While a lot of the newer additions to Disney Springs are geared toward adults with the trendy lounges, fine dining and great shopping, there are still many things there to attract children and families. There are enough kid-friendly activities to keep young ones happy for a good part of the day (and if mom & dad can sneak in some shopping in between all the better). Here are 8 great things for Kids at Disney Springs.
8. T. Rex and Rainforest Café
With all of the great dining options at Disney Springs don’t forget that there are two very interactive restaurants that most kids love: T. Rex and Rainforest Café. Both operate under the same premise of immersing you into an environment of either the prehistoric world or the rainforest, and both are filled with animatronic dinosaurs or animals that come to life. This can either be incredibly entertaining to children or completely terrifying—you have to judge for your children. When a “show” scene starts up at the restaurants it can get quite loud with animal noises and storms, and it is a little dark inside. If these things are intimidating to your children you might want to skip it. But otherwise T. Rex and Rainforest Cafes serve up kid-friendly dishes with plenty of fun atmosphere. Not to mention the attached merchandise options like building your own dinosaur at T. Rex.
7. The VOID
Disney Springs is home to a hyper-reality (like virtual reality) experience themed to the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is an immersive experience that is perfect if your kids are Star Wars fans or you have tweens/teens who are looking for an experience like this virtual reality game. I have no idea how it works blending a virtual world with the actual physical world around you, but the effects are amazing and you truly feel like you are in another world when you take part. Check out thevoid.com/Orlando for more details and to find out about making reservations.
6. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Looking for a more low-key immersive experience? Make an appointment for your child at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique to have a magical makeover. The Boutique at Disney Springs is located right next to The VOID mentioned above. Here your girls can be transformed into their favorite princess with various packages (and price points) available. And while it is most popular with girls, boys like to play dress up too, and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique offers a gallant knight package for boys who would like to take part. There is also a nearby PhotoPass location in the Marketplace where you can head after the makeover to capture the moment with a studio backdrop. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is very popular, so you will want to make sure you have a reservation before going. Call 407-WDW-STYLE to schedule a time (and call as early as possible to secure the availability you prefer).
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Disney theme parks aren’t the only place you will find rides for kids (and kids at heart!) Disney Springs has several entertaining options to ride while you are enjoying your day. The Marketplace Train Express and Marketplace Carousel are classic rides for kiddies at Disney Springs (pay as you go like a fair). These make for a nice break or reward if your children have been patiently waiting while you have been shopping. If you want to kick it up a notch you also have options for the Amphicar tours out on the lake that you can take from the Boathouse Restaurant, or the Aerophile tethered balloon rides for amazing views across Walt Disney World Resort.
4. Goofy’s Candy Company
What kid doesn’t love a candy store? And Goofy’s Candy Company over in the Marketplace is a candy store on steroids. It is bright, colorful and filled with Disney character. You can create your own crisped rice treats, gingerbread cookie or marshmallow with toppings. Or have a Goofy’s Glacier (frozen drink), chocolate covered marshmallow wands, fudge, sugar tubes, caramel apples, cake pops, cotton candy, lollipops, cookies, ice cream bars, and more! If your kid wasn’t hyped up before going to Goofy’s Candy Company he or she will be after (maybe save this until the end of your Disney Springs day).
3. Splitsville Bowling
My kids love to go bowling and we don’t go at home as much as we should. Splitsville at Disney Springs is a really great bowling alley with tasty food and fun lanes. You can even set up the bumper guards before you start playing for little ones. My family has spent many fun afternoons bowling at Splitsville—it is a particularly good activity for rainy Florida afternoons. You can also find some pretty tasty eats here too, so you can make a lunch/dinner with activity. And bonus—some of the bowling balls have Mickey or Minnie Mouse on them!
2. The Lego Store
There are so many things to love about the Lego Store at Disney Springs—and it definitely has kid-appeal. My 6 year old begs to go every time. Around the store (inside & out) you can find life-size Lego sculptures of favorite Disney characters and movie scenes. These make for great photo ops, but also are mesmerizing at how they were made. Kids can also find some play opportunities around the store like building a Lego car to race. And don’t forget about the shopping! Every Lego set you can think of is available at this huge store, and you can fill tubs with random Lego pieces if you are a Master Builder who can create things from your imagination. Don’t miss a stop at the Lego Store if you have kids with you at Disney Springs.
1. World of Disney
The World of Disney is like every local Disney Store on steroids. If it is Disney you can find it here. And that definitely captures the attention of kids. The store is full of park merchandise and souvenirs, toys, housewares, t-shirts, jewelry, accessories, ears, and of course . . .TOYS! I often try to talk my kids into waiting until we hit this shop to choose their souvenir for the week because they have so much that they can compare what they want side by side. And if they don’t have it here, Once Upon A Toy just down the walkway will fill in any gaps. I also love the way the World of Disney is organized into sections so you can find all of the Plush in one place, or the “boy” toys, or the Princess gear, etc. Everyone’s eyes get wide when they walk into the World of Disney at Disney Springs, especially kids.
Do your kids like to visit Disney Springs? What are their favorite things?