Disney Springs has become a destination for your Walt Disney World vacation—almost as much as a theme park. The nice thing about Disney Springs is that there is no admission cost or parking fee so it makes a great place to go on a day off from the parks, or on your arrival or departure day. There are so many delicious restaurants, fantastic shops, and entertainment options you will want to plan to spend some time there, but the atmosphere and “energy” of the area itself is appealing as well.
Here are 10 of my favorite tips for visiting Disney Springs:
1. Go in the Morning
To really avoid the crowds, you can visit Disney Springs first thing in the morning when it’s least crowded. There’s more free entertainment and the overall ambiance at Disney Springs is better once the sun goes down, and the atmosphere in general is considerably better, so take that into consideration before opting to go early.
2. Have a Progressive Dinner
There are so many really good and fun places to eat at Disney Springs it is hard to narrow it down to one place you want to have dinner. So don’t! You could start off at a lounge Bar for some drinks before dinner and maybe an appetizer. Then pick a restaurant for dinner with great entrees and service. Then finish off with dessert at one of the quick service bakeries. And if you are still looking for more you could top it off with coffee.
3. Cheap Eats
I think some of the best dining values if you are paying out of pocket are at Disney Springs. The top 2 that come to mind are Earl of Sandwich and Blaze Pizza. Both offer very good food at a low price. Wolfgang Puck Express is another good option.
For added value, you will find some great outdoor entertainment, all for free!
4. Dining Reservations
If you are looking for reservations at Disney Springs eateries and are having trouble through the Disney system don’t give up hope! Some of the locations you can call directly to get a reservation, and others are available through Open Table. So, try some alternative methods for the restaurants here if you aren’t able to make them through Disney.
Who doesn’t love a good discount? Many of the stores and restaurants at Disney Springs accept a variety of discounts, so be sure to ask when you check out if they do. You can find discounts for Disney Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, Disney Visa Cardholders, AAA, and if you booked a Walt Disney World vacation package you will have some discounts to use at Disney Springs in your travel documents packet. Also ask if that merchant or restaurant has a loyalty club or other discount program that might benefit you.
6. Disney Shopping
If you’re like me and you love to shop and dine, I’m sure you’re wondering which anchor stores, boutique retailers and food and beverage offerings opened today. Below, in alphabetical order, is the list of newly-debuted Disney Springs venues:
- ALEX AND ANI
- American Threads
- Amorette’s Patisserie
- Daily Poutine
- D-Luxe Burger
- Edward Beiner
- Everything But Water
- Johnston & Murphy
- kate spade new york
- L’Occitane En Provence
- Lucky Brand
- MAC Cosmetics
- Melissa Shoes
- Na Hoku
- Tommy Bahama
- Under Armour Brand House
- Vera Bradley
7. Package Delivery
If you are a serious shopper ask about package delivery. This option may be available from some of the stores to your onsite Walt Disney World resort for no charge. And many will ship your purchases back home to you if you do not want to worry with them on vacation or on the plane returning home.
Disney Springs offers a wide variety of entertainment for the whole family. The littlest guests will enjoy a ride on the carousel or the mini train, while parents will enjoy all the live music available at the restaurants and on the Waterside Stage. Many Walt Disney World visitors like to plan a day to explore here or even just come for the evening after the theme parks have closed. An afternoon at Splitsville Luxury Lanes can be a fun way to pass the time or enjoy dinner and a show at the “Fork & Screen” movie theaters. Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba is perfect for a night out.
One of the best things about Disney Springs is the atmosphere. It sets it apart from just going shopping at any mall or outlet center. So, plan to spend some time walking around and taking that in. Year round you will find live entertainment throughout the area including musicians and other fun things like live statues. During the holidays they step it up a notch as well. Aside from the entertainment there are other fun “free” things to do like playing with the Legos outside the Lego Store. And Disney Springs is really a beautiful area.
The Lime Garage is smaller than the Orange Garage, with parking for around 2000 cars. Like the Orange Garage, it features the same smart parking system, which provides free space information per level, per row, and even shows which spots are occupied on individual rows by means of overhead lighting.