Disney is such a huge icon all around the world, but in central Florida, there are Mickey heads everywhere. Parks like the Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and even the water parks all cost money to get into, even to park, but there is one place that is free to park and free entry: Disney Springs. Disney Springs isn’t actually a park but rather a large area that is perfect for walking, shopping, eating, and just otherwise enjoying the day. It’s pretty easy to get to from any direction, with Interstate 4 being the main route to take.
For those who are used to the area, there are more cars on the way to Disney Springs simply because its many routes take you through Orlando, so have some patience if you decide to go on the weekend. For the vacationers, it’s a great way to spend a weekday afternoon if there’s nothing else to do. But it’s Florida, so there’s always something to do!
Once there, Disney Springs has parking that is both outside and in a parking garage, but both parking spots are free of charge. Many people love the fact that there is no charge for parking because at all other Disney areas, payment is expected as soon as you walk in the gate.
Wherever you decide to park, guests must walk to the entrance of Disney Springs, although there are elevators and escalators to go up and down if in the parking garages. There are employees near the entrance to hand out maps and answer any questions you could have, so be sure to ask if you’re worried about something or need assistance in any way.
Many people visit Disney Springs to shop, as there are plenty of shopping choices to choose from. Clothing, kitchen gadgets, teas and spices, Christmas ornaments, and jewelry are all available to look at. “The World of Disney” is the biggest store in the area, all centered around the characters that everyone has come to know and love. There’s princes and princesses, Marvel Comics, Star Wars, The Lion King, and so many recognizable faces in this store. It’s also here where guests can pick up their Mickey ears headband if they want! There is a Pandora store with the latest bracelets and charms for sale, some of which have the iconic Cinderella’s castle on them. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a unique treasure trove for all the princesses who visit here, with the chance for a princess makeover, who can say no?
There are many options for food here, so if you want something a little different, don’t eat before you come. If you want a snack, the Mickey Mouse shaped soft pretzels are delicious with a coating of cinnamon and sugar. There’s also ice cream for those really hot Florida days and a candy store that will make anyone’s sweet tooth disappear. The Disney Food trucks are also a great choice for snacks as the portions are smaller. Tacos, corn dogs, macaroni and cheese, and even chicken and waffles can be found here. There are plenty of sit down meals to have here too, so if you’re super hungry, check one of them out. From fish and chips to pizza or spaghetti to cheeseburgers, salads, crepes, sushi, and smoked turkey legs, there is a type of food for even the pickiest of eaters.
While Disney Springs is not exactly geared toward children, there are a few select things for them to enjoy. There is the hot air balloon ride that goes up and down all day unless the weather isn’t so friendly. At the back end of Disney Springs, there is a little water play area for kids to enjoy. Water shoots up from the ground at random times, making children giggle. Knowing this ahead of time, bring a towel and/or some extra clothes for the little ones and let them have their fun. It’s particularly nice on a hot summer day.
It may sound silly but there’s actually a bowling alley at Disney Springs too, so it’s fun for the whole family to play game or two. There’s food here as well so you don’t have to venture to far away if you want to spend the whole day bowling.
No matter what time of the week you decide to make a trip, Disney Springs has a little something for everyone to enjoy themselves. Just remember to bring the sunglasses and the sunscreen if it’s going to be a sunny day.