There are lots of things to do in Disney Springs — there are two Disney water parks, the ESPN Wide World of Sports, a Mini Golf, and more. Tons of people love to spend an entire day in Disney Springs during their Walt Disney World vacation, enjoying the amazing shopping, dining, and entertainment options in this district.
So, what are some of the things to do in Disney Springs? Let me tell you, you’ll be spoiled for choice. From world-class shows like Cirque du Soleil to incredible dining options, there is an amazing variety of things to do in and around Disney Springs.
As someone who loves to visit Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), I’ve rounded up a list of the most exciting things to do in Disney Springs. I hope you’ll be inspired to spend a day or two here on your next Disney trip.
Experiences at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World
1. Disney Springs Hot Air Balloon
If you’re in Orlando for a special occasion such as a honeymoon, anniversary, or milestone birthday, a great way to make the celebration even more memorable is to take a hot air balloon ride with Aerophile Balloon.
As you take flight and gently float above the clouds in your gondola with its brightly colored balloon, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding Disney Springs area!
On a clear day, you can get a 360-degree view of the Walt Disney World Resort and Lake Buena Vista, extending all the way up to 10 miles. What a great way to make some Disney magic!
The ride lasts 8-10 minutes and is captained by an experienced pilot. The ticket costs $25 including tax for adults and children over 10 and $20 including tax for children aged 3-9 years.
2. Cirque du Soleil
Starting in the fall of 2021, Cirque du Soleil is bringing a new show called Drawn to Life to Disney Springs.
This spectacular amalgamation of Disney animation, mind-boggling acrobatics, and dazzling choreography is an amazing way to immerse yourself in the world of Disney.
The show follows the story of a courageous girl called Julie who is left an unfinished animation piece by her father. Using her childhood Disney memories, she embarks on a quest to finish the piece and animate her future.
The 90-minute show is designed in the signature style that CDS fans love with a healthy dose of Disney magic. A must-see in my opinion.
Tickets start at $85 per person.
With so many exciting things to do in Disney Springs and the Disney parks, you might think watching a movie is kind of boring on a Disney vacation, but hear me out.
If you’re feeling wiped out from walking around a theme park, or the Florida heat is starting to get to you while visiting Disney, a movie is not such a bad idea. Imagine sitting down in a cool, dark movie theater, munching on some popcorn, and maybe sneaking in a quick nap while the little ones watch the latest Disney movie.
The AMC Dine-In Disney Springs 24 features all the latest movies. And if you’re in the mood to splurge, you can even make a reservation for a private theater for your family and friends.
The theaters follow all mandated social distancing measures, face coverings, hand washing stations, and capacity limits.
4. Live Music
In true Disney style, there are several places where you can catch a live music performance in Disney Springs, year-round.
From the AdventHealth Waterslide Stage in Marketplace to Exposition Park, House of Blues Music Hall, and Sunshine Highline in West Side, and from Paradiso 37 Entertainment and Raglan Road Live Music in The Landing to the Stargazers Live Entertainment in Town Center, the possibilities are endless.
5. Christmas Tree Trail
If you are vacationing in Orlando during the holiday season, don’t just stick to the theme parks Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot, or even the Disney resorts. Because Disney Springs has an ace up its sleeve.
The main attraction during the holidays at Disney Springs is the Christmas Tree Trail.
It features Christmas trees spread over the four Disney Springs neighborhoods. Each tree is designed around a different Disney theme, either a beloved Disney movie or a popular Disney World attraction.
The kids love to linger at each tree and notice the details. Of course, you can’t stay too long because there are always other families waiting to take pictures.
6. Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Take one of those classic American fun things to do. Give it an upscale spin. Voila! You’ve got yourself a retro glam bowling alley that is reminiscent of the golden age of bowling.
With flat-screen TVs, an eclectic menu featuring everything from burgers and pizza to sushi, and live music, this is a great way to spend an evening in Disney Springs.
The two floors of entertainment include feather bowling, 10-Pin bowling, billiards, and lively bars.
Fun for the whole family guaranteed!
