How Much Time To Spend At Downtown Disney?

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Kristen K.'s picture
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How Much Time To Spend At Downtown Disney?

We've got an entire day blocked off for hanging around the resort and enjoying Downtown Disney, but I'm wondering how much time we actually need there. We have Raglan Road reservations at 6pm for dinner, but do you think we have more than plenty of time to make a monorail cupcake crawl in the morning? Maybe hit the Pineapple Lanai and check out the new lobby at the Polynesian?

How many hours do you usually spend at Downtown Disney?
My gut says that there is plenty of time to do both, that I just have to get out the door early enough in the morning.

crazycatperson's picture
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IMO there's plenty of time to do both, but I'm not a fan of shopping. If you're big into recreational shopping, I think you could easily spend a full day at DTD, especially if you also plan to see a movie, do some bowling, or visit DisneyQuest. I'm also not a big fan of cupcakes, though, so if it were me I'd spend the day at DTD and skip the monorail crawl.

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We usually just make DTD and secondary destination - either our first evening or last morning when we don't have park plans. So probably 2 hours if no dinner, 3 hours if Earl of Sandwich and 4 hours is we have ressies at Wolfgang! I really just like to hit World of Disney and a few other shops, but don't really hang there for an extended period of time.

I would so plan on the monorail cupcake crawl and Poly visit!!

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Awesome! Well, I'm not going to have a ton of money to shop, so I don't need to hit every corner at DTD. I mostly want to eat my way through it.

I would much rather be doing a booze monorail crawl, but I don't think I can get a Lapu Lapu at 11am so I'll have to suffer. Hrmmm - would the pool bar be open then? Do they serve Lapu Lapus there?

Hoorah for doing all the things!

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Oh yeah, I also agree that you can do both. DTD is a 3 hour tour for me. laugh

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We like the marketplace, mostly for Earl of Sandwich, window shopping, and pin trading. We usually don't spend more than 2 hours at a time. We'll walk over to the west side if it looks like characters in flight is flying, but otherwise, we usually skip it. Movies and bowling are entertainment activities that even our little town has so I'm definitely not wasting precious Disney time on them! As for Disney Quest, we like the arcade at the Contemporary better and since Contemporary is pay as you play, you can pop in and play a few games rather than dedicate half a day to playing until you get your money's worth. I would say that you definitely have plenty of time to do a cupcake crawl!

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We usually make DTD the first night we get in. I try to make the flights early so we have about half a day. We are always starved when we get in so we eat first at HOB and than do a little shopping. We are probably only there about 4 hours at the most. We typically do not go back for the rest of the trip unless we forgot to buy something that we really really need (want).

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I say you have more than enough time to do everything. YAY cupcakes and shopping and dining! DTD is usually something we do on arrival day, so only a few hours does it, unless i get started "sniffing" everything in Basin... silly

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I would say typically only a couple of hours like 2-4 hour range per visit to Downtown Disney. I spend my time at Earl of Sandwich, World of Disney and a few other shops that interest me and that's about it. Otherwise, I'm at Disneyquest for a good portion of time though I really want to try Raglan Road and possibly Splitsville!

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Looks like I'm one of -- one --- here who spends a large amount of time at Downtown!

We usually start our vacation with Downtown the first day we fly in. This time we plan on hitting Wolfgang for Pizza and Creme Brulee... then we hit most of the stores.... looking forward to getting a Mr Potato Head accessory pieces, Lego's for Amy and of course Art of Animation & the new Disney Merchandise Stores. I love it when it gets dark, all the lights are on, usually a band or something is happening at the stage, the balloon is up in the sky...its low key and just wandering around time.

With staying at the French Quarters- we easily jump the boat for a 10 minute ride to Downtown. With January having earlier closing times at the park, I anticipate we will make a few boat rides to downtown in the evening to just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere.

mickey

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Magic Mirror wrote:
Looks like I'm one of -- one --- here who spends a large amount of time at Downtown!

We usually start our vacation with Downtown the first day we fly in. This time we plan on hitting Wolfgang for Pizza and Creme Brulee... then we hit most of the stores.... looking forward to getting a Mr Potato Head accessory pieces, Lego's for Amy and of course Art of Animation & the new Disney Merchandise Stores. I love it when it gets dark, all the lights are on, usually a band or something is happening at the stage, the balloon is up in the sky...its low key and just wandering around time.

With staying at the French Quarters- we easily jump the boat for a 10 minute ride to Downtown. With January having earlier closing times at the park, I anticipate we will make a few boat rides to downtown in the evening to just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere.

mickey

Fear not MM you are not alone.Both Donna and i like to spend quite a lot of time at Downtown just browsing the shops etc and like you say there is a nice energy there.It also helps that the new Avengers movie is released on May 1 yeah (showing my inner geek)
The Lego store will be a definate stop for me also as i am hoping there will be the new Starwars release there when we go (inner geek showing again)

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I spent my last day in DTD from 10-3, it was nice to wander about, get last minute gifts and an EOS for the airport, I ate lunch at Wolfgang.
I would have spent longer there on my evening when I ate at paradiso 37, but the construction and crowds put me off. On my return I would intend to do the same 1 or 2 evenings and 1 day.

