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    Disney Springs Orlando: what to do between shopping, restaurants and themed attractions

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    Martí Micolau

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    Orlando's parks have attracted young and old alike for generations. Millions of visitors from around the world flock here to Florida to get their fill of souvenir photos with the Disney characters, experience the thrilling roller coaster of Universal Studios and take a trip to the humid and verdant Everglades.

    Among the many parks that the area offers, surrounded by impressive hotels and resorts with amenities for all families, there is the Disney springs, a complex full of options for eating and shopping. For those who have already been to Orlando maybe they know it as Downtown Disney, Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, Walt Disney World Village or Disney Village Marketplace. I ignore the reason for the name change every ten years (since 1975) because there is more to focus on: the myriad of restaurants, shops and things to do.


    • Where is it and how to get there
    • What to do?
    • Where to eat: some of the best restaurants
    • Shopping
    • Where to sleep in the area

    Where is it and how to get there

    Disney Springs, the Donwtown of Disney World, is located approximately 10 kilometers from Magic Kingdom and approximately 15 kilometers from Universal Studios. Parking is free, while valet parking costs $ 20. If you are staying at one of the Disney hotels, the shuttle to Disney Springs is free. If you are in downtown Orlando, it will take you about 25 minutes by car to get there (remember to take a look at our tips on how to rent a car in the USA).

    What to do?

    Take a walk, listen to music and check out the latest movies coming out. Disney Springs is divided into four areas:

    • Marketplace
    • The Landing
    • Town Center
    • West Side.

    The first was built following the American Craftsman style of the 30s and boasts numerous shops and restaurants including the T-Rex Cafe, which has a giant mechanical dinosaur inside (kids will love it!). The Landing it is an area inspired by boating, a style that is reflected in the shops and restaurants, the largest and most famous of which is the Paddlefish, which not surprisingly resembles a ship; Town Center serves as the business center of the fictional town of Disney Springs, while the West Side it is famous for its cinema AMC Disney Springs 24. In this last structure, the cinema of the AMC chain, you can see the latest films released (if you chew English) and enjoy theDine-In experience: sit down, order plates to share, sandwiches or sweets and they will be brought to your seat to enjoy while you enjoy the film.

    Other things to do and see in Disney Springs include theExposition Park which consists of a series of food trucks and live performances by DJs and bands; music lovers cannot miss theHouse of Blues to eat in the company of live performances surrounded by cozy wooden interiors, but also the Marketplace Stage, an outdoor stage where various artists perform.

    If you are more oriented towards Latin rhythms, Paradiso 37 it's for you because it also offers a menu with 75 different types of tequila; there is no shortage of large mugs of beer and dancing at the Raglan Road Live Music and the bowling alleys Splitsville Luxury Lanes. To experience the thrill of a hot air balloon ride more than 120 meters high, rely on theAerophile, built in France and able to accommodate 29 passengers. Cost per adult is $ 20, $ 15 for children (3-8). Arrive before 10 am and pay for tickets at a reduced price of $ 10.

    The latest news is the addictive star wars attraction (here the tickets), a must for fans and not (to which I also point out the respective film sets of Star Wars in California). For timetables and information on other attractions, visit the official website.

    Looking for tips on Orlando and Florida?
    • How to organize a Florida tour?
    • Advice on where to sleep in Orlando
    • The best parks in Orlando
    • How to rent a car in Florida

    Where to eat: some of the best restaurants

    There are over 50 restaurants to choose from and the options for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour are endless. Here are some of the most popular and particular:

    • The Edison: high ceilings, house cocktails and excellent dishes. It is one of the most beautiful restaurants from an architectural point of view thanks to the soft lighting and industrial style.
    • D-Luxe Burger: for sandwich lovers this is the ideal place. Homemade sauces and fries and a slew of artisanal milkshakes will remind you how much you love the United States.
    • Raglan Road Irish Pub: live music, beer and unpretentious Irish food.
    • Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’: Feel like trying a dish created by Oprah's former personal chef? The prices are slightly higher than the other restaurants (the main courses between $ 25 and $ 30), but the quality is consequently higher.
    • Dockside Margaritas: to cool off, try a margarita ($ 11-$ 13) at this casual bar overlooking Buena Vista Cove.


    From Disney-themed shops to well-known brands, it will be hard not to stop in front of the windows. There are so many and it would be impossible to style them all, but we would like to recommend some in particular:

    • World of Disney, the largest Disney store in the world
    • Build-A-Dino, a shop that will make the little ones happy because they will be able to "build" their plush dinosaur by embellishing it with clothes and accessories
    • Star Wars Galactic Outpost: reference point for Star Wars fans in the area, where you will find all kinds of gadgets inspired by the George Lucas saga
    • The Lego Store, the shop dedicated to brick fans, you will easily spot it thanks to the great Disney characters all rigorously built in lego ... and you too can pull yours up!
    • Disney Design a Tee, here's where to customize your t-shirt with your favorite Disney character and personalized writing
    • Disney Photopass Service Studio, the place to take a photo with your favorite wallpaper
    • Lefty’s, the shop for left-handed people, we have already talked about it, don't you remember where? Check out our article on San Francisco's Pier 39.

    Where to sleep in the area

    In this area there is certainly no shortage of hotels, we are in the area with the highest tourist attraction in all of Florida (yes, even more than beautiful Miami) and you will therefore be spoiled for choice: you can sleep in the large Disney complex, perhaps in a themed structure, to breathe the Disney atmosphere 24 hours a day, or fall back on the solutions of the surroundings, saving something on the cost of an overnight stay. To learn more about both solutions, I refer you to our guide on where to sleep in Orlando.

    Our tips for sleeping in Orlando

    Looking for tips on Orlando and Florida?
    • How to organize a Florida tour?
    • Advice on where to sleep in Orlando
    • The best parks in Orlando
    • How to rent a car in Florida
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