One really awesome thing that many people miss out on during their visit to Disney World is Disney Springs. Sure, this place isn’t a theme park per se, but it is tons of fun and definitely worth visiting. That said, as is the case with all Disney attractions, the more prepared you are going in, the more fun you’re going to have. Not sure where to begin with preparations for your visit to Disney Springs? Not to worry! We’ve been once or twice ourselves, and we have plenty of tips and tricks to help you experience this destination like a Disney pro.
1. Set a Budget
First and foremost, it’s important to realize that Disney Springs is full of amazing little shops and tasty eateries. This means you’re definitely going to want to make some purchases while there. For this reason, you will want to set a budget before going in. This will help ensure you have a bit set aside for the occasion and that you don’t go overboard, setting yourself back and taking away from the rest of your vacation.
2. Visit During the Day
Disney Springs can get incredibly busy in the evenings and on weekends. Therefore, we highly recommend planning your visit for the middle of the day on a weekday. This will help you avoid crowds, making your visit a much more relaxing and pleasant experience.
3. Use PhotoPass
Did you know you can use PhotoPass in Disney Springs? There is an entire studio dedicated to getting awesome photos of your getaway, and all photos taken here can be added to your PhotoPass account and purchased or downloaded using Memory Maker. The photos taken here are high quality and sometimes even feature fun props and backdrops. Other places to take advantage of PhotoPass include inside the Coca-Cola store at the polar bear meet-and-greet, as well as with Santa Claus during the Christmas season.
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4. Do Souvenir Shopping
Trust us when we say you don’t want to waste valuable park time souvenir shopping. Instead, do your shopping in Disney Springs where the options are endless and many amazingly unique products can be found. In particular, be sure to visit the enormous World of Disney Store, as well as the super fun LEGO Store during your shopping excursion!
5. Celebrate the Holidays
As mentioned before, Santa Claus often visits Disney Springs during the holiday season. Additionally, the Christmas Tree Trail adds to the festivities with a huge number of trees all dressed up in their Disney best. Whether you’re a princess fan or a Toy Story person, there’s a tree for you in this fantastic display of Christmas spirit.
6. Stop to Enjoy Entertainment
Disney Springs is chock-full of free entertainment. Unfortunately, far too many people walk on by without ever checking out the amazing talent that performs here. From youth choirs and dance teams to awesome local bands and living statues, you never know what kind of entertainment you might find around the next corner. Be sure to take the time to enjoy it!
7. Make a Dining Reservation
Besides shopping and entertainment, Disney Springs is also a fabulous place to go for good eats. There are dozens of yummy places to grab a bite here, and we highly recommend trying at least a couple. We also recommend doing some research before arriving. You see, many of the best restaurants in Disney Springs are table-service joints, which means you’ll want to make a reservation in advance. Be sure to do that as soon as you can in order to ensure you get exactly what you want.
8. Grab Some Free Chocolate
Shopping and dining out all day can take a toll on your wallet. Therefore, finding some freebies here and there is never a bad thing. This is why we always recommend stopping by the Ghirardelli chocolate shop. Here you can grab a free chocolate sample and satisfy your sweet tooth without spending a fortune.
9. See a Movie on the Cheap
Many people are completely unaware that Disney Springs is home to a movie theater, and even more people are unaware that it’s possible to see a movie on the cheap in this location. Attend certain movies before noon any day of the week (or anytime on Tuesdays) to save a few bucks on your movie ticket. Just be aware that you do need to be a member of the free “AMC Stubs” club to take advantage of the Tuesday discount.
10. Park Wisely and Use Signage
If you plan to park on the surface lot near the La Nouba tent, keep in mind that you can use the Disney Springs boat service to get back to your car after a long day of walking. Otherwise, we recommend parking in a central location in a parking garage to avoid a long walk at the end of the day. Either way, be sure to pay attention to signage. Use the nifty light system when parking in the garages to tell whether or not a spot is available on any given row, and make a note of exactly where you’re parked in the garage or lot using the signs on each row.
11. Check for Discounts
Lastly, if you are an Annual Passholder, you will want to check for discounts at each location in Disney Springs. Many places offer discounts on both merchandise and food, and it’s well worth asking for that discount, especially if you plan to do a lot of shopping.