Disney Springs-Beyond the Theme Parks

Disney Springs-Beyond the Theme Parks

Disney Springs!  The tag line by Disney is “Happily, whatever you’re after!”  In all ways that is true.  Read those banners around the Springs, “Shop, Dine, Play”.  That’s exactly what you will find there.  It’s tough to sum up all the options you have when it comes to spending time in this Disney District, but I’m going to try!

Why you should go to Disney Springs

I know you can’t imagine another “place” you MUST visit during your Disney vacation.  After all, isn’t 4 theme parks enough?  Do you need one more spot to spend your money while on this type of trip?  Good thing Disney Springs doesn’t require a park ticket or have an admission cost! 

You can get a relaxing professional shave and hair cut at the Art of shaving on your visit
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

This dining, shopping and entertainment district on Disney property is open to the public daily and is where you will find “one of kind” shopping, familiar retailers, live entertainment day and night, and some of the BEST food on property!

When you should go to Disney Springs

Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Disney Springs photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Do you need a break from the theme parks?  Maybe your family would like to chill out for a breath after all those hectic moments racing to attractions.  You can catch a movie or grab a bite while challenging your loved ones to a few rounds of bowling (in the air conditioning!!). 

World of Disney is the largest Disney Merchandise shop on property
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Disney Springs is also home to the largest Disney Merchandise shop on property- World of Disney.  You can step outside the go, go, go of any one of the parks for souvenirs and it will reward you with a large selection.  Pro tip- Uniqlo (shop at the Springs) has quality Disney related apparel at a fraction of the price!  Check it out!

And there’s MORE…

Shop at one of a kind and familiar retail stores at the Springs
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Not only will you find stores for Disney Merch at the district, but you can also shop Sephora, Harley Davidson, Under Armour, Pandora, and so much more.  There are also one-of-a-kind shops to browse such as Market Place Co-op (a Co-op as the name suggests of separate merchants showcasing their treasures).  Shop for Art, jewelry, crystal/glass gifts, or clothing. 

Marketplace Co-op at Disney Springs Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Dining at Disney Springs

This might be tough to highlight because truthfully, whatever you want to eat- you’ll find it here!  Perhaps if I broke it down into food categories I can manage to touch on most.

Snacks: The Daily Poutine, Wetzel’s Pretzels, Yesake (sushi)

Quick bites available in plenty
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Coffee: Joffrey’s, Starbucks, Everglazed Donuts

Quick lunch: Earl of Sandwich, Chicken Guy, Blaze Pizza, Food Trucks, D-Luxe Burger

The Food Truck Court at Disney Springs Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Barbeque: Polite Pig, Smokehouse at House of Blues

Seafood: The Boathouse, Paddlefish

Latin American/Tex Mex: Paradiso 37, Frontera Cocina

Italian: Maria and Enzo’s, Terralina Crafted Italian

Dessert: Sprinkles Cupcakes, Salt & Straw Ice Cream, Swirls on the Water (dole whip), Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, Haagen-Dazs, Vivoli il Gelato, Amorette’s Patisserie, Everglazed Donuts

Salt & Straw Ice Cream has unique flavors with themes that change the first Friday of the Month
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Kid Friendly: T-Rex café, Rainforest Café

T-Rex Cafe Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Southern Comfort: Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming

Homecoming by Chef Art Smith also has an outdoor “shine” bar for specialty crafted Moonshine
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

American favorites:  Planet Hollywood, City Works

Irish: Raglan Road Irish Pub

This is not all of them.  There are so many choices, you would be hard pressed to be disappointed.  The best part is that the quality of the food is as big of a hit as the seemingly unlimited options. 

Adulting at Disney Springs

Date night?  It’s easy to have a wonderful night out with your significant other or friends at Disney Springs.  Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar has an amusing and interesting atmosphere on the water.  Grab unique cocktails and appetizer dishes while you look around. 

In the mood to dress up?  Head to Jaleo by Jose Andres for Spanish Tapas or Wine Bar George for a huge selection of wines and great food by Master Sommelier George Miliotes.  Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto provides a beautiful evening of Asian cuisine at Morimoto Asia

Jaleo by Jose Andres for Spanish Tapas Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

If you just have cocktails in mind, have a seat at House of Blues, Dockside Margaritas, Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar or Hole in the Wall at Raglan Road Irish Pub.  You can also take a Mixology class at The Edison on select days as a fun idea for adults.

Live Entertainment and PLAY at the Springs

Disney’s Aerophile takes guests 400 ft. in the air for amazing views
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Disney’s Aerophile is a helium filled balloon that takes you 400 ft. in the air above the Disney property for spectacular views.  You can also choose a fun cruise around Lake Buena Vista in a Amphicar with a driver/tour guide. 

The Amphicar beside the Boathouse Restaurant takes guests on a tour of Lake Buena Vista
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Do you have little ones that haven’t had their fill of riding those attractions?  Disney Springs has a small carousel and a mini train ride for tiny tykes to jump on. 

The Disney Springs mini Carasoul
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

There are also live performers on the regular for your music and entertainment pleasure.  The Springs has quite a few staging areas throughout the district where both small and larger acts set up day and night.  Music fills the air wherever you go and not just the Disney themed type. 

The Westside stage hosts live performances almost nightly
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

How to get to Disney Springs

Transportation to Disney Springs is easy.  Resort guests can take Disney Bus Transportation from any resort.  In addition, some of the resorts in the area such as the Port Orleans Resorts, Old Key West Resort and Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas provide boat ferries. 

The resort boat dock for Disney Resort Guests at the Springs
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa as well as some Good Neighbor hotels are also within walking distance to the district.  That’s VERY convenient.   If you are driving, there are 3 parking garages available with free parking- BONUS!

You cannot however grab a bus from the theme parks to Disney Springs and vice versa.  You’re only option is to take transportation from the resorts themselves, drive or take that boat.

Wrapping up the Disney Springs District

Disney’s Shopping, Dining and Entertainment district will give you a break from the hectic pace of the theme parks and offer you “happily, whatever you are after” while you visit.  Relax, Shop, enjoy good food, have some fun, and have a unique experience. 

If you would like to know more about it, you can find that in 5 Reasons You Need to Visit Disney Springs.  You can also get some great ideas for alternative activities while on vacation at Disney World in Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Disney World

In addition, you can also get some highlights on the 4 Theme Parks on Disney World property by clicking the links below:

How to Maximize Your Day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Why Epcot in Disney World is a Hidden Gem

The Best Way to Maximize Your Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

6 Things You Must Do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

If you have any experiences while visiting Disney Springs I failed to mention, please share them below in the comments. 

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