Forget about everything you think you know about Downtown Disney, especially if your last visit was more than 2 years ago. Downtown Disney is gone! It went under a massive expansion and transformation. Now it is called Disney Springs, and it is amazing!
Downtown Disney was first created in the mid-’70s and was called Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, which was later, renamed Disney Village Marketplace.
In the late 1980s, Disney added Pleasure Island. In the mid-’90s, Downtown Disney West Side was created with more entertainment places like House of Blues and Planet Hollywood.
Disney Springs is divided into 4 areas: The Landing, which used to be Pleasure Island. This part has a rustic architecture. The Town Center offers you more of an upscale experience (shops and restaurants) with Spanish-style architecture. The West Side is more entertainment-oriented and the Marketplace is the main shopping area. You can walk along the promenade to reach the Landing and the Town Center; you might also be able to catch a live concert.
I highly recommend making a stop by Disney Springs even if it is for a short time. The list that follows will come in very handy if you are limited on time. There are so many shops, restaurants, and activities that it is very difficult to keep track of the time.
- Check out the unique Trophy Room, created by Michael Jordan’s son, you will find exclusive collections of Jordan’s Nike merchandise and really cool sneakers.
- Eat at Morimoto Asia, the first pan Asian dining restaurant that showcases flavors from all over Asia. The massive 36 feet tall building is a must-see in itself.
- Visit the Planet Hollywood Observatory – Reese Witherspoon just cut the opening ribbon last weekend!! Enjoy this themed dining that celebrates the entertainment industry.
- Get a delicious cupcake from the Cupcake ATM at Sprinkles. You can also just get a cupcake inside if the line is too long. Sprinkles Beverly Hill’s location was the world’s first cupcake bakery.
- Catch a Cirque du Soleil show before they stop performing at Disney Spring in December, it is a unique and amazingly acrobatic experience.
- Grab a drink at the rooftop of the CoCo Cola Store. You will have a wonderful panoramic view of Disney Springs and you can also try CoCo Cola flavors from all over the world.
- Take a tour in the Amphi Cars located by the BoatHouse. The tour is 20 min around Lake Buena Vista Lake in the retro car. Just so you know, it is quite pricey. I believe it is about $120, but you can always just take a look at the car-boats which I think are pretty cool.
- Go to the World of Disney Store. Did you know it is the largest Disney merchandise store in the world? Yes, you can pretty much find any Disney merchandise you want.
- Play Bowling at Splitsville! It is definitely a must-do. The building is a 50,000 sq ft bowling, billiard, bar, and live entertainment complex. You can even eat sushi while bowling. Yes, you read it right SUSHI!!
- Check the Uniqlo store. It feels like you just stepped into Japan. The two-level department store is a must-see even if you do not want to buy anything. Go take a look inside the store, it is very unique!
This list is a must-see/do in my opinion. I think this list gives you a good glimpse of what Disney Springs has to offer. Of course, there are like another million things to do!
What is your favorite thing to do in Disney Springs?