The author Katie Lusnia enjoying her classic pineapple DOLE whip from Swirls on the Water in Disney Springs

21 Best Things to Do in Disney Springs (in 2022)

There are enough activities and restaurants that you could spend a full day exploring the best things to do in Disney Springs, but most families spend a half day there. 

Disney Springs, previously known as Downtown Disney, is a dining and entertainment complex at Walt Disney World. 

As an Orlando local, I love going to Disney Springs for a date night or family meal. In this post I’ll share my 9 favorite things to do: 

👉 Jump to: Things to Do | Restaurants and Bars | Things to Do With Kids

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Best Things to Do at Disney Springs

Eat and Drink

Delight your taste buds at several unique restaurants

People enjoying their food and the performance in Raglan Road
Raglan Road has elevated pub food and Irish performers

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 10 am – 11 pm

One of the best parts about visiting Disney Springs is getting access to more than 50 restaurants, bars, lounges, and snack stands. Drinking “around the world” at Epcot gets all the attention, but don’t underestimate how much fun a Disney Springs bar crawl (or snack crawl) can be. There are endless options of different cuisines and price ranges for anyone looking for a meal. 

🛎️ Need a Hotel? The Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista connects to Disney Springs with convenient elevated walkways. I also have articles about the Best Disney World Hotels and Where to Stay at Disney World

Aerophile

Head 400 feet in the air for unmatched views of Walt Disney World

View of the Aerophile in Disney Springs waiting for guests
The Aerophile waiting to load up guests

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (407) 938-9433 | Website | Hours: 9am – 11pm | Entrance: $25 adults, $20 ages 3-9

Are you interested in seeing a bird’s eye view of the Walt Disney World Resort? Hop on the Aerophile, a hot air balloon that takes you 400 ft above Disney Springs. 

Not only can you see views of the surrounding Disney Springs area and Lake Buena Vista, but you can see across the entire Walt Disney World Resort. Keep an eye out for Spaceship Earth at Epcot, the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios, and the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom. 

👉 Pro Tip: From the air, you can see the nearby Lake Buena Vista hotels. This is one of the best Places to Stay in Orlando

Disney PhotoPass Studio

Capture family memories to last a lifetime 

View of the entrance to Disney PhotoPass Studio

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 12 pm – 8 pm | Entrance: free 

The Disney PhotoPass Studio is a hidden gem for capturing family photos of your Disney vacation. When you’re at the theme parks, you’re probably more focused on enjoying your time than taking photos. 

Take a short time out of your trip to visit Disney Springs and the Disney PhotoPass Studio. A photographer can set your family up with a variety of backdrops to take the perfect vacation photo. This service is completely free and you can purchase the photos at the studio or through your My Disney Experience app. 

Drawn to Life Presented by Cirque du Soleil 

Disney animation comes to life before your eyes

The theater of Cirque du Soleil from the outside
The iconic white theater has been a staple at Disney Springs since 1998

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (877) 924-7783 | Website | Shows: 5:30 pm, 8 pm Tuesday-Saturday | Entrance: starting at $80 | 👉 Reserve Your Tickets on Viator

On the west side of Disney Springs, you can’t miss the picturesque white tent of Cirque du Soleil. The theater is currently home to Drawn to Life, a collaboration between the company, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Walt Disney Imagineering. Drawn to Life beautifully blends the Disney magic of animation with the acrobatic skills that Cirque du Soleil is known for. 

AMC Dine-In Theatres

Enjoy dinner and a movie the right way 

View of the entrance to AMC Dine-In Theatres

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (407) 827-1308 | Website | Entrance: starting at $10 for adults 

When planning a vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, seeing a movie may not be at the top of your list. You’d be surprised how much you can enjoy sitting back and relaxing after a couple of days at the theme parks. 

Plus, AMC Disney Springs has several Dine-In Theatres where you can order food and drinks directly to your seats. There is no better way to enjoy a flick. 

Go Shopping

Stock up on your Disney souvenirs 

People wandering in the line of shops and boutiques in Disney Springs

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 10 am – 11 pm

One of my top Disney World tips is not to buy souvenirs at a theme park. You’ll end up carrying around your purchases all day or trying to stuff them into a stroller. Instead, do your shopping at Disney Springs. If you forget anything on your Disney packing list, there is a wide selection of shops to get what you need!

Here, you can find Disney merchandise at several stores, including Disney’s Days of Christmas Store, the World of Disney (the largest Disney store in the world), Disney Style, and the Art of Disney gallery. 

You can also find your favorite brands and specialty shops, like the Coca-Cola Store, the LEGO Store, The Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers, Ron Jon Surf Shop, and Lilly Pulitzer. 

