Disney Springs is Walt Disney World’s outdoor shopping and entertainment complex.
You’ll find great dining options, merchandise stores (Disney and others), as well as many entertainment venues here. There is no admission fee for Disney Springs.
Disney Springs is divided into four distinct areas, the Marketplace, the Landing, the West Side, and the Town Center.
The merchants at Disney Springs are a mix of Disney and non-Disney owned locations. While Disney does not offer any military discounts on food or merchandise, some of the non-Disney locations do!
Disney Springs recently finished a multi-year expansion and makeover. And in the process lost, I think, some of its “Disneyness.” In the beginning Downtown Disney was primarily for and used by Disney guests, but as both it and Orlando grew so did the crowds.
Disney Springs draws a lot of locals for shopping and nighttime entertainment. The addition of the new Town Center area has made this even worse. The Town Center contains no locations with a special Disney flair. It is just another outdoor Florida mall with typical high end retail locations and a few new restaurants.
Disney has revealed that these mall type retail locations are primarily aimed at keeping foreign tourists on property. Disney had received huge feedback from foreign tourists that they had to go to International Drive in Orlando to shop.
Below you’ll find an overview of what Disney Springs has to offer. Any locations with military discounts are noted. Not all retail locations are listed as there are now over 126 total locations in Disney Springs, and as I said many of the new ones are stores you can find in your local mall. I’ll highlight the ones with known military discounts and some of the best.
Note if you are told one of the locations I mention has no military discount, be sure to speak to a manager to check. The availability of military discounts has been known to change over time and also servers have been known to be wrong. Also feel free to ask about a discount at locations that are not listed as having a military discount, it never hurts to try!
Also Note: All military discounts mentioned are subject to change!
Crowds will be lowest earlier in the day. Disney Springs is quite busy in the evening and especially Friday and Saturday nights!
Disney Springs History
Disney Springs is the most current re-branding of this popular outside the theme park shopping, dining, and entertainment area at Walt Disney World. Besides name changes Disney Springs has seen huge expansion over the years to around 4 times its original size.
Disney Springs began life in 1975 as the Lake Buena Vista Village, a general use shopping area intended to cater the shopping needs of the residents of Walt Disney’s EPCOT the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, which the company it seems still intended to build at that time.
By 1977 the company had moved on from this idea and the name was changed to the Walt Disney World Village to more accurately represent its use as another destination on property for WDW guests. During these early years, there just weren’t many hotel rooms on Disney property, most Disney guests stayed in the hotels on US-192 south of Disney property or miles to the north on International Drive, making northbound Interstate-4 a traffic jam every night at park close time.
As more hotels were added on property Disney worked even harder to keep their guests from leaving property at all. In May of 1989 Pleasure Island opened adjacent to the Walt Disney World Village, which later in the year was renamed The Disney Village Marketplace.
Pleasure Island was an evening and nighttime entertainment district that charged a general admission fee for entry. The district offered a variety of restaurants and themed clubs (my favorites were The Comedy Warehouse and The Adventurer’s Club). Every night at midnight there was a celebration at the main outdoor stage; several different concepts were tried until they settled on A New Year’s Eve celebration complete with countdown.
In 1995 a new West Side with more shopping, dining, and a theatre was added on the far side of Pleasure island. in the process the entire area overall was renamed Downtown Disney. This awkward arrangement lasted roughly 9 years, with the 2 free areas of Downtown Disney separated by the paid admission Pleasure Island in-between with the only free method to get between the 2 being a narrow path separated only with a white line from a highly trafficked parking-lot road (in later years they did add metal posts between the walkway and the road.
A paid admission Pleasure Island was never a good idea, it just didn’t do well. The adult atmosphere just wasn’t right for the families staying on property and the entry fee was derided all the time. They eventually switched to a no entry fee model in 2004. Only those who wanted to enter the night-clubs paid a fee. This brought more traffic to the stores and restaurants in the area and provided a more direct safe route between the main portion of Downtown Disney and the West Side. During this era Pleasure Island became more crowded and rowdy at night with locals youths.
Pleasure Island closed in late 2008 after years of phased reductions in venues.
On March 14, 2013, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs announced that Downtown Disney would be redesigned and renamed as Disney Springs. The planned 3-year renovation and expansion project would include 150 new venues, two multiple level parking structures.
