Florida Guide > Shopping
Downtown Disney West Side
Orlando is a mecca for shopping and dining but there is one place that has it all –sprinkled with some Disney magic pixie dust. That place is Downtown Disney.
Downtown simply means the centre of the town or city and Downtown Disney is a fun area, full of shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. It is free to visit. You do not need a Disney Park ticket to enjoy it, and you don’t pay for parking either. In my opinion this gives it the edge on the similar concept owned by Universal Studios which does charge.
Downtown Disney is split into three areas- Marketplace, West Side and Pleasure Island. Each area has it’s own atmosphere and they are all three linked together with very pleasant paths and walkways. As you become more familiar with Downtown Disney you will choose the right car park for your needs. It can take about 20 minutes to walk from one end to the other if you park at the wrong side to where you want to go! !
The West Side area has a range of shops and restaurants. It is the place to find the wonderful Cirque Du Soleil together with Disney Quest.
Among the many shops, you will find the Candy Cauldron. This is a sticky sweet treat for all sweet lovers. It is a candy store which also sells the most beautiful dipped apples. They come chocolate covered and toffee covered, dipped in sprinkles and sweets. You can watch them being made through the window. The Candy Cauldron also does the most amazing chocolate dipped strawberries.
My son’s favourite store is Magic Masters. This is a shop selling tricks! There is always someone there doing a little floor show to draw in the crowds. The tricks are simple to do and it is a very unique shop. We love the card tricks which are amazing in terms of illusion, but very easy for children to perform. You can also by balls and cups tricks, magic rings and ropes.
Among the many choices of restaurant, you will find Bongos Cuban Café. This was opened by Gloria Estefan and is a stylish Cuban themed eatery which sells full meals as well as tapas style snacks. The bar area is amazing and the bar stools are shaped like bongo drums!
Wolfgang Puck Café is a sophisticated diner which sells steaks, seafood, pasta salads and sandwiches. Food is fresh, often grilled. There is a fabulous sushi section. Children are very welcome.
A trip to West Side is very well worth it.
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