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Strike down the pins in this upscale bowling alley 

Bowling alley inside the Splitsville Luxury Lanes

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (407) 938-7467 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 11 pm | Entrance: starting at $30 per person 

Splitsville Luxury Lanes is unlike any other bowling alley that I’ve been to. This two-story building has a restaurant, 5 bars, billiards tables, and 30 bowling lanes. The food here is far superior to typical bowling alley pizza and wings. You can enjoy sandwiches, sushi, pizza, and more. 

👉 Pro Tip: Your reservation is for a set amount of time, based on the number of people in your party. I recommend eating before or after you bowl so you can get in as many games as possible. For views of Disney Springs and a nice atmosphere, ask to sit near the windows upstairs. 

Enjoy Live Entertainment

Take in the sounds throughout Disney Springs

View from the outside of House of Blues
House of Blues hosts concerts and outdoor live music

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Varies

Throughout Disney Springs, you can see live music and entertainers. Some of these performers play live music at set locations, like the AdventHealth Waterside Stage, Raglan Road Irish Pub, and the House of Blues outdoor patio. 

In addition, there is wandering entertainment putting on magic shows, acrobatic performances, or even playing a movie piano. This entertainment is free for everyone visiting Disney Springs. 

👉 Pro Tip: Check the House of Blues concert calendar to see if your favorite band will be playing during your Disney trip! 

Amphicar Tours

Drive right into the water for this unique amphibious adventure

Vintage cars parked in Amphicar Launch

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (407) 939-2628 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 10 pm | Entrance: $125 for 3-4 people 

We may not have invented flying cars yet, but we have invented Amphicars! These car-boat hybrids have vintage designs and less than 400 exist worldwide. You’ll get into your vehicle and then your captain will drive the Amphicar into the water to start the tour. Enjoy the views of Disney Springs from the water during this truly one-of-a-kind activity. 

Best Restaurants & Bars at Disney Springs

👉 Jump to: Things to Do | Restaurants and Bars | Things to Do With Kids

Disney Springs has plenty of activities and shopping, but I think the restaurants are the best attractions. You can grab a quick bite at a snack stand, enjoy a visit to one of the themed restaurants, or dine on dishes created by celebrity chefs. 

Morimoto ASIA

Enjoy Iron Chef Morimoto’s Asian cuisine

People enjoying their food in Morimoto ASIA
The atmosphere at Morimoto ASIA only gets better after dark

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (407) 939-6686 | Website | Hours: 11:30 am – 11 pm 

I always recommend Morimoto ASIA as my favorite restaurant at Disney Springs. The atmosphere is impeccable and the food is delicious. Chef Masaharu Morimoto has put together a phenomenal menu featuring simple but elegant Asian cuisine. 

👉 Love Iron Chef? You have to try the Morimoto “Buri Bop”, the chef’s take on Korean bibimbap using yellowtail. He created this dish on Iron Chef and it is prepared tableside. 

Dockside Margaritas

Sit back and enjoy a drink along the water

The Dockside Margaritas from the other side
You can’t beat the waterfront seating at Dockside Margaritas

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 12 pm – 10:30 pm

Whether you are stopping for one drink or trying a few around Disney Springs, Dockside Margaritas should be at the top of your list. The drinks are fantastic, but the ambiance makes the experience. You can usually find a musician filling the waterfront seating around with relaxing music. This spot gives you one of the most beautiful sunsets at Walt Disney World. 

Raglan Road 

Get dinner and a show at this Irish pub

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (407) 938-0300 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 11:30 pm 

If I’m not at Morimoto ASIA, you can find me at Raglan Road Irish Pub. This lively restaurant has 3 stages for musicians and dancers, 4 bars to sit at, and plenty of tables for dining. The menu has traditional pub food made perfectly. 

I don’t necessarily want to give away my secret spot, but the Hole in the Wall Bar between Raglan Road and Cookes of Dublin is the perfect spot in Disney Springs to sit back and enjoy a drink.

👉 Pro Tip: If you have food allergies or restrictions, Raglan Road does a great job of accommodating. Many of their dishes can be altered to fit your needs.

Coca-Cola Rooftop Bar

Taste beverages from around the world 

View of the Coca-Cola Store Orlando from the outside

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (407) 560-0107 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 11 pm

On top of the Coca-Cola Store, you can find the rooftop bar. Here, everyone can enjoy their favorite sodas or try something new from around the world. There are also alcoholic beverages available. The rooftop gives you prime views of Disney Springs and the nearby lake. 

