Calling all shoppers, diners and those who love to be entertained by all things Disney, there is an unparalleled mecca just for you – Disney Springs. Now that the holiday season is in full-force, it’s an exciting time to talk about three favorite holiday pastimes – shopping, eating, and fun.
What was once called Downtown Disney has since been transformed into Disney Springs. Downtown Disney was enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for over 30 years. Because it was such a well-loved place, the geniuses at Disney decided to enhance and reinvent its identity.
The fundamental idea behind Disney Springs is to be a welcoming and comfortable place. A place where families will immediately feel at home, and can simply enjoy being together. It’s a place to a relax, wander in and out of distinctive shops, dine at world-class restaurants, and be entertained as much as desired.
The name Disney Springs represents a timeless and vibrant place, which is celebrating the turn-of-the century lakeside towns that comprised the Florida landscape.
Disney Springs encompasses four distinct neighborhoods – The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center. All of which are built around the beautiful bubbling springs.
Now that you know what Disney Springs is, here’s a breakdown of how you can enjoy it!
Stay at The Grove and enjoy spacious residential-style accommodations, transportation to and from Disney, and more!
Shopping Disney Springs
The newest section, and the section that begins to tell the story of Disney Springs. This section explains how settlers were attracted to the area by a series of natural springs. One defining feature of this section is its central promenade, along which shopping and dining await.
Town Center features the most shopping out of all four sections, so get ready for a long list. But first, our dining suggestions:
– Sprinkles, delicious handcrafted cupcakes.
– Aristocrepes, a fun little kiosk serving both sweet and savory crepes.
– Frontera Cucina, contemporary Mexican cuisine from the chef genius Rick Bayless.
Stay tuned for more exciting dining options to open in 2017.
As far as shopping goes…
– Lilly Pulitzer
– Kate Spade
– Under Armour Brand House
One of the four sections of Disney Springs, The Landing houses several restaurants, features waterfront views and lots of shopping. Want to arrive by boat? You’re in luck! The Landing is only one of two sections that offers a dock, making a boat arrival possible.
Dining highlights at The Landing include:
– Paradiso 37, latin fare featuring waterfront views.
– Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, delicious and authentic Irish food, with live music and dancers.
Shopping highlights at The Landing:
– Shop for Ireland
– Chapel Hats
– The Art of Shaving
The largest of all four sections, and original to Downtown Disney, West Side is the entertainment capital of Disney Springs. With a plethora of newly constructed shaded areas, the West Side is better than ever.
One of the biggest draws of West Side is its very own Cirque du Soleil show. Seriously, West Side in Disney Springs gets its own Cirque show, that can’t be viewed anywhere else, it’s called La Nouba.
More entertainment highlights of West Side include:
– House of Blues, live music featuring a variety of genres.
– Splitsville Luxury Lanes, a luxury bowling alley, be sure to reserve your spot in advance.
– Characters in Flight, a hot air balloon that rises 300 feet in the air.
West side has unique dining offerings of its own, a few highlights include:
– Bongos Cuban Cafe, colorful decor, live music and a great ambiance. Also offers an express version if you need food to go.
– Exposition Park Food Trucks, a really fun way to try a variety of cuisines.
As far as West Side shopping goes, some of the most fun and unique stores are:
– Cirque du Soleil Boutique
– Sosa Family Cigars
– Bongos Cuban Cafe Souvenir and Gift Shop
The second section of the four that comprise Disney Springs, and an original to the former Downtown Disney. True to its name, Marketplace features a variety of shops to choose from. One new addition being the Marketplace Co-Op, which features art & collectibles, gifts & housewares, and apparel & accessories.
Marketplace also features a wide array of entertainment, great for all ages! Here are a few recommendations:
– Waterside stage, free, live entertainment.
– Marketplace Train Express, great for little kiddos.
– Marketplace Carousel, also great for the kids.
As far as dining goes, the Marketplace dining isn’t as robust as some of the other sections, but there are still plenty of options. A few fan favorites include:
– Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, absolutely delicious, a must-visit for sure.
– Rainforest Cafe, great atmosphere, and decor, yummy food.
As you might have noticed, there’s an awful lot going on at Disney Springs. With so many dining, entertainment and shopping options, it’ll be hard to choose where to go. We recommend visiting Disney Springs on the first evening of your trip, or perhaps after a half day at one of the resorts. It’s a great place to relax, unwind and move at a slower pace than you might whilst inside one of the parks.
Disney Springs is constantly getting more restaurants, shops, and shows, so to stay up to date it’s a good idea to check out the website, here. If you plan on visiting sometime soon, shopping in Disney Springs will help you cross off names on your shopping list for sure!
A general tip we give about Orlando is – choose a resort or hotel central to the main attractions you want to see. You’ll have plenty to do and enjoy without worrying about renting a car or mapping out distances. There are many properties to choose from, and if you intend to visit February onwards, The Grove Resort & Spa will be newly opened and ready to take care of your every need. Featuring all suites to enhance the overall experience, The Grove Resort & Spa is quite unlike any other property in Orlando.
We hope you have a magnificent Orlando vacation
Spend the day relaxing at the resort then head to Disney Springs for shopping and dining!