When most people talk about Walt Disney World they are referring to the four theme parks. There is much more to Walt Disney World than the parks, and that includes Disney Springs. It was formerly known as Downtown Disney, and some people still call it that. If you’re looking to relax and take a break from the parks, or maybe to go on a shopping spree you have found the right place. Not everything you hear about Disney Springs is accurate, so here are ten lies to not believe about Disney Springs.
10. Disney Springs and Disney’s BoardWalk Are the Same
Very often when someone will mention Disney’s BoardWalk the response will be, “You mean Disney Springs.” Or, “Is that the same as Disney Springs?” Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney Springs are two totally different places. They are a couple of miles down the road from each other. Two completely different places, but both are awesome in their unique ways.
9. You Have to Pay to Park
While it’s true that you have to pay to park at the theme parks, parking at Disney Springs is free. It used to be difficult to find parking there but a few years ago they built new parking garages. There are five levels of free parking, and now there’s usually no problem finding a spot. There is still ground level parking, but the parking garages are covered and a great choice. Take a picture to remember what level and row you parked in, and also pay attention to which garage. Otherwise, it won’t be fun to try to find your car and could take quite some time. Note: parking is currently limited to the garages with the COVID-19 restrictions.
8. All Businesses Are Owned by Disney
Just because something is on Walt Disney World property does not mean that it is owned and operated by Disney. If you decide to go shopping at Disney Springs there are many stores that you will recognize like Tommy Bahamas, Sunglass Icon, Sephora, Mac, and many more. There are even businesses that are unique to a specific group like Lefty’s -The Left Handed Store. Many of the restaurants at Disney Springs are owned by outside companies. There are even Disney Springs Resort Area hotels that are not owned by Disney.
7. There’s No Fine Dining
You may think that there’s no fine dining at Disney Springs, but you would be very wrong. The BOATHOUSE, Jaleo by José Andrés, Morimoto Asia, Paddlefish, STK Orlando, and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill are all great options if you’re looking for a signature meal. Make sure you book a reservation ahead of time to guarantee your table for you and your party.
6. Dining on a Budget Isn’t Possible
This kind of goes with our last point but it’s the flip side of the coin. You may now think that everything is super pricey and you can’t afford to eat at Disney Springs, but that is also wrong. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is a great option where you can create your own personal pizza, and it is quite affordable. Other options like Chicken Guy or Earl of Sandwich are great choices if you’re looking for a meal on a budget. If you’re hungry for a snack Wetzel’s Pretzels Kiosk, Marketplace Snacks, or one of the food trucks might have what you’re craving. If you want dessert Sprinkles, Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop, Gideons, and Everglazed are all great options to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you have a dairy allergy, gluten allergy, or are vegan, Erin McKenna‘s Bakery NYC is a great stop for you. They make donuts, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, and more, and everything is vegan, kosher, and gluten-free.
5. It’s Only for Tourists
Some people think that Disney Springs is only a spot to go if you’re on vacation. The truth is that Disney Springs is a favorite for many people who call Central Florida home. It’s a great place to meet up with friends and grab a meal, or just walk around and enjoy the scenery. There really is something for everyone.
4. It’s Just an Outdoor Mall
Ever since Disney Springs went through its huge renovation many people now say it’s just an outdoor mall. They think that because there are stores that you might find at a mall back home. Disney Springs is much more than that. It is truly a destination, unlike your average outdoor mall.
3. You Need a Ticket to Get In
Some people decide to skip Disney Springs because they do not have a ticket to get in, and they don’t want to pay extra. They don’t have a Walt Disney World ticket or Annual Pass. The truth is, no pass no problem. It is completely free to enter Disney Springs. There are places that will charge admission, but you can walk around for free. It’s a great way for those who may not be able to get into the parks to still enjoy some Disney magic.
2. You Can Take a Bus From Disney Springs to the Parks
Many people think that you can take a bus straight from Disney Springs to the theme parks, but that is not true. Since parking is free at Disney Springs they want to make sure that people don’t just park there and take a bus to the parks. You are able to take a bus from Disney Springs to the resorts. There are buses available from the parks to Disney Springs during certain hours, but not back. It’s something that you’ll want to keep in mind when you’re figuring out how you’re going to get around Walt Disney World.
1. There’s No Live Entertainment
Live entertainment is one of the things that truly brings Disney Springs to life, especially at night. There are many local musicians and entertainers that will perform in several spots. They’ll be pouring their hearts out on that stage, hoping to put a smile on your face. Make sure to let them know if you enjoyed their set. The entertainers make Disney Springs feel complete.