Gideon’s Bakehouse

Try unexpected flavors and massive desserts

The Gideon’s Bakehouse from the outside

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 10 am – 10 pm

Gideon’s Bakehouse was an Orlando hidden gem for quite a while before they opened their Disney Springs location. They are known for their enormous cookies, but also have coffee and other baked goods. It is so popular that the shop uses a virtual queue on most days because the line can be more than 1-2 hours long. 

Swirls on the Water

Delight in your favorite DOLE Whip

The author enjoying her classic pineapple DOLE whip from Swirls on the Water
I always go for the classic pineapple DOLE Whip

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 11 am – 11 pm

One of the most iconic Disney snacks is DOLE Whip. Originally, this sweet treat could only be found in Adventureland. Now, you can enjoy this treat at the Swirls on the Water stand at Disney Springs. Try specialty flavors and presentations, including a rum topper for your DOLE Whip. 

The Polite Pig

Scarf down some delicious barbeque

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (407) 938-7444 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 11 pm 

The Polite Pig is a barbeque restaurant in the town center of Disney Springs. Enjoy a variety of meats smoked to perfection. There are tons of mouthwatering sides. Lighter fare, like the chipotle cobb salad, is also available. 

Other Restaurants to Try at Disney Springs:

  • Wine Bar George
  • Exposition Park Food Trucks
  • Rainforest Cafe
  • T-Rex Cafe
  • Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
  • Guy Fieri’s Chicken Guy
  • Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

📚 Related Reading: If you need help planning the rest of your Disney World vacation, check out my touring plans:

Things to Do With Kids at Disney Springs

👉 Jump to: Things to Do | Restaurants and Bars | Things to Do With Kids

Build-A-Dino at T-REX

Create a stuffed friend to bring home 

People with their kids wandering in T-REX merchandise shop
You can find Build-a-Dino in the back of the T-REX merchandise shop

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (407) 828-3800 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 11 pm 

Inside the merchandise shop at T-REX Cafe, kids can create their own prehistoric stuffed friend to bring home. The Build-A-Dino location operates just like a Build-A-Bear Workshop. Kids can choose their dinosaur and its accessories for a personalized souvenir. 

Goofy’s Candy Co

Enjoy classic treats or create your own 

View of candies available in Goofy’s Candy Co

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 10 am – 11 pm

The only thing kids love more than candy is Disney-themed candy. Stop by Goofy’s Candy Co. to pick up some sweet treats. You can even create your own dessert by choosing the type of chocolate and toppings! Personally, I suggest a milk chocolate marshmallow with peanut butter chips and graham cracker crumbs. 

Marketplace Carousel and Train

Ride these timeless attractions for simple joy 

The Marketplace Carousel under the clear blue sky

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 1 pm – 10 pm Monday-Thursday, 10 am – 10 pm Friday-Sunday | Entrance: $3 per person

As a toddler mom, I know that younger kids often need a break from the fast-paced nature of a Disney vacation. Let your kids take a ride on the Disney Springs Marketplace Train Express and Carousel to have some fun at the right speed for them. 

The LEGO Store

Let your imagination do the building 

Star Wars character made with legos outside The LEGO Store
Even if you don’t head into the store, make sure you check out the sculptures outside

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (407) 828-0065 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 11 pm

Kids (of all ages) are thrilled when they see the selection of LEGO products available at the Disney Springs store. See lifesize LEGO creations of your favorite Disney characters. One fun thing to do is create your own customized Minifigure. 

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – Currently Unavailable

Transform into a prince or princess 

📍 Google Maps | Website 

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a makeover salon for kids to transform into princes or princesses. Fairy Godmother’s apprentices work to create a magical experience for every child at the boutique. 

This location has been closed since the pandemic, but it will hopefully be opening soon. If your child would like their own transformation, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Magic Kingdom is reopening in August 2022. 

FAQs About Visiting Disney Springs

View of a water fountain in Disney Springs

Does Disney Springs have parking?

Disney Springs offers free parking in 3 garages and surface lots. Valet parking is available for $20 per day. If you are staying at one of the Disney resorts, you can use free bus transportation to get to Disney Springs. See our guide to parking at Disney World.

Is Disney Springs worth it?

Disney Springs offers plenty of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options for everyone. It is worth it to include at least a half day of your vacation at Disney Springs. Since Disney Springs is free to access, it is a great place to visit to do Disney World on a budget

Is Disney Springs free?

Disney Springs is free to visit. A park ticket is not required and standard parking is complimentary. 

📚 Related Reading: Looking for other free activities in Orlando? I put together a list of the best Free Things to Do in Orlando

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When planning your Walt Disney World vacation, consider adding some time at Disney Springs. Dine at a fabulous restaurant and grab some souvenirs at your favorite stores. 

I hope I’ve helped you find some fun things to do in Disney Springs!

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