Downtown Disney’s West Side
Characters in Flight
Disney’s tallest attraction offers an unobstructed view in all directions. The tethered balloon will take you high above Downtown Disney for about ten minutes, and the price is less than $20 per person. This trip is especially breathtaking at night. If you enjoy the ride, save your ticket. You can return for a discounted trip later in the day!
This indoor, interactive theme park has five floors of classic video games, and 3D and virtual reality experiences. You can play a life-sized pinball game, or design your own roller coaster and then hop into a simulator to try it out. Once you have paid for admission to Disneyquest, all games are free with the exception of a few arcade type games. Also, you have the option to pay for artistic items created in the CreateZone if you want to take them home, but there is no fee to participate.
House of Blues
Teens enjoy the warm, friendly atmosphere at the House of Blues. The walls are decorated with colorful, eclectic art and the menu features southern foods like jambalaya and barbecue. A meal here can be expensive, but check in advance for coupons on the site www.restaurant.com. They often have sales, and coupons can offer quite a savings! House of Blues also offers two happy hours – one in the afternoon, and another after 10PM.
You’ll sometimes find live music played inside, but music on the patio outside is much more common. In fact, you can sit on the Front Porch at House of Blues and for the price of a soda (or two), you enjoy the live music.
This three level restaurant is densely decorated with movie memorabilia and props from some of Hollywood’s hottest films and TV shows. There’s a lot to look at, and food is classic american fare. This restaurant is part of a chain, and like any other Planet Hollywood restaurant, you’ll find a shop with logo merchandise and movie-themed souvenirs.
Look for the two-story pineapple, and you’ll find Bongo’s Restaurant. This place will transport you to tropical Havana, serving Cuban cuisine, and providing nightly live entertainment from an impersonator of Desi Arnaz (of I Love Lucy fame.) On Friday and Saturday nights, a live band performs starting at 9PM. But teens beware – Bongo’s shifts to 21 and older after 11PM!
This restaurant offers three different experiences; the Wolfgang Puck Cafe, the more formal dining room and the Quick Service “Express” version. You’ll find wood fired pizzas, salads and pastas. All three versions of this experience serve similar foods, so you can choose based on your budget and schedule. The Express version counts as a counter service credit on the Disney Dining plan, and prices are lower here than inside, which makes it a popular choice for teens.
Forty Thirst Street
You can make a quick stop here for real, brewed coffee, hot chocolate or other beverages.
Great for lower-priced snack stop, Wetzel’s Pretzels serves flavored pretzels with dipping sauces and drinks.
24 Screen AMC theater
This theater offers a traditional movie experience on one side, or the more upscale “dine-in” theater option on the other where you can choose your seat in advance and can order from a menu. Food and drinks are delivered right to your seat. Movie-goers on the traditional side can order concessions from a state-of the art, fully automated concession stand. Movies start early in the day, and continue late into the evening, but it’s common for evening and weekend movies to sell out, so come early!
Cirque du Soleil La Nouba
Enjoy a mix of circus art and street performance. The show combines fantastic feats of balance and strength with a modern, youthful soundtrack. Performances of La Nouba can be seen twice nightly on Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Splitsville Bowling (Coming Soon!)
Splitsville is an upscale entertainment concept featuring twelve bowling lanes, six billiards tables, a full service gourmet dinner lounge and multiple bars. Teens take note: Splitsville is expected to be 21 and over after 10PM.
Disney describes D Street as “chic, offbeat, popular, vintage, kickback, fashionable and fun. You’ll find some unique souvenirs along with the usual t-shirts and ear hats. If you are a Vinylmation collector, then this is the place for you. D Street carries a wide selection of Vinylmation, and even some D-Street exclusive versions. They have a vinylmation trading station where you can trade in the ones you don’t for something new.
Disney’s Candy Cauldron
If you’re feeling like something sweet, Disney’s Candy Cauldron is a great place to stop in for a snack on the West Side. Snow White’s Wicked Queen is the inspiration for this shop, and it’s theming is detailed down to prices that are marked in “Stones and Pebbles” instead of dollars and cents. You’ll have a lot of choices in your price range. The shop is famous for it’s “Build Your Own Apple” confections, with the basic caramel apple starting around $5.