Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs has undergone quite the renovation over the last little while. With myriad shopping, dining and entertainment options for all ages and tastes, it’s definitely a destination unto itself! Here are 12 amazing facts we discovered about Disney Springs.
1. Local Inspiration
If you’ve noticed that Disney Springs has a welcoming, picturesque feel, you’re not alone! In fact, the inspiration for Disney Springs comes from the charming – and always inviting – Florida waterfront towns that people first flocked to over 100 years ago.
2. What’s in a Name?
Disney Springs has been open since 1975, but it hasn’t always gone by its current name. It’s been known by quite a few names over the years, including Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, Walt Disney World Village, Disney Village Marketplace, Downtown Disney, and now Disney Springs.
3. Evolution of a Town
There are 4 different neighborhoods that make up Disney Springs (Town Center, The Landing, Marketplace, and West Side). They’re connected by the spring running through them. According to Disney’s backstory, the “town” was first established around the spring, and then changed over time, so that visitors can track its evolution as they wander around.
4. Free Chocolate
Even if you’re not ordering a decadent hot chocolate or sundae from Ghirardelli (though you really, really should!!), make sure you stop by the store portion of the shop. Why? Staff members hand out free chocolate square samples all day long, full to the brim with caramel. Yuuuuuuum!
Disney Springs is home to the biggest Disney store in the world! It’s called “World of Disney”, and it’s a great one-stop shopping destination! Just make sure you stick with your party – this store is so huge, you may lose them otherwise! Don’t forget to check out the Hidden Mickeys in the murals by the checkout counters.
6. Free, Kid-Friendly Fun
There are plenty of free, kid-friendly activities at Disney Springs. Kids can build endless LEGO creations at the LEGO Store, and budding paleontologists can uncover dinosaurs in T-REX’s dino pit. There’s also a kid-oriented DJ Dance Party that happens at night on the Waterside Stage.
7. Entertainment Galore
There’s never a shortage of live entertainment on hand in Disney Springs! Whether you’re in the mood for a live concert at House of Blues, experience Virtual Reality at The VOID, shoot some hoops at the NBA Experience, or just take a stroll and enjoy a street musician or two, there’s something for you here.
8. Access is a Breeze
It’s easy to get to Disney Springs, no matter where you are on property. It’s accessible by boat, bus, car and even by foot. Plus, you can now get to Disney Springs by bus from any theme park, from 4:00 pm until 11:00 pm (or 2 hours after closing, whichever comes first).
If you’re like us, you’re always looking to save money on a Walt Disney World vacation. Many people aren’t aware that there are discounts available at lots of Disney Springs dining and store locations for guests that have Disney Visa cards, Disney annual passes or who are Disney Vacation Club members. So make sure you ask your server or cashier if they’re a participating location, and let the discounts add up!
10. Surprising Spring Stats
Fun fact: the artificial spring that runs through Disney Springs at the Town Centre contains more than a million gallons of water! And rumor has it that the spring’s length is the same as the distance it takes to walk down Main Street USA to Cinderella Castle. You be the judge!
11. Delicious Dining Options
Predictably, there’s no shortage of amazing food choices in Disney Springs, and there are lots of unique dining experiences to boot. We love ordering cupcakes from the ATM at Sprinkles, and you can wash it down with one of more than 100 options at the roof-top Coca-Cola Store. You can eat among moving, roaring prehistoric creatures and meteor showers at T-REX, and even discover your inner Indiana Jones at the magnificently-themed Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. The options are almost limitless!
12. Novelty Experiences
Once you’re fed and watered, there are still plenty of experiences to be had at Disney Springs, many that you won’t find anywhere else on property. You can see a movie at AMC Disney Springs, take your family bowling at Splitsville, or take a ride 400 feet up in the Aerophile balloon. You can even take a tour in a vintage amphibious car as it drives around the lake at The BOATHOUSE!