The Walt Disney World Resort in central Florida offers Guests more experiences than they could ever shake a proverbial stick at, but Disney also offers choices in dining, entertainment, attractions and more that allow Guests to tailor-make their park experience. In addition to the four theme parks and two water parks at Disney World, Guests can also visit Disney Springs—Disney’s sprawling shopping, dining and entertainment district that offers a thrilling night life as well. Here are 10 experiences you’ve just got to have at Disney Springs on your next visit to the Disney World Resort.
10. Fly High aboard the Aerophile balloon.
Board a huge tethered balloon and hold on tight as it ascends to a height of 400 feet in the air! Take in the sights of Disney Springs all around you and further vistas that include the four theme parks at Walt Disney World. Close to 30 people can board the balloon at a time, and once the balloon reaches a height of 400 feet, it will stay at that height for around 10 minutes, during which you and your family can move around, look out at the view and take photos of everything around you.
9. Experience The VOID
Star Wars and Wreck-It Ralph fans—get ready for an experience so unique, it’s difficult to describe with words. The VOID at Disney Springs is a fully immersive sensory experience in which reality is a real-time hyper-reality. Interactive sets, special effects and cutting-edge technology come together to give Guests the feeling of actually being there in the action. The VOID is for Guests ages 10 and up, and ticket prices start at around $29.95 per person. There is a minimum height requirement of 48 inches, and you’ll need to purchase tickets in advance. Visit www.thevoid.com for tickets and more information and be sure to allow approximately one hour for the experience from start to finish.
8. Shop till you drop!
Disney Springs is home to more than 150 shops, restaurants and entertainment locations. You can find everything from Disney-themed souvenirs and apparel to Christmas décor, toys, gifts, stationery, home décor, official Disney trading pins and more. There’s no way to visit every shop at Disney Springs in just one day!
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7. Have a makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Do you have someone in your traveling party who wants to be a princess? Perhaps someone in your group dreams of being a valiant knight. Disney has you covered! Visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney Springs and have your little ones ages 3 to 12 transformed from head to toe into a beautiful princess or a brave knight. The experience is one your child won’t soon forget. From the moment you enter the boutique until you leave, your child gets the royal treatment from a Fairy Godmother-in-Training. Princesses can choose from four different packages—each one includes a choice in hairstyle, nail color and application of make-up. Brave knights can choose from two different packages that include hairstyling with gel, a sword and shield and confetti. But this experience is so popular, you’ll need to book it before you get to Disney Springs. Call (407) WDW-STYLE to make your appointment!
6. Have a sundae at Ghirardelli.
Visit the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop at Disney Springs and treat yourself to all kinds of chocolate goodness! Enjoy chocolates, drinks, ice cream and sundaes with decadent chocolate toppings. And don’t worry about the calories—they don’t count because you’re at Disney World!
5. Go pin trading—and pin buying!
If you or someone in your family loves the thrill of pin trading at Disney World, the Pin Traders shop is for you! At this open-air boutique, you can browse thousands of official Disney Trading pins, as well as pin sets, lanyards and more. Be there during certain times of the day when the boutique’s pin board is open to Guests for trading. Often, Pin Traders will have Passholder-exclusive trading pins available for purchase as well!
4. Pick out a Christmas ornament.
At Disney Springs, you can get into the Christmas spirit any time of the year. At Disney’s Days of Christmas shop, you’ll find everything you need to give your home a Disney feel for the holiday season. Pick out an ornament to memorialize this year’s trip to the parks, buy a stocking with one of your favorite characters on it and more. Disney’s Days of Christmas is open 365 days each year, so whether you’re early, late or right on time for Christmas, you can be sure to find lots of Disney Christmas décor to take home!
3. Meet an artist.
At The Art of Disney, not only can you purchase works of art by Jim Shore, Thomas Kinkade and other artists, but you can also meet artists from time to time. The art shop hosts different artists in-house at different times during the year, and when artists are at the shop, you can meet them, have them sign artwork you purchase, watch them as they draw, paint and create and more!
2. Pick up something for Rover.
At Disney Springs Marketplace, you’ll find the Happy Hound. The Happy Hound is a small boutique set up just outside the other shops in the area, and if you have a special canine in your life, it’s your go-to place for everything your perfect pooch needs. The Happy Hound sells trendy outfits, toys, custom collars, tags and more, so whether you’re on vacation and need a souvenir for your furry loved ones back home, or you’re a local and just want to surprise Rover with a “just because” gift, you’ve got to stop and take a look at the Happy Hound.
1. Have dinner at the big pineapple.
There are any number of places to have dinner at Disney Springs, but if you’re up for entertainment, beautiful views and a Cuban flair to your meal, check out Bongos Cuban Café. Not sure where it is? No worries—just look for the giant two-story white pineapple near the lake at Disney Springs. Bongos offers a pick-up window, but for the full experience, book a table for dinner, and on select nights, you can even enjoy live musical entertainment. Seating is available in-house or on the patio where you can enjoy views of the water. And what’s not to love about Cuban food? Brisket, ham croquettes, empanadas, plantains—that line-up doesn’t sound too bad, does it? And what a perfect finish to an amazing day at Disney Springs!