No trip to Walt Disney World is complete without a trip to Disney Springs. Formerly known as Downtown Disney, Disney Springs is a mecca for dining, shopping and entertainment on Walt Disney World property. There is so much to do and see at Disney Springs that you need to have a plan of attack. Here are my Disney Springs Must-Do’s!
For those of you that know Disney or have been to Disney years ago, you’ve probably heard of Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney was an entertainment and shopping district located towards the outskirts of the Walt Disney World Resort Property. Popular attractions such as Disney Quest and Cirque du Soleil, made their home on this property. In 2013, Disney announced that they would be upgrading and updating this popular location and renaming it Disney Springs. Construction for major parts of the area have finished, revealing a whole new look for your favorite hangout location. Disney Springs features 4 districts which include The Marketplace, The Landing, Town Center and West Side. Here you can have unique experiences, shop some of your favorite brands and even have a delicious meal.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming
Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming is a restaurant located in the new area of Disney Springs called the Landing. This place is definitely worth a stop (or two….)!. The theme is Florida Kitchen/Comfort Food, which is executed throughout the restaurant. The food and drinks are amazing! I highly recommend this for dinner one night. Plus, the view is pretty beautiful too! Check out my full review of Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming here.
If you love chocolate and ice cream, then Ghirardelli should be a stop on your list at Disney Springs. Now I don’t recommend going to Ghirardelli after you eat Homecoming (they have really good homemade donuts), but definitely make a trip there and try some of their delicious ice cream options. Plus, they usually give out free samples of the chocolate, so that’s pretty awesome too! Definitely make a stop at this yummy ice cream shop located in the Marketplace of Disney Springs.
The Boathouse, located at the Landing at Disney Springs, is waterfront dining at it’s best. Home to delicious seafood and steaks, this restaurant will be sure to impress the palette. In addition to it’s delicious restaurant, The Boathouse is home to the Amphicar Taxi Launch, where you can take a 20 minute boat ride around Disney Springs in an antique car. And that doesn’t end the things to do at the Boathouse. You can also stop by the Boatique for different themed souvenirs.
Disney Style Store
Recently opened near the AMC Dine-In Theater, the Disney Style store is where all of your trendy, Disney style dreams come true. Picture your Instagram come alive in a store! If your not interested in purchasing anything, you should still stop here.
The store decor is honestly the cutest and speaks to the trending themes often mentioned on social media. Picture Minnie Ears, Dole Whips and the Tangled Lanterns. I would definitely suggest purchasing a t-shirt or accessory here. The shirts are trendy and they have so many great accessories, like the Danielle Nicole purses.
Also, they have the cutest Disney Ear Display on the wall that every Disney lover probably wants to have in her house.
World of Disney
Ask any Disney veteran and no trip to Disney is complete without visiting the World of Disney store. Labeled as the biggest Disney store in the World, the World of Disney features ANY Disney item you could possibly think of. This recently renovated store is located in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs. Keep in mind that the above sign has changed in the recent months due to the refurbishments happening at the World of Disney store.
Home to some unique shopping experiences, the Marketplace Co-Op in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs is a stop you should be sure to visit. Home to over 5 different shops, the Co-Op is the testing ground for new Disney items. You can purchase a customized phone case at D-Tech on Demand or purchase some Disney inspired travel essentials at Disney TAG. Whatever you decide to purchase, it will be sure to hold a special place.
Disney’s Days of Christmas
If you just love Christmas and love Disney then I have the spot for you. It’s Christmas 365 days a year at the Disney’s Days of Christmas Store in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs. Here you can purchase holiday decor, ornaments and more. Plus, you can even get personalized merchandise at the store.
Other Shopping Spots
In addition to these Disney stores that are located at Disney Springs, there are also some of your favorite stores from home! You can shop your favorite makeup at Sephora, purchase a new handbag at Kate Spade or even purchase a jacket at the Columbia Store. Some of these stores even have some Disney themed merchandise like the Uniqlo store, Kate Spade and Coach.
Another one of your favorites stores that has taken up residence in Disney Springs and before that Downtown Disney is The Lego Store. Even if you aren’t in the market for purchasing some new blocks, the Lego Store has some fun life size displays set up. It is definitely fun to head over and take a look!
During my recent Disney trip, I did something you wouldn’t typically think to do at Disney, I saw a movie! Disney Springs offers two AMC Theater experiences, the Dine-In Theater and the regular theater. **Pro Tip: These two theaters are in separate locations. I thought that they were both by the Disney Style store but that location is Dine-In only. If you walk past the Disney Style store and Starbucks, keep going, you will find the regular theater on the left.** When I was at Disney, the new Avengers film was just released, so I was able to see that there. Besides the movie being AWESOME, the theater is huge and clean. **Another Pro Tip: The line to purchase tickets was ridiculous and the movie was starting in 5 minutes. Instead of waiting online, I used my phone and purchased tickets that way and walked right in.** This is the perfect adventure on a rainy afternoon or night.
Located in the same vicinity as the Marketplace Co-Op and Ghirardelli lies the Marketplace Stage. At this venue, you can see different bands and concerts depending on the night. These usually take place after 7:30pm and really electrify the area of Disney Springs.
The Coca-Cola building can be classified as entertainment and shopping rolled into one. Although I’ve never been inside of this location, I have walked passed it many times and heard wonderful things about it. Beside the shop that lies downstairs, you can head up to the rooftop bar and have a Coke or try different alcoholic beverages using Coke.
If you are staying at a Disney Resort Hotel, there are many ways for you to access Disney Springs. You can take one of the complimentary buses to and from Disney Springs. These buses run late since there are activities that are happening later on in the evening. If you are staying at Saratoga Springs, Old Key West or Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter, you can take a boat along the Sassagoula River that takes you straight to Disney Springs. It is a scenic route that is definitely appreciated. If you aren’t staying here and want to drive, Disney Springs recently received a multitude of parking garages.
What is your favorite place to visit at Disney Springs? Let me know in the comments below!
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