Dining Options at Disney Springs
1. World of Disney
The estate-style, elegant Wine Bar George at Disney Springs is a wonderful place for romantic nights in the town.
You can choose from a range of over 140 wines sold by the glass or bottle and paired with amazing food by Master Sommelier George Miliotes.
And if you’re in town on a weekend, don’t miss the Saturday or Sunday brunch at this restaurant that makes for a relaxed, yet sophisticated meal.
This is our favorite place to grab a bite when the kids aren’t with us. Dining reservations are highly recommended.
2. Polite Pig
Owned by legendary local chefs Julie, Brian, and James Petrakis, the Polite Pig is the only restaurant in Disney Springs with a local culinary connection.
The menu features a variety of wood-fired grilled and smoked items. Also on offer is a range of Florida craft beers and drinks on tap plus a bourbon bar with over 60 choices.
If you want to enjoy some of Florida’s best seasonal food on your next trip to Disney World, I highly recommend this eatery for dinner. You’ll love the barbecue flavors with a twist.
There’s both indoor and outdoor seating.
You place your order at the counter and your food is brought to your table. I think it’s a great way to enjoy a relaxed sit-down meal with family and friends without paying through your nose at a fine dining venue.
3. Rainforest Cafe
Craving some classic American fare?
Head straight to the Rainforest Cafe at Disney Springs and dig in, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the Amazon jungle.
I love the lush landscaping, bright colors, and animatronic sounds. Plus, the kid-friendly menu means families can enjoy a meal together, even as the kids learn something about the rainforest.
Reservations through the My Disney Experience app are recommended due to the popularity of this restaurant.
4. Disney Food Trucks
If you’re in a rush and want to satisfy those hunger pangs, head straight to the West Side in Disney Springs. Here, you’ll find the Disney Food Trucks serving lip-smacking street food.
The three distinct food trucks serve easy meals that are surefire palate pleasers!
Choose from Hot Diggity Dogs, Mac & Cheese, and 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa where they serve Mexican specialties.
5. Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
Is it even a Disney vacation if you don’t indulge at least a little bit?
Head to Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC in The Landing neighborhood of Disney Springs for a choice of delicious bakery items, including tasty gluten-free and vegan treats.
A spin-off from the original BabyCakes that opened in Manhattan in 2005, this is a bakery with a cult following. Once you try some of their offerings, you’ll understand why.
If you’re a dessert lover, I highly recommend a visit here as one of the things to do in Disney Springs!
6. Chicken Guy
Celebrity chef Guy Fieri serves up his signature fare of chicken specialties at this eatery that is simply called Chicken Guy at Disney Springs.
Choose from tenders and salads to skewers and sandwiches, as well as over 20 house-made sauces that make every dish here drool-worthy.
7. Amorette’s Patisserie
This sophisticated French-style patisserie is located in the Town Center in Disney Springs and features everything from delectable pastries to pretty cupcakes, show-stopping cakes to savory crepes. Guaranteed to please the dessert lover in you!
And while you’re there, get yourself a glass of bubbly to make it a special occasion. Champagne and sparkling wine are sold by the bottle here.
8. Boathouse Restaurant
There is no shortage of fun activities and special experiences in Orlando, but one of the best things you can do in Disney Springs is eating at the Boathouse Restaurant.
This upscale waterfront dining venue features vintage amphicars, retro dream boats, and the chance to take a romantic boat ride in a water taxi.
It’s one of the most popular restaurants not only in Disney Springs but all of Orlando, so get those reservations done as soon as you’ve booked your Disney vacation.
9. T-REX Cafe
One of my family’s favorite things to do in Disney Springs is have a meal at the T-REX Cafe. Located in the Marketplace in Disney Springs, this is a dinosaur-themed cafe with a family-friendly menu.
My kids love the chance to explore and discover the different zones and themed rooms.
Also watch out for the meteor shower that happens every 20 minutes or so (ask a cast member when the next one’s due).
Sit back and enjoy a delicious meal while the budding paleontologists get a hands-on experience of the Jurassic age.
Shopping at Disney Springs on your Walt Disney World Vacation
1. World of Disney
For a wide variety of Disney souvenirs, look no further than the World of Disney in Disney Springs.
