Disney Springs is a massive 120-acre outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment complex located within The Walt Disney World Resort. Originally constructed in 1975 as the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village and has evolved to the behemoth development it is today. The most recent expansion and re-branding was started in 2013 with some limited construction continuing to this day.
There is no admission charge to enter Disney Springs and parking is also free. You can drive to Disney Springs and park on site or if you are staying at a Disney hotel, utilize their bus transportation system. There is also a ferry boat offered from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort (both the French Quarter and Riverside), Disney’s Old Key West Resort, and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.
Disney Springs is larger than most indoor malls. As of April 2022 there are 103 retail stores, pavilions and pop-ups; 65 restaurants and lounges; and 25 attractions, shows and events.
There are four distinct areas or neighborhoods at Disney Springs each with its own style and theming.
- The Landing
- Town Center
- West Side
If you plan on taking a day off from going to the theme parks, then Disney Springs is a perfect option. Most stores are open from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm from Sunday to Thursday and until 11:30 PM on Friday and Saturday. However, there are select restaurants and other offerings that are open between 8:00 am and 2:00 am.
How to Get to Disney Springs
If you are coming from outside of the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Springs is located off of East Buena Vista Drive adjacent to Interstate 4. From Interstate 4 you can take Exit 67 and follow the signs to East Buena Vista Drive. Additionally, you can access Disney Springs from Hotel Plaza Boulevard which intersects with State Road 535 (Apopka Vineland Road).
A number of off-site hotels also offer complimentary transportation to and from Disney Springs. The transportation center for Disney Springs is located between the Lime and Orange parking garages just outside of the Town Center area. Ride share pick up and drop off is located adjacent to The Marketplace section of Disney Springs.
Parking at Disney Springs
Parking is complimentary at Disney Springs and is available within one of three parking garages as well as several surface areas. The Lime Garage and the Orange Garage provide direct access to Disney Springs in either the Town Center (Lime) and West Side (Orange) areas.
The Grapefruit garage is located on the opposite side of East Buena Vista Drive. There is an elevated walking bridge which provides access to The Marketplace area. While this garage requires a fairly decent walk but it provides the best egress when leaving Disney Springs.
All three garages at Disney Springs are pretty high tech. The garages are equipped with sensors of the spaces on each level which tell you the exact number of spaces available on each level. There are also electronic signs indicating the number of open spaces per row with green lights above the individual space.
There is plenty of spaces for guests with disabilities in each garage is patrolled, has emergency alarms and there is an attendant at the entrance to Disney Springs.
Preferred parking is available for $10 in the Mango Lot near the Cirque du Soleil. Preferred Hours are from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Valet Parking is also available for $20 and located in three areas:
- Orange Garage, near the entrance – available from 10:00 am to 2:00 am.
- West Side near Cirque du Solei – available from 4:00 pm to 2:00 am.
- In the Lemon Lot near the World of Disney Store – available from 10:00 am to 2:00 am.
Unique Entertainment & Attractions
Beyond just shopping and dining, there are a number of unique entertainment experiences and attractions located at Disney Springs.
Aerophile – The World Leader in Balloon Flight
Take an eight-minute tethered hot air balloon ride up to 400 feet in the air. The balloon holds 29 guests (plus a certified pilot of course) and see all of the Walt Disney World Resort including Spaceship Earth at EPCOT and Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom.
No food or beverages are allowed and Aerophile files only in good weather with wind speeds not exceeding 22 miles per hour. Guests over 12 can ride alone but anyone under 12 must be accompanied by a supervising companion over 18.
The cost is $20 per adult and $15 per child 9 and under.
Cirque du Soleil – Drawn to Life
All new for 2021, this Cirque du Soleil show was created just for Disney. Per the Disney Springs web site “Watch in wonder as the beauty of Disney animation blends with the thrilling spectacle of Cirque du Solei!”.
This new show is a collaboration with the folks at Disney Animation & Imagineering as well the those at Cirque du Soleil. Prices stat from $79 per person and go up to $179 per person.
AMC Disney Springs 24 movies and Dine-in Theaters
The AMC Movies at Disney Springs is one of the nicest movie theaters in all of Orlando with plush seating as well as state-of-the-art image and sound technologies.
Six theaters offer unique dining and cocktails while enjoying the latest that Hollywood has to offer. The dining fare includes burgers, sandwiches, tacos, flatbread pizzas, salads, sushi rolls as well as a wide array of desserts.
