Disney vacations are all about the rides and character meets, right? Not so fast, my friends! Far too often, fun extras like tours, water parks, and other outside the parks adventures fall to the wayside in favor of riding all. the. things. Disney Springs should not be one of those overlooked outside the parks adventures. There is so much for families to do and see, guests can easily spend an entire day there and feel completely satisfied with how they spent their time.
Best Things to Do in Disney Springs for Families
No trip to Walt Disney World would be complete without a trip to Disney Springs. Over the last few years, Disney has completely overhauled the former Downtown Disney location and turned it into something beautiful. With entertainment and dining options appealing to guests of all ages, Disney has succeeded in creating a space where everyone can find something to enjoy. Keep reading for the seven best things to do in Disney Springs for families.
1. Characters in Flight
Soaring 400 feet into the air in the world’s largest tethered helium balloon is an experience families won’t soon forget. Characters in Flight holds up to 29 guests per ride and gives passengers breathtaking views of the surrounding Disney Springs areas. This exhilarating ride can be found on the West Side of Disney Springs, near Splitsville and La Nouba.
What could be more fun than bowling the night away? Splitsville Luxury Lanes is a great place for families to unwind and enjoy one another’s company. Dining options include upscale menus and 2 sushi bars. If bowling isn’t really your thing, there is also live music and dancing to add to the excitement of the evening.
3. La Nouba
La Nouba will close its doors on December 31, 2017, so catch this unique Cirque du Soleil show while you still can! Featuring acts that are exclusive to Disney Springs, this show will delight parents and kids of all ages. Traveling Mom tip: Purchase tickets ahead of time to ensure you get the best seats!
4. The Lego Store
The Disney Springs Lego Store is a great place for kids to unleash their creativity (and for parents to take a load off)! Bricks are free to build and play with; no purchase is necessary to play. Don’t miss the amazing Lego sculptures of iconic Disney characters and scenes! Make it a game to see how many different sculptures your family can find.
5. Unique Eats
Another fun aspect of Disney Springs is the incredible variety of dining options. Families can choose upscale eats or quick bites, and either option will satisfy the desire for more than “the usual.” Kids will love the interactive restaurants like Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex Cafe, while parents may choose fine dining spots like Morimoto Asia or The BOATHOUSE. New restaurants are continuing to be added each year, so there will always be something new to explore each time you visit!
6. Boat Rides
Part of the fun of Disney Springs is the unique ways guests can travel to and from the area. For a fee, guests can take a 20 minute tour of the area in one of the vintage amphicars docked next to The BOATHOUSE restaurant. For no extra cost, guests can board a ferry boat in Disney Springs and be transported to select resorts (and vice versa). Often times, it’s the simple things, like a casual boat ride, that are the most fun for families.
No visit to Disney Springs is complete without visiting their amazing selection of stores! Kids will love shopping in Once Upon a Toy and the biggest Disney Store ever, World of Disney. Once Upon a Toy has a cool Mr. Potato Head building center where kids can build their own Mr. Potato Head, but don’t necessarily have to make a purchase. Dia, our Travel Hack Traveling Mom, has some great insight about how to make the most of your shopping time at the Springs.
Sadly, Disney Quest will be closing its doors on July 2, 2017, so the family fun won’t last too much longer! My kids have thoroughly enjoyed each time we played as a family in Disney Quest. Featuring classic arcade and high-tech virtual reality games, each floor of the three story structure is packed full of exciting competition and adventure. Traveling Mom Tip: Stay at a Disney resort and your admission to Disney Quest will be included in the price of your vacation!
Character Dining Outside the Parks
For a low stress, budget friendly character dining option, make the short walk over from Disney Springs to the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, dine with classic Disney characters during breakfast hours in their gorgeous Lakeview Restaurant. When I visited recently, the food was excellent, and the dining room was not crowded. The character interaction experience felt much less rushed and much more enjoyable than traditional character dining options.
It’s easy to see why a visit to Disney Springs can be fun for kids and adults of all ages. What’s the first thing you’re going to do on your next visit?