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World of Disney Reimagined at Disney Springs
Photograph: DisneyA reimagined World of Disney opened in 2018 at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Disney)

The 14 best things to do at Disney Springs

Even without a ticket to the theme park, the best things to do at Disney Springs are open for everyone

Megan duBois
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Megan duBois
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Disney Springs is a supersized shopping, dining, and entertainment complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. While families are drawn to the parks, the best things to do at Disney Springs will keep grownups entertained, too. Want a show-stopping meal at one of the best restaurants in Florida? Disney Springs has it. Want to experience an Indiana Jones-themed bar? Disney Springs has that, too. Want to make a custom LEGO figurine that looks just like you, eat a half-pound cookie, or take a cruise in an amphicar? Disney Springs has all of it and more.

As a perk, both parking and entry are totally free at Disney Springs. So, even if you aren’t visiting Walt Disney World on your vacation, you can still get into this complex at no charge. Not surprisingly, weekends tend to be busy—expect long waits at restaurants, and lines for popular stores like World of Disney or Gideon’s Bakehouse. To avoid the crowds, we suggest arriving early on weekends, or visiting on weekdays when the complex is less busy. Better yet? Drop by Disney Springs on either your arrival or departure day from Walt Disney World (you likely won’t have a park ticket for those days anyway, depending on your travel times).

Without further ado, here are the best things to do at Disney Springs.

RECOMMENDED: the best Orlando theme parks

Things to do at Disney Springs

Missed your chance to get something special at one of the parks? Luckily, World of Disney is your one-stop shop for everything Disney, including theme park merchandise, Mickey Mouse headbands, coffee mugs, and more. And while this store is all about merchandise, there’s no shortage of magic: around the store, you’ll notice projections on the ground that come to life with a bit of pixie dust.

Pro-tip: If you can’t find an item at World of Disney, ask a cast member. They should be able to look up the item for you and tell you where to find it in the store, at Disney Springs, or at one of the theme parks or hotels.

Fun fact: World of Disney is the largest Disney store in the world.

The Coca-Cola store is a fun-fueled spot for anyone who loves the iconic soda brand. The shop itself is modeled after a 1920s bottling plant with multiple floors that stock all sorts of Coca-Cola merch. While walking through the store, stop and take a photo with the giant Coca-Cola Polar Bear, just like the ones seen in the brand’s charming holiday commercials.

Pro-tip: Head to the rooftop bar for a flight of 16 different Coca-Cola products from around the world.

Fun fact: Inside the store, keep an eye out for a 30-foot-wide blown glass chandelier that's made from repurposed Coca-Cola bottles.

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If you want the perfect family photo without the sun glaring in your eyes, head to the Disney PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs. Here, Disney photographers (the same PhotoPass cast members you’ll find in Magic Kingdom that line Main Street U.S.A.) will take your picture in front of fun, seasonal backgrounds. Better yet? Using a process called “Magic Shot,” they can even digitally impose Disney characters right into your photos.

Pro-tip: You don’t need a reservation to get your photos taken here—just walk in and a cast member will get the process started right away.

Fun fact: The most popular Magic Shot character is Tinkerbell, the feisty fairy from Peter Pan, but there are over 50 different options to choose from.

Wine Bar George has made a name for itself not only at Disney Springs, but also in the state itself (in fact, it even made our list of best restaurants in Florida). Serving lunch and dinner on weekdays—not to mention a fabulous weekend brunch that’s inspired by wine country—the restaurant also serves every one of its wines by the ounce, glass, or bottle.

Pro-tip: Order the delicious Dole Whip Frozcato, a frozen drink made from Dole Whip Pineapple, moscato, and vodka. This can be purchased inside at a table or at the outside walk-up window.

Fun fact: Wine Bar George is the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida, and was recently awarded Best Micro Wine List in the World 2019.

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Disney’s Days of Christmas store is a fan-favorite where you’ll find all types of Disney-themed holiday items from ornaments and nutcrackers to stockings and menorahs. Most items in the store can be personalized with the date, year, and even your name to make it extra special. The store gets very busy around the holidays, so be sure to go here first thing in the morning if you want to snag the perfect memento from your trip.

Pro-tip: You can get other things personalized at this store, like the free birthday buttons that Disney gives out. Just take your button to the personalization counter, let the cast member know what you want, and pay for the personalization at the register before picking up the final product.

Fun fact: The store smells like Christmas spices and a burning fireplace, which instantly transports guests to the holiday season even if it’s the middle of July.

Candy lovers, get ready for your sugar rush: at the M&M’S store, you’ll find everything from t-shirts to candy dispensers and more. The store features a large display of every color M&M’S possible, plus a wide array of flavors that rotate seasonally.

Pro-tip: If you’re looking for a unique gift to bring home, consider designing your own M&M’S and have a photo from your trip printed right on the candy.

Fun fact: This is the only location where you can find M&M’S candy featuring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse (both are for sale at Mickey Mix and Minnie Mix).

