Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Disney Springs During Covid-19
- Best Things to Do at Disney Springs with Kids
- 1. Visit the Coca-Cola Store
- 2. Soar Via Characters in Flight
- 3. Eat Dessert First
- 4. Bowl (and Eat) at Splitsville
- 5. Play at the LEGO Store
- 6. Eat Your Heart Out
- 7. Take a Boat (or Car Boat) Ride
- 8. Browse the Specialty Stores
- 9. Kid Friendly Rides at Disney Springs
- 10. NBA Experience
- 11. Character Dining Outside the Parks
- Where Can I Buy Discount Disney Tickets?
For many families, a vacation at Walt Disney World is all about the theme parks. But now, during this time of the coronavirus and limits on park attendance, a Disney family vacation can include time to discover the gems outside of the Disney Parks. Disney Springs is one of those gems. Here are the best things to do at Disney Springs with kids and why this dining, shopping and entertainment district should not be missed on your next trip to Walt Disney World.
Without a doubt, Disney Springs has some of the best things to do outside the Disney theme parks. From floating cars to terrific food to unique Disney shopping, Disney Springs is always on my family’s must-visit list during a Walt Disney World vacation.
But now more than ever, Disney Springs fills a need for families that want to extend that Disney magic even though they can’t get a reservation to visit Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios or EPCOT because of coronavirus limitations.
This list of the best things to do in Disney Springs rings true, even with Covid-19 limitations. And while admission to the parks remains limited and requires a hard-to-get reservation, you can visit Disney Springs, observing the Covid-19 rules.
Disney Springs During Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the whole world and that includes Walt Disney World and Disney Springs. Here’s what you need to know before you go:
- Face coverings are required, This applies to everyone ages 2 and up. Face coverings such as neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not acceptable.
- Temperature checks are required before entry. Expect to have your temperature taken at all entrances to the property. If anyone in your party registers a temperature of 100.4 or above, the entire party will be denied entry.
- Expect social distancing measures and capacity limits at restaurants and stores. Check the My Disney Experience app for the most up-to-date information on closures or hours of operation for experiences, stores, and restaurants at Disney Springs.
- Reservations are NOT required to visit Disney Springs.
- Hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations have been set up throughout Disney Springs.
- Dressing rooms at clothing shops are closed.
TravelingMom Tip: Even when you can’t travel to Disney World in person, there are plenty of ways to get your Disney fix while at home!
Best Things to Do at Disney Springs with Kids
Here are my family’s favorite things to do in at Disney Springs:
1. Visit the Coca-Cola Store
This is the place to indulge your inner Coca-Cola fan. The store sells an array of Coca-Cola branded gear, but the first thing we do is head upstairs to meet the beloved Coca-Cola Polar Bear for a photo op on the second level of the store.
Then we tempt our taste buds on the rooftop bar via the Coca-Cola Freestyle Experience. That lets us sample up to 5 different drinks or create our own from the 100 self-serve choices. In the evenings, the rooftop bar offers a variety of adult beverages, handcrafted cocktails and smoothies.
The view along is worth a visit, especially at nighttime!
2. Soar Via Characters in Flight
Soaring 400 feet into the air in the world’s largest tethered helium balloon is an experience my family didn’t quickly forget. This an extra ticketed experience, but Characters in Flight tickets are often available at a discount on Groupon. Even if you pay full price, it’s one of the things that is worth the splurge at Disney Springs.
The balloon basket holds up to 29 guests per ride and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Disney Springs area. This exhilarating ride can be found on the West Side of Disney Springs, near Splitsville.
TravelingMom Tip: The ride doesn’t fly during a storm or when the winds are 22 mph or higher.
3. Eat Dessert First
It’s a family vacation, so let them eat cake! With the plethora of specialty dessert shops at Disney Springs, you might even want to let them eat dessert first. From Amorette’s Patisserie to Vivoli Il Gelato to the famous Sprinkles (where the kids love to get their cupcakes via the cupcake ATM), there is something for everyone when it comes to sweet treats.
Traveling Mom Tip: Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC offers delicious gluten-free, kosher, and vegan treats freshly prepared daily. It can be found near The BOATHOUSE restaurant in The Landing section of Disney Springs.
4. Bowl (and Eat) at Splitsville
Splitsville Luxury Lanes has a hip retro vibe, but it definitely is not your grandpa’s bowling alley. Splitsville is a two-story bowling alley with gourmet food options 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.
5. Play at 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! We like to make it a game to see how many different sculptures we can find.
TravelingMom Tip: The Covid-19 rules mean that the highly touchable LEGO building areas are not open.
6. Eat Your Heart Out
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.” My kids especially love the interactive restaurants like Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex Cafe.
Food trucks, located near Bongos Cuban Cafe on the West Side of Disney Springs, offer fast fare at an affordable price. New restaurants are added each year, so there is something new to explore each time we visit. Check your My Disney Experience app to see where the trucks are located.
7. Take a Boat (or Car Boat) Ride
Part of the fun of Disney Springs is getting there and the unique ways to travel to, from and around the area. One of the best is the 20 minute ride on one of the vintage Amphicars docked next to The BOATHOUSE restaurant.
That ride is an extra fee and definitely qualifies as a splurge. 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.
8. Browse the Specialty Stores
No visit to Disney Springs is complete without some quality shopping time. New stores open all the time.
Disney Style offers all the popular items seen on the Disney Style Instagram page. 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. In the Galactic Outpost, Star Wars fans can build a lightsaber or droid to take home.
TravelingMom Tip: The build-your-own stations may not be open due to Covid-19 restrictions. Check before you go.
9. Kid Friendly Rides at Disney Springs
No tickets to the parks? No problem! Kids can ride family favorites like the classic Marketplace Carousel and Marketplace Train Express for a small fee.
While these rides are low on thrills, they are high on making little ones smile. My girls always loved riding these when they were smaller. I miss how excited they used to get riding what seemed like simple rides at the time.
Need help planning your Disney trip? Get all your questions answered from our Disney Planning & Fun Facebook Group!
10. NBA Experience
Basketball fans will love this unique experience! Housed in the former DisneyQuest building, the NBA Experience offers 13 unique games and basketball-related activities. From dunking to dribbling to playing classic arcade games, the opportunities to show off your skills on, and off, the court are numerous. This experience is currently closed due to Covid-19.
11. 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 the gorgeous Lakeview Restaurant.
When I visited, 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.
Where Can I Buy Discount Disney Tickets?
Searching online for discount DIsney tickets can feel overwhelming. It’s important to make sure you’re buying from a reputable website. Our TravelingMom team recommends Get Away Today for discount Disney tickets and vacation packages.
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Get Away Today is offering to hold your 2020 and 2021 Disney vacation for just $175 down. Better yet, the final payment is due just seven days before you go. So put your next Disney vacation on layaway and have fun planning your next trip!