Disney Springs – Complete Guide

Complete Guide to Disney Springs – Walt Disney World’s Retail, Entertainment & Dining District

Disney Springs

Disney Springs (formerly known as Downtown Disney) is doubling the number of shops and restaurants as a new concept, Disney Springs, emerges as a re-imagined version of this popular retail, entertainment and dining district. Located just outside of Walt Disney World’s theme parks in Lake Buena Vista, this multi-million redo of Downtown Disney promises to be a great experience. It is scheduled to be complete in the summer of 2016.

Just imagine…or in this case re-imagine (as Disney has done)

A long time ago, there was this general store located next to a beautiful spring. One of its owners decided to make it into their home. Their family grew and so they continued to build rooms and out-buildings. The waterfront property became a sprawling complex and was then named The Boathouse; in a turn-of-the century lakeside town which became Disney Springs. A small Florida waterfront town which gradually, over time, became this retail, dining and entertainment district.

Many restaurants and eclectic and contemporary shops are already open and being enjoyed by locals and tourists. There is something for everyone in the daytime as well as night. We’ll continue to update this page as new retailers are added and dining experiences open. Disney Springs is a fun thing to do in Orlando, and best of all, it’s free! You do not need a theme park ticket to visit Disney Springs. You will want to save up some spending money though. There are so many shops and eateries, it would be difficult to come here and not spend any money. Even so, the scenery will be true to Disney standards – when it is complete. Coming here just for the view would not be unheard of with a promenade so inviting guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.

Retail Shopping at Disney Springs

Retail shopping is great at Disney Springs. Many brands are well-known and are already located in the Central Florida shopping landscape. While there may be occasional discounts, do not expect huge bargains here. Think more along the lines of ‘exclusive.’ If you are looking for ‘cheap’ or ‘deep discounts,’ the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores will suit your needs.

Restaurants and Dining at Disney Springs

From food trucks to expansive upscale restaurants, you can have your pick at Disney Springs. You can have your choice of location too. Care to dine outdoors? On a boat? How about on a rooftop? These choices and many more are offered at Disney Springs restaurants and bars. Even the establishments that have been here before the transformation from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs have been (or will be) updated with new dining features. Many themed restaurants will offer every type of food menu you can imagine, and many that you would never imagine!

Entertainment at Disney Springs

A wide range of entertainment is offered at Disney Springs. Most are located in the West Side and at The Landing. It is recommended to arrive at least one hour prior to any show/event you are wanting to attend. There is plenty to do to fill your wait-time.

  • Aerophile Balloon Flights (West Side)
  • Exposition Park (West Side)
  • Marketplace Carousel & Train Express (Marketplace)
  • Paradiso 37 Entertainment (The Landing)
  • Raglan Road Live Music – Patio Stage (The Landing)
  • AMC Movies at Disney Springs 24 (West Side)
  • House of Blues Music Hall (West Side)
  • The Edison Live Entertainment – Adults (The Landing)
  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil (West Side)
  • Riverboat Square (The Landing)
  • Sunshine Highline (West Side)
  • Splitsville Luxury Lanes (West Side)
  • Vintage Amphicar & Italian Water Taxi Tours (The Landing)
  • Waterview Park (The Landing)
  • NBA Experience – Coming Soon (West Side)
  • Springs Overlook (Town Center)
  • Stargazers Live Entertainment (Town Center)

How to Get to Disney Springs

If staying at a Disney property, the best advice is to use their complimentary transportation. If staying elsewhere, getting to Disney Springs may be a bit of a hassle now, but very soon, it will be a much easier process.

Two new walkways connecting Disney Springs guests from the Orange Garage to the West Side promenade are now open. Each walkway offers stairwells, escalators, and elevators. These connections are adjacent to Splitsville Luxury Lanes and near Planet Hollywood (soon to be called Planet Hollywood Observatory). Enter the walkways from the second level of the garage. The walkways are beautiful with lush landscaping, evidence of what the new Disney Springs will be like. Work continues on the parking lot of the Planet Hollywood complex, including a pedestrian bridge that now links across Buena Vista Drive.

