By Paula K
Disney Springs is incredible, and it keeps getting better and better. The district has close to twice as many choices as it did when it was Downtown Disney, and they aren’t done yet! Parking is quite a bit easier than it was a couple of years ago, there are now two garages and a third one is planned. In a day and age where prices seem to keep rising, parking at Disney Springs remains free. If you haven’t stopped by Disney Springs lately, make it a part of your next Walt Disney World vacation. You will soon see why we keep going back.
With all four lands at Disney Springs now open, it feels more like a real town than it did when it was Downtown Disney. True, it’s a town filled with over 150 shops and restaurants, but the theme makes it worth the trip. Parts of it are beautiful. Marketplace and West Side still have the same basic feel. The Landing has a more upscale tone than the area did before, and the water is incorporated into the theme. The most unique area of Disney Springs is Town Center. With Spanish architecture, you might not feel like you are still at Walt Disney World. There are some great picture opportunities, and sometimes PhotoPass photographers are on hand. If you can, visit Town Center first thing in the morning. It will be less crowded so you can take more pictures, and you’ll miss the heat of the day.
Taking a day off from the theme parks but still want to be entertained? Sleep in, then head to Disney Springs! You can see a movie, bowl, take a balloon ride, participate in a dance party, watch a local band, attend a concert, and more. Disney Springs may be known for shopping and dining, but there are plenty of entertainment options as well. There is always something going on.
There was always plenty of shopping at Downtown Disney, but Disney Springs takes it to a whole new level. There are now over 100 shopping choices. There are still classic Disney options such as World of Disney, Goofy’s Candy Company, and Once Upon a Toy. Newer places include well known names such as Vera Bradley, Sephora, and Francesca’s. One of the fun parts of Disney Springs is that there are many small kiosks where you’ll find everything from jewelry to dog accessories. Part of the fun of a Walt Disney World vacation is picking up souvenirs, and there are plenty to choose from at Disney Springs.
3. Quick Food Choices
If you want a snack or an affordable meal, there are plenty of choices at Disney Springs. You’ll find pretzels, cupcakes, food trucks, sausage, ice cream, vegan baked goods, and possibly the best burgers served at Walt Disney World. Thirsty? How about Starbucks, smoothies, Coke products, margaritas, or maybe moonshine? Some of the full service restaurants have walk up windows, which you might want to consider if you couldn’t get a reservation. If you’re hungry, in a hurry, and close to your credit limit, there are two restaurants that you might want to consider. Earl of Sandwich has been around for years, while Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is a more recent addition. The lines might be long for either choice, but they move quickly.
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2. Casual Sit Down Meals
If you have heard anything about Disney Springs, it probably included all of the fine dining options. While those are fantastic, there are also some great casual places for a meal. You can dine with the dinosaurs, inside an observatory, in the middle of a rainforest, or while watching a movie. You can also travel around the world, with Irish, Italian, and Cuban classics, or try dishes from all of the Americas. If you’d rather stay close to home, try Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming. The celebrity chef was once a part of the Disney College Program, and he’s happy to bring his delicious creations back home.
1. Signature Dining
There are many different signature dining experiences at Disney Springs, enough to keep you coming back. The fine dining restaurants are all unique, and they take the word “experience” very seriously. You can enjoy fresh seafood, fine steak, Pan-Asian specialties, and Californian cuisine. Some of the signature restaurants are associated with celebrity chefs, and the results are spectacular. Disney Springs is not yet finished, so even more signature dining is on the way. You can relax with a fine meal, enjoy a decadent dessert, and sip a signature cocktail. The rush and bustle of the theme parks will feel like a distant memory.