This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Top Six Reasons to Visit Downtown Disney in its Current State. There is a lot of construction going on right now at Downtown Disney as the area is being converted over to Disney Springs. “A lot” may actually be an understatement, as there is work being done in every single area of Downtown Disney: the parking lots, West Side, Pleasure Island, and the Marketplace. Parking can be – at best – inconvenient and – at worst – something that can trigger even the most peaceful person to go “Michael Douglas in Falling Down.” Construction walls are everywhere. However, there are still some very good reasons to overcome these obstacles and spend a day or evening there, and today we are going to count down the top six.
I went to check out the latest developments at Downtown Disney this past weekend and finally got a chance to stop by Splitsville for lunch. I have heard nothing but positive reviews since it opened in December, 2012, in the former home of the Virgin Megastore, but I often end up taking visiting friends and family to the Rainforest Cafe or T-Rex Cafe because of the theatrical nature of those restaurants. I personally enjoy going to House of Blues, Raglan Road, and Cookes of Dublin when I’m by myself or with friends, so it was high time to check out this relatively new venue.
Splitsville is located on the West Side of Downtown Disney, directly next to the AMC movie theaters.
Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’ll be visiting the Magic Kingdom to check out progress on all the renovations there then heading over to Downtown Disney to see what’s new. We’ve got a lot to cover so let’s get started with a sunny Saturday morning at Cinderella’s Castle. It looks like it isn’t that crowded from the photo but when I arrived at the gates at 8:45am they’d already started letting people in the park. I knew there was no way I’d get to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train without a long wait so I took my time wandering into the park.
It’s been a while since we’ve been shopping so I stopped into the Emporium. This early in the morning you can see how empty it is in there. You can also hear a bird that flew into the shop and was hanging out!
I also encountered a few of my favorite things on Main Street….
If you are a huge fan of the Cirque du Soleil show, “La Nouba”, then you will enjoy Disney’s latest backstage tour! Called L’Experience, guests who book this tour will not only receive a ticket for the show, but they will also get an unprecedented, unique look at some of the backstage happenings of the popular, long-running show.
This brand new tour experience gives fans of the show the opportunity to take an inside peek at the whimsical costuming, to get a unique look at the backstage area, and to meet a performer from the show. Tour participants also receive popcorn and soft drinks and a gift bag filled with Cirque du Soleil merchandise, plus, they get a 10% discount coupon for The Cirque Boutique shop. Finally, Front and Center category tickets for the 6:00 p.m. show are included.
This package is available for performances on Fridays and Saturdays and costs $250 (plus tax) for adults (ages 10+) and $215 (plus tax) for children (ages 9 and under).
For more information or to purchase tickets, call (407) W-DISNEY or the Cirque du Soleil box office at (407) 939-7600.
If you’ve been to Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World recently, you’ll have noticed that the food truck phenomenon has arrived. Most evenings of the week, Disney has four different food truck options spread throughout the shopping district. They include Namaste Cafe, World Showcase of Flavors, Fantasy Fare, and Superstar Catering.
However, if you visit Downtown Disney’s West Side on June 21, you’ll have not only get the option to stop and grab a bite from one of the four Disney trucks, but there will also be local trucks on-site. This is part of the first-ever event called “Trucks on the Town at Downtown Disney West Side.” The event will take place from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. in the Cirque du Soleil courtyard. and there will be 14 different options in all for guests to enjoy. Dishes will include empenadas, cupcakes, cheesesteaks, barbecue, seafood, sliders, flatbreads, and more. The trucks that will be featured are:
Do you hear that sound? It’s my wallet crying. You see, today at Walt Disney World the all new Marketplace Co-Op store opened on the Marketplace side of Downtown Disney. This new shop is home to six different specialty boutiques all under one roof. The store’s purpose is to be a testing ground for new Disney retail concepts, shops, and products, although it also appears it will sell some unique items that you can only get by stopping inside.
When guests enter they see a main common area with the shops forking off of the main area. There are six different shops that guests can choose to visit, each one selling rare and exclusive merchandise. Each boutique has a different theme, selling merchandise that fits that particular theme.