Disney Springs fully opened on 15 May 2015 with 4 different areas: The Landing (formerly Pleasure Island), the Marketplace (the original Shopping Village), Town Center (originally a parking lot), and the West Side.
Disney Springs Transportation
Disney and others provide transportation to Disney Springs, and Disney provides transportation within Disney Springs.
Disney’s Bus Transportation – Disney’s fleet of buses provides transportation from Disney’s Resort Hotels to the Disney Springs bus depot, which is located adjacent to the west end of the Town Center. It runs from where the West Side and Town Center meet to the middle of the Town Center.
Buses enter the depot on the east end and drop those arriving at the Town Center mid point. If you are heading to Town Center, the Landing or Marketplace head tot he right as you exit your bus. If heading to the West Side it is shorter to head to the left.
The buses then continue on to the far end of the depot near the West Side where the enter 1 of 2 loops to pull up to the departure gates for the different Resorts.
The walking paths to 14 of the 20 departure gates have to be entered from the west! Of the remaining 6 gates, 4 are closer to the west entrance that where you arrived. So, if you are in the West Side or west half of the Town Center or west end of the landing (top of the hill to the west side) the when you are ready to depart, entering from the west is shorter than going to where you were dropped off to leave.
West Side Bus Loop
Non-Disney Buses arrive and depart here. This small bus depot is located at the very west end of Disney Springs on the far side of Cirque du Soleil. Shades of Green and other non-Disney hotel buses use this location.
East Side Bus Loop
This is the very old, original bus loop for Disney buses. Today this is where you will be dropped off and picked up by Ride Hire services like Uber and Lyft or local taxis.
Disney’s Water Taxis
Disney operates a fleet of 15 boats in the Disney Springs Resort Area on 4 routes (3 Resort to Disney Springs and 1 Disney Springs internal).
Transportation to Disney Springs is provided from:
- Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter to Disney Springs
- The Treehouse Villas and Saratoga Springs to Disney Springs
- Old Key West to Disney Springs
Within Disney Springs transportation is provided between 3 docks at:
- The Marketplace, the West Side, and The Landing
During the Disney Springs makeover, 3 new high tech parking garages were built. Originally 2 were originally constructed, but a third was needed and added later.
Disney Springs also retained some of their old ground level lots.
During the Disney Springs Makeover, Disney named the garages and parking lots after fruit. The garages are the Orange Garage, the Lime Garage, and the Grapefruit Garage. The lots are named: Strawberry, Watermelon, Mango, and Lemon. The parking lots available to the public are at the far west end of Disney Springs on the other side of Cirque du Soleil.
Parking Garage Locations:
- The Orange Garage is next to the West side, on the west side of the Disney Bus Depot
- The main exit for the Orange Garage is where The West Side and Town Center meet
- The other exit is midway through The West Side
- Lime Garage is to the east of the Disney Bus Depot adjacent to the east end of Town Center and the very west end of the Mrketplace
- The exit for the Lime Garage is near the east end of Town Center
- Grapefruit Garage is located across Buena Vista Drive from the Lime Garage with a walkway over the street
- The walkway enters Disney Springs in the Marketplace by World of Disney
Self-parking is complimentary in the surface lots and garages.
Valet parking is available in the following 3 areas:
- Near the entrance to the Orange Garage from 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM
- On West Side in front of Cirque du Soleil from 4:00 PM to 2:00 AM
- In the Lemon Lot near the World of Disney shop from 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM
The cost of valet parking is $20 and will be collected at the time of pick-up. Gratuity is not included.
Designated parking spaces for Guests with disabilities are available in both the Orange and Lime Garages. A valid disability parking permit is required. Wheelchair, ECV and stroller rentals are available at the nearby Sundries location next to the Town Center bus loop.
Disney Springs Dining
Rainforest Café – Table Service – The national chain offers a unique dining experience that puts you in the middle of an Amazon rainforest. (10% Military Discount, food & non-alcoholic drinks)
T-Rex – Table Service – This restaurant features dinosaurs, waterfalls, bubbling geysers and a fossil dig site. (10% Military Discount, food & non-alcoholic drinks)
Earl of Sandwich – Assorted sandwiches, salads, and baked goods.
