Take a break from the busy parks and enjoy the charm of Disney Springs, an outdoor shopping and dining destination infused with Disney magic. Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney, has undergone several renovations, and the area is now themed as a waterside village with several distinct sections. Guests can stroll through The Town Center, The Landing, The West Side, and The Marketplace without any type of admission ticket. Don’t forget that Disney Springs is more than just restaurants and shopping. Visitors can now experience live entertainment, bowling, movies, an amphicar ride, and an exciting hot air balloon ride. With all of these new additions and activities, it’s important to be prepared for your visit and have a plan. Here are some solid tips for enjoying Disney Springs like a Disney Pro and really experiencing everything this place has to offer.
6. Figure Out Best Time
Unlike the Walt Disney World theme parks that experience peak crowds in the middle of the day, Disney Springs gets very congested in the evening. Guests come seeking a nice dinner and shopping after a long day in the parks. If you want to experience more of the attractions that Disney Springs has to offer without long waits and crowds, consider visiting in the morning and early afternoon.
5. Grab a Map or Use My Disney Experience
Disney Springs has changed greatly over the past few years, and new buildings are being added frequently. Getting a lay of the land with a map saves you from wandering in the wrong direction and saves your feet too. Another plus is that you have a better idea of shops, restaurants, and other areas that you may not have been aware of previously.
4. Make Reservations
Disney Springs is the perfect place to try a new restaurant or revisit a beloved favorite. Signature dining at its best can be found here, with eateries showing off culinary creations of steak, seafood, Pan-Asian, pasta specialties, and much more. Guests can also enjoy meals created by celebrity chefs. Don’t forget to make reservations in advance at many of these places, as they are becoming increasingly popular. It’s also important to remember any discounts you may have, like Tables in Wonderland, the Annual Passholder discount, and the Disney Vacation Club discount.
After a delicious meal, don’t forget dessert. Luckily, dessert options abound in Disney Springs. Check out The Ganachery, Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop, Sprinkles bakery (with a pink cupcake ATM!), Haagen-Dazs ice cream, and Amorette’s Patisserie, just to name a few. There are also two Starbucks locations for a favorite drink.
Enjoy Disney Springs without spending a dime. Pull up a bench or chair and enjoy the exciting live entertainment around every corner. Live local bands lend a party atmosphere to the air. Jump into a lively dance party or pose with a human statue. Don’t forget about the entertainment inside some of the restaurants as well, like House of Blues and Raglan Road. If you don’t mind a slight charge, check out The Void for an amazing virtual reality experience!
Parking is free at Disney Springs, and several new parking garages are available. An easier option might be to take a Disney bus from one of the parks or your onsite resort hotel. If you’re staying at Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, Port Orleans Riverside, or Port Orleans French Quarter, take a relaxing boat ride down the Sassagoula waterway to and from Disney Springs. The boat docks are at the Marketplace and The Landing areas.