10 Things to Do at Disney Springs
Updated: Jan 27
At least once during your trip to Walt Disney World you need to plan to visit Disney Springs. It’s also a great place to check out if you’ll be in the Orlando area but won’t have Disney or Universal park tickets, and want some interesting things to do.
Disney Springs is a themed shopping, dining, and entertainment location that is free to visit and has something for everyone.
If you are driving, parking is free at Disney Springs! Use the Lime Garage to park in the most central area. Valet parking is available for $20.
You can also catch a free bus to Disney Springs from any Disney Park or resort. Water taxi to Disney Springs is available at Port Orleans, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs resorts.
Stroller and ECV rental is available at the entrance to Disney Springs from the Lime Garage.
And now, here's ten of the best experiences at Disney Springs:
1) Enjoy Fine Dining with a Table Service Meal
Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' (Southern)
Morimoto Asia (Japanese/Sushi)
Maria & Enzo’s (Italian)
and many more!
2) Grab a Quick, Tasty Bite at a Quick Service Restaurant
Wolfgang Puck’s Express
Chef Art Smith's Homecomin'
Earl of Sandwich
3) Indulge in Desserts
Joffrey’s Coffee, Tea & Smoothies
4) Progressive Dining
Another great way to experience a lot of Disney Springs in one day is to do a progressive meal. Try an appetizer at one location, order an entree at another, and finish off with dessert at a third place. It’s a fun way to check out the ambiance and flare of multiple restaurants and check out what’s out there.
5) Aerophile Balloon
For a higher view of Walt Disney World, take a ride in the aerophile balloon. At the time of writing, the cost is $20 per person. The giant helium-filled balloon rises 400 feet into the sky, giving 29 passengers a view up to 10 miles away! The aerophile balloon operates every day, unless it’s extremely windy or stormy.
6) PhotoPass Studio
If you’ve got Disney’s Memory Maker, stop into the free PhotoPass photo studio at the Marketplace section of Disney Springs. They have two photo bays there. One will take your photo in front of a blank background and then they will fill it in with various backgrounds from around the parks. The other bay is more of a traditional portrait studio background, which works great for Bibbidy Bobbidy little princesses, newlyweds, or charming solo shots. The photographers are pros at positioning you in just the right pose (which I certainly wouldn’t have come up with on my own). I tried it and ended up with not only some nice photos of me for my husband, but also one I cropped to make a perfect professional headshot. Again, this service is free with Memory Maker!
If you’re interested in shopping, you can visit the largest Disney store anywhere - World of Disney - as well as shop at favorites like LEGO, Zara, Lululemon, Under Armor, Uniqlo, Vera Bradley, Anthropologie, Ron John Surf Shop, Pandora, Alex & Ani, l’Occitane, and more.
One of the stores I love to visit at Disney Springs is Basin, which offers bath salts, bath bombs, specialty soaps, and create-your-own candles.
7) The Void
The Void is a hyper-reality experience that puts you into the world you see on screen. You don’t just see through virtual reality, you feel it too. It’s a fully-immersive, whole-body, walk-through experience. Those who have done it said it is definitely worth it, especially if you’re a Star Wars fan.
8) Walk alongside the lake or take a free boat ride across it
Grab a coffee or smoothie from Joffrey’s and enjoy a walk along the lake. There’s a path that goes from the aerophile balloon, behind Starbucks and Jaleo and down to the House of Blues.
Once you get to the House of Blues, you’ll see a lawn ahead of you with some lawn games and maybe some food trucks, and to the right you’ll see the boat dock. Board a free water shuttle and enjoy the calm ride across the lake. You can either get off at the Landing dock by the Boathouse restaurant, or continue on to the Marketplace stop that’s between Saratoga Springs Resort & Rainforest Cafe.
9) Bowling at Splitsville or a Movie at AMC Theaters
Splitsville has great sushi too!
10) Just Hang Out
I love the ambiance and design of this area. It’s just a lovely place to be, both day and night. I love the design of the buildings, the waterfront views, and the lighting at night. There are live entertainers outdoors. You can take free boat rides across the lake on Disney’s friendship boats.
Bonus: Venture Out and Explore
If you’ve got even more time, you could enjoy a longer, 15-minute boat ride to Port Orleans French Quarter for some of their famously delicious Mickey beignets.
Along the way, you’ll pass the Saratoga Springs Resort & Treehouses, and glide through lush forest on a quiet, relaxed ride.
After your beignets, you could walk or take a boat to neighboring Port Orleans Riverside to explore the Louisiana bayou & countryside, or do some fishing from their fishing dock. Just $6 plus tax per person provides you with a fishing pole and bait for one hour!
For more ideas on other things to do around Walt Disney World or Universal when you don’t have a theme park ticket, check back for my my next article!
For help creating a custom trip suited to your own travel style, contact me for a free quote.