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Whether you’re looking for a sit-down meal, a quick bite, or simply an indulgent dessert, you’ll find it in Disney Springs. The district is known for restaurants such as The BOATHOUSE, Paddlefish, STK Orlando, Morimoto Asia, and Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’. Reservations are highly recommended, particularly on weekends and during holiday seasons.
Quick-service (counter-service) options include D-Luxe Burger, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, The Polite Pig, B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co., and The Daily Poutine. My personal favorites are the gelato shakes from D-Luxe Burger (in flavors such as salted caramel and s’mores).
Be sure to save room for dessert. Check out options such as The Ganachery, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC, Ghirardelli, and Amorette’s Patisserie. Sprinkles even has its famous “Cupcake ATM” located just outside the door.
If you’re looking for some more adult fare, check out spots such as Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, the Rainforest Cafe – Lava Lounge, Stargazers Bar, or Dockside Margaritas. Wine Bar George will be opening in Disney Springs in early 2018, so stay tuned for that one as well.
Only a bus ride away in Disney’s BoardWalk you’ll find some 21+ options. Jellyrolls is a legendary dueling piano bar with nightly entertainment. Nearby you’ll find AbracadaBar with a variety of creative cocktails. The BoardWalk is also home to Atlantic Dance Hall, playing a mix of 80’s, 90’s, and current hits until 2AM.
Disney Springs offers a wide variety of retail options, ranging from designer brands to classic Disney souvenirs. Popular clothing and accessory options include Anthropologie, Lacoste, Kate Spade New York, Under Armour Brand House, Zara, Tumi, Vera Bradley, and more. For personal care and beauty, check out The Art of Shaving, Origins, L’Occitane en Provence, Kiehl’s, and Sephora.
Looking for a gift for yourself or someone back home? The World of Disney store is the best place for Disney souvenirs, followed by The Art of Disney and D-Living. For specialty items, visit Pandora Jewelry, Alex and Ani, or Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers.
You’ll also find some more interesting shops mixed in – Orlando Harvey-Davidson, Sosa Family Cigars, and The Spice & Tea Exchange, to name a few. Give yourself time to explore some of these smaller shops as you go.
This is Disney, so of course there is entertainment to be found around every corner. You can catch live music at the Marketplace Stage, the House of Blues, and in several restaurants, such as Raglan Road Irish Pub. AMC Movies at Disney Springs shows the latest releases and offers food and drinks as well.
Next to The BOATHOUSE you’ll find vintage amphicar and Italian water taxi tours. You can also get a bird’s eye view of Walt Disney World from Aerophile, the world leader in balloon flight. Splitsville Luxury Lanes offers both a large menu and a fun environment for a few rounds of bowling.
If you’re traveling before the end of 2017, you can even catch Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba. Disney Springs is constantly evolving, so I’m sure we’ll see it followed by another exciting show in the future.
If you’d like to step outside of Disney Springs, Disney offers free transportation from Disney Springs to its many resorts. Here you’ll find a range of spectacular restaurants, lounges, and unique sights. You don’t even need to be a guest of the resort to enjoy these locations.
At Disney’s Contemporary Resort you can visit California Grill, which offers views of the fireworks over Magic Kingdom. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge you can dine at Sanaa with a view of the savanna, or treat yourself to signature dining at Jiko. The Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort offers some of the best steaks on property. And at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa you can enjoy a trio of fine dining restaurants: Citrico’s, Narcoosee’s, and Victoria & Albert’s.
If you’re in the area during the holiday season, visiting the decorated lobbies of the Deluxe Resorts is a treat in itself. Don’t miss the elaborate gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian.
As you can see, there’s so much more to Walt Disney World than Mickey Mouse. Be sure to check it during your next stop in Orlando!
Jessica Tullino | Imagineered Vacations | Facebook | Pinterest
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