The Official Guide On What To Do At Disney Springs On Vacation

Visiting Walt Disney World is sure to be on the bucket list of every visitor to Orlando. But don’t overlook a chance to visit Disney Springs. Disney has given this Downtown Disney location a significant makeover, transforming it into one of the most vibrant and interesting entertainment and shopping districts in Orlando. With over 150 restaurants, retail outlets and lots of entertainment, this spot is happening day and night, and has something for you regardless of age and interest.

What Is Disney Springs? 

Previously referred to as Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, Disney Village Marketplace, Walt Disney World Village, and Downtown Disney, Disney Springs is an outdoor dining, shopping, and entertainment complex located at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Inside the complex are four different areas named The Landing, Marketplace, West Side, and the Town Center. You’ll find great attractions (think helium balloon rides and amphicars) great dining from grab and go to celebrity chefs, and over a dozen entertainment venues. Add to that fantastic shopping, easy access and free parking, and you have a winner!

Things To Do At Disney Springs

So what are the best things to do at Disney Springs? The real question is what do you do first? Because the fun is non-stop. Since Disney Springs has undergone such a major transformation, there are now dozens of fun activities to include in your itinerary.

Characters In Flight

Rising up to 400 feet in the air, Characters in Flight is the largest tethered helium balloon in the world and is one of the best attractions you’ll find in Disney Springs. This helium balloon has a capacity of 29 guests for each ride where you’ll be wowed by stunning views of Orlando, and the theme parks. This ride is located on the West Side of Disney Springs near Splitsville. By the way, yo just may be flying with Tinker Bell, Dumbo and Aladdin.

Characters In Flight

Splitsville

Splitsville Luxury Lanes is yet another attraction that can be found in what was once called Lake Buena Vista. This two-story, 50,000 square- foot bowling and dining complex is perfect for families who want to unwind after an exciting day in Walt Disney World. Of course, there’s more to Splitsville Luxury Lanes than luxury bowling lanes. With billiard tables, 4 bars, entertainment and indoor/outdoor seating, Splitsville blends nostalgia with the contemporary.
Dining choices range from fresh-rolled sushi to cheeseburgers and hand tossed pizza.

Desserts

Disney Springs offers MANY dining options. Don’t overlook their selection of dessert shops. Top of your meal, or just have dessert for dinner! Check out Vivoli Il Gelato, Amorette’s Patisserie, and Sprinkles. Whatever your sweet tooth is craving, you’ll be sure to find it here.

Celebrity Chefs

If you’re looking for a special place for lunch or dinner, Disney Springs is the place to be. Many celebrity chefs have set up shop at this location. There’s Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Morimoto Asia by Masaharu Morimoto, and Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen by Art Smith who promotes farm to table freshness. What a great chance to sample the best offerings your favorite celebrity chef right here at Disney Springs.

Amphicar Tours

Still wondering where to start at Disney Springs? A one-of-a-kind adventure is to join an Amphicar Tours. An amphicar is essentially a combination of a car and a boat, meaning it transforms and can travel both on land and sea. Experience riding in one while you’re in Disney Springs by joining the Amphicar Tours hosted by The Boathouse. Once you are aboard the Amphicar, you’ll be driven onto Lake Buena Vista where you’ll get to see the landmarks and hidden beauty of Disney Springs. The Venezia Tours is a classier option offered by the Boathouse that you might want to consider, which is a 40-foot Italian water taxi that will take you on a trip around the area.

Amphicar Tours

LEGO Store

Kids and kids-at-heart shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out LEGO’s store while they are in Disney Springs. There’s tons of fun, excitement, and creativity happening here. Head to the tables that have brick pits in the middle where there are thousands of different parts that you can use to assemble whatever it is that you have in mind. You can spend the entire day here without even purchasing anything as long as you return the bricks back to where they belong. And, it’s not just the kids who will be busy building here, because adults too will not be able to pull themselves away from LEGO as they reminisce about their childhood.

