/ The Disney Traveler
Disney — By Jenni Ingersoll on June 3, 2010 at 6:46 am
Filed under: Disney-World, Downtown-Disney, family, featuredarticle

Disney Adventure Without a Theme Park Ticket

When traveling to Walt Disney World (map) with a family, so often your arrival day is a puzzle of what exactly to do.  If you arrive early enough at your resort, you can head to one of the four theme parks and hit the ground running.  But, if you arrived later in the day, is it too late to use one of your admission tickets?

If everyone is cranky from the travel,  do you  really want to start your Disney adventure on the wrong foot?  But, if  you allow everyone to unwind and stretch,  postponing the magic, will you set yourself up for a constant flurry of “when are we going” questions?

On a recent trip, our family discovered the perfect piece to the puzzle that fit every one’s expectations.  Arriving too late in the day to head to the parks, we chose to unwind by the pool for a few hours and then soothe our Disney craving with a trip to the Downtown Disney Area (map).

Downtown Disney provides so much with no admission fee, free parking, and a little Disney Magic all in one place.  Divided into three sections, commonly known as The West Side, The Marketplace and Pleasure Island, guests can shop, dine, dance, watch a movie, exercise their brains, create things, fly up in a balloon and even rent a boat.

The West Side is famous for the entertainment that is provided there.  Here you will find the AMC 24 movie theater, the  indoor interactive theme park known as DisneyQuest and the World Famous Cirque du Soleil, an exciting show that is not your ordinary circus.

HINT: Downtown Disney’s West Side  is the perfect location to head on a rainy day or if someone in your group has had a little too much sun and needs to retreat for awhile.

Downtown Disney is also a great spot for a little browsing.  Shop the latest trends and hip fashions at Tren-D, littleMissMatched or D Street.  Thrill the kid in you by hanging out in Once Upon a Toy or the latest shop that lets you build your own remote control car, Ridemakerz.  Even though it is your first night, pick up a few souvenirs from World of Disney, the largest Disney store in the world.

There are many wonderful spots to dine that will appease every one’s palette, from seafood to Irish to Italian and themed dining experiences like T-Rex or Rainforest CafePleasure Island hosts several new and exciting eateries a little different from the restaurants back home.

HINT: My best advice is once you have made your dining decision, make a reservation, as tired, hungry and bored travelers don’t mix.

After spending several hours at Downtown Disney you will have had a load of Disney fun without using a theme park pass.  Save your tickets for a full day at the park, as tomorrow is another day.

Photo Selections: WDW News

Related places:
  1. A
    Disney World, Orlando, FL
    Disney World, Orlando, FL
    View Details and Book
  2. B
    Downtown Disney
    1590 Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, , United States
    View Details and Book
Tags: Disney-World, Downtown-Disney, family, featuredarticle


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