The downtown Disney World area is free to visit, and you do not need any Disney World tickets to enter.
For casual dining in an amazing tropical rainforest setting, the Rainforest Café inside the Downtown Disney Marketplace is second to none. Guests dine among the feel of mists, the sound of cascading waterfalls, and marvelous animated wildlife and real life tropical fish.
If you have picky eaters in your party, this is the place for you. The vast menu includes burgers, seafood, pastas, salads, chicken, steaks, and a variety of appetizers and salads. All entrees offer generous portions.
We highly recommend the “Awesome Appetizer Adventure” which includes a sampling of chicken tenders, calamari, chimi-cha-cha (roasted chicken breast), and their famous Big Blue Crab Delight.
The adventure doesn’t stop there. The Retail Village offers a great shopping experience. You will find a unique selection of hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. There’s something here for the entire family as sizes range from infant to adult.
Outside of the restaurant, you will find live parrot shows on a daily basis. Kids and adults alike will find this attraction wildly interesting as knowledgeable wildlife experts present various types of parrots by going into great detail on their habits and outstanding abilities.
Once Upon a Toy
If it were up to the kids, they’d spend an entire day at this store. Once Upon a Toy offers classic games and toys, including Walt Disney World attraction toys and classic games with a unique Disney twist.
You can, for example, enjoy classic board games like Candyland and Monopoly in exclusive Disney versions. You can also purchase a revised version of the classic game Clue that is set inside of Disney’s Haunted Mansion theme park attraction.
There are five uniquely themed rooms here that sprawl over an incredible 16,000 square feet! Near the main entrance, there is a great interactive area where you can individually create your own customized Mr. Potato Head.
You can pick out eyes, glasses, Disney-themed accessories, ears, feet, arms, and more! On top of that, you can use one of the many available computer-driven stations around the area that allows you to visualize what your creation will look like.
The Disney Imagineers have really outdone themselves with this one. It is one of the most interactive attractions in all of Downtown Disney.
World of Disney
Standing over 50,000 square feet, this retail store offers the largest selection of Disney character merchandise in the world. You can shop for everything under the Florida sun here including: T-shirts, hats, photo albums, slippers, books, boxers, kids apparel, clocks, socks, sleepwear, jewelry, figurines, dolls, costumes, watches, DVDs, sunglasses, stationary; you get the picture…pretty much anything you could want in a Disney store.
If you forget to get a specific souvenir while at the parks, you can bet you will find it at World of Disney.
Earlier this year, Disney unveiled a new addition to the store: the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. It is a princess-themed salon which caters to young girls who dream of being a real life princess. Princess makeovers are the specialty of the house. They will do your hair, makeup, nails, and will even provide you with your choice of a child’s princess costume with accessories and photo shoot.
$ 35.00 – Choice of one hair style and makeup.
$ 45.00 – Choice of one hair style, makeup, and nails.
$ 175.00 – Crown Makeover plus your choice of child’s Princess costume with accessories, and a Princess Photo Shoot including an imaging package.
LEGO Imagination Center
The LEGO Imagination Center is the place to let your creativity run wild. This kid-friendly paradise is home to some of the most elaborate LEGO play sets. There are many interactive areas here, indoors and outdoors, that will inspire both young and old. A little known fact is that
the 4,400 square foot retail space was modeled after the original LEGO store at the Mall of America in Minnesota.
Inside the store you will find almost every LEGO set imaginable. There are pirate ships, doll houses, cities, Star Wars ships and even the classic bucket of LEGO pieces for beginners.
Keep an eye out for the sea serpent across the way from the LEGO store. In the lake, you will see a 30-foot serpent that is made entirely of LEGO pieces. Over 1 million of them to be exact. On hot days, the serpent sprays mist towards passersby.
Now that you have splurged for a kids-only makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, the big kids deserve a little bit of adult fun. Near the lake and Once Upon a Toy, there is a great little cocktail bar.
They offer four varieties of margaritas: The Strawberry margarita, the Don Julio margarita, 1800 margarita, and the Ultimate margarita. You can also enjoy Piña Coladas, Rum Runners, beer, and wine.
This is a great way to cool off on a hot afternoon. Remember that the legal drinking age in the United States is 21 and that Disney has a policy of only two alcoholic beverages per person with a valid ID.
Marina & Boat Rental
To rent a boat here, you must present a Walt Disney World Resort Identification Card, passport, or valid driver’s license. Guided Bass Fishing Excursions are all sales tax exempt. Keep in mind that reservations are required for all fishing, specialty cruises, and water sports excursions. For reservations or other information, simply visit the rental window near the lake or call 407-WDW-PLAY.
There are many Disney World hotels within walking distance to the Disney Springs area. These hotels not only have a great location, but they all provide free shuttle service to the Disney parks every thirty minutes.