About Mike Ellis

Mike has been a Disney fan since his first trip to the Magic Kingdom in 1979 when he was 11 years old. Since that first trip, he has seen parks open, lands close, and attractions come and go, but one thing remains the same, his love for Disney is as strong as ever.

His Disney adventures caused him to start My Dreams of Disney because he wanted to document for his family and friends all of the special Disney Memories he has enjoyed with his family, and since that first post in 2010, Mike's hobby has become his passion!

Now a Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations for over nine years, Mike has helped many of his readers plan and have incredible Disney vacations of their own. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter. Also, connect with us on our Pixie Vacations by Mike Ellis Facebook page to submit a quote request or learn more about all of your possible vacation destinations!

Reader Interactions


  1. mickey

    Great post, Lee! I’m not one for shopping that much, so overall, I do give the nod to the Disneyland version of Downtown Disney. I liked being able to walk there and pass through on my way to one of the parks. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  2. jodiwhisenhunt – Jodi Whisenhunt is a Christian wife, mom, writer/editor, homeschooler, very tired person who is blessed with RA. She is the author of MAGICAL MOUSE SCHOOLHOUSE: Learn While You Play at Walt Disney World Resort, where Disney IS school. Think outside the textbook and expand your homeschool!
    Jodi Whisenhunt

    I would think it’s nice to have the DtD district so close to the parks at Disneyland, but I’m so used to WDW’s roomy space, it might make me claustrophobic, lol! How do the shops & eateries compare?

    • Dis-LEE

      The eateries are somewhat better at DL but not as numerous. The shopping is somewhat disappointing at DL because there are way fewer stores and not many Disney-themed ones at that! I much prefer the WDW version, minus the crowds!

  3. Lisa Cameron

    Great comparison of both DTDs. I love that at DTD in WDW there is something for everyone no matter what kind of mood you are in. Do you get the same feeling at DL? What about the food? Is there a lot to choose from?

    • Dis-LEE

      I found the DL version to be more nightclub orientated, definitely an adult vibe. Food was great with interesting options, but fewer restaurants than WDW version. DL’s DTD is just so much smaller it felt like a cheat after years of visiting WDW’s DTD. I hate to say it, but…

  4. Rolling with the Magic – Melissa is a Disney enthusiast who writes about her experiences at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and on the Disney Cruise Line from the perspective of a wheelchair user. She started her blog, Rolling with the Magic, to not only share her love for all things Disney but to give tips and advice to others who visit the Disney Parks with physical limitations.
    Disney on Wheels

    I love that you argued with yourself in this post. :) We don’t spend too much time at WDW’s Downtown Disney just because it’s a bus or car ride away. We spent a lot more time in Disneyland’s because it was right outside of our hotel and I loved that! Plus there is a Sephora which makes me happy. What’s your favorite restaurant in the WDW version?

  5. Heidi Strawser (@HeidiSays)

    Great post, Lee! I really love the way you compared and contrasted the 2 Downtown Disney’s. I have to admit that I LOVE the WDW version, but don’t have the DL version to compare it to. We’ve been in the Orlando area on business a few times, and just spending a few hours at DtD is enough to give me a Disney fix! I love that. And some of our favorite restaurants are located there too – T-Rex Cafe, Wolfgang Puck Express, and Earl of Sandwich. And the World of Disney Store — I could spend hours in that place!

  6. roemottola
    Rosanne @ The Disney Point

    Love this post Lee, and Disneyness is most definitely a word. I liked that DL’s DTD was convenient. I liked that I didn’t feel exhausted walking end to end. But I really love some of the shops in WDW’s DTD that you can’t find at Disneyland. I agree, I’d have to give WDW the edge with this one! (Maybe it’s just Ghiradelli?)

    • Dis-LEE

      Yeah, the size of Florida’s DTD is a drawback, only eclipsed by the parking situation! Once they complete the new parking structure, that should be lessened somewhat. But a visit to Ghiradelli’s can make it all seem worthwhile!

  7. Dawn Winston – California
    Dawn Cullo

    I agree – I prefer WDW’s Downtown Disney as well, so much more to see and do. What is your favorite place to shop at WDW Downtown Disney?

    • Dis-LEE

      World of Disney is great, but it is getting a little too much of the ‘One Park’ merchandise, not much unique anymore. So I’d have to say D Street! How about you?

  8. Jenn Lissak

    I can’t wait to see DtD at WDW after the full facelift. It’s an alright place to spend an hour or so now, but I think it will be awesome in a few months. I do love that you calk walk right to DtD at Disneyland, though – definitely something to be said for that!

    • Dis-LEE

      Yeah, but I’m beginning to wonder if they’ll ever finish that facelift! But you’re right, it should add a lot to the area. And I would like to see more places to sit down to rest tired feet. Thanks for commenting!

  9. Becca – Boise, ID – Becca is the creator behind This Crazy Adventure Called Life where she shares tips for families at home and on the road. Becca a co-founder of the popular Disneyland with Kids Facebook Group.

    I can’t wait to check out DTD on my first WDW vacation. I am a Disneylander so this half to whole day experience will be new to me. What is one thing you think I should check out while there that Disneyland doesn’t have?

    • Dis-LEE

      Characters in Flight is in DTD in Florida which will give you a great view of the Disney property. You go up in a tethered balloon! Shopping you definitely need to check out D Street. It’s just cool! Enjoy your first visit!

  10. distherapy

    Well, I can see why you used the point, counterpoint approach here- this one’s tough! Your ballerina/heavyweight fighter analogy is perfect; I just love the convenience of Downtown Disney District, but am drawn to the sprawling complex on the water that is Downtown Disney, (especially when arriving by boat). Perhaps when Orlando’s expansion is complete there will be a clear winner here!

    • Dis-LEE

      Have you seen the artwork for the new area expansion yet? Some of the ideas look interesting (i.e. floating cars???) but we’ll have to see if Disney hits it out of the Park. Hopeful! Thanks for commenting!

      • Mary at Capturing Magical Memories – Houston, TX – Hi! I'm Mary and my blog is I am also the wife of a Disney Travel Agent, a mom to 2 boys, a full-time career mom, a budding graphic designer on the side. In the little free time that is left I love to learn about photography. We currently live in Houston, TX and own Disney Vacation Club.

        I had not see the floating cars yet. I could be intrigued. And I do believe if they do it right it will be more than a shopping district like today.

  11. yelverto – Government Consultant, Disney connoisseur, Christ follower, husband, son, brother, traveler, reader, and eater, but not in that order.

    I haven’t really spent a lot of time at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney and I really think that after Disney Springs sets in this will be no contest! I agree with your comparison and great wording!

  12. Beth Green ~ A Disney Mom's Thoughts – Decatur, Alabama – Hey y'all! My name is Beth and I'm the mother to 3 wonderful boys and wife to an amazing husband living in North Alabama. I'm a full time youth minister in the United Methodist Church and I love to act like a kid! I love my God, my family, my friends, my youth, Walt Disney World, and Auburn University, to name a few! I am always planning trips to Walt Disney World, even if they never come true! I try to help others plan trips and figure out the best plan for each family. If you have a question, need advice or suggestions about Walt Disney World, send me an email and I'll answer your questions through a post on my blog! I'll answer your questions based on my past experiences and my personal opinions. If I don't know the answer, I'll find the answer and share what I find! You can contact and find me here: Email- Facebook- Twitter- YouTube- Pinterest- Instagram- Google + Have a Magical Day!
    Beth Green ~ A Disney Mom's Thoughts

    I agree! I do love WDW’s version, but DLR’s was a better location and so quaint! What’s your favorite DTD store?


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