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Mrferret wrote:
Magic Mirror wrote:
Looks like I'm one of -- one --- here who spends a large amount of time at Downtown!

We usually start our vacation with Downtown the first day we fly in. This time we plan on hitting Wolfgang for Pizza and Creme Brulee... then we hit most of the stores.... looking forward to getting a Mr Potato Head accessory pieces, Lego's for Amy and of course Art of Animation & the new Disney Merchandise Stores. I love it when it gets dark, all the lights are on, usually a band or something is happening at the stage, the balloon is up in the sky...its low key and just wandering around time.

With staying at the French Quarters- we easily jump the boat for a 10 minute ride to Downtown. With January having earlier closing times at the park, I anticipate we will make a few boat rides to downtown in the evening to just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere.

mickey

Fear not MM you are not alone.Both Donna and i like to spend quite a lot of time at Downtown just browsing the shops etc and like you say there is a nice energy there.It also helps that the new Avengers movie is released on May 1 yeah (showing my inner geek)
The Lego store will be a definate stop for me also as i am hoping there will be the new Starwars release there when we go (inner geek showing again)

yay yay yay pillowfight pillowfight yay yay yay

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You guys are right - it does have a nice feel. I am waiting for the big reveal - those walls make me feel claustrophobic and there is no view!

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Magic Mirror wrote:
Looks like I'm one of -- one --- here who spends a large amount of time at Downtown!

We usually start our vacation with Downtown the first day we fly in. This time we plan on hitting Wolfgang for Pizza and Creme Brulee... then we hit most of the stores.... looking forward to getting a Mr Potato Head accessory pieces, Lego's for Amy and of course Art of Animation & the new Disney Merchandise Stores. I love it when it gets dark, all the lights are on, usually a band or something is happening at the stage, the balloon is up in the sky...its low key and just wandering around time.

With staying at the French Quarters- we easily jump the boat for a 10 minute ride to Downtown. With January having earlier closing times at the park, I anticipate we will make a few boat rides to downtown in the evening to just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere.

mickey

I am another DTD fan. As we normally stay at PO in the winter when the parks close earlier, we get the boat to DTD on several evenings during our stay. Like MM we like walking round absorbing the atmosphere, meandering round shops, watching live music, having a few drinks and dining. We do DTD at a very relaxed pace. We can easily sit outside HOB listening to live music and having a couple of beers for a couple of hours. The bar at Raglan Road is another favourite as is the little bar outside Bongos.

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I'm really excited to go to DTD on this trip. I have lots of things to get, baby things for my friend, my mom's Christmas gift (She wanted to pick something out in Disney) and need to check out the Co Op and the running store. We are probably going to go to DTD twice this trip. We have a dinner reservation there on our last day and we have 2 full days with no parks earlier in the week so we will most likely go down there.

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Be sure & take Disney transportation. Even though the parking garage is open, it is down by Cirque and Disney Quest. Most of the shopping is clear on the other end of DTD. What parking they once had down there is completely blocked off and under construction although there is parking across the street if you don't mind crosing 8 lanes of traffic. Even with stop lights and cross walks it is a little intimidating. Thursday night DH and I drove our vehicle down town and were so discouraged we drove back to BLT and took WDW bus! eek

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I enjoy walking around DTD as well...although last time not so much as I hadn't reckoned on the amount of building work going on with the boards up. I can quite easy wander through World of Disney and lose track of time and I love looking around the Art of Animation shop. Love Earl of Sandwich, but haven't tried eating anywhere else yet and usually I've got a 14 day pass that covers Disney Quest as well, so spending a couple of hours gaming is easily achievable.

The walking aspect of things caused by the current construction doesn't bother me...quite happy to clock up the mileage wandering around!

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I love Downtown Disney as well, but the construction was terrible when we were there at Christmas. Raglan Road is a family favorite and I can't wait to see all the new areas once construction is complete. I think I could easily spend 3+ hours wandering around! lol Where is the Pin Trading? Has anyone done the balloon flight? I think we'd like to try that, but not sure it's a good value.

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Downtown Disney is about half a day for us as well. We ended up going sporadically on our way back from a southern FL road trip and did a lot of window shopping and were able to look in all the stores and hit up a food truck within 2 1/2 hrs. I can't imagine needing more than that on top of a dinner reservation so it definitely could work to fit in a resort crawl too!

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That depends how much of a shopper are you? or do you pin trade. We drive down so we usually stop there on our way in and spend about 4 hours or so just looking around. Even if you don't like to shop some of the stores are just fun to stop in and look around. We also allocate about 4 hours for serious shopping on another day and wind up stopping there o the way out to grab something we forgot to get, or breakable Christmas ornaments. That way they are safely stowed for the ride home.

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