A free day at Disney?

Florida Guide > Disney General

No it is not a catch. There really is a part of Disney World that you can go to completely free of charge. It is called Downtown Disney.

It is split into three areas at the moment, Market Place, West Side and Pleasure Island. At the moment Disney are in the process of completely changing and re-furbishing Pleasure Island. This area used to be full of clubs featuring different kinds of music in each club.

With the advent of Universal Studios and their vast area of clubs, Disney has rather fallen by the wayside in that aspect. So, they have decided that they will change the pleasure Island area and make it into a more family friendly area more in keeping with the Disney World image. I can not tell you too much about it as yet as it is still in the planning stages and the new look is still only rumours.

As well as this, Disney is updating and re-furbishing all of it’s parks and you can see evidence of this all over the parks, particularly in the Magic Kingdom.

Back to Downtown; West Side will stay pretty much the same, featuring lots of unusual shops, restaurants and a multi screen cinema but best of all Cirque du Soleil. You can also take a static hot air balloon ride and see all of Disney from the air.

In Market Place the only change planned at present that we know about, is the extension of the Lego Shop. When completed it will be one of the biggest Lego stores in the world. They have already opened one new restaurant and closed one so the eating is unchanged, except for the type. The Earl of Sandwich has gone and in its place is a chicken fast food outlet.

The biggest Disney Store outside of the Magic Kingdom is in Market Place and it is great for picking up last minute gifts that you may have forgotten to buy in the park. There is a really cute railway ride for the toddlers and a carousel for them too. For the bigger ones and adults, there is a boating lake where you can take out a boat yourself or go on a tour round the lake on a bigger piloted boat.

There are also shops that you will not find in the Magic Kingdom. There is a cook shop, a sports shop, a Winnie the Pooh speciality shop, a soap shop and a fabulous Ice Cream parlour called Ghiradellis – scrumptious.

If you have had a long journey to get to Orlando and do not fancy starting with a park straight away, you may like to go there first, just to get you in the mood for all that awaits you at the parks

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Page added on: 12 February 2011
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