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop – Ice Cream, Sundaes, and candy. (20% Military Discount)
Starbucks at Disney Springs Marketplace – The usual Starbucks stuff.
Walk Up Kiosks and Carts – Italian Ice, Aristocrepes, B.B Wolf’s Sausage Co., Wetzel’s Pretzels, Joffrey’s Handcrafted Smoothies, Dockside Margaritas.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ – Table Service – Dig into farm-to-fork cuisine showcasing Florida’s fresh flavors—all crafted from recipes by an award-winning celebrity chef. A takeaway window is also available. (10% Military Discount)
The Boathouse – Table Service – Most seats in our new favorite Disney Springs restaurant offer a view of the water. Enjoy great seafood and drinks while listening to live guitar music.
The Edison – Table Service – This lavish Industrial Gothic style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination is themed to a 1920s-period power plant. It features classic American food, craft cocktails, and live entertainment including cabaret, music, and palm reading. At 10 pm the tables are moved to create a dance floor for 21+ year olds (Dress code after 10).
Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar – Table Service – Inspired by Florida’s secretive “rum-running” past, this watering hole specializes in barrel-aged cocktails and has the largest selection of rums and scotches than any other restaurant at Disney Springs.
Gideon’s Bakehouse – Quick Service – Serves incredible desserts in a storefront that resembles an old-time bookstore. They are known for their ingredient rich, from-scratch “almost half pound” cookies that take over 24 hours to create.
Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar – Table Service – The aviation-themed lounge bears the namesake of Indiana Jones’ trusted pilot, who appeared in the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The venue features unique cocktails and small plates.
Maria and Enzo’s Ristorante – Table Service – Enter the golden age of air travel while dining on authentic Italian fare.
Morimoto Asia – Table Service – The Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian dining experience will showcase flavors from across the Asian continent, all with Morimoto’s creative touch. Creative Asian dishes and sushi bar.
Paddlefish – Table Service – Board an iconic paddleboat anchored on Lake Buena Vista to feast on fresh seafood and savory steaks.
Paradiso 37, Taste of the Americas – Table Service – Cuisine from North, South and Central America (15% Military Discount)
Raglan Road – Table Service – Traditional Irish fare prepared with a “modern flair.” (10% Military Discount)
STK – Table Service – Retreat to this chic hideaway for an ultra-modern steakhouse experience—featuring an innovative menu, in-house DJ and a stunning outdoor patio.
Terralina Crafted Italian – Table Service – A dining experience with sweeping waterfront views and authentic Italian home cooking.
Wine Bar George – Table Service – Make yourself at home in an estate-style wine bar offering shareable small plates and more than 100 wine selections from acclaimed wineries and up-and-coming regions.
Cooke’s of Dublin – Carryout fish and chips, meat pies and more. Part of and around the corned from Raglan Road. (10% Military Discount).
Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC – The country’s leading Gluten Free, Vegan, Kosher bakery (15% Military Discount).
Morimoto Street Food – Pan-Asian street foods—prepared with a twist, such as spicy Morimoto Baby Ribs, pork and cabbage egg rolls, and octopus fritters.
Pizza Pointe – Menu highlights include made-to-order sandwiches, an assortment of house-baked Italian pastries and Sicilian-style pizza by the slice. A selection of Italian beer and wine is also available.
Vivolo il Gelato – Experience the hand-crafted goodness of Italian gelati, sorbetti, espresso drinks and more.
Walk Up Kiosks and Carts – Florida Snow Company
AMC Fork and Screen Theatres – Table-top dining, and a personal notification button that can be used to quietly call your server at any time during the movie ($4 off for military member after 4pm).
Crossroads at House of Blues – Table Service – Southern cooking, live music, special folk art display, and a Sunday Gospel Brunch. (25% Military Discount)
Planet Hollywood – Table Service – Dine amidst famous movie memorabilia.
Splitsville Luxury Lanes – Table Service – 50,000-square-foot upscale entertainment center that combines bowling with billiards, dining, music and nightlife. (10% Military Discount)
Coke a Cola Rooftop Bar – Specialty drinks mixed with Coke products and a great view. Take away is also available.
Food Trucks Exposition Park – A collection of Food Trucks offering Theme park and Epcot Food and Wine favorites.
Jaleo By José Andrés – Coming in 2019 – Savor authentic Spanish tapas, paella and sangria in an inviting, vibrant atmosphere.