House of Blues Music Hall
The House of Blues Music Hall is a 2,600 seat music venue that hosts everything from well known bands to up-and-coming musicians from all genres including rock, country, rhythm & blues, hip-hop and blues.
On most Sundays the House of Blues Music Hall features a Sunday Gospel all-you-can-eat brunch which starts at 10:30 am. Princes range from $24 per person for kids 9 and under to $43 per person for adults.
Splitsville Luxury Lanes (Endless Summer favorite)
If you are ready to take a break from the theme parks and get out of the heat, Splitsville Luxury Lanes is the perfect place to do so. Grab your ball and shoes as you get ready to bowl on one of 30 amazing lanes. There is also live music, billiards and televisions throughout.
And when you get hungry, you can take a seat in the Splitsville Dining Room or order food directly at your lane.
Vintage Amphicar & Italian Water Taxi Tours
Is it a car or is it a boat? Well it’s both actually. In this amphicar you will take a 20-minute guided tour on Lake Buena Vista and get to see all of Disney Springs from the water.
The Amphicars are piloted by a captain and can accommodate three to four people at a cost of $125 per car. Walk up reservation are accepted at The BOATHOUSE BOATIQUE.
Other Unique Entertainment and Attractions include:
- Disney+ Pavilion
- Disney Photopass Studio
- Marketplace Carousel
- Marketplace Train Express
Shopping at Disney Springs
Disney Springs is a shoppers mecca with over 100 individual retailers ranging from Fashions & Sportswear to Home Decor and Footwear, Toys & Games, Jewelry & Accessories and Beauty & Health shops.
Fashion and Sportswear Retailers
- Columbia Sportswear
- Everything But Water
- Fit2Run: The Runner’s Superstore
- Free People
- JOHNNY WAS
- Johnston & Murphy
- Kate Spade New York
- Levi’s ®
- Lilly Pulitzer ®
- Pele’ Soccer
- Ron Jon Surf Shop
- Tommy Bahama ®
- UNDER ARMOUR ® BRAND HOUSE
Home Decor, Gifts & Specialty
- The Art Corner by Artistic Talent Group
- The BOATHOUSE BOATIQUE
- Coca-Cola Store
- House of Blues Gear Shop
- Orlando Harley-Davidson
- Pop Gallery
- Rainforest Cafe Retail Village
- Shop for Ireland
- Sosa Family Cigars
- The Store at Planet Hollywood
- Sugarboo & Co
In addition to the home décor and specialty shops, there area a number of Disney themed stores including the 51,000 square foot WORLD OF DISNEY STORE which is the largest Disney store in the world.
There are 12 individual rooms featuring everything from classic Disney merchandise to the most recent Disney themed toys, clothes and collectibles. If you are a fan of all things Disney, then make sure you find time of visit this amazing store.
Other Disney themed retail shops that you will find at Disney Springs include:
- The Art of Disney (Endless Summer favorite)
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers
- D-Tech on Demand at Marketplace Co-Op
- Disney Centerpiece at Marketplace Co-Op
- Disney’s Days of Christmas
- Disney’s Pin Traders
- Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories
- WonderGround Gallery at marketplace Co-Op
Toys and Games
- Build-A-Dino by Build-A-Bear Workshop at T-REX
- Dino-Store at T-Rex
- The LEGO Store
- Once Upon a Toy
- Star Wars Galactic Outpost
- Star Wars Trading Post
- Super Hero Headquarters
Jewelry and Accessories
- ALEX AND ANI®
- Chapel Hats
- Cherry Tree Lane at Marketplace Co-Op
- Disney TAG at Marketplace Co-Op
- Edward Beiner
- Ever After Jewelry Co & Accessories
- Luxury of Time by Diamonds International
- Na Hoku – Hawaii’s Finest Jewelers Since 1924
- PANDORA Jewelry
- Sunglass Icon®
- Vera Bradley
- Johnston & Murphy
Beauty and Health
- L’Occitane en Provence
- M • A • C Cosmetics
- Savannah Bee Company
Food and Dining at Disney Springs
There are more than 60 dining options at Disney Springs which range from quick service / fast casual dining to more formal table service.
