We always recommend a resort day, or just a day away from the parks in the middle of your trip. The parks can be exhausting! Spend a day recharging your batteries, but that doesn’t mean sitting around and doing nothing! You should take part of your “off” day and spend it at Disney Springs!
What is Disney Springs?
Disney Springs, formally Downtown Disney, is a shopping and eating district with a Disney touch. There are a mix of Disney-owned businesses, well known high-end businesses, and fantastically themed restaurants. Disney Springs is relaxed, and a great place to spend an evening or an afternoon.
Do You Need a Ticket for Disney Springs?
Perhaps the best part about Disney Springs is that there is no park ticket required! Disney Springs is a free shopping district open to the public. There are even a few small attractions for the kids! For a fee, there is a carousel and small train, and for free, there is a splash pad area.
What About Disney Springs Parking?
Parking at Disney Springs is completely FREE! Parking is free every day of the week, no matter the time. We do recommend using a rideshare service like an Uber or Lyft if you are planning on visiting Disney Springs on a Friday or Saturday night on Holiday Weekends. We have seen the parking garages full close to Christmas.
Fun Things To Do at Disney Springs:
There are so many things to do at Disney Springs, that if you come on every trip, you will always find something new to do! Disney Springs does not have the rush, rush, rush of the parks. This is more of a relaxed place where cool things happen. Maybe it will snow. Maybe you will see a pianist on a moving piano rolling through the Marketplace. You just never know!
Eating at Disney Springs!
We feel like this is the number one thing to do at Disney Springs. Foodies unite! There are all types of cuisine, quality, and even different levels of fancy! You can be as casual as burgers and chicken fingers, or enjoy a meal paired by a master sommelier!
Desserts in Disney Springs are truly next level. A lot of the carts and kiosks change their menus to match the seasons, so there is always something new to try! Check out our article that shares the best desserts in Disney Springs here.
Photo Studio at Disney Springs
Did you purchase Memory Maker for your vacation? Because if you did then you need to know about the Photo Studio in Disney Springs! There is a 1990s-style (like the department stores) photo studio where you can get your pictures taken with different props and backgrounds and they are INCLUDED with your Memory Maker! Not every background is Disney-based either. You can actually have classic gray background family photos done right at Disney! Hello, can you say Christmas card photo??
If you didn’t purchase Memory Maker, don’t worry. There are a ton of photo ops in Disney Springs! You will find larger than life Lego statues of famous Disney characters and scenes, Princess statues outside of the Disney Store, and Buzz Lightyear and Mr. Potatohead outside of the toy store. Let’s not forget the selection of Instagram-friendly walls. Our favorite is the Orange Bird Wall over in The Landing.
Disney Springs Shopping
Who doesn’t love a good shopping trip? You can shop luxury brands like Coach or Vera Bradley, you can find all of the Coca-Cola products of your dreams in a 3 story Coca-Cola store, and even buy diamonds!
It’s no surprise that there are lots of Disney Stores, too! The largest Disney store in the country is World of Disney, and we are not kidding when we say they have EVERYTHING. If you’re the type of person who likes to wait until the end of vacation to choose your souvenirs, then World of Disney is your perfect store! Just remember, that the ride specific or resort specific merchandise will only be found at that attraction or resort.
The Marketplace Co-Op is an assortment of Disney merchandise split up into different areas like fashion, where you will find Disney dresses and handbags, Disney Tech, which is where you can make custom Disney phone cases, t shirts, and magic bands, Disney Home, where you will find serving dishes, oven mitts, aprons, mugs, dishes, and everything for your Disney home, Disney Pets because even four-legged friends can be disney fans, too, and need special food bowls, collars, and leashes, and lastly, Disney art where you will find artistic renditions of Disney moments, movies, and characters all created through a lens of talented artists.
Make a Keepsake
We’re always looking for new ways to remember our magical vacations, and Disney Springs is the perfect place to make some memories to bring home.
Disney’s Days of Christmas
You can get Disney Christmas ornaments personalized with calligraphy done by Cast Members, but did you know that you can also pay to have the same calligraphy on just about anything? You can customize your Disney celebration button, create one-of-a-kind Mickey ears, and even more.
The Art Corner
We watch people just walk by The Art Corner all the time, but if you’re looking for a unique souvenir that you can create, this is perfect! We love this place for mother-daughter or girls’ trips, especially. With the help of an artist, you create a colored swirl creation and apply the design to either photo mats or even scarves. You not only made a souvenir, but you also made a memory.
Just walk around Disney Springs and check out all the little carts! We have seen custom leather artists, soap makers, and even custom gourmet marshmallow artists! You never know just what you’ll find.
See a Concert
Disney Springs is the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night! There is a small stadium right on the water where you will find live entertainment. You can also find different entertainment throughout Disney Springs! We have even been pulled into a performance of an acapella group!
Make time to treat yourself on vacation! Take a day to go discover Disney Springs!
I am a mother of three that has refused to grow up. Adulting is for the birds, so I go to Disney World every chance I get for that magical escape from reality. I believe that Haunted Mansion is the best ride in all of the Disney Parks, and I am fervently in team Happily Ever After for fireworks spectaculars, (sorry, not sorry, Enchanted). Finally, I hope I never grow tired of skipping down Main Street, USA, and my dream come true would be “friends with” the Fairy Godmother in my old age.