Fun Things to do in Downtown Disney with Kids

Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida is an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment area that is part of the Walt Disney World Resort but can be explored without paying an admission fee. It offers a break from the theme parks and a fun place for families to eat and walk around. Here are some of the fun things to do in Downtown Disney with kids:

Downtown Disney Activities

Disney Quest
Disney Quest is a Disney-created indoor interactive amusement park. There aren’t any traditional rides, but there are five floors of virtual games, 3D experiences and classic video games. For example, one of the adventures is CyberSpace Mountain where you design your own roller coaster on a computer system. Then when it’s finished, you hop into a simulator and experience your custom-made coaster! This is also a great place to go with kids on a rainy day in Orlando.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Splitsville is an upscale, retro bowling alley and restaurant that has 30 bowling lanes, billiards, live music and food. This is a fun spot to play and eat a meal at the same time and I recommend making reservations.

Things to do in Downtown Disney with kids - Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Splitsville Luxury Lanes is one of the fun things to do in Downtown Disney with kids.

Hot Air Balloon Ride
A unique experience while you are visiting Downtown Disney is riding in a tethered, hand-painted helium balloon. The balloon holds 29 people plus the pilot and does not go higher than 400 feet. Rides last about 8-10 minutes and provide a view of Downtown Disney plus scenic views as far as 10 miles away. What a way to see the area!

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
If there is a young girl in your family you may want to consider booking an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where she can have a princess makeover including hairstyle, make-up and nail polish. Remember to bring your Disney Princess dress to make the look complete! Boys can participate as well as they are made over into heroic knights.

Downtown Disney Restaurants
There are plenty of great restaurants in Downtown Disney, but if you are traveling with kids you probably want to consider one of the kid-friendly theme restaurants. Most of these fill up well in advance so make reservations to avoid a long wait. Here are some of our favorites.

Planet Hollywood
Planet Hollywood is full of movie memorabilia that will entertain you and your kids. There are items from hit movies, popular TV shows, and sports events. For even more effect, the three-story restaurant’s ceiling is meant to look like a planetarium’s nighttime sky.

Things to do in Downtown Disney with kids - Planet Hollywood
Check out the cool movie and sports memorabilia like Shaquille O’Neal’s basketball uniform at Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney.

Rainforest Cafe
Eating at Rainforest Cafe is meant to be like dining in the Amazon. The tropical environment with colorful replicas of birds and animals sets the stage, and the sounds of thunderstorms and rain make you feel like you are in a rainforest. Fortunately the menu is all-American with plenty of choices for kids.

If you have any dinosaur lovers in your family, this is the place for you. You will feel like you have traveled to prehistoric times with the life-sized dinosaurs surrounding you. Watch out for the meteor showers that hit every 20 minutes! And young kids will love the Paleo Zone which is a hands-on play area.

Hotels Near Downtown Disney
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista is located within the Walt Disney World Resort, directly across the street from Downtown Disney. This hotel is the only Hilton that offers Extended Theme Park Hours and there is also a complimentary shuttle to and from the Disney parks.

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is about 1 1/2 miles from Downtown Disney and is surrounded by the Walt Disney World Resort. It has 12 restaurants and a three-acre pool with lazy river to enjoy when you are not exploring the theme parks or Downtown Disney. This hotel also offers free transportation to and from the Disney parks and Downtown Disney.

Visiting Orlando with kids is a great family vacation and I hope these ideas will help you find fun things to do in Downtown Disney with kids!

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Know Before You Go

  • If you’re visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort, be sure to pack adequate walking shoes. The resort is close in size to San Francisco!
  • At Universal Orlando™, the general parking is $25.
  • International Drive is known as the tourist center of the city – you’ll be close to trendy restaurants, bars, and sightseeing activities.

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Susan K. Are you interested in traveling to Orlando? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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