Okay first of all I want to apologize for being MIA- I had many plans for the week but then our family was hit with a nasty cold/flu bug. We were all miserable – especially since we’ve had a couple of gorgeous days and we were stuck inside. I’m happy to report that we are all 100% better and ready to hit some new places..
During this time I really didn’t visit anywhere but before we became ill we did have the opportunity to visit Downtown Disney. This is another of my favorite places. I like to call this place one of my favorite late afternoon/night trips because I think it’s the best time to enjoy this gem. We usually start by trying to get there about 5 or 6pm so that we can score some great parking. If you get there early you can usually find parking adjacent to the Rain forest Cafe. Parking is free for the first three hours and you can validate for another two at either AMC or one of the restaurants. If parking is pretty tight we usually validate. It’s six dollars but it’s definitely worth it- if you can’t find any or there are limited spaces.
Once we are up and running and we have settled our kids in the stroller our first stop is usually some form of entertainment between Espn and the Rainforest Cafe. There is usually some type of musical entertainment in the little plaza area. Last time we were there my little one could not stop dancing to a South American band. Usually you will recognize it because there will be some type of crowd and small children dancing around. We usually eat at the Rain forest cafe and there is usually a wait – so we put our names on a wait list and listen to the music or people watch. Once we’ve had our musical fix we usually head over to the Rain forest store to look around or wait for our name to be called. Kids love this restaurant and when I mean Love – I meant it. I love it too!! I enjoy their thunderstorms, the fun food and the overall ambiance. I think this is a must when hitting Downtown Disney. Once we are all fed and full of energy we take our time strolling through the shops and the different kiosks. A must stop is the Lego store. It’s fun to look around but beware- Your kids or husband will probably ask you to buy them something!!!
We usually stroll to the center of Downtown Disney where there is inevitably some other type of musical entertainment and the dreaded balloon guy/girl. If you have one under 5 you will probably crack and buy them one. It’s almost impossible to say no to this. It’s either a balloon or a bear from build a bear. Yes there is a build a bear and it’s quite popular. Just be prepared. Bring some cash!!! We usually window ship and buy some sort of treat. We usually end up with a pretzel from Wetzel’s or a yummy smoothie from Jamba Juice. Oh almost forgot if you have a little girl make sure to check out Libby Lu. It’s a fun girly girl store that your little one will love to browse through. We usually end up at the end of the strip with the Grand Finale of shopping- The world of Disney Store. You can literally spend an hour there just browsing through all of the Disney Merchandise. It’s a great store but you have to have willpower to resist all the Disney goods since they are just too cute but oh so expensive!! We usually end our evening in front of one of the water fountains by the LaBrea Bakery. This is really a fun place but we usually wind up spending way too much. If you are on a budget make sure to eat before you get there and just splurge on a snack. Also be firm and strong and do not be swayed by the Disney goods!!! They are tempting!!
In all seriousness this is a great place for kids. It’s stroller friendly and a fun way to spend an evening with your family. Enjoy!!
p.s. My sister in law wrote to me and told me they have free screenings of Disney classics on Wednesday mornings at the AMC there. I am looking into this and will update as soon as I get all the scoop!!
Downtown Disney- is open everyday of the year and is usually open till midnight on weekends- the best thing about this place is that it’s absolutely free!!!