Downtown Disney – Guide to West Side and Paradise Island

Laurie is writing a Four Part series on Downtown Disney.  See what she has to say about the West Side and Paradise Island…….

IMG_4458There are four paths from Cirque du Soleil to the east side of Paradise Island. The easiest way is along the parking lots that go from Cirque du Soleil to Marketplace bus stop with no hills to climb and no detours. Second is the water taxi from House of Blues to the Paradise Island dock which is on the bridge that goes from Characters in Flight to a very, very, very steep hill up to Paradiso 37 and down to Raglan Road. There is a waterside path from House of Blues to Characters in Flight. The main central path ends in front of Harley Davidson where guests go right to the parking lot or left to the bridge that leads to that steep hill.

Stand with your back to Cirque du Soleil and face the central path. Behind you are bathrooms and drinking fountains. To your right are the DVC kiosk, Wetzel’s Pretzels, and Häagen-Dazs. Currently to your left, a bit back, is Namaste Cafe food truck which has awesome food. Heading up the street you will see House of Blues restaurant and their Smokehouse quick service restaurant. Next door is Wolfgang Puck’s Grand Cafe that has quick service, a table service cafe, and upstairs a fine dining room. Next is Bongos quick service window and table service restaurant with walls where the food truck court will be. Finally you will be at Starbucks and Characters in Flight balloon adventure.

IMG_4058Over on your right is DisneyQuest which has a snack bar and a quick service restaurant. Some love DisneyQuest, and others hate it, as it can be dark, dingy, and full of rude people. I was a pinball queen so I know that their machines are not well maintained like the old days of arcades. IMG_4443You will find lots of chances to pay to play just like the old arcades and the same cheap prizes. Go on YouTube to see recent videos to decide if this is for you. The next building has Fit2Run, Curl, and Splitsville. and around the corner is Pop Gallery. The next building has the main entrance to AMC theater, Something Silver, Hoypoloi Gallery, Sunglass Icon, Disney’s Candy Cauldron, United World Soccer, D Street, and Orlando Harley Davidson.
At the wall, the right path takes you past AMC Dine-In Theaters on your right and on the left is Planet Hollywood, then you are in the parking lot. Turn left and follow the path to Raglan Road and make a right toward Marketplace. There is a detour to the right around the parking lot toward Marketplace. I avoid the path on the left as it goes up a very steep hill and I do not recommend it as it is far easier to take the parking lot path. Paradiso 37 is the only thing of note on that path currently.

Downtown Disney has many items to replace lost, damaged, or forgotten items as well as souvenirs, birthday gifts and holiday gifts. Cirque du Soleil has clothing, toys & jewelry with their logo. DisneyQuest has your typical Disney Store items such as kitchenware , potholders, bowls, Mickey ears covered casserole dish, candy, Disney infinity, and Magic Bands. House of Blues has snacks, cornbread mix, waterless tattoos, knick knacks, hats, clothes and the Q is Jake and Elwood rubber ducky as well as Jake and Elwood shirts. IMG_4056Splitsville has clothing, bowling balls, jewelry, and glassware with their logo. Free shipping is offered on any child bowling ball purchased. Bongos has clothing, hats, mugs, glassware, and golf balls and tees boxed sets with their logo.  Planet Hollywood has golf ball and tee boxed sets, t shirts, hats, jewelry, clothing and other items with their logo. They have a 50 percent discount table. They have the cutest little Planet Hollywood plush dinosaur. Raglan Road has kitchenware, glassware, keyring, and magnet with their logo.  Rhey also sell Irish CDs, cookbooks, perfumes and lotions, clothing, Christmas ornaments, and bar ware.

Fit2Run, The Runner’s Superstore, has fun run and offers a club that gives 10% off almost purchases. The cost is $30 a year and features promotions, events and other happenings. Cast members receive 10% off of most purchases and 20% off if they are club members. They have sports bra, hats, running shoes, running apparel, socks, power bars, GU energy gel , Luna bars, lemonade tablets, ankle wraps, Nathan clip light, shoe laces, Thule jogging stroller, and jewelry.

Curl by Sammy Duvall has the cutest hand painted Toms shoes.  For an additional $25 to $85, they have a book of designs available but customers may ask for custom designs. Curl has cover ups, bathing suits, backpack, flip flops, skirts, mens shorts and shirts , beachwear, jewelry and other surf themed items. Sunglass Icon offers sunglasses, sunglass accessories, and some replacement lenses. Sosa Family Cigar Company is known for their cigars, cigarettes, and cigar accessories. They allow smoking and have a nook to relax and enjoy your cigar. One of my favorite shops is Hoypoloi with local artists and famous artists. I lost my notes but have fond memories of umbrellas, jewelry, kinetic art work, paintings, ceramics, and other fun things to look at. Something Silver has the sweetest manager who would stand by the door to make sure guests are taken care of as they come in the door. They offer a wide variety of jewelry and other items including amber. They give 15% discount to cast members, military members, and annual passholders. United World soccer offers team jerseys, sports gear, World Cup apparel, and accessories. They are a new store just opened within the last month. Pop Art Gallery is hidden in an alley out of public view. They remind me of Sunset House with every possible art genre in one tiny shop. They have Dennis Debon (Frogman) art, glass wind chimes made from recycled glass, Carbonic Kangaroo trophy head from Dr. Seuss, dog and cat clocks (like the Kit Kat clock), collectible figurines, mobiles, paintings, jewelry, giftwear, Lladro Atelier, and Storm watches.

Disney’s Candy Cauldron offers a wide variety of candy and give discounts for DVC, Annual Passholders, and cast members. The same discount is available at D Street where you can buy apparel, pop culture items, and vinylmation. The anchor of West Side is Harley Davidson which I love. They have dog toys, hats, and leashes for your Biker Beagle. There are so many things here that I want and the staff is so nice. Clothing, hats, jewelry, and more await you but the best thing is the gas tanks on the wall.

There is a dog service area next to the parking lot behind Cirque du Soleil. Guest Services is located at the ticket windows for DisneyQuest. Restrooms are next to Starbucks on the central path and water path as well as across from Planet Hollywood. There are restrooms tucked under the stairs at Cirque du Soleil.

Stay tuned for Part Two in this Four Part Series.  Have you visited any of these places?  What are your thoughts.  Let us know what is your favorite.