This entire shopping area is dedicated to everything Disney, but there are also plenty of shops that offer unique non-Disney merchandise. It's easy to spend an evening here browsing, shopping, and enjoying the festive atmosphere, whether or not you plan on making purchases.
Disney animation cells, collectible figurines, and Disney poster artwork is sold at the Suspended Animation gallery. Some of the stuff sold here is rather expensive, but it's fun to browse, especially if you enjoy Disney's classic animated movies. A limited number of autographed animation cells are also available.
In addition to the shops, restaurants, and activities available at the Marketplace, there are also dozens of kiosks that sell unique handcrafted souvenirs and snacks. The Marketplace is open daily from 9:30 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. Most of the full-service restaurants open at 10:30 A.M. and serve until 11:00 P.M.
Art of Disney
This is an upscale gallery that sells high-priced Disney animation and artwork. Some of the pieces on display here are absolutely stunning. Less expensive Disney posters and figurines issued by the Walt Disney Collector's Society are also available. This store gives out prizes if you can answer the question of the day, so make sure to ask.
Ask one of the cast members in a Disney-owned store for a kids sticker hunt book. Fifteen stores each have a sticker that kids can collect and put into their book. It makes shopping easier when they have an activity to do.
Boating at Cap'N Jack's Marina
During the day, a selection of boats can be rented here by the halfhour or by the hour. Guests must be twelve years of age or older and as least 5 feet tall to rent a boat. Water sprites, canopy boats, and pontoon boats are available. For more information, call (407) 828-2204.
Cap'N Jack's Oyster Bar Restaurant
Located along the coast of Buena Vista Lagoon, this restaurant features seafood dishes, including shrimp, clam chowder, and oysters, served daily between 11:30 A.M. and 10:30 P.M. Several nonseafood dishes are also available, although if you're not looking for seafood, there are plenty of other dining options available to you elsewhere.
Disney at Home
Here's your opportunity to take some of the magic of Walt Disney World home with you. Disney-themed furniture, kitchen accessories, bathroom fixtures, and household accessories (even bed sheets and pillowcases) are sold here.
Near Disney at Home is Mickey's Mart. They have merchandise priced $10 and under, so make sure that you check them out!
Three hundred and sixty-five days a year, it's always the Christmas holiday season in Disney's Days of Christmas, a lovely shop that sells Christmas tree ornaments and other Disney-themed holiday merchandise like animated Disney character statues.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
As discussed in Chapter 4, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique turns little girls ages three and up into Princesses, and little boys into “Cool Dudes” with the help of a “Fairy Godmother-in-Training.”
A Coach Package includes hairstyling and shimmering makeup for $35. The Crown Package includes hairstyling, shimmering makeup, and nails for $45. And the Castle Package includes the Crown Package plus a complete costume of your choice with accessories for $175.
Call (407) 939-7895 to make a reservation.
Lovely handmade glass and crystal merchandise is sold here, and not all of it has a Disney theme. This is a beautiful shop to browse through, but keep a close eye on your kids. The items on display here are extremely fragile. Many of the gift items can be engraved while you wait. In the center of this shop is an area where a glass blower demonstrates how some of the products in this shop are made.
Fulton's Crab House
Lunch and dinner are served daily. This is the place to eat if you're looking for an upscale environment and fresh seafood from around the world. The food here is rather expensive, but delicious. You and your children can also join popular Disney characters at Fulton's Crab House for breakfast every morning between 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. Lunch is served from noon to 5:00 P.M. Dinner is served from 5:00 P.M. until midnight.
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop
This ice-cream parlor serves a tasty selection of shakes, ice-cream sundaes, and chocolates. It's the perfect place to drop in for a midday (or midnight) snack, especially if you're in the mood for something sweet. Indoor and nearby outdoor tables are available.
You'll find all sorts of kitchen goodies here, most with a Disney theme. Cookbooks, aprons, Mickey Mouse cutting boards, coffee mugs, dinner plates, pot holders, and even Mickey Mouse — shaped ice trays can be purchased here. If you want to make Mickey Mouse — shaped sandwiches (like grilled cheese) at home, the Mickey and Minnie Sandwich Maker costs $59.95. This shop also offers a full deli and bakery where you can grab a snack and eat on the go as you shop.
