Recently my hubby and I were in Florida for our honeymoon. While we were there we had decided not to buy tickets to Walt Disney World, but we did want to see at least some of the Disney magic. We knew our best bet was to do Downtown Disney. The resort we were staying at offered a shuttle to Epcot Center, and my original plan was to take the shuttle to there and then use Disney’s transit to get from Epcot to Downtown Disney. My wonderful husband who doesn’t like doing things without a concrete plan suggested we use the mighty Internet to confirm that my plan would work. After looking over the Disney website, and then checking other online forums like the Disney World subreddit, and I can’t remember where else, we determined that there was likely no way to get from Epcot to Downtown Disney reliably without having park tickets. So we took a cab.
One of the first things we did when we got there was look for a washroom. A map was conveniently located close to the entrance and we were able to navigate to the washrooms easily.
The line up on the ladies’ side was a good eight people long, and while I was in line David walked around and took a bunch of pictures before deciding that he could benefit from a pit stop as well. He was in and out before I even made it to a stall. Thus began my new theory that each women’s washroom should have at least twice as many facilities than the men’s as it takes women pretty much twice as long to do what they need to do. But I digress.
One of the first shops we went into sold Disney art, and I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and beauty of some of the pieces. There was a gorgeous painting of Beauty and the Beast and some other truly remarkable pieces.
At lunch we ate at the Rainforest Cafe. There was a podium just inside the entrance where we requested a table for two and gave our name to be called when they were ready for us. We looked around the store attached to the restaurant while we were waiting for our name to be called, and I had assumed that when our name was called it meant that we would be heading in to get a table, bypassing the line to get into the restaurant. I was wrong. Our name was called to take our spot in the line for a table, and it was quite long but it moved fairly fast. We were sat at a small table near an aquarium and despite the fact that the place was packed the wait staff were courteous and the overall experience was quite positive. The atmosphere was a lot of fun and entertaining, especially the anamatronic animals reacting to the rain storms. The food was pretty fantastic too! It was pricey though.
So, Disney owns Star Wars now. They have for a few years. I have to tell you that at first I didn’t really like the idea of Leia being a Disney Princess. But I have to say that Disney having the rights to allow me to build my own lightsaber that I can buy and bring home with me is a pretty cool thing.
At least in concept. The lightsaber you get is in my opinion a let down. You see, to me one of the coolest things about a lightsaber is the retractable blade. I can make up my own sound effects and I don’t even need it to light up. The lightsaber I built and the only way that the lightsabers can be built is with a semi-retractable blade. Sure, it can make sounds and light up, but at it’s smallest the thing is about a foot and a half long, and if you ask me it looks silly. I still built one, and carried it around the store for some time contemplating whether or not I should spend roughly $30 on it and in the end I decided not to. Why? That pesky blade. That’s why.
In the store they sell character lightsabers that have fully retractable blades but that do not light up nor make sounds. These are substantially cheaper than the custom ones. And to me at least they are indistinguishable from ones you’d buy at Wal-Mart. But if they had the option to use a system like one of these where the inside is an empty tube to house the retracted blade as the basis for a custom lightsaber without sounds or the ability to light up, I’d have been begging them to take my money! They could have charged the exact same amount (or even a buck or two more shhh) and I’d have paid it. I mean what respectable 30-something doesn’t want a custom lightsaber?
We wandered around Downtown Disney, ducking into stores here and there to avoid the rain, and looking at all of the different things to see. I was hoping for some live entertainment, because when I have been previously there were bands performing and thigs like that. Maybe we were just too early in the day, who knows. Anyways, I was a little disappointed by it.
We capped off our day at Downtown Disney with a movie. We saw How to Train Your Dragon 2 in a VIP theatre that blew me away!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so check this out!
In the end was Downtown Disney worth it? Sure! It’s a fun and if you play it right inexpensive way to enjoy a day in Florida. They could use better public transit to and from it, and they have missed an opportunity or two with merchandise and entertainment, but on the whole it’s pretty good.
If they decided to charge for entrance, though, I would not go back and I wouldn’t miss it either.