Activities at Disney Springs
While Disney Springs isn’t a theme park, it’s packed with activities for guests of every age. In addition to shops and restaurants, it offers everything from movies to bowling to balloon rides to a unique boating experience. Plan to spend some time at Disney Springs indulging in the many different ways to have fun. Here’s a sampling of what you can do:
Take a Balloon Ride
The Characters in Flight balloon is a suitable adventure for the whole family. This tethered helium balloon climbs up to 400 feet in the sky, giving an amazing panoramic view of the Walt Disney World resort and the whole Orlando area. It’s suitable for all ages and is open daily, weather permitting. You might even want to ride twice because the scenery is very different in the daytime vs. at night.
See a Movie
Disney Springs is home to a massive AMC movie theater with 24 screens. If you need a break from the theme parks, it’s a nice place to relax for a couple of hours with a good flick and a tub of popcorn. It also puts a unique twist on the movie-going experience with its Dine-In option. The Dine-In Theaters let you order food and enjoy it while you watch the movie. The adults can even indulge in cocktails. It’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone because you can get lunch or dinner out of the way while watching a film and be fueled up and ready to go when you leave.
Ride in an Amphicar
The Disney Springs backstory centers on its location on the water, and the dock at the Boathouse restaurant makes the most of the watery backdrop. Head over to the Boathouse for a truly unique experience: a ride in one of its genuine Amphicars. These antique vehicles date back to the 1960s and are just as at home on the open road as they are on the water. Although you can’t pilot them yourself, you can go for a spin on the water in the hands of one of the capable captains.
As the name implies, Splitsville Luxury Lanes is a bowling alley in the heart of Downtown Disney’s West Side area. It has two floors of bowling lanes, as well as billiard tables, and it also serves a full menu of lunch and dinner. Even if you’re not in the mood to bowl, you can stop by for a bite to eat and enjoy the dancing and musical entertainment.
Get a Makeover
This one is for the youngest members of the family. Cinderella’s not the only one who has a Fairy Godmother. Little girls will find Fairy Godmothers in Training at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique who can make them over into their favorite princess or transform them into a dazzling diva. Boys can join in the fun, too, by being transformed into knights. Unlike many of the Disney Springs activities, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique requires reservations because of its popularity. Call 407-WDW-STYLE up to 180 in advance of your trip to make an appointment.
See a Live Show
The Cirque du Soleil show La Nouba has enjoyed a long run at Disney Springs, starting back in 1998. The show, housed in a specially built theater that resembles a stylized circus tent, has incorporated many new acts, and it still draws crowds to marvel at feats of daring and laugh at the clowns’ silly antics. The mix of acts includes break dancers, trapeze artists, acrobats, and more. The show typically runs Tuesday through Saturday, with two performances each evening. You might be able to get same-day tickets, but it’s best to call 407-939-7600 and make reservations in advance. The seating is arranged so there are really no bad seats in the house. Most people prefer to sit toward the middle or back of the theater rather than right up front to get a wider perspective of the acts because there’s something going on on every part of the stage.
Meet the Coke Bear
The Coke Polar Bear hangs out in the massive Coca-Cola Store at Disney Springs, which is also packed with themed merchandise that’s worth some browsing time. Get your picture taken with the bear, then head up to the expansive rooftop and enjoy a Coke float or a sampler of Coke products from around the world. Unlike Epcot, the samplings are not free, but the offerings are much more expansive than those at the theme park. It’s fun to find new favorites and to crinkle your nose at the noxious Beverly while enjoying a panoramic view of Disney Springs below.
Put the Kids on a Ride
While Disney Springs isn’t a theme park, it does have two small rides that younger kids enjoy. The Marketplace Train Express and the Marketplace Carousel are fun diversions for little ones who miss the rides in the parks. Tickets cost a few dollars, but the rides are good at soothing cranky kids who need a break after a long spell of browsing in the stores.
Enjoy Indoor Gaming
DisneyQuest is the place for indoor gaming fun, from old-school arcade games to virtual experiences like building and riding your own cyber roller coaster. Depending on your age, you’ll feel a heavy dose of nostalgia wash over you as you spot games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Donkey Kong. Take a ride on a virtual Jungle Cruise, step into a real-life pinball machine, or blast your way through a bumper car ride as you take aim at the other cars. It’s fun for all ages, with one admission fee that covers virtually all of the activities.