Disney Springs is located just outside Orlando, in Florida, and is right beside all the theme parks, and just a few miles off the main interstate. It is a great place to get a good dose of Disney without paying for entrance to a park, and there are lots of things to see and do there for everyone in your family at Disney Downtown.
Top 10 things to see at Disney Springs at Disney Downtown
It was previously called “Downtown Disney” and in the past year or so, it has been remodeled in several areas, and expanded, along with the new name. They added a parking garage, which was much needed, and it is now much easier to get in and out of as well.
There are numerous restaurants to eat in, many are upscale, and many are very trendy, as well there being some really fun, kid-friendly ones like Rainforest Café and T-Rex, plus they do have several smaller kiosk type places and even some great food trucks at Disney Downtown.
But, when you are visiting, especially if you’ve never been, how do you know what is a must-do, so that you don’t miss out, when there are so many things to choose from?
This is a list of the top things to see, and it covers a range of some of the fun and more classic things that have been there and are always good to see, and the new, not-to-be-missed ones as well.
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This is a shopping area that was previously there, but has now been revamped and updated with some unusual little shops that carry really neat items that are Disney related, but not your typical tourist type ones.
There are a couple of women’s stores in there, one carries surf style clothing and a great mixture of accessories and fun Disney princess and character clothing that you won’t find elsewhere.
There is also one called Cherry Tree Lane, like in Mary Poppins, that has designer purses and accessories, along with some Poppins themed items.
There is also a store with great kitchen items in many Disney themes, some of which are very retro in nature.
Also, worth mentioning is a luggage store, a Men’s clothing shop and a cell phone case spot where you can design your own Disney character phone case. A very fun stop at DIsney Downtown!
The Candy Cauldron
This candy shop carries many specialty items but the coolest are the dipped caramel and candy apples. They are decorated right there where you can see the process and done in several Disney characters. Just looking in the window is entertaining!
House of Blues
This is a staple in the area that has a bar and also a fantastic Southern style restaurant that has a wide range of foods like burgers and shrimp to grilled fish and lots of tasty drinks. They host concerts there as well and the venue is a great one to see a show at, with a good-sized area of general admission, plus a balcony for seating. If you are fortunate to go to Disney Springs when one of your favorite bands are playing there, then take advantage of it!
World of Coca-Cola at Disney Springs
This is a new addition to Disney Springs and it is awesome inside, with a repurposed coke bottle chandelier that welcomes you right when you walk in. It has 3 floors, one of which is a rooftop beverage bar, with many varieties of drinks, including adult beverages at night. There are lots of merchandise to purchase, of course, and if you are a collector, it is a tough choice! They have clothing and bottles, as you would expect, but also many household items that are handmade and more unusual. Also, you can meet the Iconic Polar Bear and get photos with him on the second floor. We also visited the World of Coca Cola in Atlanta and the kids LOVED it.
Once Upon a Toy
This toy store has several rooms full of Disney toys and merchandise and the inside of it is very fun to see. There is a train that runs along the ceiling and several fun things you can play with inside, even if you aren’t purchasing them. There’s a Mr. Potato Head station where you make a custom version, a Star Wars room that has a light saber building station and also a build-your-own droid spot. There are video games for purchase, and lots of collectibles, plus a large area of girls’ dolls and more. Outside the store are some really fun oversized toys that make great pictures, like Buzz and Woody, Monopoly cards, and a huge Tinkertoy sculpture.
The Lego Store
This store is great fun, especially for the kids, but for everyone in your family. Outside the store are brick building tables and you can play and have fun as long as you like, and they also do car races throughout the day. If you ask for a set of wheels the person running the races will lend you some so you can make a car and take place in the races. Inside are tons of Legos, of course, from a large wall of bulk bricks that are sold by color in containers, to sections around the outer walls of the store where the sets are sold by theme. There are lego stores across the country. We visited the Lego Store in Nashville.
There are lots of models all over the store, some of sets they sell, and some custom pieces of Lego art that are so fun to look at. They have Lego minifigure building spots too, where you can make 3 of your own custom figures for about $10.
You can take photos with the larger builds and they do change them out from time to time, but Woody has been there, some of the Lego friends, the Incredible Hulk, and more.
They also do an in-store build for kids once a month for a few days in a row that you can reserve ahead of time. Your kids come in at the time you choose and an expert teaches them the build and they get to keep the bricks afterwards. Check it out online at Lego.com by searching “monthly builds”.
General shopping area at Disney Springs
There is a brand new, lovely shopping area that is more like a shopping mall type of area, but extremely well done. Part of it has a roof overhead, which is nice in the heat, to duck out for a while, and it has fountains and some very cool lighting and neat detailing on the buildings. The stores range from more popular upscale stores like Lily Pulitzer, Vera Bradley, and Anthropologie to fun, one-of-a-kind ones. It is nice and close to the parking garage too, so if you just want to go shop for a while, you don’t have to walk the whole Springs to get to it.
Night time entertainment
Visiting at night is a different experience than the day there, so if you can, stay after dark. When you walk the whole place, there are many live musicians and entertainers. Outside Cirque du Soleil you can see performers in the street having fun with guests, and closer to the movie theater and Splitsville Bowling alley there are always some great performers playing music and singing. People dance and have a great time, and it’s a great spot to just get a drink and sit and enjoy. These are some of the best reason's to visit Disney Springs.
World of Disney
This is a whole section of shops all in one. Each area has a different theme, some with more general Disney merchandise and some with specific ones, like girls’ items, or women’s accessories. If you need to take home a Disney item in a specific character to someone back home, this is your spot. They have just about any type of item you can imagine!
This is a glass shop that has been there for years and for good reason. There is always an artist working so you can watch, and when you find them doing the glass blowing, it’s hard to tear yourself away. They have a good-sized store with so many glass collectibles, from very small sized ones to huge ones. Etchings, crystal, jewelry, and sculptures. Take your family in and show them this place for sure.
Now, of course, there are SO many more things to see and do than I have mentioned, so if you have the time, spend more than one day so you can fit it all in. Many things require reservations, like the nicer restaurants, so try to plan ahead for those things. Have a wonderful time!
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One more tip. If you want to check out the non Universal or Disney park attractions you can get discount admission with the Orlando GoPass. You can save up to 55% off admission prices buy building your own pass. Locations to choose from including Legoland, Sea World, Bush Gardens, The Titanic Museum, The Kennedy Space Center, Gatorland, many water parks and more! You can also buy an all-inclusive pass for up to 5 days and get into as many attractions as you can fit into your schedule for 5 days!
Looking for some great places to eat while visiting? Make sure to check out the top 5 Disney Restaurants for the best Disney dining.