What's on YOUR Disney Bucket List?

Posts tagged ‘Downtown Disney’

71: Have a treat at the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop

Step 1: Show up ;) (You can find Ghirardelli’s in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace.)

Ghirardelli Downtown Disney (9)
Step 2: Make your choice (the hardest part!)

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Ghirardelli Downtown Disney (14)
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Step 3: Place your order and grab a seat

Ghirardelli Downtown Disney (2)

Ghirardelli Downtown Disney (4)

Single Scoop Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream topped with Milk Chocolate Fudge and Whipped Cream

Step 5: Enjoy :) !

Ghirardelli Downtown Disney (5)

76: Do some Christmas shopping at Festival of the Seasons

Every year, Downtown Disney receives a holiday makeover!

Festival of the Seasons Downtown Disney
From mid-November through December, Festival of the Seasons turns Walt Disney World’s shopping, dining and entertainment district into the ultimate spot for picking up a few gifts.

Festival of the Seasons Downtown Disney (1)
Downtown Disney is already known for its stores, including the world’s largest Disney store, World of Disney.

World of Disney Downtown Disney
A few extra touches are added as well — from festive decorations, to cheery holiday music (some of which is sung by live Carolers :) ).

Downtown Disney Christmas Tree
Downtown Disney wreath
Mickey Topiary Downtown Disney
World of Disney Genie
Santa even has a home here, ready to meet guests!

Festival of the Seasons Meet Santa
Festival of the Seasons Santa
As for me, I was only after one gift from Downtown Disney this year. I bought this mug for a friend of mine who is a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland. Still, I figure that’s enough to cross this one off my Disney Bucket List!

Alice in Wonderland Mug
It’s always fun to see what else is on hand, though. If I still lived in colder temps, I think I wouldn’t have been able to resist this:

santa mickey scarf
And all year I’ve enjoyed spying new additions to the Ear Hat ornaments: ornaments designed to look like the iconic Mickey Ear hats honoring various Disney characters and attractions.

Mad Tea Party Ear Hat Ornament

Mad Tea Party Ear Hat Ornament

Disney Ear Hat Ornaments (10)

Haunted Mansion Ear Hat Ornament

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Ear Hat Ornament

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Ear Hat Ornament

It's a Small World Ear Hat Ornament

It’s a Small World Ear Hat Ornament

Mary Poppins Ear Hat Ornament

Mary Poppins Ear Hat Ornament

Disney Ear Hat Ornaments (3)

Cinderella Ear Hat Ornament

Rapunzel Ear Hat Ornament

Rapunzel Ear Hat Ornament

But my favorite find of the day was THIS ;)!

small world t shirt
Can’t make it to Festival of the Seasons? That’s okay… there is a place in Downtown Disney where you can enjoy the holiday spirit year-round:  Disney’s Days of Christmas!

Disneys Days of Christmas Downtown Disney
Disneys Days of Christmas Downtown Disney (2)
Disneys Days of Christmas Downtown Disney (3)
As we ring in the happiest time of year with a little fun, I hope your season is starting out with hope for all that is to come over the next several weeks. Happy Holidays!

97: Enjoy live music at Raglan Road

If you’re looking for a peaceful corner to enjoy a meal over quiet conversation in Walt Disney World, you have an abundance of choices: from Artist Point and the Grand Floridian Café, to The Wave and Yachtsman Steakhouse, to name just a few.

Just be sure to take Raglan Road off your list. Because Raglan Road is NOT that place.

And I mean that in the BEST WAY possible :)! Located in Downtown Disney, Raglan Road is a place for great pub food, a huge beer selection and live entertainment that you won’t soon forget. Order up some Fish & Chips and join me!

Raglan Road Downtown Disney (14)
The food is awesome and the laughs with friends are plentiful at Raglan Road. Beautiful dark wood, forest greens and stained glass windows provide a warm and inviting setting, and help you feel surprisingly at home for such a large restaurant (fun fact about the pub: much of it was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando!). But the star of the show here is the live music, in particular the house band, Creel:

Raglan Road Downtown Disney (16)

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Raglan Road Downtown Disney (17)
Instead of asking you to take my word for it, I’d rather give you a chance to listen to their fantastic sound by clicking here and selecting the “Audio Samples” option. That may give you a better idea of the good time you’re in for :).

As if the music alone weren’t enough to entertain you, Raglan Road features their award winning Irish Dancers throughout the evening!

Raglan Road Downtown Disney (15)
From the Raglan Road website:

“Drawing on Raglan Road’s ethos of authentic tradition infused with surprising flair they can be seen treading our 150 year old stage boards to subtle traditional Jigs, and fast paced energetic newly composed Reels.”

Wondering what you’re missing? Scroll down this page to check out the videos!

You can always visit Raglan Road for a yummy lunch, but if you’d like to enjoy the entertainment (which I highly recommend), you’ll want to keep performance times in mind as you make your Advanced Dining Reservations.