Once Upon A Toy

Mr. Potato Head will always be a classic toy everywhere, and while you’re at Disney Springs, you can get to build your own Mr. Potato Head. When you head to Once Upon a Toy, your kids will want to spend hours playing where there’s a Potato Head tower that dispenses endless amounts of parts and other accessories. The best part is that parents aren’t forced to purchase anything in the shop for the kids to play with the potato head.

Shopping

Disney Springs has become known now as one of the top shopping venues in Orlando. There are over 100 retail outlets including a Disney store with the largest assortment of Disney merchandise anywhere, a Harley-Davidson store, brand name shops and unique boutiques.

Best Foods to Eat in Disney Springs - Disney Springs Restaurants


Aside from the boat tours, toy stores, shopping and other attractions, Disney Springs choices of restaurants are ample! They range from a quick bite to themed restaurants to celebrity chefs restaurants. Here are a few Disney Springs restaurants that you’ll want to consider. 

Jaleo

Hand-carved jamon iberico, a carafe of sangria, and some rotating paella choices are just a few examples of food that Jaleo has to offer. The traditional Spanish cuisine gets a modern twist in Jaleo to delight your palate.

Jaleo

D-Luxe Burger

If you have a craving for a great burger while you’re in the area, go for D-Luxe Burger. Choose from their blends of Angus short rib, chuck, and brisket, to those greasy, crispy-edged patties, all the way to their buttery toasted Parker House buns. Your mouth will be watering when you see their choices of burgers. Upgrade and get their fresh-cut fries and various dining sauces too.

Wine Bar George

Here, you can get delicious little drops that are packed with Havarti, mascarpone, pecorino, and fontina, and are fried using a cracker crust made from spicy jalapeno. These drops are delightful and tasty surprises. This is one of the best of Disney Springs restaurants.

Helpful Tips When Planning Your Trip To Disney Springs

If you’re thinking about going to Orlando but would like to try something different aside from the theme parks in the area, be sure to make plans before heading out. Here are a few tips that you should consider.

Plan Ahead

Plan ahead when you’re considering heading to Disney Springs. The best thing to do is familiarize yourself with the area and prioritize your preferences for dining destinations, shops that you’ll want to visit, and other attractions you’re interested in.

Park Where Your Last Stop Will Be

If you’ll be spending your day here in Disney Springs, it’s a good idea to park closest to where your last stop will be. Your feet will thank you! After your evening entertainment plans, choose a garage that is closest to the area.

Reservations Help

An important tip to make your trip to Disney Springs smooth sailing is to make reservations as far in advance as possible. Get your preferred seating times in your preferred restaurants and avoid long lines and wait times, especially in restaurants.

Get Ready For Rain

The outdoor mall can be a refreshing change to your regular malls; however, when the Florida rain hits, you’ll be ducking for cover unless you have an umbrella or poncho with you. Make sure that you bring a hat and that you slather on sunscreen if you plan on walking around the area as the Florida sun can be quite hot and intense.

Get Ready For Rain

Dine “off “ hours.

With all the walking, shopping, and exploring that you’ll be doing, your stomach will surely be ready for some delicious food; however, the long lines in restaurants, especially those that may be owned by a celebrity chef, can be inconvenient and annoying. If you want to avoid the uncertainty of not getting a table, dine at off hours or make reservations.

Still wondering what to do at Disney Springs? There are literally dozens of fun activities that you can do here for an enjoyable day or evening. Regardless of whether you’re on your own or with the whole family, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

What To Do At Disney Springs

[1] Wikipedia; Disney Springs.
[2] Traveling Mom; 10 Best Things to Do in Disney Springs for Families, by Sarah Gilliland, November 24, 2018
[3] Visit Orlando; Top 10 Must-Do's at Disney Springs® in Orlando, 2019
[4] DIS Walt Disney World; 10 Free Activities for Kids at Disney Springs, By JeniLynn Knopp, Posted on March 24, 2016
[5] Eater; The 18 Best Things to Eat in Disney Springs, Florida.
[6] Undercover Tourist; 20 Amazing Disney Springs Tips for Your Next Trip, by Mommy Frog on April 22, 2019

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