In the past few years, Walt Disney World has transformed its former Downtown Disney shopping district into the new Disney Springs – a beautiful destination in its own right. But should you visit if you didn’t budget a lot of extra money for shopping? Wayfinding Traveling Mom Jennifer Kaufman has some tips for experiencing Disney Springs on a budget. Find out where to shop, and what to buy there for the best deals!
The recent transformation of Downtown Disney into the new Disney Springs has truly made it into a destination my entire family enjoys – and we aren’t alone. Live music and entertainment throughout, lots of fun (and free!) activities, and countless quality dining locations have turned the area into a must-do for vacationers and locals alike.
The atmosphere is unparalleled in the area, and the number of flagship stores and adorable boutiques make it a shoppers’ paradise. If you are doing Walt Disney World on a budget though, there is still plenty for you. Visit Disney Springs for all there is to see and do, and check out these 11 stores while you’re there for souvenirs that won’t break the bank.
Disney Springs Stores for Budget Shoppers
Choose from a number of scented bath bombs that are exclusive to Walt Disney World, for as low as $3.99. In some, you’ll even find hidden Mickey confetti!
Disney’s Days of Christmas
If your family celebrates Christmas, an ornament is always a really fun souvenir option. We love putting up a tree each year and looking at keepsakes from the places we’ve visited together.
Disney’s Pin Traders
Similarly, we often choose a specific pin to represent a trip to Walt Disney World or other Disney Destinations. Each person in our family can choose a pin that represents a particular trip for them.
You don’t have to be filthy rich to enjoy the Filthy Rich kiosk. If you or someone you’re shopping for is a fan of jewelry, of celebrities, or of celebrities’ jewelry, this is a cool stop. Customers can purchase replicas of famous pieces, for a fraction of the cost.
Marketplace Fun Finds
Items in Marketplace Fun Funs are arranged by price. I can’t promise that your little one won’t fall in love with something out of their range, but at least it’s easy to steer them in the right direction and help them stick to their budget!
Mickey’s Pantry is home to some high-end cooking supplies and kitchen decor, but that’s not all you’ll find there. Some of my favorite purchases here include Mickey shaped pasta (to bring the magic home!) and the beautifully-designed Once Upon a Vine wines.
TAG @ Marketplace Co-op
Marketplace Co-op is home to some of the most expensive designer items in all of Disney Springs, in its Cherry Tree Lane section. But TAG, a relatively recent update to the unique set of mini-shops that comprise the co-op location, is different. Dubbed “retro-modern” travel gear, this is many Traveling Moms’ dream stop. Here you’ll find the most adorable luggage tags, eye masks, straps, and other accessories necessary for traveling in (Disney) style.
Little Miss Matched allows kids to showcase their creativity in, well, mismatched socks and accessories. The best deals from this store can be found in their sales – the more you buy, the more you save. These accessories are not (always) strictly Disney-themed, but they’re unique enough that my daughters always remember just where they got their super fun collection of socks.
As far as chocolate goes, The Ganachery is far from inexpensive. That said, I think that the unique flavors offered make the perfect consumable souvenir, gift, or small splurge.
Some of the shoes featured at Havaianas wouldn’t fall into the budget category, but you can find some really great options there. For $18-30, you’ll find flip flops featuring your favorite Disney characters, sandals in gorgeous colors, and shoes with lovely embellishments. While these are more expensive than, say, $1 flip flops during popular summer sales near you, the shoes are far superior.
There are lots of great souvenirs at the Coca-Cola store, but I think one of the best ways to spend a little money at this location is actually on an experience. At the rooftop beverage bar, guests can choose from up to 16 different beverages to sample. Try the 8-flavor Float Tray for $8.50, the 8-flavor International Tray for $8.00, or the combo tray with all 16 flavors for just $14.00.
Perhaps the grandaddy of all budget shopping options in Disney Springs, Uniqulo has made a huge splash since it opened. The popular Japanese store has some of the most unique Disney merchandise in their “Disney Project” selections. Currently, you can find clothing themed to Steamboat Willie, Star Wars 40th anniversary, vintage movie posters, and more. Uniqlo has recently featured Monsters Inc and Up in merchandise lines, two intellectual properties that don’t get a lot of play anymore in other licensed products.
If you’re looking for pieces that aren’t Disney-themed, the two-level store has plenty of that, too – at prices that are downright jaw-dropping at times. We’ve joked that Uniqlo is the Ikea of clothing stores… but that metaphor only holds up if what you’ve gotten from Ikea is also high quality. We’ve purchased several things fromUniqlo, and have been extremely pleased with how items hold up.
Traveling Mom Tip: Don’t forget to utilize Walt Disney World’s merchandise delivery service if you’re staying on property. Simply tell the cast member when you check out from a Disney-operated retailer that you would like your purchase delivered to your resort.
DISNEY SPRINGS DINING ON A BUDGET
You’re bound to get hungry while you’re shopping. While there are a number of world-class restaurants at Disney Springs, many of them come with a hefty price tag.
Here are some of our favorite inexpensive counter service restaurants and snacks in Disney Springs:
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza*
Cookes of Dublin
The Daily Poutine
Disney Food Trucks
The Smokehouse @ House of Blues
*I chuckle at the inclusion of Blaze on this list. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of my favorite restaurants… but we would absolutely never go while at Walt Disney World since we have one just up the street from us. That brings up a valid point for anything on this list: if something isn’t unique to you, maybe skip it while on vacation!
STAY AT THE CLOSEST HOTEL TO DISNEY SPRINGS
I recently had a chance to chat with the folks at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista and Wyndham Gardens Lake Buena Vista properties. The dual-branded location is truly the closest hotel to Disney Springs. From the front door of the hotel it is literally a quick walk over a pedestrian bridge, and you’re in the Disney Springs Marketplace, ready to shop.
The hotel is lovely and the staff incredibly attentive. Many of the services and amenities ordinarily reserved for on-property Disney guests can be utilized at the Wyndham and Wyndham Gardens – including the aforementioned merchandise delivery service. Be sure to check them out the next time you plan a Walt Disney World vacation – especially if you plan to visit Disney Springs!