A WORLD WITHOUT RIDES: DISNEY SPRINGS

Isn’t Disney Springs just a shopping center? The short answer is NO!

If you have been following along with my series, I have outlined things to do in each park that are not traditional “rides.” When we come to Disney Springs, there is so much to do – Disney Springs is an entertainment complex – shopping, dining, shows, play, and more.

SHOPPING:

There are a multitiude of shopping options, but some of these shops are not your tradition brick and mortar stores. Some of my favorite stores include:

THE ART OF DISNEY: Framed Prints and figurines make up the majority of this store. From the latest Jim Shore piece to new offerings by up-and-coming artists, The Art of Disney is an “art gallery” of all of your favorite places and characters. And sometimes you may be surprised with special appearances by artists who are signing their work!

BASIN: This natureal bath and body care store allows you to sample some of the wares! Wash and moisturize your hands in some of the fantastic scents. Even my kids love coming here.

COCA-COLA STORE AND ROOFTOP BEVERAGE BAR: Clothing, exclusive merchandise, purses, figurines and more. This is all things Coca-Cola. And you may even be able to meet the Coca-Cola Polar Bear! Finish off by a visit to the Rooftop Beverage Bar to try some unique Coca-Cola drinks.

CRYSTAL ARTS BY ARRIBAS BROTHERS: This store is a family favorite!!!! Glassware, glassware, and glassware – from the light fixtures to the Cinderella Castle. Can you find the most expensive item in the store? And make sure to watch the works of art being created. The glassblowers will answer your questions as they perform their art. It truly is mesmerizing.

DISNEY DESIGN-A-TEE: Can’t find what you want on a t-shirt? At Design-A-Tee, select from over 400 images and customize with your own words! Watch it being made as you wait.

DISNEY’S DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Celebrate Christmas all year long – Disney style. Select an ornament to commemorate your trip. Stockings, ornaments, decor and more – with personalization too!

THE GANACHERY: Can you say fine chocolate? These are not just any chocolates. Breath in the aroma, watch as chocolate is handmade, sample a bit, but expect to be hooked on these delicacies.

ONCE UPON A TOY: Take a photo with Buzz Lightyear and Mr. Potato Head. These two icons stand at attention outside this store. Once inside, play to your hearts content. This is the premier spot to get additional Mr. Potato Head parts, build a light saber, and check out new toy offerings. Once Upon a Toy is a must visit for those young at heart.

SAVANNAH BEE COMPANY: This charming kiosk offers honeybee inspired products and gifts. Sample delightful honey or try out their body care items.

SILHOUETTE PORTRAITS: This is something I always wanted to do with my kids. Well a couple of years ago, I finally had this unique portraits made. Watching these artists cut your child’s portrait in minutes is nothing short of amazing.

TREN-D: A favorite of my young adult daughter, but don’t be misled by all the young adults. This store offers things even the old lady in this household loves.

UNIGLO: A variety of clothing (and more) for men, women, and children. But so much more. My 14 year old son loves to see the latest Japanese inspired items. The last time we visited, there was an artist who was writing names in Japanese.

DINING:

So many dining options – too little time. While we have only sampled food from a handful of the options available, these are our families favorites.

AMORETTE’S PATISSERIE: The word pastry doesn’t do justice to the works of art you will find here. Watch as artists create beautiful delicacies for your mouth.

THE BOATHOUSE: This beautifully stunning building sits overlooking the lake. Stroll through the rooms inside, each one decorated differently. My favorite room inside is the one decorated with rich mahogany paneling and the Tiffany chandeliers. But the treasure that awaits outside is outstanding. This maze of boardwalk takes you through antique boats, each one more fascinating than the rest. Read my review of our dining experience here!

MORIMOTO ASIA: The decor is stunning. The food divine. The service first class. We have eaten here several times, and we are always thrilled with our offerings.

RAGLAN ROAD: Great food – great entertainment. Each trip Raglan Road is on my list. This is a gluten-free delight – imagine gluten-free onion rings and battered fish that is so good my husband who doesn’t need to be gluten-free actually orders these options. Irish cooking at its finest.

T-REX: Imagine being transported back in time to when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. The sights and sounds of the world within the walls of T-Rex do this for you. Make sure to save room for dessert!

ENTERTAINMENT:

AMC MOVIE THEATER: Who would go to Disney and watch a movie? This family! Sit in luxury seats and dine while you watch. We don’t have a theater like this near us, so it was another unique experience for my children. In fact, they have been asking to see a movie the next time we go too!

EXPOSITION PARK: Live music, food trucks, DJ’s – who knows what you will come across when you wander into this area of Disney Springs. You can be sure that it will be entertaining and up-to-the-Disney standard.

MARKETPLACE STAGE: Sit for a spell – enjoy the special events and live performances that take place day and night at this outdoor stage. Sometimes it’s a hula hoop competition that you can play along with, other times it’s a dance off, and then another time you will find cheerleaders showing off their skills. There is always something exciting at the Marketplace Stage.

RIVERBOAT SQUARE: Artists perform nightly at this outdoor area. Classical music, guitar or keyboard artists will enchant you. Sit by the fountain and relax as you listen. Sometimes they will sneak in some of your Disney favorites.

There are more areas like Riverboat Square where artists play nightly. Strolling through Disney Springs gives you a chance to relax and unwind. Treat Disney Springs like a journey through time and not a shopping marathon.

SPECIAL EVENTS and UNIQUE EXPERIENCES:

VINTAGE AMPHICAR & ITALIAN WATER TAXI TOURS: This is bucket-list item that I had the pleasure of checking off because of the wonderful manager at The Boathouse restaurant. These Vintage Amphicars are part car/part boat. As you ride along in your boat/car in something that only happens in the movies, you will be treated to the history of the cars and Disney Springs by captain of your Amphicar.

HOLIDAYS AT DISNEY SPRINGS: Christmas at Disney is sure to amaze you – Drone laser light shows, Christmas Tree Lane, and decorations that will have you ohh-ing and ah-ing. Watch out for other Holidays at Disney Springs too!

WATER PLAY: The Fountains outside Once Upon a Toy Story have been a staple for years. Jack-Jack (our 12 year old autistic son) loves to play in these fountains. We know that he has neared the end of the “acceptable age limit” for playing in outdoor fountains. But it is Disney, and this is his favorite Disney Springs activity.

Drop me a line and let me know your favorite Disney Springs Activity!

 

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