When you think of Walt Disney World you may just think of the four theme parks. There is another area that you won’t want to miss, and that is Disney Springs. Two of the best things about Disney Springs are that you do not need an admission ticket to get in, and parking is also free. Over the past few years they have built parking garages with many levels. This helps to accommodate all of the guests who are coming to enjoy this area. If it has been some time since you’ve been to Disney Springs things will look different than what you’re used to. If it’s been years it even has a new name. In 2015 the name was changed from Downtown Disney. Disney Springs is broken down into four areas that feel like a village. Here are some of the highlights from each area at Disney Springs. Note: not everything listed had reopened, but we expect them to soon.
1. West Side
When driving towards Disney Springs you will not be able to miss the giant white theater. Coming soon you will be able to see Drawn to Life Presented by Cirque du Soleil. You will need a separate ticket for the show, but you will not be disappointed. For music fans, House of Blues is a favorite for locals and tourists alike. A new restaurant that you will want to check out is Jaleo by José Andrés, where you can try some authentic Spanish cuisine. A new brewery is City Works Eatery and Pour House. If you’re looking for something that you’re used to there’s also a Starbucks available. There is so much more than just restaurants. The NBA Experience, Splitsville, and AMC Theaters Disney Springs 24 are all great entertainment options and fun for the whole family. There are also unique gift shops like Super Hero Headquarters or Star Wars Galactic Outpost. They have unique items for the movie fan in your group. If you have a sweet tooth, Disney’s Candy Cauldron may be exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re wanting a snack Wetzel’s Pretzels or the Haagen Dazs kiosk are both great options. You also can’t miss the giant balloon in the sky. Aerophile – The World Leader in Balloon Flight costs extra, and you will have an amazing view.
2. The Landing
The Landing is where some of the more club-like venues are located. The Edison has nightly entertainment and specialty food and drinks. STK Orlando and Wine Bar George are a little more high end, and great for a fancy night out. If you’re looking for some great Italian classics Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante has some delicious choices. Right next door Pizza Ponte features gigantic slices of pizza, so bring your appetite. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is a laid back place to hang out with friends. Have you ever wanted to ride in a car in the water? Enjoy a meal at The BOATHOUSE, and then book a ride in a classic amphicar. If you’re looking for seafood, Paddlefish offers great food and ambiance. Those with special dietary requirements will want to check out Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC. Everything is vegan, gluten-free, and kosher, and so tasty that you won’t think that anything is different.
3. Town Center
Town Center is where you can find many higher-end shops like Sephora, Coach, MAC Cosmetics, Luxury of Time by Diamonds International, and more. There are also brands like Tommy Bahama, Fit2Run, The Runner‘s Superstore, UGG, Everything But Water, ZARA, and UNDER ARMOUR BRAND HOUSE, just to name a few. If you have a cupcake craving Sprinkles Cupcakes has many different flavors, including at least one choice that is either gluten-free or vegan. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is great because you are able to have your own pizza baked quickly, exactly how you want it.
If you are looking for specific Disney merchandise there’s a good chance that World of Disney will have it. There is so much Disney merchandise that it can be a little overwhelming when you first walk in, but it’s also a dream come true. The LEGO Store is imagination come to life, where you can build just about anything! Outside of the store there are amazing LEGO creations that offer great photo opportunities. Also in Marketplace there is a different twist on Build-A-Bear Workshop. You can Build-A-Dino to home with you. If you’re looking for some really good music, Advent Health Water Side Stage features many local artists who will blow you away with their talent. Is there someone in your party who loves Christmas? If so, Disney Days of Christmas is an all year round Christmas store. For a fun sit down restaurant try Rainforest Cafe. It is a good option with an awesome atmosphere. Enjoy a drink at Lava Lounge at Rainforest Cafe. It’s not hard to find, just follow the smoke from the erupting volcano. For an affordable quick service meal you can’t go wrong with Earl of Sandwich. Goofy’s Candy Company has creative sweet treats to get that sugar rush. If ice cream and chocolate are your idea of the perfect combination, try Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop. If you added Memory Maker to your package, stop by Disney’s PhotoPass Studio. They have different backgrounds and the PhotoPass photographers will help to capture memories from your vacation.
That is just a small list of all the options at Disney Springs. There are over 100 shops, more than 60 dining options, and almost two dozen different shows, attractions, or events. There really is something for everyone in your group; so make Disney Springs a part of your Walt Disney World vacation.