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The Ganachery at Disney Springs is a specialty chocolate shop where you can find handcrafted ganache squares in a multitude of flavors like chai and passion fruit. The shop features a large window where, from the outside, guests can peek into the kitchen and watch the chocolate masters at work.

Pro-tip: Every summer, The Ganachery churns out s’mores with large homemade marshmallows, perfectly crisp graham crackers, and hunks of chocolate—it’s one of Disney Springs must-have treats.

Fun fact: From ganache squares to full-sized candy bars, The Ganachery uses its own custom blend of chocolate to make everything in the store.

For over-the-top donuts and top-notch cold brew coffee, Everglazed Donuts and Cold Brew has it in the bag. The small shop, on the west side of Disney Springs, whips up sugar-stuffed donuts like a peanut butter explosion, topped with chocolate icing, peanut butter chips, and crushed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. For something truly next-level, order the Donut Shop Topper, a large cup of cold brew that’s served with a donut on top of the lid—it sure beats a cherry on top, don’t you think?

Pro-tip: If you visit in the afternoon (before the evening rush) you’ll get the best selection of donuts without the long lines.

Fun fact: All of the donuts at Everglazed Donuts and Cold Brew are made on-site at Disney Springs.

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If you want to make your own figurine (one that looks just like you) or get your hands on exclusive Disney LEGO sets, head to The LEGO Store at Disney Springs. Even if you aren’t shopping, the store is like a showcase of LEGO artwork, home to larger-than-life models of Disney characters like Sorcerer Mickey, Rey, Chewbacca, and Maleficent—the models change every so often, which means you’ll likely see new characters whenever you visit.

Pro-tip: Get in line to make your own miniature LEGO figurine. Each figurine is fully customizable, allowing you to pick every feature from hair color to t-shirt designs.

Fun fact: Brickley, the LEGO sea serpent that lives in the lake across from The LEGO Store, is 30 feet long and was made with 170,000 LEGO bricks.

From high-end table service to walk-up takeaway, you’ll find a wide range of dining options at Disney Springs. For a quick bite, head to Chicken Guy!, a restaurant collaboration with celebrity chef Guy Fieri. This hotspot specializes in chicken sandwiches and chicken tenders that are served with Fieri’s signature flare.

Pro-tip: The line at Chicken Guy! gets long, and the restaurant does not currently take mobile orders—for the shortest wait, consider eating a late lunch after midday crowds ease up.

Fun fact: In true Flavortown fashion, Chicken Guy! offers a dizzying array of 20 different sauces. Can’t decide? You can get all 20 for a set price.

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Designed like a 1940s airplane hangar, this themed bar is inspired by a character named Jock Lindsey, otherwise known as Indiana Jones’ pilot. Order the Air Pirates Cargo Loaded Pretzel, a hearty charcuterie board that stars a large Bavarian pretzel along with things like prosciutto, sliced brats, pickles, and a beer cheese fondue.

Pro-tip: There are no reservations at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, so get your name on the list early if you want to dine here.

Fun fact: Keep your eyes open for Indiana Jones easter eggs throughout the bar, like a replica of the fertility idol that Indy plans to steal in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Gideon’s Bakehouse, a local favorite in Orlando, just opened a location at Disney Springs. The number one thing on everyone’s list at Gideon’s Bakehouse? Well, that’s the nearly half-pound cookies that come in delicious flavors that range from classic chocolate chip to coffee cake. And if the heavyweight cookies aren’t enough, the bakery also sells slices of cake and nitro cold brew coffee.

Pro-tip: The actual store is quite small, which means the bakery often runs on a mobile waitlist; get a headstart by visiting the bakery first thing in the morning so you can shop and dine at Disney Springs while you wait to be called back.

Fun fact: Only available at their Disney Springs location, Gideon’s Bakehouse offers a hot cookie hour at 7 p.m. every night—you’ll get a hot chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven topped with homemade ice cream.

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Need a break from shopping? Head to Splitsville Luxury Lanes and get sporty instead. The entertainment complex features two floors with everything from traditional 10-pin bowling to billiards and feather bowling. Here, food can be brought right to your lane—order the loaded fries (with queso, bacon, and ranch dressing) and split them with your crew.

Pro-tip: If you just want to eat at Splitsville, there are plenty of outdoor seats with big-screen TVs and often live music.

Fun fact: Some of the bowling balls at Splitsville Luxury Lanes have Mickey Mouse embossed right on the surface of the ball.

One of the newest attractions at Disney Springs is Drawn to Life, an original Cirque du Soleil show that officially kicks off late November, 2021. The show will bring Disney films to life through the lens of a talented team that includes Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Walt Disney Imagineering.

Pro-tip: Purchasing tickets in advance for the show is highly recommended as the theater is fairly small, and shows often sell out.

Fun fact: The show, which features all-new animation sequences by Disney artists, is led by Eric Goldberg, best-known for creating characters like Genie from Aladdin.

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