To visit Disney Springs in Orlando is to immerse yourself in a world of entertainment that takes you far away. This Walt Disney World Resort landmark offers a multitude of attractions, restaurants and specialty stores.
You can go shopping, savor delicious cuisine or simply enjoy Lake Buena Vista’s waterfront. Don’t miss popular experiences like flying in the Aerophile balloon, eating a delicious cookie from Gideon’s Bakehouse, having your photo taken with the Coca-Cola polar bear or watching a movie in one of the 24 AMC movie theaters.
What’s more, admission and parking are free!
What is Disney Springs?
Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney until September 2015, is an entertainment center located in Orlando, Florida. It’s part of the Walt Disney World Resort complex. Inspired by Florida’s charming seaside towns, this venue offers a shopping, dining and entertainment experience.
It comprises over 150 establishments divided into several themed zones, offering visitors a wide range of options. Disney Springs definitely has something for everyone.
Disney Springs: an unbeatable Orlando destination
Disney Springs is not only a place for recreation and exploration. With regular open-air shows, you can enjoy live performances by talented artists as you stroll along.
In general, restaurants are located near the water’s edge. The shopping and entertainment sections are closer to the parking lots.
- Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m.
- Recommended duration of visit: Approximately 2 – 3 hours
The area is also known for its special events, which vary each month and each visit. Please consult the calendar on the Disney Springs website.
For a breathtaking experience, opt for the Aerophile balloon, the world’s largest helium balloon. It offers an unrivalled 8-minute panoramic view of Disney Springs and the surrounding area.
For a different kind of shopping experience, visit Marketplace Co-Op, where you’ll find :
- A range of specialized Disney items for kitchen, home, pets and more
- What’s necessary to create your own customized cell phone case, Apple Watch bracelet or MagicBand featuring the full range of Disney characters and themes.
For all purchases made at Disney Springs with a Canadian credit card, remember that the vast majority of issuers charge an additional foreign currency conversion fee of 2.5%. This is in addition to the exchange rate!
Check your credit card details carefully. There are 3 standout cards in Canada that don’t charge that pesky conversion fee.
Explore Disney Springs attractions
In the heart of Disney Springs, you can explore a wide variety of things to see.
If you’re more of an art lover, don’t miss the Disney Springs Art Walk, located at the Town Center. This walk allows you to admire the colorful, emotionally-charged works of talented artists.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, head to the M&M’s boutique. Inside, there’s a huge, impressive wall of multicolored candies to create your own sweet packs.
Located in the Westside section, Splitsville Luxury Lanes is a retro-style bowling alley where the whole family can play. The complex also features live entertainment, pool tables, an American-style food restaurant and live music to keep you entertained all evening.
Cirque du Soleil also has its famous big masts at Disney Springs. Its show Drawn to Life is a blend of Disney art and the original art of Cirque du Soleil.
Discover the best restaurants in Disney Springs
Disney Springs’ restaurants are a gourmet’s paradise. With a multitude of restaurants offering international cuisine, adults and children alike are spoilt for choice. For the best dining experience in all of Disney Springs, don’t miss Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, where Southern cuisine takes center stage.
- The Boathouse: For waterfront dining and the best seafood in Disney Springs. Then take a 20-minute guided tour of Lake Buena Vista aboard a vintage amphibious car.
- Morimoto Asia : An excellent Asian fusion restaurant run by renowned chef Masaharu Morimoto. Its Morimoto Asia Street Food twin is a faster, cheaper version.
- Wine Bar George : Casual style offering a selection of wines from around the world and bistro-style cuisine.
- Earl of Sandwich: Offers sandwiches at very affordable prices
- Chicken Guy! Fast food at reasonable prices for chicken in all its forms and original sauces
- Jaleo : Offers a variety of Spanish tapas, including its famous paella
- The Polite Pig: Delicious barbecue-style restaurant
- D-Luxe Burger: Serves the best burgers in Disney Springs
For a more exotic ambience, the Rainforest Café offers a jungle-themed family dining experience. Every hour and a half, its huge volcano outside spits fire for 2 minutes. It’s so huge and intense that you can even see it from the Orlando World Center Marriott hotel!
Located in Marketplace, the T-REX restaurant has a prehistoric decor with a huge T-Rex at the entrance. Quite simply, it’s a fun and enjoyable experience for children and adults alike.
The best snacks not to be missed at Disney Springs
Disney Springs offers a wide variety of places to satisfy a craving. Whenever you can, make a beeline for Gideon’s Bakehouse, renowned for its large, totally decadent cookies. The queue will be well worth it.
- Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolat Shop: Ideal for lovers of sundaes and wonderful chocolate
- Vivoli il Gelato: With ingredients sourced directly from Italy, these gelatos are exceptional.
- Salt & Straw: where ice cream flavours are original, like the sublime Strawberry, Honey Balsamic and Black Pepper flavour.
- Marketplace Snacks: Serves the famous DOLE Whip, outside the Disney parks
- La Ganachery: a boutique of fine chocolates for sweet lovers
Last but not least, Disney Springs also offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, to easily meet all visitors’ dietary needs.
Must-see stores at Disney Springs
Disney Springs is a shopper’s paradise. With over 100 stores, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for, or something you didn’t know you needed!
- LEGO Shop: a paradise for Lego fans, with exclusive sets and interactive building zones. Take a photo of yourself in front of the huge Lego figures at the entrance to the store.
- UNIQLO: a clothing boutique offering everything from graphic t-shirts to basic apparel.
- Disney’s Days of Christmas: a store dedicated to Christmas decorations, open all year round.
- Star Wars Galactic Outpost: a must for Star Wars fans, with a wide range of merchandise inspired by the films.
- Disney Pin Traders: Buy MagicBands, exchange or purchase Disney pins
World of Disney (Disney Store)
World of Disney at Disney Springs is the world’s largest Disney store, where you’ll find a multitude of Disney products, from clothing to toys to collectibles. You can really spend hours and hours here.
In fact, at the entrance to World of Disney, the Stitch character subtly sprays passers-by from time to time.
Accommodation near Disney Springs: the best hotels
Among the best hotels near Disney Springs, you’ll find Delta Hotels Orlando Lake Buena Vista, which is about a 25-minute walk from Disney Springs, as well as these from Marriott Bonvoy Group :
Walt Disney Disney Good Neighbor hotels also offer additional services such as free transportation to Disney Parks and Disney Springs.
Parking at Disney Springs: tips and information
If you’re planning to drive to Disney Springs, it’s essential to plan your parking carefully. Digital signs at the entrance let you know the capacity of each parking lot and how many spaces are left.
During the week, it’s generally easy to find a place to park your car. However, on weekends, public vacations and major events, parking is much more difficult.
Don’t hesitate to use the free shuttles, if your hotel offers them. Some hotels, like Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, even offer a boat shuttle to Disney Springs.
The complex has several free parking options, including 5 parking lots:
- Strawberry and Watermelon
- Covered parking garages : Orange, Lime and Grapefruit
Orange parking is ideal if you want to get to the area near the AMC Disney Springs 24 cinema and the M&M’s boutique.
The Lime parking lot is near the World of Disney store, and the Grapefruit parking lot is behind the Lime, a little further back.
Remember to arrive at least 60 minutes before any scheduled event, show or reservation. The time it takes to find parking, pass through security and walk to your destination can take longer than expected! Disney Springs is bigger than you think.
Want to learn more about the world of Disney? Read our guides to find out how to save and live the experience with points: