Scenic view of Disney Springs showing vibrant shops and restaurants

A Day at Disney Springs: Uncovering Hidden Gems with Gage and Kuriel

Welcome back, Disney adventurers! It’s Gage here, with another magical journey to share with you. This time, we’re diving into the heart of Disney Springs, a bustling metropolis of shopping, dining, and entertainment at Walt Disney World Resort. Joining me is my cousin Kuriel, a Disney Springs aficionado and Loungefly bag collector, as we explore the vibrant district, uncovering lesser-known gems and sharing tips for making the most of your visit—without breaking the bank.

Discovering Disney Springs: A Tapestry of Fun and Flavors

Disney Springs is not just a shopping center; it’s an experience. With its eclectic mix of unique boutiques, world-class restaurants, and lively entertainment, it’s a place where you can spend a whole day and still find new wonders. The atmosphere here is electric, blending the magic of Disney with the excitement of discovering your next favorite spot.

Morning Adventures: Coffee and Characters

Our day began with a quest for the perfect cup of coffee at one of Disney Springs’ hidden gems, The Daily Poutine. While primarily known for its gourmet fries, they brew a robust coffee that kickstarts your day with a zing. Energized, we wandered through the Marketplace, where Disney’s storytelling prowess comes alive in each shop and corner, making even window-shopping an adventure.

Midday Marvels: Dining and Discovery

Lunch was an affair to remember at The Polite Pig, where the barbecue is king, and the sides are queens of flavor. Dining at Disney Springs can be a splurge, but The Polite Pig offers mouth-watering meals without a princely sum. Post-lunch, we embarked on a scavenger hunt for hidden Mickeys scattered throughout Disney Springs, a free and fun way to explore the area’s nooks and crannies.

Afternoon Escapades: Lounging in Loungfly Heaven

For Kuriel, no visit to Disney Springs is complete without perusing the latest Loungefly collection. We headed to the Marketplace Co-Op, a treasure trove for Disney merchandise enthusiasts. Kuriel’s eyes lit up at the sight of the new designs. Though she was on a mission for something special, we were reminded that the joy of Disney Springs isn’t in the purchasing but in the hunt and the shared moments of delight.

Dusk Delights: Bowling with a Twist

As the sun dipped below the horizon, our adventure led us to Splitsville Luxury Lanes, Disney Springs’ renowned bowling alley. Not only is Splitsville a fantastic place to close out the evening with a bit of friendly competition, but its accessibility features ensured Kuriel could join in on the fun without hassle. The alley’s vibrant atmosphere and accommodating staff made our experience a striking success.

Tips for a Day at Disney Springs

  • Save on Dining: Opt for lunch specials or share dishes at sit-down restaurants to enjoy the culinary scene without a hefty bill.
  • Free Entertainment: Keep an eye out for live music and performances throughout Disney Springs for entertainment that doesn’t cost a dime.
  • Packing List:
    • Comfortable shoes for walking
    • A lightweight backpack
    • Sunscreen and sunglasses for day
    • A light jacket for cooler evenings
    • A water bottle to stay hydrated
    • Some budget for dining and unexpected finds

Travel Insights: Making the Most of Disney Springs

While Disney Springs is free to enter, planning your visit can enhance your experience. Parking is complimentary, so arriving early can secure you a spot close to the action. Disney Springs is vast, so wearing comfortable footwear is a must. Lastly, while it’s tempting to splurge on every shiny object, setting a budget for shopping ensures that you enjoy your day without financial stress.

Closing Thoughts: A Day to Remember

Our day at Disney Springs was one for the books. From gourmet treats and hidden Mickeys to bowling strikes at Splitsville, it was a reminder that Disney magic is alive and well outside the park gates. Kuriel’s hunt for the perfect Loungefly bag added a personal touch to our adventure, showcasing that it’s the special interests and shared experiences that make a day at Disney Springs truly unforgettable.

For anyone looking to spend a day immersed in Disney magic without the price tag of a park ticket, Disney Springs offers a world of excitement, discovery, and accessibility. So, lace up your shoes, set a budget, and dive into the vibrant life of Disney Springs. Who knows what treasures you’ll find or the fun that awaits at every corner? Let the adventure begin!

Exploring the Neighborhoods of Disney Springs

Disney Springs is a sprawling, vibrant hub of entertainment, dining, and shopping at Walt Disney World Resort, meticulously divided into four distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique flavor and offerings. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning guest, understanding these neighborhoods can help you navigate and fully enjoy everything Disney Springs has to offer.

The Landing

The Landing is a waterfront area known for its upscale restaurants and beautiful lakeside views. It’s the perfect spot for those looking to enjoy a fine dining experience or a relaxed evening cocktail by the water. The boathouse-themed architecture and nautical decor add to the ambiance, making it a picturesque place to explore.


Marketplace is a family-friendly area that offers a wide variety of shops and restaurants. It’s home to the largest Disney store in the world, World of Disney, making it a must-visit for Disney merchandise enthusiasts. The Marketplace is also where you’ll find the iconic LEGO Store, complete with intricate Disney-themed LEGO sculptures.

West Side

The West Side is the entertainment heart of Disney Springs, featuring attractions like the Aerophile balloon ride and the House of Blues. It’s a great place to catch live performances, enjoy innovative dining experiences, and explore cutting-edge entertainment options like the NBA Experience.

Town Center

Town Center is the newest addition to Disney Springs, designed to resemble a Floridian town at the turn of the century. It features a blend of modern and classic architecture and is the place to go for world-class shopping with brands like ZARA, UNIQLO, and Sephora. It’s also home to several quick-service and fine dining options.

Parking at Disney Springs

Navigating Disney Springs begins with parking, and thankfully, there are three conveniently located parking garages:

Orange Garage

Located near the West Side, the Orange Garage offers easy access to the AMC Disney Springs 24 and other entertainment options. It’s a great choice if your visit focuses on enjoying the nightlife and dining experiences of the West Side and The Landing.

Lime Garage

The Lime Garage is closer to the Marketplace and Town Center, making it ideal for those looking to start their day with shopping or enjoying a quick-service breakfast. Its central location provides a good starting point for exploring all neighborhoods.

Grapefruit Garage

A bit further out, the Grapefruit Garage is connected to the Marketplace via a pedestrian bridge, offering an alternative for those times when the other garages might be full. It’s a newer addition, designed to ease parking during peak times.

Top 20 Restaurants at Disney Springs

Disney Springs is a culinary heaven, offering everything from quick bites to gourmet dining experiences. Here’s a list of the top 20 restaurants, known for their delicious offerings and unique atmospheres:

The Landing

  1. The BOATHOUSE: An upscale, waterfront dining experience known for its seafood and steak.
  2. Wine Bar George: A cozy spot for wine enthusiasts, offering a vast selection of wines and small plates.
  3. Morimoto Asia: Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s signature restaurant, serving Pan-Asian dishes in a refined setting.


  1. T-REX: A dinosaur-themed family restaurant offering American fare amidst prehistoric creatures.
  2. Earl of Sandwich: A quick-service venue famous for its gourmet sandwiches.
  3. Rainforest Café: A jungle-themed restaurant with animatronic animals and American cuisine.

West Side

  1. House of Blues Restaurant & Bar: Known for its Southern and global-inspired dishes and live music.
  2. Splitsville Dining Room: A retro, bowling-themed eatery serving American classics.
  3. The Edison: A 1920s-themed restaurant and bar offering American cuisine and nightly entertainment.

Town Center

  1. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza: A modern pizza joint where you can customize your own pizzas.
  2. D-Luxe Burger: A Disney-owned burger spot known for its gourmet burgers and milkshakes.
  3. STK Orlando: A chic steakhouse combining classic American cuisine with a modern twist.

Additional Noteworthy Mentions Across Disney Springs

  1. Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant: Enjoy authentic Irish dishes and live music and dance performances.
  2. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’: Known for its farm-to-fork dishes and Southern classics.
  3. Frontera Cocina: Offers gourmet Mexican cuisine from celebrity chef Rick Bayless.
  4. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill: A modern take on the traditional bar and grill concept.
  5. Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop: Famous for its decadent chocolate and ice cream sundaes.
  6. Paddlefish: A seafood restaurant housed in a paddleboat with rooftop dining.
  7. Jaleo by José Andrés: Offers a taste of Spain with tapas, paellas, and sangrias.
  8. Amorette’s Patisserie: Known for its exquisite pastries and custom cakes.

Each of these restaurants brings something unique to the table, both literally and metaphorically, offering guests a global culinary journey without ever leaving the heart of Florida.

Tying It All Together

Disney Springs is a world of its own, offering endless possibilities for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Whether you’re browsing for the perfect Loungefly bag at the Marketplace Co-Op, enjoying a gourmet meal at The BOATHOUSE, or ending your day with a round of bowling at Splitsville, Disney Springs promises a day filled with adventure and magic. Remember, exploring Disney Springs is about creating memories, discovering new favorites, and enjoying the company of loved ones. So pack your bags, set your itinerary, and dive into the vibrant life of Disney Springs—where every corner holds a new story waiting to be told.

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