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Top 10 Questions & Answers for Disney Springs at Walt Disney World

Disney Springs can be a bit confusing, especially if you have never been before. To help you better get around, there are four areas or lands to Disney Springs. They are West Side, Town Center, The Landing, and Marketplace. People tend to have a lot of questions and not understand what Disney Springs is all about. Here are ten of those questions, and the answers. These questions are general, for the most part.

10. What exactly is Disney Springs? And what about Downtown Disney?

Disney Springs is a shopping, entertainment, and dining district that is part of Walt Disney World. There are plenty of stores so that you can do all of your souvenir shopping. Restaurants range from snack kiosks to fine dining experiences. There’s live entertainment, bowling, movies, and plenty of surprises. Disney Springs used to be called Downtown Disney, but it was given a theme and the name was changed. You’ll still find Downtown Disney at Disneyland in California.

9. So is it like an outdoor mall?

There are some elements that resemble a mall. There are some fairly large stores that are part of national chains. There are also small stores that sell things you won’t find elsewhere. But Disney Springs is more than just a mall. It’s a lot bigger than most malls, and there is a lot more to do. Disney Springs also has a backstory and the Disney flair. You won’t find those at your local mall.

8. How much is parking? And how does parking work?

Parking at Disney Springs is free, unless you choose valet. There are several parking lots, or you can park in one of two parking garages. The garages are great because they have signs that will tell you how many spots are open on each level. Another nice thing about the garages is that you won’t get into a hot car on a sunny day.

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7. How much is admission?

There is no admission fee for Disney Springs. There is plenty to spend your money on once you’re there, but you don’t need a ticket to enter the district.

6. What is The VOID?

The full name is Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID. It is a virtual reality experience where you and three other people will go on a secret mission for the rebellion. You’ll be totally immersed in all things Star Wars for the duration of your mission. If you’ve ever dreamed of being part of the Star Wars universe, you’ll finally have your chance. The VOID is located in Marketplace.

5. Where can I get ice cream?

There are some great ice cream options at Disney Springs. There’s the Haagen-Dazs Kiosk in West Side. Vivoli il Gelato is in the Landing. It’s the second location, the first is in Florence, Italy, and has been there for over 85 years. Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC is also located in The Landing. While it’s a bakery and doesn’t focus on ice cream, it deserves a mention because they sell vegan soft serve. Arguably the best place to get ice cream at Disney Springs is Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop. Located in Marketplace, it features sundaes and other treats created with Ghirardelli chocolate.

4. Where is the bus to the theme parks?

If you’re hoping to catch a bus to the theme parks, you won’t find it at Disney Springs. Buses don’t run to the parks, and only at certain times can you take a theme park bus to Disney Springs. Too many people decided to take advantage of free parking and try to skip the parking fee at the theme parks. They ruined it for everyone else.

3. Are there any rides?

There are a couple of rides at Disney Springs, but they are nothing close to the same scale that you will find in the theme parks. There is a small carousel, and also a train. Both are in Marketplace, and both are geared towards children. Over in West Side you’ll find Aerophile—The World Leader in Balloon Flight. It’s a tethered balloon that will give you a view of all of Walt Disney World.

2. What’s good to eat?

Everything! A better question would be what are you in the mood for? You’ll find several types of international cuisine, recipes by celebrity chefs, burgers, pizza, crepes, sandwiches, BBQ, and plenty of other choices. Before you head to Disney Springs, look over the list of restaurants and their menus so that you’ll have an idea of where you’ll want to eat. Dining at Disney Springs is part of the fun.

1. What is World of Disney?

World of Disney is the flagship store at Disney Springs. It’s located in Marketplace, and it’s a destination of its own. World of Disney is the largest Disney merchandise store in the world. There is a wall of ears, more T-shirts than you can count, kitchen goods, Star Wars and Marvel merchandise, jewelry, princess gear, Disney plush, and countless other items. World of Disney recently underwent a major refurbishment, and there are now surprises around every corner. Get ready to take the money that you didn’t use for parking and spend it here. You’re sure to find something that will make the trip back home with you.

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.