By Melissa Fegely
Disney Springs, which used to be known as Downtown Disney, is a fun and beautifully landscaped area loaded with interesting restaurants and shops to suit all tastes. The area is arranged into four sections called the West Side, the Landing, Town Center, and Marketplace, with new eateries and stores opening all the time as the area expands. Disney Springs is the home to the World of Disney, the largest Disney shopping adventure in the world. There’s so much more to Disney Springs though, and knowing a few secrets about it might make your next visit there more relaxing and hassle-free.
Not many things at Walt Disney World are free, but at Disney Springs there are several opportunities to take advantage of a free treat to satisfy your sweet tooth. Stop by Goofy’s Candy Company, the Ganachery, and Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop at certain times of the day for a free sample of delicious candy.
4. Counter Service Dining Alternatives.
Many guests enjoy the plethora of restaurants Disney Springs has to offer, and advance reservations are highly recommended. Not everyone realizes that counter service dining choices abound as well. Earl of Sandwich has a large and delicious menu at very reasonable prices. Other options at Disney Springs include Cookes of Dublin, offering Irish meals without the wait of the table service restaurant, Raglan Road, next door. Bongos Cuban Café, The Express at Wolfgang Puck® Grand Café, The Smokehouse, and the new food trucks are other good choices for a quick service meal.
3. Music and Dancing.
Guests enjoy the restaurants, shopping, and overall ambiance of Disney Springs, but not everyone knows about the variety of exciting live entertainment happening all the time. Musicians perform in small groups along the walkways, and the Waterside Stage in the Marketplace showcases dance parties and stage shows. Head over to Raglan Road for talented Irish dancers and musicians, or enjoy music acts at the House of Blues. Don’t forget about La Nouba, the incredible Cirque du Soleil performance in the West Side showcasing jugglers, trapeze artists, acrobats, and singers.
2. New Walkway.
Guests staying at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa can take advantage of the walkway between the Marketplace and the resort. A new bridge was built to replace an existing path next to the busy road, and now guests can leisurely walk back in style in about 5 to 10 minutes. Guests staying at Old Key West, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa can take advantage of water taxis as a relaxing mode of transportation to and from Disney Springs.
1. Convenience of Guest Services.
Guest Services locations are in all of the four Walt Disney World parks, and there is one conveniently located in Disney Springs as well. If you need help with ticket issues, Magic Bands, purchasing an Annual Pass, and other similar requests, it’s nice to know that you can get assistance right in Disney Springs. This is invaluable in saving time and being able to enjoy the attractions when you’re actually in one of the parks.