Quick Guide to: Disney Springs

Disney Springs, formally known as Downtown Disney, is a marketplace in Disney World full of restaurants, shops, boutiques, and entertainment. Not only is it entirely free to walk around and explore, but has a ton of things to do and see. I’ve been going here ever since I was a child and I have so many amazing memories with my family and friends. Over the years the downtown centre has undergone numerous transformations- today it is a complete masterpiece. Both a hit during the day and night, Disney Springs is a must see while in Orlando.

I like to spend a few hours here usually for lunch or dinner with enough time to shop around and pick up some Mickey Mouse souvenirs. It is a pretty busy complex so definitely grab a map before you leave and pick a few places you want to visit. Here are a few recommendations on where to eat, what to do, and what to see:

How to Get Here

If you’re driving to Disney Springs there are two brand new parking garages colour coordinated Orange and Lime to help you find your way. By boat cruise on over by complimentary water transportation, departing from a few select Disney resorts. My personal favourite is the easy-to-use and convenient Walt Disney World complimentary bus transportation option. These buses are fast and frequent. You’ll be seeing them everywhere on Disney property.

Where to Eat

Paddlefish

For one of the most memorable dining experiences in Disney Springs board the anchored Paddlefish boat and indulge in some of the freshest seafood around. With an impeccable rooftop view of the marketplace, an exquisite culinary team, and an inviting ambience this restaurant is not to be missed. Favourites from dinner included the Half Chicken with Carolina mop sauce as well as the Shrimp & Grits with spicy black pepper-butter sauce. I can definitely see myself back here again soon!

Half Chicken

Sprinkles

A late night cupcake ATM, gourmet colourful treats, what more could I look for in a bakery? Sprinkles is known for its rotating menu of cupcakes, ice cream & cookies. If you’re looking for a tasty dessert try this place! I ordered the Vegan Red Velvet cupcake and it was freaking delicious. Enjoy your cupcake with a grand view of the crystal clear waters of the Springs right out front or take it to go and wander around the Landing.

What to Do

Shopping

From browsing the boutique stores in the Town Centre to finding with your favourite Disney toys in the Marketplace, there are tons of areas to shop around Disney Springs. If you’re looking for high-end brands such as Anthropologie, Sephora or Lacoste head over to the Landing and Town Centre, a newly renovated complex where you’ll get lost in a shopping experience like no other. 

Entertainment

Disney Springs is packed with entertainment. Cirque Du Soleil, Disney Quest, House of Blues or Splitsville Lanes, can all be found within the downtown core. There’s a wide variety of unique possibilities ranging from live music to nighttime spectaculars. (I worked a shift at Cirque Du Soleil during my time in the Disney International College program, and the show was incredible definitely go see it!)

Cruise

For leisure or public transportation Disney operates a complimentary shuttle boat which crosses Lake Buena Vista. You can take it to a different part of the Springs either east or west. Or, you could try riding it down the river to Saratoga Springs Resort and Old Key West Resort. It is a fun way to see Disney all the while taking it easy and enjoying the sights.

Tips

  • Plan to spend at least 60 mins here, you wouldn’t want to miss out on anything.
  • Try a free chocolate piece from Ghirardelli Chocolate. They are so so good! 
  • Pay a visit to Rainforest Cafe, the animatronic animals and rainforest show are cool to watch.

12 Comments

  • neha May 16, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    I could spend a lot more than 60 minutes here. Looks like a really cool place to spend some time. Thanks for the guide

    Reply
  • Sandy N Vyjay May 16, 2017 at 5:46 am

    We have not heard about Disney Springs but it does sound like a fun place to spend time with family and friends. I especially loved the late night cupcake ATM. Kids would love it! 🙂

    Reply
  • Wandermust mummy May 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I’d never heard of this place but will be sure to check it out when we take our little one

    Reply
  • michele h peterson May 15, 2017 at 11:49 am

    I’ve never heard of Disney Springs but it sounds like a great place to stop at if you’re in Orlando. The Ghirardelli Chocolate is another good motivator

    Reply
  • Crysta May 15, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I love the idea of a late night cupcake ATM. Who doesn’t need that?! Way better than room service in my opinion!

    Reply
  • Jaime S May 15, 2017 at 11:31 am

    That sprinkles ATM got me in trouble when I lived by it!

    Reply
    • Quinn May 18, 2017 at 6:31 am

      I was just thinking that as soon as I read the words “cupcake ATM.” Like if I lived nearby I would have to be rolled home. ROLLED.

      Reply
  • Zinara May 15, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Nice little guide to Disney Springs! The food at Paddlefish looks mouthwatering, too. Your photos are so aesthetically pleasing x

    Reply
    • My One Big Planet May 15, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      It was so delicious- especially the dessert there! Thank you 🙂

      Reply

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