Disney Dining Review: Disney Quest at Downtown Disney
Would you like to pay one admission, then play arcade games without having to chuck quarters into each machine? Well then you may love this Disney location. Here you can play classic video games, newer video games, games of skill, and even experience Disney rides! You have 5 floors of interactive play to while away your hours in and it is open later than most of the parks.
What sets this place apart from other gaming locations is what makes it truly Disney: Rides. You will find unusual versions of some favorite Disney Park rides: Virtual Jungle Cruise is really a high action adventure that yes, you may get wet on this ride. You will navigate your rubber raft down a virtual prehistoric river. Tip: You will have to row quickly and make good decisions along the way. Pirates of the Caribbean is an interactive virtual experience where you and your party try to collect gold and defend your ship and her booty from ghost ships and a ghost pirate. Your ship is armed with four cannons that need to be manned and an additional person to drive the boat using a ship’s wheel. Tips: You may score higher if you have someone at each cannon and a good captain at the helm. Don’t let that ghost ship survive, and especially don’t let the ghost of Jolly Roger take your hard-earned gold! This is my family’s favorite attraction here. (Ride height requirement 35”).
Cyber Space Mountain is a very popular experience where you design your own roller coaster and then you and a guest take a virtual ride on it. You will move in 360 degrees within your ride vehicle. You can even retrieve a video after you ride that shows you in your ride vehicle speeding along the track that you designed. (Ride height requirement: 51”) Buzz Lightyear’s AstroBlaster is a space age looking version of bumper cars. You drive the cars over top of plastic balls (asteroids) spread around the course. As you run over them you can collect them and load them into your vehicle’s cannon. After you load your cannon then you can blast them at other car vehicles causing them to spin and their occupants to be a bit disoriented. This is better enjoyed with two people in each vehicle, one to drive and one to operate the gun. (ride height requirement: 51”)Tip: if you are subject to motion sickness, you probably don’t want to ride this.
Want some physically challenging games? : Try Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam as it gives you the opportunity to be in a life size pinball game where you nudge the ball along with your movements. Ride the Comix is a virtual reality experience where you fight villains as you move around through virtual comic books scenes. You will get quite a workout with your sword action.
There is a whole section of Disney Quest that is a sports-themed arena. Basketball, tennis and golf, are just a few offered. There is a Race Zone apart from the Sports Arena Arcade where you can challenge yourself and other drivers with your great skill at the wheel. Race fans will not be disappointed with the offerings here.
Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride is another virtual reality experience where you fly through the land of Agrabah. You are challenged to find a magic lamp as you move through the back streets of Agrabah and you will meet some of your favorite characters from Aladdin along the way. In the Invasion! An ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter you are joining a mission to rescue innocent colonists while attacking aliens who are trying to invade a nearby planet.
The artists who visit Disney Quest have the opportunity to learn how to draw a classic Disney character in a drawing class, which is done without pencil and paper, but rather with a computer. You can purchase your drawing printed out on paper if you like, for $5. TIP: Go to the drawing class at Disney Hollywood Studios Animation Academy, it so far better and you get to take your drawing home with you, for free. The class is enjoyable and has elements of humor as well. Singers will find Radio Disney SongMaker where they can use a preprogrammed set of tunes and phrases, and add a portion in their own voice, to make up a custom song. They can then purchase a cd of the song as a souvenir. Other offerings in this area are Sid’s Create-a-Toy (remember Sid’s toys from Toy Story?) where you can create a toy or create an artistic masterpiece at Living Easels. This area seems to be set up to make more money for Disney than to really be an enjoyable attraction for the guests.
For the 2-7 year olds there is a separate area especially sized and geared to them. This area is on the fourth floor and right around the corner from Wonderland Café. Tip: it is easy to distract the kids in this area while waiting for food orders to be collected at Wonderland Café.
Classic Arcade games(think Pac Man, Frogger, Asteroids, Galaga, Galaxion, Space Invaders, etc from the 80’s), several forms of pinball, Skee Ball, air hockey, shooting games, driving almost any type of vehicle you can imagine, airplane games, submarine games, and newer games like Guitar Hero, Dance Revolution and Wreck It Ralph, are available until late into the night. This is a great place to come if the weather outside is not the best for enjoying your vacation. It has lighter traffic early in the day, then builds up through the day with the evening being the busiest. Tip: The air conditioning is pretty strong in here too, so you may want to wear appropriate clothes if you tend to get chilled from Florida air conditioning. It is very loud so don’t expect to connect with one another with cell phone calls or messages. Stick to texts here. Be careful with your cell phone as I have found phones lying around as people lay them down to play a game and then get so distracted they just walk away from them. Don’t ruin your vacation by losing a cell phone here.