This is the largest Disney store in the world.
Yes, the world!
My kids tend to go a little crazy here, so I usually set a budget and then let them go wild in the Disney Springs store. It really is many stores in one, if you ask me. You can easily spend a few hours in this store alone.
A really cool thing to do is head to the Christmas store if you’re visiting in the fall and pick up a unique souvenir or two. Ornaments that can go on your Christmas tree will remind you of your Disney trip for years to come.
2. Disney Springs Marketplace Co-op
This is a shopper’s paradise with a range of unique brands and must-have special items for the whole family. From art to apparel, accessories to tech items, and home goods to pet stuff, they have an eclectic collection that is well worth exploring.
If you’re hoping to purchase a limited edition ornament or personalized tech gear as a gift or for yourself, this is the place to check out.
There’s even a marketplace train express for the little ones to take a charming choo-choo ride.
Older kids might enjoy a stop at Disney Pin Traders to buy Disney pins featuring their favorite characters, parks, shows, and attractions in the Walt Disney World Resort and do some pin trading.
3. Lego Store at Disney Springs
The colossal Disney Springs Lego Store is a place where your imagination can come alive.
Give shape to your creativity brick by brick at this mecca for Lego lovers.
Enjoy every aspect of this beloved brand and buy some themed merchandise to take home. You can even book a Lego Minifigure Experience where you get to create your own new character with endless possibilities and customizable options.
4. Coca Cola Store at Disney Springs
Exclusive merchandise, cool photo ops, and breathtaking views – all this makes visiting the Coca-Cola Store one of my favorite things to do in Disney Springs.
Modeled like a bottling plant from the 1920s, the store oozes character and is a great place to pick up customized t-shirts, phone cases, mugs, etc., featuring this iconic brand.
And when you’re done shopping, you can head to the rooftop bar for panoramic views of Disney Springs as you sip on a cold drink.
5. Star Wars Trading Post
If you are a Star Wars fan, then you can’t miss a shopping expedition to the Star Wars Trading Post when you visit Disney. It’s a great place to buy exclusive Star Wars merchandise and themed products from the blockbuster films.
Browse the extensive selection of accessories, clothing, jewelry, headwear, keychains, drinkware, Disney pins, phone cases, collectibles, lightsabers, toys, themed MagicBands, wall art, and more.
But my favorite thing about this Disney store is that it makes me feel immersed in this iconic space saga.
6. Goofy’s Candy Company
There are candy shops and then there is Goofy’s Candy Company. Kids love this extraordinary candy shop in Disney Springs. And I have to admit, adults too!
What’s not to love?
Caramel apples, chocolate fudge, gourmet cotton candy… it’s an excuse to try different flavors and shop for your year-long supply of sweet treats.
7. Orlando Harley Davidson
The Harley Davidson store in Disney Springs is located in the Town Center. On sale are themed hats, helmets, boots, gloves, leather jackets, sunglasses, t-shirts, tools, covers, bags, and every possible biker gear you can imagine from this iconic brand.
There are two classic Harley Davidson bikes on display, so pull out that camera or phone and take an Instagram-worthy photo while you’re there.
8. Art of Disney
Animation and imagination converge to wow Disney fans of all ages at this Disney Springs store. They sell stunning works of art and collectibles featuring Disney films, characters, and theme parks.
Love Buzz Lightyear? Pick up a framed print or figurine!
And don’t forget to check out calendars from famous Disney artists who often make personal appearances to sign their pieces during special events.
A central location means Disney Springs is easily accessible from everywhere in the Walt Disney World Resort. There’s plenty of parking so it’s convenient if you have your own car.
Visiting Disney Springs is a unique experience that gives you a break from the theme parks. The best part is you save money on park tickets when you spend a day here (there is no fee to enter Disney Springs).
This is by no means a full list of the things to do in Disney Springs. These are just a few things that my family loves to do in Disney Springs.
I suggest you set aside a day or two for Disney Springs on your next Disney vacation, explore all the new stores, enjoy the amazing experiences, and indulge in some retail therapy to make it a vacation to remember.