Buena Vista Drive is being widened to 10 lanes and an elevated ramp is now complete leading from I-4 that allows WDW visitors to exit and drive straight into the West Side parking garage (Orange Garage). This helps the traffic flow between Hotel Plaza Boulevard and the entrance to Typhoon Lagoon. Parking is also being expanded with other parking garages (and lots) which will raise the amount of parking to about a total of 6000 enclosed parking spots. This is roughly half the capacity of the Magic Kingdom’s parking lot!

By Boat: The promenade is accessible by complimentary water transportation, departing from the following Walt Disney World Resorts and arriving at the Marketplace and The Landing:

  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Parking is free and the new garages use smart technology to help drivers locate parking easier. Each level displays how many spaces are open with a green light indicating availability. Red lights indicate space is full. A blue light indicates handicap parking. Valet parking is also available at a flat rate of $20 per day (sales tax included, gratuity is not).

The Four Neighborhoods of Disney Springs

While Disney Springs is under construction, expect some hassle and less than pristine views. When complete, Disney Springs will be developed into four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods. These neighborhoods will include high-quality retailers and restaurants, as well as daytime and evening experiences, which will lure families, tourists and convention-guests with all that it offers – retail shopping, entertainment and a variety of dining experiences.

  1. The Town Center
  2. The Landing (formerly known as Pleasure Island)
  3. Marketplace
  4. West Side

The Town Center at Disney Springs

The Town Center offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along a promenade. Built with a Spanish-style architecture, you may think this is an old town restored from buildings erected by explorers that landed in Florida centuries ago. It is, however, a new and thriving Orlando experience. Without a distinct area designated within Disney Springs as The Town Center, this map showing all of the locations might come in handy.

Town Center Retail Shops:

  • Alex and Ani
  • American Threads
  • Anthropologie
  • Coach
  • Coca-Cola Store
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • The Disney Corner
  • Edward Beiner Purveyor of Fine Eyewear
  • Ever After Jewelry Co. & Accessories
  • Everything But Water
  • Francesca’s
  • Free People
  • Johnny Was
  • Johnston & Murphy
  • Kate Spade New York
  • Kiehl’s Since 1851
  • Kipling
  • Lacoste
  • Levi’s
  • Lilly Pulitzer
  • L’Occitane en Provence
  • Lucky Brand
  • Luxury of Time by Diamonds International
  • MAC Cosmetics
  • Melissa Shoes
  • Na Hoku Jewelry
  • Oakley
  • Origins
  • Orlando Harley-Davidson
  • Pandora
  • Sephora
  • Shore
  • Sperry
  • Stance
  • The Store at Planet Hollywood
  • Sugarboo & Co.
  • Superdry
  • Tommy Bahama
  • Trophy Room
  • Tumi
  • UGG
  • Under Armour Brand House
  • Uniqlo
  • UNOde50
  • Vera Bradley
  • Volcom
  • Zara

Town Center Dining:

The Landing at Disney Springs

The Landing (formerly known as Pleasure Island) is one of four outdoor neighborhoods which make up Disney Springs. A perfect location for day and night, this area features an older look with rustic buildings that give you the feeling as if they’ve been around for decades. A flagship restaurant named The Boathouse offers steaks, seafood and many other delectable items. The upscale waterfront dining experience is not to be missed. Spring for a guided Amphicar ride which begins on land but enters the water for a 20-minute tour of Disney Springs.

