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If you’re planning a vacation to Walt Disney World, then it wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Disney Springs. Although it isn’t inside the Disney Parks, Disney Springs is just as magical. Disney Springs offers a little extra in your budget for splurges because there’s no ticket needed for admission. Check out these Disney Springs splurges on your next visit.
Top Things Worth the Splurge at Disney Springs
Disney Springs is a must-visit for my family on every trip we take to Walt Disney World. Disney Springs splurges are my personal favorites. Disney Springs holds a special place in my heart because it’s the first Disney Parks location I took my oldest son as a 3-year-old. I will always treasure the memory of that day. From food to fashion, here are our top things at Disney Springs worth the splurge.
TravelingMom Tip: Read more on how to get around at Walt Disney World with this essential transportation guide.
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Foodie Disney Springs Splurges
Your first Disney Springs splurge? Food! With such a variety of restaurants and sweet treats, you should save up just a few calories for the food choices. Don’t worry about splurging too much. With all the walking you’ll do around the parks over the week, it’s more than worth it!
Disney Springs Splurge: Lunch
For lunch or sandwich option, stop in for a taste of Earl of Sandwich, not your average chain with only 33 locations worldwide. What makes it a true splurge is the freshly baked bread for their hot sandwiches and unique menu combinations.
On my last visit, I ordered the Holiday Turkey sandwich. It tasted like the day after the best Thanksgiving dinner and honestly reminded me of being home with my family. It’s made with carved slices of moist turkey layered with cornbread stuffing, smooth turkey gravy and dressed with cranberry sauce and mayonnaise. My mouth is watering just writing about it! The other options for hot sandwiches, wraps, salads, pizza breads, and artisan soups are just as satisfying and worth the splurge.
Traveling Mom Tip: Earl of Sandwich is popular and made fresh to order so allow at least 30 minutes to an hour for your visit. Just for Kids menu options geared to even the pickiest of eaters.
More Dining Splurges at Disney Springs
While you’re at Disney, be sure to splurge with a dinner out. Disney Springs is home to several splurge-worthy restaurants.
Looking for steak, then be sure to try STK Orlando. STK offers the best aspects of a traditional steakhouse like attention to detail, knowledgeable servers and perfectly cooked steaks from porterhouse to filet medallions.
Disney Springs has no shortage of celebrity chefs. Morimoto Asia has a broad variety of Asian favorites, including sushi/sashimi, noodles, and Asian-American entrees. Chef Rick Bayless brings his take on Mexican at Frontera Cocina.
Fans of farm-to-table (and Oprah) will enjoy Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin‘. It’s a TravelingMom favorite. We love it so much that we had a chat with Chef Art on a TravelingMom Facebook Live. He’s got four — count ’em, four! — kids. These days, he’s all about “healthy comfort foods.” Watch the Live to get his tips on cooking with your kids and find out what kitchen tools he considers essential. (Hint: He says you probably have too many in your kitchen!)
Traveling Mom Tip: Most of the restaurants in Disney Springs offer kids menus and accept Dining Plans for at least some items. Reservations are highly recommended and can be booked up to 180 days in advance. Always check the day before or day of to see if space is available.
Experiences Worth a Disney Springs Splurge
The next area where you have to splurge is on the unique experiences at Disney Springs. Going to the parks is a magical experience, but some days you’ll want to take things a little easier and just have a single focus. On those days, I vote for one splurge experience at Disney Springs and then returning to your hotel for a relaxing swim in the pool.
Experience Disney Springs Splurge: Amphicar
First on my list is the Amphicar. The Boathouse at Disney Springs is the only place in the world where you can take a ride on these vintage car/boat combos. The 30-minute tour starts with loading into the car on the dock, and your “captain” literally drives into the lake. The $125 per half hour might be a slight splurge considering you’re riding in a car. However, up to 4 people can ride with the driver so it evens out.
I haven’t had the pleasure of taking the ride but one of our Traveling Mom writers, Dia, experienced the Amphicar ride and she said it was “surreal.” You can read more about her experience here. I admit that I was one of those paparazzi stalkers, but it’s pretty cool to see the boat roll on to the driveway from the water.
Princess Splurges at Disney Springs
I only have sons, but I feel like another must splurge experience is The Castle Package at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (BBB) is a salon owned by the Fairy Godmother and operated by Fairy Godmothers in Training. They make over your daughter to look like royalty. The Crown Package includes hairstyling, make-up, nail polish, and princess sash starting at $69.95.
TravelingMom Tip: The Disney Springs location of the BBB is larger than the one in the Magic Kingdom and less crowded. After the transformation at Disney Springs, the princesses have their own parade through Disney Springs. You know the other princesses are busy at the parks. They’re even given princess training before their walk on how to wave, smile and represent princesses.
Experience Disney Springs Cirque du Soleil
The next experience worth the Disney Springs splurge is that the whole family can enjoy is the Cirque du Soleil’s performance of Drawn to Life.
Drawn to Life will open for previews in March 2020. It’s based on the world of Disney animation and similarly to other Cirque de Soleil shows, comes to life with a combination of acrobatics and music. The Cirque du Soleil at Disney Springs shows are one of the few permanent shows. The previous show, La Nouba, called Disney Springs home for 18 years. But it is never the same show because acts are being adjusted constantly.
Fashion: Worth a Disney Springs Splurge
Finally, you have to splurge on the fashion at Disney Springs. If you are a fan of Disney, what better way to show your Disney love when you go home by splurging on these exclusives available at Disney properties?
Alex and Ani Bracelets at Disney Springs
I show my Disney love every day with my Alex and Ani bracelets. The Disney Parks Collection by Alex and Ani has collections that fit if you’re a fan of Star Wars, the cruise or anything Disney. There is a bracelet that more than likely expresses your love of Disney. Many of these are exclusives only available in the stores. Make sure to go check them out for yourself!
Vera Bradley Splurges at Disney Springs
Vera Bradley will also let you share your Disney love with the elusive hidden (or not so hidden – your choice) Mickeys in their items. Choose from more than 15 different patterns and designs including basic black to multicolor.
Busy moms need bags that fit your life and I have to admit that I’ve picked up more than just one over the years so I know they’re worth the splurge. But again these are exclusives in the store, so you have to visit to find the right one for you.
Kate Spade at Disney Springs
I fell in love with these Kate Spade Minnie items in person at the Kate Spade store at Disney Springs. They are available on the website but that doesn’t do them any justice. Once you actually see the details inside of the clutch and how soft the sweater is, you’ll more than make the splurge. Make sure to make the Kate Spade as part of your visit to Disney Springs.
You can also purchase some of these Disney items at ShopDisney.com.
Best Ways to Save on Disney Springs Splurges
Now that I’ve shared all the splurges, you’ll need some ways to save! My top two ways to save start with searching for discounts and deals in advance. Another way to save would be staying at the closest property to Disney Springs, the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista.
As soon as booking your Disney vacation, start looking for any and every discount you can. I have seen McCormick and Schmidt’s gift cards at Costco. As a member of the Landry’s chain, use these gift cards at Disney Springs locations like Rainforest Café.
Look on Groupon and keep checking back often. During our last visit, there was a deal for discounts on the hot air balloon ride. It was a no-brainer to get a ride for $13 when it’s normally $29.
We’d love to learn more about your Disney Springs splurges. Please share them with us. We love learning more based on other people’s experiences.