Table Service Dining
- The BOATHOUSE
- Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
- City Works Eatery & Pour House
- The Edison
- Enzo’s Hideaway
- Frontera Cocina
- House of Blues Restaurant
- Jaleo by Jose’ Andres
- Maria & Enzo’s
- Morimoto Asia
- Paradiso 37, Taste of the America
- Rainforest Cafe
- Planet Hollywood (Endless Summer favorite)
- Raglin Road Irish Pub and Restaurant
- Splitsville Dining Room
- STK Orlando
- Terralina Crafted Italian
- Wine Bar George
- Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
Even if you are not going to eat at Planet Hollywood, make sure you go in and just walk through the restaurant to see the amazing collection of Hollywood memorabilia. There is also a two-story screen that constantly playing videos of some of your favorite films so make sure you check this out.
Quick Service Dining
- 4R Cantina Barbacoa Rood Truck
- The Basket at Wine Bar George
- Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza
- Chicken Guy!
- Cookies of Dublin
- D-Luxe Burger
- EARL OF SANDWICH
- Food Trucks at Exposition Park
- Frontera Cocina To-Go Window
- Marketplace Snacks
- Morimoto Asia Street Food
- Pepe by Jose’ Andres
- Pizza Pointe
- The Polite Pig
- The Smokehouse at House of Blues
- Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill To-Go Window
- Wolfgang Puck Express
Specialty Food and Beverage
- Amorette’s Patisserie
- B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co
- The Daily Poutine
- Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
- The Ganachery
- Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop
- Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company
- STARBUCKS at Disney Springs Marketplace
- STARBUCKS at Disney Springs West Side
- Vivoli il Gelato
- Coca-Cola Store Rootop Beverage Bar
- Dockside Margaritas
- Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
- Lava Lounge at Rainforest Cafe
- Stargazers Bar
Carts and Kiosks – At Disney Springs West Side
- Joffrey’s Handcrafted Smoothies
- Sunshine Churros
- Wetzel’s Pretzels
Carts and Kiosks – At Disney Springs Marketplace
- Joffrey’s Handcrafted Smoothies
- Sunshine Churros
- Wetzel’s Pretzels
Guest Services at Disney Springs
Even though Disney Springs is not a theme park, it is still part of the Disney experience so as you can image there are a number of places where you can get help with your vacation experience.
- Disney Springs Welcome Center Guest Relations
- Disney Ticket Center
- Sundries: strollers and wheelchairs
- Town Center Storage House (lost and found)
- Virgin Atlantic Check-In
The ticket is a perfect place to buy your theme park tickets. Although the Endless Summer Florida family purchased our annual passes on-line, we picked up the physical passes at the ticket center the night before our first visit. It was quick and convenient (and we also did not have to pay to park).
What do we like best about Disney Springs?
Even the years when we were not annual passholders we visited Disney Springs quite regularly. Whether for a meal, to meet out-of-town friends or just walk around, it’s a place we enjoy.
And since some in our family have been coming here since it was the original Disney Village Marketplace along with Pleasure Island, we get the chance to reminisce about the times at The Adventurers Club, the Rock and Roll Beach Club and Mannequins. At Pleasure Island every night was New Years Eve and there was a show, midnight countdown and fireworks on the West End Stage.
Here are a some of the things that we like best about today’s Disney Springs.
The Coca-Cola Store Rooftop Beverage Bar
This is a great place to get something to drink and relax, especially during the winter months with the weather is mild. We recommend trying a Coke float, its perfect on a hot day.
Terralina Crafted Italian
Prior to this restaurant becoming Terralina Crafted Italian, it was the Portobello Yacht Club which was one of our favorites. There is some similarities in the menus and the tomato mozzarella salad still is a nice treat. Even with the new name and menu, it’s still high on our list.
It’s always exciting to dine at Planet Hollywood where you can enjoy a decent meal and watch all the movie clips. Service is always friendly and you can get in & out fairly quick.
Ron Jon Surf Shop
The Endless Summer Florida are water sports fans and have also been to the Ron Jon locations in Fort Myers and Cocoa Beach. So needless to say we were pretty excited to buy our first Ron Jon Disney Springs t-shirt when it opened last year (2019).
As we said early, even though Disney Springs is not a theme park it is still part of the Disney experience. And since that usually entails spending some money, the free parking is a refreshing change from the norm.
Overall Disney Springs is a great place to visit and a perfect spot to take a break from the theme parks. But even though it is not a theme park, it can get very busy and there we days when all the parking garages were full. So plan accordingly as you would any Disney experience.
To learn more about Disney Springs, you can visit their web site at: https://www.disneysprings.com/.