Downtown Disney is an outdoor pedestrian shopping area with restaurants, cafes, shops, live shows and cinemas. It’s divided into 3 zones: West Side, Marketplace, and Pleasure Island.
Here you’ll find AMC Cinemas with 24 theaters and films for every age, including one theater that is always showing ‘La Nouba’ by the always surprising Cirque du Soleil. In West Side you’ll also find Disney Quest with 5 floors of classic video games, interactive shows, and games in 3D and 4D. Aside from that, among the many restaurants in the area are Bongos Cuban Café (which recreates an urban nightclub from Havana in the 1950s), House of Blues (with international and American dishes), Wolfgang Puck Cafe (serving Asian and Californian food) and the world renowned Planet Hollywood.
Here you can visit more than 15 Disney souvenir shops offering everything from pins to stills from original Disney films. You’ll also find attractions like Carousel (a venetian carousel for children), and theme restaurants like Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex Cafe; plus shops like Build A Dine, Lego Imagination Center, and Once Upon a Toy.
In this section of Downtown Disney are restaurants such as Fulton’s Crab House (which replicates a riverboat), and Cookes of Dublin (with Irish food from the 1930’s). You can also buy souvenirs in Harley Davidson or select a gift of Cuban Cigars from Sosa Family Cigars.
Those visitors not staying in the resort’s hotels can come by rental car, since Downtown has a large parking area. It’s free for the first 3 hours and even the following hours can be free of charge for those who go to the cinema or eat in a restaurant. In addition they offer valet parking service for an additional cost. You might also find free parking across the street from the area of Downtown Disney.
Its important to clarify that Downtown Disney is undergoing renovation. The whole complex has been redesigned to replicate a small town in Florida from the early 1900’s, and its name will be changing to Disney Springs. It will include 4 sectors: Town Center, The Landing, Market Place and West Side. The Landing is scheduled to open in 2015. The rest of Disney Springs should be finished in 2016.
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