Disney Springs is likely to spring to mind when you hope to shop during a vacation in the Walt Disney World Resort. Since transforming from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, many different stores have been added to the shopping and dining district. The addition of the Town Center has welcomed popular brands to Lake Buena Vista, reducing the need for Guests to leave Walt Disney World property.
However, shopping isn’t the only thing to enjoy at Disney Springs. You or your party may not be interested in retail therapy and may wonder if you need to visit during your Disney vacation. The great news is that the answer is yes! There is plenty to enjoy at Disney Springs, aside from shopping. Spending time at Disney Springs can also be a welcomed break from a Disney Park or your Disney Resort hotel. Keep reading to find out all there is to enjoy.
Experience Live Music
Disney Springs comes alive with music throughout the day and into the night. Many different stages around the shopping and dining district provide live entertainment for Guests. Particular places to pass by while exploring Disney Springs include:
- Waterview Park at The Landing
- Springs Overloon in Town Center
- House of Blues
- AdventHealth Waterside Stage
In the evening, you can also enjoy live entertainment at Raglan Road. Other musicians and singers will also perform from different areas of Disney Springs. Keep your eyes open and listen out for unique sounds as you wander.
Enjoy Excellent Dining
Whether you want to sit down for a meal at a full-service restaurant or prefer to enjoy a quick-service meal, there are plenty of options at Disney Springs. The restaurants at Disney Springs are open throughout the day, offering you a variety of dining experiences, ranging from brunch to late-night dining.
Regarding quick service, you won’t just find your regular fast food at Disney Springs. Enjoy a customized pizza from Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza at the Town Center. Freshly made sandwiches are served at Earl of Sandwich in the Marketplace, whereas Morimoto Asia Street Food serves various dishes from 12 p.m. through 8 p.m. daily.
When it comes to full-service restaurants, there are many popular restaurants to dine at in Disney Springs. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant, The BOATHOUSE, STK Orlando, and Wine Bar George are restaurants where advance dining reservations are highly recommended. The restaurants are popular places to dine and offer unique experiences, particularly during the evening. Similarly, T-REX and Rainforest Cafe are popular places for families to eat.
Ride an Amphicar
Disney Springs offers beautiful views across Lake Buena Vista toward Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. When you’re admiring the scenery, you’ll notice that not only the Sassagoula River Boats cruise along the water. Smaller watercraft that look like floating cars also sail on Lake Buena Vista. You can enjoy a Vintage Amphicar Tour from the boat landing next to The BOATHOUSE. Up to four Guests can enter the vintage 1960s Amphicar and enjoy a twenty-minute tour for $125 per car. You’re in for a relaxing Disney experience while offering stunning views of Disney Springs.
Fly in a Hot Air Balloon
If you want to see a unique view of the Walt Disney World Resort, you’ll want to ride on Aerophile. The amazing experience is an 8-minute ride in the world’s largest hand-painted helium balloon. You’ll ascent 400 feet into the air during a ride on Aerophile. While on board, you’ll have 360-degree views of Lake Buena Vista. Purchase your tickets from the ticket booth at West Side in Disney Springs. Adults can ride for $25 per person, while children’s tickets are $20 each. You can take your flight from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, providing wind speeds do not exceed 22 mph, and there isn’t a storm in the area.
Relax with an Alcoholic Beverage
Disney Springs is home to plenty of unique lounges and bars. They’re the perfect place to relax after a day in the Disney Parks. Various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available in each location, so there is something to suit all ages. Our favorite places to relax with a drink in Disney Springs are:
- Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
- Lava Lounge at Rainforest Cafe
- The BOATHOUSE
- City Works Eatery & Pour House
- Raglan Road Irish Pub and Patio
- Stargazers Bar
- Wine Bar George
- Dockside Margaritas
- The Front Porch
See a Movie
If a new movie is released during your Disney vacation, you don’t have to wait to see it. The AMC Disney Springs has plenty of theatres to see new films. Additionally, 6 of the 24 theatres offer a dine-in service. Place your food order, and then enjoy it when it is served while watching the movie. Snacks and beverages are also available if you’d rather skip the dine-in experience.
Knock Down Pins with Disney Character Bowling Balls
Splitsville Luxury Lanes is the place to enjoy a game of bowling during your Disney vacation. While you’ll be playing in a modern venue, the inside is decorated with retro-glam. A variety of drinks and snacks are available to order from the bars inside to accompany your game. Afterward, retire to the bar areas and watch some live sport on the flatscreen TVs or enjoy live music from local performers.
See a Cirque Du Soleil Show
An enormous white tent is an iconic part of the Disney Springs skyline. Located in West Side, the venue is home to Drawn to Life Presented by Cirque du Soleil & Disney. The show tells the story of an animator’s desk that becomes the stage while drawings come to life. Enjoy a combination of favorite Disney songs and breathtaking stunts and acrobatics. Performances take place on Wednesdays through Sundays at select times during the day. Tickets are available to purchase via the Walt Disney World website before your Disney vacation. Alternatively, buy them from the box office at Disney Springs during your visit.
Meet a Disney Artist
Do you have a favorite Disney artist? The Art of Disney store in the Disney Springs Marketplace regularly hosts Disney artists in Artist Showcases. Should your Disney vacation coincide with an artist’s visit to the store, you’ll have the opportunity to chat with them, purchase artwork, and also have it personally signed by them. Artists regularly featured in The Art of Disney include Larry Dotson, William Silvers, Thomas Kinked Studios, and many more.
Getting to Disney Springs
Complimentary transportation is available to Guests from any Disney hotel in Lake Buena Vista. Use the Disney buses to travel to and from Disney Springs. Guests of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, and Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts can also use the water taxi. If you wish to travel to Disney Springs from a Disney theme park or water park, you must go via a Disney Resort hotel, e.g., from Magic Kingdom Park via Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Parking is free for all Guests traveling by car to Disney Springs. Surface parking is available at West Side. Meanwhile, the Lime, Orange, and Grapefruit garages offer covered self-parking in different areas of Disney Springs.