The Landing Retail Shops:

  • Art of Shaving
  • The Boathouse BOATique
  • Chapel Hats
  • Erwin Pearl
  • eyCatchers Cart
  • Filthy Rich Kiosk
  • Havaianas
  • Rinse Bath & Body Co. Kiosk
  • Sanuk
  • Savannah Bee Company
  • Shop for Ireland
  • Sublime Gifts and Finds
  • Swings N’ Things – The Hammock Experts Kiosk

The Landing Restaurants:

  • The Basket at Wine Bar George
  • The Boathouse
  • Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
  • Cookes of Dublin
  • The Edison
  • Enzo’s Hideaway
  • Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
  • Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante
  • Morimoto Asia
  • Paddlefish
  • Paradiso 37, Taste of the Americas
  • Pizza Ponte
  • Raglan Road™ Irish Pub and Restaurant
  • STK Steakhouse
  • Terralina Crafted Italian
  • The Ganachery
  • Vivoli il Gelato
  • Wine Bar George

The Marketplace at Disney Springs

The Marketplace is the entryway for many Disney guests staying on the resort property. Buses to Disney Resort hotels drop off and pick up here. There is also a walkway to Hotel Plaza Boulevard at the Marketplace. Walk along the promenade or over the pedestrian walkway to get to The Landing and Town center. At the Marketplace you will find many restaurants and retailers.

The Marketplace Retail Shops:

  • The Art of Disney
  • Basin Gifts & Housewares
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
  • Build-A-Dino® by Build-A-Bear Workshop®
  • Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers
  • Dino-Store at T-REX
  • Disney’s Days of Christmas
  • Disney’s PhotoPass Studio
  • Disney’s Pin Traders
  • Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories
  • Face Painting Kiosk
  • Goofy’s Candy Company
  • Happy Hound Kiosk
  • Initial Rings Cart
  • The LEGO® Store
  • Marketplace Co-Op
  • Mickey’s Pantry
  • Once Upon a Toy
  • Pearl Factory
  • Rainforest Cafe® Retail Village
  • Silhouette Portraits Cart
  • The Spice & Tea Exchange®
  • Star Wars Trading Post
  • Tren-D
  • World of Disney®

The Marketplace Restaurants:

  • 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck
  • AristoCrepes
  • B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co. (kiosk)
  • Dockside Margaritas
  • Earl Of Sandwich®
  • Florida Snow Company Cart
  • Ghirardelli® Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop
  • Joffrey’s Handcrafted Smoothies Kiosk
  • Lava Lounge at Rainforest Cafe
  • Rainforest Cafe® at Disney Springs Marketplace
  • STARBUCKS® at Disney Springs Marketplace
  • T-REX ™
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels
  • Wolfgang Puck® Express

West Side at Disney Springs

The West Side provides a lively atmosphere with entertainment with a more industrial feel. New seating areas provide an elevated platform that offer both shade and a view of the activity below.

Come see a movie or go bowling. Enjoy a live performance at the House of Blues Music Hall or splurge and see La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil. There is something for everyone at the West Side. by the way, the new Exposition Park is located on the West Side – home to the Disney’s food trucks.

West Side Retail Shops:

  • Bongos Cuban Café™ Souvenir and Gift Shop
  • Curl® by Sammy Duvall
  • Disney’s Candy Cauldron
  • DisneyStyle
  • Fit2Run
  • House of Blues Gear Shop
  • Memory Lanes
  • Pele Soccer
  • Pop Gallery
  • Something Silver®
  • Sosa Family Cigars
  • Star Wars Galactic Outpost
  • Sunglass Icon®
  • Super Hero Headquarters

West Side Restaurants:

  • AMC® Disney Springs 24 Dine-In Theatres
  • Bongos Cuban Café™
  • Bongos Cuban Café™ Express
  • Disney Food Trucks
  • The Front Porch
  • Haagen-Sazs Kiosk
  • House of Blues Restaurant & Bar
  • Jaleo by Jose Andres – Coming soon
  • Joffrey’s Handcrafted Smoothies Kiosk
  • MacGUFFINS
  • The Smokehouse at House of Blues
  • Splitsville™ Dining Room
  • STARBUCKS® at Disney Springs West Side
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels at Disney Springs West Side
  • YeSake Kiosk

If you ever visited Downtown Disney, you owe it to yourself to experience the new Disney Springs. You won’t recognize it! A beautiful shopping, dining and entertainment area that is a great addition to the Central Florida attraction landscape.