Sunday, November 16, 2014

Disney Day One- Part II Downtown Disney

So after a nice long rest, naps for the kiddos and all, we headed to Downtown Disney to shop and eat.  DTD is a great stop that doesn’t require a park ticket, so I recommend it as an arrival day or departure day activity if you need something to do outside of the parks.  It is also great to use as a non park day in the middle of the trip to get a break from the action of the parks.  DTD is more crowded on weekends, so I anticipated crowds, but it was packed.  It was Columbus day weekend and it was a Sunday evening, so apparently lots of people were off the next day because they were all at DTD!

Parking was a whole other issue.  We had our own vehicles, so we drove.  Parking there is always a nightmare, but it was really bad due to construction.  They are building a parking garage thankfully, but that was causing many areas to be shut down.  We also got stuck at a traffic light right outside, waiting to turn in.  The light was malfunctioning (it was a temporary light due to construction) and there were cops sitting and watching, but not doing anything.

So it took forever to go the short distance from our hotel to Downtown Disney.   The same is usually true when using the buses, it seems to take forever! So be forewarned.  We decided to valet park.  It wasn’t too bad- I think $15.  My parents lucked out and found a handicap spot right up front.  We headed in and first on the agenda was FOOD!  Earle of Sandwich to be exact, our favorite fast food on property.  It’s affordable, delicious and something different and fresh instead of the usual chicken nuggets and burgers.  I love the sandwiches and tomato soup.  

The line is ALWAYS long and looks awful, but it moves fast.  The real issue here is finding a table.  They have added more tables outside, but I highly recommend finding one first.  We lucked out into a large family leaving and I quickly grabbed up the two tables as they were leaving.  Score! Some of us got in line to order and we were right in line behind some other Cowboy’s fans (the game was going on right then) and she was keeping us updated on the score.  Always fun to make new friends in line, right? 

We got our food and all enjoyed a nice hot dinner.  The weather outside was nice for sitting outside too.  Lots of good people watching here.  After dinner, the shopping commenced, but not near as much as I would have liked.  Between the kids and everyone just being exhausted from travel and our first day, we didn’t get that much done.  We split up and Alan took the kiddos with William and my dad and they headed to the LEGO store.  Mom and I headed to the Christmas store first, got a few things and then we all headed to the Goofy’s Candy Company.  But not before William showed me the really expensive working remote control train lego set he got! His dad spoiled him! Then on to the Candy Co., where William got a slush, his favorite.  I got in line for some freshly baked treats.  Tip- they have great “make your own treats” here.  You can select a candy apple, pretzel rods or marshmallows and have them dipped in your choice of chocolates, caramel etc and then rolled in your favorite candy- m&M’s, sprinkles or whatever.  The kids love watching their creation being made. 

Downtown Disney was packed, so it was super crowded in here.  You definitely want to avoid DTD on weekends when you can and day time at like 10-11am is the least crowded time to come usually.  Evenings get busier. We could feel it with the holiday weekend too.  Next up we knew we had to hit the Co-op at the Marketplace.  This new shop basically is a huge open area that encompasses several little shops inside- including D-Tech where you can get all your iphone covers and electronic accessories, as well as a store full of bags and purses, including Veras and Dooney.  But our eyes were set on the kitchenware store.  Mom and I had a ball in there and bought several items including placemats, napkins and plates.  I have a lot of Disney themed items in my kitchen.  LOVE this store and I’ll be back in February.  Apparentlyt the inventory is always changing and they test out new products to see how they do before making them available across property.  So great little rare finds in here. 

By then, the babies were done, mom was done and so we headed out.  We never even set foot in World of Disney (the World’s largest Disney store!), where I usually do a TON of shopping.  We usually hit up a lot more stores, but it wasn’t meant to be this night.  With the babies, we had to always be flexible and while they were great most of the time, we also knew it wasn’t fair to push their limits either.  So my parents and sister headed to their car and we headed to the valet line and waited…..and waited.  It was almost 30 minutes or more to get our car.  It was insane. Alan was about to go ask for the keys and get it himself as we could see it from where we were sitting.  It was ridiculous. 

So after a night of shopping and fun, it was off to bed to rest and dream about our next day at Animal Kingdom!  Oh but not before we enjoyed a view of Wishes from our balcony! Nothing like the fireworks to put you to sleep!

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