Visiting Walt Disney World provides countless opportunities for dining, shopping, and experiences. But there’s more to it than the parks.
Disney Springs, formerly Downtown Disney, is the resort’s entertainment complex. It has stores and restaurants not found anywhere else and is where many visitors end their day.
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Experiences and Activities at Disney Springs
The complex is far more than just shopping. Disney Springs also has unique entertainment and attractions. The Aerophile is a hot air balloon that soars above the parks.
The beloved Amphicars shuttle guests around the lake in vintage cars-turned-boats. There’s also a bowling alley, movie theater, virtual reality experience, and the House of Blues music venue.
Where to Eat at Disney Springs
Disney Springs has over 50 dining options from quick service to kiosks to award-winning table service for every diet. Reservations are recommended for some restaurants, which can be found on Disney’s website, as well as on OpenTable.
For quick service, visit one of the food trucks like 4R Cantina Barbacoa, Pepe by Jose Andrews, D-Luxe Burger, Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, Earl of Sandwich, The Polite Pig, and Morimoto Asia Street Food. Kids will like themed dining at Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Cafe, and T-REX.
The area has five restaurants by well-known chefs including Art Smith’s Homecomin’, Jaleo by Jose Andres, Frontera Cocina by Rick Bayless, Morimoto Asia, and Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill. Other favorites are The Boathouse, The Edison, Paradiso 37, Paddlefish, and STK.
Where to Drink at Disney Springs
Disney Springs has its own nightlife scene, with some places staying open until 2 am from Thursday to Saturday. The Edison takes its inspiration from the 1920s with steampunk decor, craft cocktails, and performers.
Enzo’s Hideaway is a tunnel speakeasy with Prohibition-era cocktails and bowls of punch. Wine Bar George boasts awards for its wine menu, crafted by their master sommelier.
The Boathouse has waterfront views, live music, and coastal cocktails and wine. Morimoto Asia has the Forbidden Lounge, a quiet upstairs bar with sake and Japanese whiskey drinks.
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is a 1940s dive bar named for an Indiana Jones character. Catch live music and dancing at Raglan Road, a longtime favorite for Irish food and drink like a perfectly poured Guinness.
Stores at Disney Springs
Disney Springs boasts over 150 stores from designer purses featuring Disney characters to well-known clothing companies. The Lego Store and Once Upon a Toy are popular with kids, along with the Star Wars Headquarters and its two outposts.
For clothing, visit outposts of Anthropologie, Zara, Uniqlo, and Lilly Pulitzer, among many others. DisneyStyle is a unique spot that sells chic Disney-inspired apparel.
Alex and Ani and Pandora are two of the jewelry stores and Havianas and Ugg also have locations here. There are also retailers selling home decor, gifts, and beauty products.
From I-4, take exit 67 for Epcot and Disney Springs, following the signs to East Buena Vista Drive. There is complimentary self-parking as well as valet parking.
Disney Springs also has seven resort hotels with easy access to the parks on shuttles every 30 minutes. Guests receive benefits like Extra Magic Hours and FastPasses as well as affordable rates.
They include B Resort & Spa, Best Western Lake Buena Vista, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando, Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs Area, and Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista.
Disney’s official hotels also have their own transportation. Port Orleans Resort French Quarter and Riverside, Old Key West Resort, and Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa have access to the water taxi. All others can use the shuttle buses.