Disney World is more than the rides and parks. Families check out Disney Springs, previously known as Downtown Disney, the visitor’s dining and entertainment hub. You’ll find plenty of things to do at Disney Springs with kids in tow, making it worth your time to stop in the evenings.
This part of Disney offers so many things to do. You could spend a day or two just exploring the shops, and there is no way to try all the restaurants in a week.
It’s free for everyone to visit Disney Springs, which is why locals also flock to this location. It makes for a great evening out for couples or somewhere for families to enjoy the evening before turning in for the night.
Does Disney Springs Have Parking?
Yes! Disney Springs has free parking in three garages and surface lots, or consider valet parking for $20 per day. That’s actually a bargain considering it’s valet.
If you stay at one of the Disney resorts on location, take the free bus transportation to get to Disney Springs. Don’t pay for parking!
Is Disney Springs Free?
Yes, it’s free for all visitors to check out Disney Springs. You don’t have to pay to park, and there are no entrance prices.
Is Visiting Disney Springs Worth It?
Absolutely! Whether you stay on-resort or off-location, Disney Springs is worth visiting. Sometimes, you need a break from the parks or want different restaurants and entertainment options. I suggest heading there in the evenings or at lunchtime when your kids need a break from the parks.
14 Things to Do at Disney Springs with Kids
Stop at the World’s Largest Disney Store
If you stop at any store for Disney souvenirs, you should stop at the world’s biggest Disney Store – World of Disney. This is the Disney store of your dreams; if you want the perfect gift, you’ll find it here.
Mom: Go Shopping!
Ok, so this one isn’t for the kids, but Disney Springs improved their quality of shopping over the years. This location features over 100 different shops; there is something for everyone.
You’ll find upscale stores here, such as Coach and Kate Spade, and sports stores, like Nike and Under Armor. Plus, there are stores for kids like Once Upon a Toy.
One place everyone you have to stop is The Marketplace Co-Op, which is a market-style shop with multiple vendors. You’ll find everything from home decor to antiques and everything in between.
Play at the LEGO Store
The LEGO store at Disney Springs is amazing. Not only does it offer a huge selection of LEGO products, but you can check out all the lifesize LEGO creations of Disney characters. The store lets you create your custom Minifigure, and they have areas for kids to play with LEGOs.
Visit the Coca-Cola Store
One of my favorite things to do at Disney Springs is visiting the Coca-Cola store. This store has a rooftop bar where you enjoy sodas, trying ones from around the world. The rooftop also gives you amazing views of Disney Springs.
This bar lets you sample up to five different drinks, or you can create your own from the 100 self-serve choices.
The store sells various Coca-Cola-branded gear, and families love posing with the polar bear on the store’s second level.
Experience a Dine-In Movie
My kids loved this! Enjoying a movie together might not be on your top to-do list while visiting Disney World (even though it’s a great idea for a rainy day), but the AMC Disney Springs is unique.
While catching a movie, you can order food and drinks directly to your seats. You get to enjoy a movie with your family while enjoying dinner. It’s quite a way to relax after a few busy days at the park.
Enjoy a Multitude of Restaurants
Disney Springs really is a hub of restaurants and places to eat at Disney World. You have access to over 50 restaurants, snack stands, lounges, bars, and more. Some of these are not necessarily kid-friendly, but you’ll find all sorts of places to dine with your kids in tow.
One of these days, when I visit Disney World without kids, I want to enjoy a bar crawl through Disney Springs!
Here are a few options.
- Morimoto: This upscale dining location belongs to the Iron Chef of America star Chef Morimoto. It pays homage to Asian nations with inspired dishes that will blow your mind. A reservation is essential to get a seat here.
- The Edison: Step back in time to a 1920s speakeasy with a steampunk theme. You’ll find specialty dishes, and the alcoholic menu is amazing!
- Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’: Sometimes, we need good comfort food. Head here for some classic Southern foods that will leave you stuffed.
Get a Dole Whip
It’s no secret that my favorite snack at Disney World is a Dole Whip. Years ago, you could only get a Dole Whip in Adventureland but stop by Swirls on the Water at Disney Springs for this classic treat. They offer specialty flavors and alcoholic toppers as well!
Grab Cookies at Gideon’s Bakehouse
Make sure you stop at Gideon’s Bakehouse; their chocolate chip cookies were originally sold at Polite Pig. Now, they have a separate bakery due to the popularity of their cookies.
You’ll find a large range of cookies in different flavors. Before visiting, join the virtual queue to ensure you have a spot. Believe it or not, the line to get these cookies fills up fast, so hitting up the virtual queue is a smart idea if you have kids in tow.
Go Bowling at the Splitsville Alley
Something else that may not originally have been on your list of things to do at Disney Springs is bowling, but who doesn’t love bowling?
Splitsville Luxury Lanes is a bowling alley you have to visit. It’s a two-story building with five bars, a restaurant, billiards, and 30 bowling lanes. You’ll find more than just pizza and wings for grub here; they sell sandwiches, sushi, and other delicious foods to enjoy.
You should make reservations here, and they set reservations for the number of people in your party. Eating while bowling is possible, but it takes longer with kids. I would eat before bowling at Splitsville.
Ride on an Amphicar
Are you looking for a unique experience while visiting Disney Springs with your kids? Amphicars are all the rage; we might not have flying cars, but water cars are a thing.
Amphicars are car-boat hybrid with a vintage design. Only 400 exist in the entire world, and you have the chance to ride in one while visiting Disney World.
Get in your vehicle along with your family members, and the captain drives the amphicar into the water. You get a tour of Disney Springs from the water in a unique activity, but it costs around $125 for a family.
Take a Tethered Hot Air Balloon Ride
Are you looking for a fun experience with your kids? Check out the Aerophile, a hot-air balloon ride that takes you 400 feet above Disney Springs. You get quite a view of the entire resort, but it’s safer than going on an untethered ride with kids.
The view is worth the price. Adults cost $25, and kids cost $20 for ages 3-9 years old.
From the top, you see all of Disney Springs, Lake Buena Vista, and the entire Disney World Resort. It’s awesome to see things like the Spaceship Earth and the Tower of Terror from 400 feet up!
This ride is massive. The basket holds 29 passengers, plus the pilot. You get an 8-minute ride, and everyone can enjoy the ride with no height requirement.
Check Out a Cirque Du Soleil Show
If you have ever thought about checking out a Cirque Du Soleil show, now is the time. You’ll find a white tent with the famous show on the west side of Disney Springs. Currently, the show features Drawn to Life, a collaboration that blends the magic of animation with the famous acrobatic skills in the classic show.
This is a costly show for your family. Make sure you book tickets well in advance and expect to pay $50-80 per person.
See Live Music & Entertainers
Disney Spring is home to all sorts of live music and entertainment. You’ll find entertainment at locations like the House of Blues and Raglan Road Irish Pub.
Other entertainment exists here as well. Magic shows, piano concerts, and more happen throughout the venue, and most of this is free for everyone visiting Disney Springs.
Enjoy the Marketplace Train Express & Carousel
Kids love the Marketplace Train Express and carousel. Kids love to ride the train, so if your kids are feeling a bit grumpy, a quick ride is sure to make them smile.
Make sure to stop over and try the different things to do at Disney Springs. It’s a great place to visit when spending time at Walt Disney World with your family, checking out all the shopping, entertainment, and dining options for all ages.