a Cirque du Soleil show. Since it’s founding, more than 37,000,000 people have seen the amazing performances.

The store in the permanent theater in Walt Disney World marks the very first Cirque du Soleil store.

The 1,671-seat showroom in Downtown Disney is the first freestanding permanent theater ever built for Cirque du Soleil.

The “Candy Cauldron” is located at the Downtown Disney West Side between Magnetron and Celebrity Eye Works. It is themes as a fun, fairy-tale dungeon of the Wicked Queen from Snow White.

The stop features more than 200 tempting sweets, and guests may be asked to pay using “stones” as the Cast Members act as though customers are “villagers” with Lake Buena Vista being the “moat.” Pebbles are pennies, and stones are dollars. (So 50 pebbles is 50 cents, etc.)

Bongos Cuban Cafe is one of a chain of restaurants created by Gloria Estefan. The Cuban and southern Florida fare restaurant serves lunch and dinner with ambient Latin music. The 16,000 square foot restaurant is easily recognized by the huge two-story pineapple-shaped structure outside the entrance. It has two floors of indoor and outdoor dining areas, as well as three separate bars. (Check out the bongo-drum shaped bar stools!)

You don’t have to be a movie star to eat with celebrities… well, their clothes at least. Surrounded by three levels of Hollywood memorabilia, Downtown Disney boasts the world’s largest Planet Hollywood.


Pleasure Island

“Pleasure Island” opened on May 1, 1989, and entry to all the clubs and shops cost less than $10.00. Today, admission is about twice as much, but is included in “Ultimate Park Hopper Plus” passes.

Although Walt Disney World from its inception was not meant just for children alone, “Pleasure Island” was definitely created for grown-ups!

Located in Downtown Disney, the six acre man-made island known as “Pleasure Island” contains shops, restaurants, but mainly adults-only nightclubs. Although entry to Pleasure Island is available to the under-21 crowd early in the evening, visitors under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent. (Guests under the age of 21 are admitted to all nightclubs except the BET Soundstage Club and Mannequins).

With something for everyone, from comedy to jazz, to rock, and high-energy dance, Pleasure Island parties late into the evening, with a “New Year’s Eve” celebration nightly at midnight.

Mannequin’s is a hip (and often very crowded) dance club at Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island, and has been voted the #1 dance club in the United States.

You can dance the night away on a revolving floor that spins you to the beat of high-intensity dance and techno music with state-of-the-art sound and light systems. If you just want to sit back, relax, and watch the single people hit on each other all night, there are numerous lounge areas and bars as well


Downtown Disney Marketplace

OK… are you looking for the ULTIMATE Disney store? How about 50,000 square feet and 12 themed rooms filled with everything from toys to magnets and more?!

That’s right. Located in the heart of Downtown Disney, is the world’s largest Disney merchandise shop. Each of the 12 rooms is themed in true Disney fashion, and in them you’ll find everything from plush toys, to gourmet cooking items, to infant clothes, videos, toys, shirts….. I could go on and on!

Consider it “Disneyana Nirvana” (and bring your credit card!) Oh, and don’t worry about carrying all that stuff you bought home on the plane – they’ll box it and ship it home for you!

The 4,400 square foot Denmark-based LEGO company store opened on November 6, 1997 in Dwontown Disney, and is modeled after the original LEGO store at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

This mega-Lego store has an 3,000 square foot outdoor Lego playland, which includes some amazing Lego sculptures. The 30-foot sea serpent in the Lake is made up of over 1,000,000 Legos and even shoots water from its nostrils!

Be sure to find and take a picture with the sleeping Lego man on the bench. Can you hear him snoring

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