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10 Ways To Survive A Crowded Day At Disney Springs

The transformation of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs is complete, for the most part. There are still additions on the way, but that is the beauty of such an area. New restaurants and stores will keep the district feeling alive. Disney Springs tends to get crowded even during the less busy times of year, but that doesn’t mean that you should stay away. Here are ten tips to survive the Disney Springs crowd.

10) Get Some Ice Cream

Crowds tend to make people cranky, but ice cream can turn that frown into a smile. There are some great choices for ice cream at Disney Springs. You’ll find Haaden-Dazs, Vivoli il Gelato, Florida Snow Company, and other cool selections. Disney Springs is also where you’ll find Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. A sundae made of premium ice cream and Ghirardelli chocolate will make anyone smile.

9) Choose Your Parking

The parking situation at Disney Springs has improved greatly with the addition of the Lime and Orange parking garages. If you’re driving, decide which garage you are going to try for ahead of time. Keep an eye out for the signs. If you miss one garage, just try for the other, but don’t cut across several lanes of traffic in a mad dash to get there. Here’s a tip, Lime often fills up before Orange does. Surface parking is also available, you don’t have to park in a garage. Self parking at Disney Springs is free, and valet is available.

8) Enjoy Live Entertainment

If you’re at Disney Springs during the evening there is a good chance that it will be packed. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a great time. There are several spots that have free live entertainment. Take some time to enjoy it, and the crowd won’t seem to matter. You’ll also find live entertainment inside many of the restaurants, including Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, and Paradiso 37, Taste of the Americas.

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7) Go Bowling

Does your bowling alley back home have 30 lanes, live music, two sushi bars, and a menu created by a celebrity chef? That is what you’ll find at Splitsville Luxury Lanes. You can head inside and try for your best score ever, or maybe instead you’d like to just dine on the outdoor patio. Splitsville isn’t just for bowlers. It’s for anyone who is looking to have fun, even when Disney Springs is crowded.

6) Watch a Movie

Worried that you’re going to miss that hot new flick because you’re on a Walt Disney World vacation? You’re covered at Disney Springs. You can catch all the latest movies, with or without dinner. AMC Movies features 24 theaters, so you are sure to find something that you and your party will all enjoy. Movies offer a great way to beat both the crowd and the heat.

5) Save the Galaxy (opening on December 16)

Virtual reality is a technology that is growing in popularity, because you can literally immerse yourself in another world. At Disney Springs, you can experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID. You and your team of four will be immersed in an adventure where you’ll travel to Mustafar and try to help the Rebellion to survive. On your 30 minute journey you might see some familiar characters along the way. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is unlike anything that you’ve experienced elsewhere at Walt Disney World. Tickets and time slots are available online.

4) Don’t Forget West Side

Disney Springs is made up of four areas: Town Center, The Landing, Marketplace, and West Side. Marketplace is the home of the world’s largest Disney character store. With the opening of Town Center and the updated work on The Landing, West Side is sometimes forgotten. Make sure you don’t miss it! You’ll find unique shopping opportunities, delicious food, more live entertainment, and House of Blues. Don’t stop at Splitsville or AMC.  Keep walking all the way to the end of West Side. You just might find a new favorite place.

3) Grab a Quick Meal

If you’re looking for a quick meal, there are plenty of options at Disney Springs. You can try a kiosk such as AristoCrepes, or sit down and dine at a place like The Polite Pig. Some of the full service restaurants also have walk up windows, making it easy to grab something unique. If you’re really in a hurry but want a meal, try either Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza or Earl Of Sandwich. Both eateries know how to keep the line moving, even on the most crowded days of the year.

2) Shop Early

The crowds at Disney Springs pick up as the day goes on. If you’d like to do a fair amount of shopping, arrive as early as you can. This is especially important if you want to really explore World of Disney. With 12 rooms full of goodies, you might think that it won’t get crowded, but it will be packed by the middle of the afternoon. For the most part World of Disney (and most other shops) will open at 10:00am, so plan accordingly.

1) Enjoy a Special Dinner

Disney Springs is home to several signature restaurants, making it the perfect destination for a romantic dinner for two. You can enjoy steak, seafood, Asian cuisine, and more. Of course a restaurant doesn’t need to offer a signature experience in order to be special. The full service dining options include Cuban, Irish, Mexican, and down home cooking. If you’re looking for a special meal for the whole family, you might want to consider T-REX, Rainforest Cafe, or Planet Hollywood Observatory. One of the most exciting things about dining at Disney Springs is that more unique options are on the way.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.