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Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Downtown Disney

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on April 19, 2011

We had a pleasant stroll through Downtown Disney this past weekend. A free attraction, this site welcomes visitors with its myriad shops and restaurants. Beginning at West Side, we started at Cirque du Soleil’s bright white performance hall which anchors this end of the complex. DisneyQuest is next, with five floors of interactive indoor games for kids of all ages. It’s across the way from House of Blues, a restaurant and adult concert hall. In the space occupied formerly by Virgin Megastore now stands RideMaker2, where young guests can customize and build their own model cars. We moved along, past the movie theater, a collection of gift shops, Wolfgang Puck Café, and Bongos Cuban cuisine. The sign for Pleasure Island looms ahead, but wait! Just to the left is an enormous hot air balloon. You can take a thrill ride on a tether for a fee.

Pleasure Island doesn’t have much to offer right now. Its nightclubs are closed and scheduled for renovation into more family oriented venues at some future date. We strolled through and past the Latin American restaurant, Paradise 37. Soon we came to Raglan Road, an Irish pub. It’s nice to sit outside here with a glass of wine or indoors when the entertainment starts.

Moving on, we bypassed Portobello Italian Trattoria, Fulton’s Crab House shaped like a showboat, and T-Rex, the dinosaur-themed restaurant. We’ve eaten at all of them but the pub wins our favor. We noted that Pollo Campero, a chicken place, has replaced McDonalds. As we stride ahead toward the village Marketplace, we noted the Lego store is being refurbished and has been temporary located to a tent further along.

We ducked into World of Disney, our favorite shop to savor all things Disneyesque, then moved outside again past the tempting sweets at Ghiradelli’s chocolate shop and toward the carousel. Round and round went its brightly colored horses. We kept our pace, glancing at the Earl of Sandwich restaurant, Cap’n Jack’s on the waterfront, and the Rainforest Café. Even Goofy couldn’t tempt us to enter his candy store. We did, however, duck inside Mickey’s Pantry to browse the cookbooks, kitchen tools, spices, and home goods. Then we exited, turned around, and headed back. We enjoyed the view of boats on Village Lake and the happy families who’d left their cares behind to savor the magic of Disney.

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4 Responses to “Downtown Disney”

  1. It’s nice to be able to get a dose of Disney without paying the high admission price. A relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

  2. Yes, indeed, and the weather this time of year is perfect.

  3. So happy to get this vicarious experience! Thank you for it, Nancy. 🙂

  4. Thanks for visiting. You’ll find the Food & Wine Festival in the archives, sometime around Oct/Nov.

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