  • Irish Dancers perform in the evenings starting at 6:00 pm, at the top of each hour.
  • Creel performs Monday through Thursday evenings starting at 7:30 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays starting at 8:30 pm.
  • Johnny Norton & Justin Murphy perform on Sunday evenings starting at 7:00 pm.
  • The one exception to the performances-in-the-evenings rule is the Rollicking Raglan Brunch Show held on Sundays (brunch served from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, with entertainment beginning at Noon).
  • Please note, the information above is current as of the writing of this post, but be sure to check the Raglan Road Entertainment page to check for any changes. Another great place for info is the Raglan Road Orlando Facebook Page.

Please do yourself a favor and visit Raglan Road on your next trip to Walt Disney World… and tell ‘em Wendy sent ya! They won’t know who you’re talking about, but it sure would make me smile to hear that someone actually tried it ;).

Until next time, friends, I leave you with an Irish Toast:

May your mornings bring joy
and your evenings bring peace
May your troubles grow less
as your blessings increase!


55: Ride a boat down the Sassagoula River

What a nice way to travel…

1 Sassagoula River (18)
Sassagoula River (7)

Guests at Disney’s Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, and Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter Resorts have an especially fun way to get back and forth from Downtown Disney: the Sassagoula River Cruise. It’s just a charming, fun way to get around, and the views are pretty great! There are the meanderings of the river itself and beautiful glimpses of nature along the way:

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Depending on your final destination, you may have the opportunity to see Resorts where you aren’t staying, and experience their theme and beauty.

Disney's Treehouse Villas

Disney’s Treehouse Villas

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

Disney's Old Key West

Disney’s Old Key West

Port Orleans French Quarter

Port Orleans French Quarter

Port Orleans Riverside

Port Orleans Riverside

And you gotta love the boat-to-boat wave (click the photos to enlarge)!

Sassagoula River (5)
Sassagoula River (9)
I think a great way to spend an evening outside the Parks would be to grab some Fish & Chips at Cookes of Dublin in Downtown Disney, then take the Sassagoula River Cruise over to Port Orleans Riverside to see a Yeeha Bob show. But that’s just me :). Disney World guests are never limited to their Resort only—you can get to just about anywhere on property, and Downtown Disney is a great place to catch a bus to any Resort you’d like to visit.

But I am partial to boats over buses when given the choice :). Guests can catch a Friendship boat from Disney’s Boardwalk or Yacht & Beach Club Resorts to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.

EPCOT Resort Friendship Boat

And the Magic Kingdom Resort area (Disney’s Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts, as well as Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Campgrounds) offers boat service to the Magic Kingdom.

Wilderness Lodge Boat

Where in the World will you sail :)?

29: See the Castle Lights at Christmas

When the Holiday season begins in Walt Disney World, this breathtaking display of over 200,000 lights on Cinderella Castle is just one of many special events to celebrate the season!

(Please note: Dates have been updated to reflect the 2013 celebrations as available per the Walt Disney World website.)

Cinderella Castle Dream Lights Castle Lighting Ceremony (at the Magic Kingdom, starting November 5, 2013):
The Fairy Godmother magically decorates Cinderella Castle in shimmering “icicles” in the presence of Cinderella, Mickey and Minnie, and a few other Disney Pals. This nightly show runs about 8 minutes (check your Times Guide for the start time, typically 6:15 pm). You can see the result above , but no photo can prepare you for the sight in person.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (at the Magic Kingdom select nights November 8 – December 20, 2013)
Special holiday fireworks, a parade, hot cocoa, character meet-and-greets in their holiday finery, and SNOW falling on Main Street U.S.A. are just a few of the treats in store at this special ticket-only event. Find more information here.

Candlelight Processional (at EPCOT November 29-December 30, 2013):

Celebrity narrators read the Christmas Story, accompanied by a full orchestra and choir singing beloved Christmas carols. You can find the full list of celebrity narrators for 2013 here, and can read about my experience at the Candlelight Processional here.

Holidays Around the World International Storytellers (at EPCOT November 29-December 30, 2013):
Travel around World Showcase and encounter Father Christmas and storytellers sharing holiday traditions from around the world.

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, Holiday version (at EPCOT November 29-December 30, 2013):
EPCOT’s nightly evening firework spectacular is given an extra special “holiday tag,” including even more stunning fireworks and a special holiday message.

Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade (at Animal Kingdom November 9, 2013 – January 2, 2014)
A holiday spin on Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade!

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (at Hollywood Studios, November 8, 2013-January 5, 2014):
Literally millions of festival holiday lights “dance” in synchronization to Christmas music—an unforgettable treat for the eyes and ears! From the Walt Disney World website: “Jennings Osborne and his family set up an elaborate collection of holiday lights and over the years, the collection of lights grew, and grew… and grew! In 1995, the Osborne family decided to share their magic with the world, and Walt Disney World Resort happily offered to become the new permanent home for this exceptional exhibition of holiday cheer.” You can see images of this amazing display here.

Festival of the Seasons (at Downtown Disney, November 15-December 29, 2013):
Enjoy live music while you take care of your holiday shopping, AND meet the Big Guy himself. No, not Mickey Mouse… SANTA CLAUS!



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