The Smokehouse – Outside the Crossroads at House of Blues, offers quick-service restaurant offering an assortment of barbecue classics. (25% Military Discount)
Starbucks – The usual Starbucks stuff.
Walk Up Kiosks and Carts – Haagen-Dazs, Italian Ice, Joffery’s Coffee and Tea, Wetzel’s Pretzels, YeSake.
Pepe by Jose Andres – Spanish sandwiches, gazpacho, seasonal salads and refreshing sangría—from famed award-winning chef, José Andrés.
City Works Eatery & Pour House – Classic American cuisine and a massive selection of craft brews at this upbeat restaurant meets ultimate sports bar.
Chicken Guy – Enjoy all-natural chicken and sauces bursting with Guy Fieri’s signature flare—from tenders to skewers to sandwiches to salads.
Frontera Cocina – Table Service – Items include bacon guacamole, red chili chicken enchiladas and the coconut lime quattro leches cake. A takeaway window is also available.
Amorette’s Patisserie – Pastry shop offering éclairs, New York-style cheesecake, cookies, gluten-free macarons, and signature cakes.
Blaze Fast Fired Pizza – Customize your own fast-fired 11” artisanal pie by choosing from over 40 delicious toppings and sauces. Freshly made salads, and s’mores dessert pies. A to go window is available.
D-Luxe Burger – Gourmet burgers, fries, and dipping sauces. Artisanal gelato shakes and freshly cut fries with house-made dipping sauces fully complement the savory scene that has something for every burger aficionado. Mobile is Ordering available
Polite Pig – Modern barbecue outpost featuring Florida-inspired cuisine and an array of libations on tap. Online ordering is available via politepig.com.
Sprinkles – gourmet cupcakes baked fresh daily with unique flavors and high-quality ingredients. You can also succumb to late-night cravings with a visit to the perky, pink Cupcake ATM nestled outside.
Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill – Wolfgang’s signature dishes and handcrafted specialty cocktails.
Walk Up Kiosks and Carts – The Daily Poutine, Gourmet Fries
Disney Springs Shopping
Basin – Soaps and toiletries. (10% Military Discount)
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – Behold a royal transformation as kids become elegant princesses and shining knights – Temporarily Unavailable
Build-A-Dino Store — located in T-Rex featuring dinosaur themed educational displays and merchandise.
Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers – Crystal and glass shop
Disney PhotoPass Studio – If you love spotting Disney PhotoPass photographers at the theme parks, you won’t want to miss the chance to add digital portraits to your growing collection.
Disney’s Days of Christmas – Enjoy holiday shopping year ’round Disney style.
Disney’s Pin Traders – The ultimate pin-purchasing-and-trading location.
Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories – Capture your memories in photo albums and stationery.
Goofy’s Candy Company – Loads of candy! Baked goods, fudge, chocolate covered fruit and pretzels, Carmel Apples (My families favorite treat!).
Marketplace Co-op – A store featuring six shops under one roof
- Bowes Signature Candles – Discover Bowes’ fragrant array of diffuser oils, wax melts and natural soy wax candles crafted with eco-friendly wicks.
- Cherry Tree Lane – Accessories for the sophisticated woman with a passion for scarves, shoes, bags and jewelry.
- D-Tech on Demand – A place to personalize and customize your own electronic accessories.
- Disney Centerpiece – Home product for Guests that want a splash of Disney in their room furnishings, textiles and everyday wares.
- Disney Tails – Disney accessories for your pet.
The Dress Shop – Whimsical fashions with a sophisticated twist—discover Disney-themed apparel and accessories that are pure magic.
- Twenty Eight & Main – Art & Collectables, apparel & accessories. Currently replaced by, The Vault Collection Experience at Marketplace.
- WonderGround -Gallery Art & Collectables.
Once Upon A Toy – A huge Disney toy store.
Star Wars Trading Post – Everything Star Wars.
The Art of Disney – Disney art and collectables
The LEGO Store – A huge Lego store.
The Spice & Tea Experience – A one-of-a-kind shopping experience for foodies and tea enthusiasts alike.
TrenD – A stylish boutique with designer flair and eclectic offerings.
World of Disney – A super huge Disney character merchandise store. Clothing, jewelry, home goods, toys, tech needs, etc.