Those who rely on Disney’s bus transportation will have a few new obstacles to deal with when visiting Downtown Disney and Typhoon Lagoon in the near future.
First, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to know in relation to Typhoon Lagoon. In a bit of surprising news, due to the fact that the summer season is upon us and many will be traveling to the water park, bus service to and from the park will be impacted quite a bit.
Before 2:00 p.m., all will work the same way it has in the past: guests will continue to travel back and forth between their resorts and Typhoon Lagoon via dedicated buses.
The change in transportation begins after 2:00 p.m., when guests who wish to head to that water park will first need to travel to Epcot. From there, they will be able to hop on a dedicated bus that will take them directly to Typhoon Lagoon. Similarly, when they wish to leave Typhoon Lagoon after 2:00 p.m., guests will have to return to Epcot and then grab transportation back to their final destinations. This is being done to accommodate Disney Springs construction work. This new transportation scheme begins on Tuesday, June 10.
It’s the time again! A few newsworthy pieces have come across my desk from all around The World that I thought you all should know. Here are the fun details:
Downtown Disney is continuing down the path of refreshing the stores that are available for guests. Today, the second Starbucks location, which is located on the West Side, has officially opened. It is a full service location with indoor seating, unlike the other new Marketplace Starbucks kiosk that also recently opened. The new store features a covered patio overlooking the waterfront, a cozy fireplace, plus a Human Connection Wall, which is a large touch-screen monitor that allows guests to use their fingers to draw images. The location also features the new Clover Bar, which serves special reserve coffees that are brewed to order. This new full-scale Starbucks store is located next door to Bongos Cuban Cafe.
Speaking of Downtown Disney, I mentioned previously that a World Cup soccer store was opening soon on the West Side. I can report that it is now officially open. The pop-up shop, located where BLINK by Wet Seal previously sat, is officially called United World Soccer and will sell gear, accessories, and more.
With Memorial Day officially in the books, it’s now time to start thinking about dad. Father’s Day is right around the corner and if you’ll be in the Walt Disney World area on June 14-15, and are a fan of all things having to do with cars, have I got the perfect day for you!
Car Masters Weekend, an event celebrating all things automotive, will be returning to Downtown Disney. This is the 4th year for the celebration and activities will abound during the fantastically fun weekend!
The main event is the Car Show, presented by Meguiar’s, where approximately 100 classic, muscle, and exotic cars will be on display. Fans can even vote for their favorite. Then on Sunday, the best of the best will be crowned during an awards ceremony.
Car Masters Weekend is a perfect family event, featuring a ton of entertaining action. Lightning McQueen, Finn McMissle, and Mater from Cars 2, will be on hand for photo opportunities. In addition, at the AMC Downtown Disney 24, there will be a Cars and Cars 2 movie marathon. Plus, if you want to meet an actual Pixar filmmaker, Jay Ward will be on hand to take part in Q&A sessions.
Over the past few days three new quick service dining locations have opened at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney. Well, technically two simply re-opened, but in new locations.
First, for you pretzel fans, Wetzel’s Pretzels has moved to a new location in the West Side. Menu items are the same as they were at the previous spot. Immediately next door, designed in a similar fashion to Wetzel’s, is the all new Häagen-Dazs ice cream shop. Like the pretzel shop, the menu at Häagen-Dazs is similar, serving nearly the same the deliciousness that was previous offered. Both are simple, yet permanent walk-up kiosks that can be found near DisneyQuest, across from the Cirque du Soleil tent.
The third new location is an Starbucks, which is located by World of Disney on the Marketplace side. This Starbucks is not like your local restaurant and does not have any indoor seating. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t have any inside space at all. Instead, it is a walk-up kiosk that kind of reminds me of small custard/ice cream shops that you’ll find around town. The menu offers the same drink items as the other Starbucks on property like Frapuccinos and lattes, however the food choices don’t seem to be as vast.
The changes at Downtown Disney rapidly continue forward as the area gets ready for its change-over to Disney Springs, which will take place in 2015, with the opening of the first new section, The Landing.