There are no strollers permitted inside Disney Quest and as true with all Disney inside attractions there is no smoking. The Disney Quest maps, as well as signs on the games themselves, state the expectation that if someone is waiting to play a game you have just played, that your play be limited and move out of the way for the next person to play. This doesn’t always happen, but when asked to move to a different game I have had most people comply with the request quietly. If they don’t move willingly there are a few Cast Members walking around that can assist you, but they are hard to find. Lost and Found is located down on the first level near the exit. There are restrooms on floors 1, 4 and 5. Tip: When moving through Disney Quest you will find it faster to use the stairs. There are elevators for those who want them also.
If you feel you must spend more money, there are the items available for purchase separately, like the artists’ area, there are a few games, such as the Claw, with candy and stuffed animals, and a photo booth that you will see while walking around Disney Quest, and then true to Disney attraction patterns, you will exit into a gift shop, where you will find a nice selection of Disney souvenirs.
With the parking lots for Downtown Disney being renovated to prepare for the future Disney Springs attraction, finding a parking space can be difficult, especially later in the day and the evening. Don’t overlook the parking lot behind Cirque de Solei located at the end of Downtown Disney West Side. There is a walk way directly to the front of Disney Quest. If you park in a different section, you can ride the Disney Sassagoula River boats that stop at multiple places Downtown as well as Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter, directly to the West Side and Disney Quest.
You will work up an appetite at Disney Quest, so Disney offers two dining options. On the fourth floor is Wonderland Café that the map says “serves beverages, snacks and desserts.” On the fifth floor is Food Quest that says on the map that they offer “burgers, dogs, wraps, pizza and desserts” as well as beverages including water, sodas, wine and beer. Food Quest does not actually have dogs on their menu, but the fourth floor Wonderland Café does offer hot dog served with chili. There is a variety of seating here, but the noise level is very high. Tip: the bathrooms are adjacent to each of the eating areas so make sure everyone washes their hands after handling and touching all the surfaces in Disney Quest prior to eating. It would be so nice if Disney would install hand purifier stands throughout this facility. There is free Wi-Fi here but no computers at the table like there used to be.
My party had a Grilled Chicken BLT on a wheat roll with French Fries ($9.19) and a 1/3 Pound Angus Bacon Cheeseburger with French Fries ($9.39), domestic beer ($5.75) and a bottle of water ($2.50). The service was just ok. The food was not really the temperature you would expect from a freshly grilled sandwich, but it was not cold either. We were both very hungry so we ate it anyway. The lettuce and tomato slices were both very fresh tasting on each sandwich. The buns were fresh. The meat did not have much taste other than what you would expect from something that has been waiting all day to be served to someone. The serving staff did not seem to know how to serve or what to do with a complaint so it was not like a typical Disney dining experience at all. It was disappointing and very overpriced for what was presented. I do not intend to eat here again, even when I do go into Disney Quest in the future.
If you don’t want to pay the overpriced amounts for the very poor food offerings inside Disney Quest, the House of Blues is right across the street and has delicious food and beverage options. The change of atmosphere from Disney Quest is nice too. It is a much quieter place to eat than the arcade atmosphere of Disney Quest. There are a number of other nice places to eat nearby Disney Quest if you want a change of atmosphere for awhile. You could also ride the Boat to the other end of Downtown Disney to eat at Earl of Sandwich if you don’t want to walk.
Disney Quest costs $45.00 to get in. It is an option included on many ticket packages so check your tickets you may get in for no additional cost. This is great for gamers, if that is not you, you may enjoy using your option on your ticket for another day at a water park. Disney Quest must do’s: Pirates of the Caribbean, Cyber Space Mountain, Virtual Jungle Cruise, Astro Blaster
I would rate it 3 out of 5 because it needs refurbishment of the facility and updating of some games and virtual experiences. My children have always had a great time here, and so do the other children I see. Parents experience this with your children for a real family treat.
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