If you haven’t been to Disney Springs (formerly known as Downtown Disney and Disney Village Marketplace in my younger years), you’re missing out. I always loved its predecessors, but the new and improved areas of this staple on Walt Disney World property are pretty spectacular. We made a couple visits recently and I wanted to share them with you so you can plan a visit soon too!
What’s changed? There are MANY more stores and restaurants. Your old favorites (restaurants like Portobello, Raglan Road, and Rainforest Cafe, and shops like World of Disney, Basin, and The Lego Store) are still there, but there are also some incredible new places to eat and shop that you have to check out. Because of all the new territory, it also feels a bit less crowded which is super nice on a hot summer day. I’m dividing this post into sections so you can sort through all of my favorites easily!
When you first arrive at Disney Springs, you’ll notice something really cool (aside from the free parking!): the parking garages are smart! They help you figure out what level has open spaces, and once you’re on that level you can actually see which spaces are open thanks to these lights that hang from the ceiling. I wish every parking garage had this feature!
- If you’ve got a stroller, try to park on the 2nd level so you’ll only have to take one elevator ride to get to the shops and restaurants below.
- There are two garages, so don’t feel like you HAVE to go to the first one you see.
Y’all. The new dining options are to. die. for. We’ve tried two so far: D-Luxe Burger (counter service) and Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming (sit-down).
The burgers at D-Luxe Burger have really fun ingredients. I got the Southern Classic Burger which has pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes on it. SO good.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming is Florida themed and it’s perfect. I ordered shrimp and grits, Jon had fried chicken, and Graham had a (HUGE) kids meal with chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese, and peas and carrots. There’s also a shine bar that we didn’t try, but it’s on our list!
- If you’re going for dinner, get there around 5 and you should be able to easily get a table at D-Luxe Burger and you might even be able to snag one at Homecoming.
- Disney has added lots of quick service windows as well, where you can get a full meal. These are great for eating on a budget or if you find yourself hungry during the lunch or dinner rush and can’t wait for a table.
There’s an amazing new list of stores at Disney Springs. Many of them are relatively high-end, but there are a few more budget-friendly additions like UNIQLO and Alex and Ani.
The Coca-Cola Store is one of the coolest new shops. It’s got all sorts of Coke apparel as well as a tasting station on a rooftop patio.
Pro-Tip: If you’re looking for a low-priced souvenir, UNIQLO is definitely the place to go. They have Disney tee-shirts for less than $10!
There are always fun things to do at Disney Springs. Random performances, family-friendly contests, and DJs are all around the property throughout the day and evening.
The Lego Store has one of my favorite activities for kids and adults: Lego car racing. Kids can build their own cars and race them on a specially designed platform.
The splash pad by Once Upon a Toy is always fun. Most days of the year you’ll find kids cooling off in this fountain. Just make sure you bring a change of clothes!
Pro-Tip: There’s always a crowd at the Lego car racing station, so don’t be afraid to (politely) work your way in and get creative!
Have you been to the new Disney Springs? What was your favorite part? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!