LEGO Imagination Center
This colorful LEGO superstore and activity center is like a magnet for young people. Throughout the store (and outside) are giant statues made from LEGOs. In the courtyard that's just outside this shop, kids can walk up to the various kiosks and build their own LEGO creations. The LEGO playground is a great place for young people to hang out and have a blast (as long as they're supervised by a parent or guardian). This is one of the coolest shops/activities for kids in the Downtown Disney area. Here you can purchase virtually every LEGO play set currently available, plus LEGO-themed clothing and souvenirs.
It took the McDonald's Corporation over twenty-five years, but it finally succeeded in opening a McDonald's restaurant on Disney property. This inexpensive fast-food establishment offers a large play area for kids, plus a full menu of McDonald's favorites, like Big Macs, Chicken McNuggets, French fries, and Happy Meals. The Golden Arches are located in the heart of the Marketplace. There's virtually always a crowd here, so expect a slight wait to order your food.
Only two restaurants at Downtown Disney do not take reservations and they are the Rainforest Café and Cap'N Jack's Oyster Bar Restaurant.
The Rainforest Café
Why travel to a tropical rain forest when you can enjoy a wild meal in a rain forest setting, complete with live wildlife and Audio-Animatronic creatures! Inside the restaurant you'll find huge saltwater fish tanks. Lunch and dinner are served daily (between 10:30 A.M. and 11:00 P.M.).
This is an extremely popular restaurant at the Marketplace, so be prepared to add your name to the waiting list and then have plenty of time to shop before your table becomes available. The prices here are reasonable, and a wide assortment of American cuisine and seafood is offered. This is a wonderful family-oriented restaurant that's unique and offers a very different dining experience from the many themed restaurants located nearby.
Sand Street Station
This is an outdoor playground area for young people. While this is an area in which kids can climb, run around, and have fun, they should never be left unsupervised, here or anywhere else within the WDW Resort.
In case you were wondering what the “M” stands for, simply step foot into this shop and there will be no doubt in your mind. Studio M is divided up into small areas, each offering something unique, like Disney-themed airbrushed T-shirts created while you wait by robots (priced between $23 and $42).
You can also pick up a Mickey Mouse mug with your name on it, or meet and greet Mickey Mouse in person and have your photo taken with him. The cost of the Mickey photo session is $29.95 and includes one 8″ × 10″, two 4″ × 5″, and four wallet-size color photos of you (or your kids) and Disney's main mouse.
Team Mickey's Athletic Club
All sorts of Disney-themed sports-related apparel and sporting equipment is for sale at this shop. Mickey Mouse tennis balls, Disney-character golf balls, and Disney-themed golf bags from Belding Sports (ranging in price from $210 to $285) are among the most popular items.
When visiting the Marketplace, let kids wear swimsuits under their clothes because there is a big fountain area where they can play. Shaded benches are provided for the adults.
Wolfgang Puck Express
This is fast food, Wolfgang Puck — style. The prices here are lower than at the Wolfgang Puck Café located at Disney's West Side. Lunch and dinner are served daily. Outdoor, but covered, seating is available. Gourmet pizzas are the specialty here, although salads, sandwiches, and baked goods are also available. While this is fast food, the prices aren't too cheap. McDonald's might not be as tasty, but it's a far less expensive fast-food alternative.
World of Disney
The world's largest Disney Store features all sorts of Disney clothing, toys, gifts, souvenirs, plush toys, collectibles, kitchen items, and other Disney-character-based products. This store is divided into twelve different (and very large) rooms. In the center of the store there's an information booth manned by Disney cast members who can help you locate any type of Disney merchandise available anywhere at the WDW Resort, the Disney stores, and the Disney catalog.
Once upon a Toy
This is an interactive toy shop featuring Walt Disney World attraction toys and Hasbro games that have a Disney twist.
Disney's Wonderful World of Memories
Here you'll find a large selection of picture frames, photo albums, and scrapbooking supplies, all with a Disney theme. Also available are Disney books, stationery, pens, and postcards, plus several stations where guests can create scrapbook pages and postcards.
Earl of Sandwich
This gourmet sandwich shop is located in the heart of Downtown Disney. It's a great place to stop for lunch or dinner.