Chapel Hats – Fashionable hats and headwear for guests of all ages. The location carries just about any style of hat including fedoras, sun hats, floppy hats, outdoors hats, kid’s hats and more.
Havaianas – Shop for flip-flops, apparel and accessories from this iconic Brazilian brand!
Oakley – High-performance clothing and athletic must-haves for men and women.
Sanuk – Unconventional footwear designed to make your feet smile.
Savannah Bee Company – A selection of specialty honey, all-natural body care products and honeybee-inspired gifts.
Shop for Ireland – Raglan Road’s authentic Irish collectibles, clothing and more.
The Art of Shaving – Fill any grooming need with personalized service and an array of high-end essentials.
The BOATHOUSE BOATIQUE – Nautically themed treasures—including jewelry, apparel, engraved keepsakes and whimsical gifts.
The Ganacher – Beautifully handcrafted ganache squares that come in 16 exotic flavors.
Crossroads at House of Blues – House of Blues Souvenirs. (15% Military Discount)
Curl by Sammy Duvall – High-end Surf Shop featuring trendy Surf Wear clothing and accessories (10% Military Discount on apparel, not sunglasses)
D Street – Cutting edge apparel, pop culture novelties, Vinylmation figurines and other collectibles.
House of Blues Company Store – Merchandise including clothing, housewares and more.
Pop Gallery – Original, artist-signed limited sculptures and paintings, high-end gift items.
Planet Hollywood – Planet Hollywood Souvenirs. (10% Military Discount)
Sosa Family Cigars – Premium cigar store features the art of hand-rolling cigars.
One of the driving factors in Disney deciding to do the Downtown Disney to Disney Springs remodel was when they realized that their foreign guests were leaving property to head to International Drive and other Orlando locations to shop for high end items. Creating an area in the new Disney Springs that would capture this market and keep them on property was essential.
Florida outdoor mall type shopping – Coca-Cola Store, Tommy Bahama, Lacoste, Levi’s, Alex & Annie, Under Armor, etc. Also the
Orlando Harley-Davidson (10% Military Discount)
Disney Springs Entertainment
AMC 24 Theatres – 24 separate theaters of which 18 have stadium seating. ($2.50 off for military member after 4pm)
Aerophile – Tethered Hot Air Balloon Ride.
Military discounts had been available for Cirque du Soleil La Nouba. We hope this continues for the new show.
The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort – A one-of-a-kind destination featuring hands-on activities that put families and guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. You’ll be able to explore inside the world of professional basketball with numerous interactive experiences and enjoy a restaurant and retail store.
Splitsville Luxury Lanes – 50,000-square-foot upscale entertainment center that combines bowling with billiards, dining, music and nightlife.
Amphicars – Take a guided tour around the Disney Springs Lake in an Amphicar, a type of vintage car/boat that were manufactured in Germany in the mid-1960s. Buy your ticket at the Boathouse restaurant.
Outdoor Entertainers – During the evening you’ll find local musicians set up in various spots all around Disney Springs. In the smaller locations these artists are varied and perform for tips and usually sales of their CDs.
Disney Springs usual music locations:
- At Dockside Margaritas – A guitarist (usually Buffet Style) in the evenings.
- Disney Springs’ Main Marketplace Stage – Across from Word of Disney – Varied all day ; during the day you might see local school bands or choirs perform here, while at night rock bands or DJs are on hand.
- A permanent stage next to the Boathouse – Varied
- Raglan Road’s Tonsil Tickler Bar – Outdoor – A guitarist (usually from Ireland) in the evenings
- Paradiso 37 – Outdoor Bar – A guitarist (usually Spanish) in the evenings
- Splitsville’s – Outdoor Bar – Often a guitar duo (various music) in the evenings
- House of Blues bands – Outdoor Bar – Bands (various music) in the evenings
Marketplace Stage – During the day you might see local school bands or choirs perform here, while at night rock bands or DJs are on hand.
That’s it for our Disney Springs Overview. Have a question or comment? Let me know in the comments section below!
This MDT Post By: Steve Bell
Steve is the the Military Disney Tips Founder. He a retired U.S. Military Member who's been touring the Disney Parks since 1971! Steve's mission is to help military families with their Disney vacations in every way. Check out Steve's Bio.
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