Disney Springs doesn’t tend to get as much attention as the Disney World parks. However, that doesn’t keep people from spreading rumors about the place. In fact, we’d even go so far as to say we hear more mistruths about Disney Springs alone than nearly any other aspect of Disney World! If you’re thinking about heading over to Disney Springs during your next vacation but aren’t sure if you should—perhaps because you’ve heard negative things about the shopping district—it might be time to do some fact checking. Below are the top 10 lies we hear about Disney Springs. Use this to help you sort through what’s true and what’s not.
1. The Area is New to Disney World
Many people believe that Disney Springs is a relatively new addition to Disney World. While there is some truth to this statement, it isn’t actually 100% true. You see, the area that is now Disney Springs has been around as an entertainment district for a long time now. However, it has been through many iterations, the latest being the relatively new Disney Springs—it’s only the name that’s new-ish.
2. There’s No Theme
In the Disney parks, everything is themed. Heck, even the bathrooms fit the theme of their surrounding areas. Some people seem to think that Disney Springs strays from this norm that is set throughout the resort, but boy, are they wrong. Disney Springs actually has a very solid backstory and a matching theme running throughout it.
3. It’s Not Worth Your Time
Honestly, if you’re taking a very short trip, this one might be accurate. We don’t recommend spending precious vacation hours at Disney Springs if you’ll only be at Walt Disney World for 3 or 4 days. That said, those who are visiting for a week or more should absolutely make time to see the shopping district. Not only is it a ton of fun, it’s absolutely free to enter, making it a great way to stay entertained for an extra day without adding a day to your park tickets.
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4. It’s Always Too Crowded
People who’ve only ever been to Disney Springs on a Friday or Saturday evening might be under the impression that the place is just too darn crowded. Yes, it is absolutely crowded on weekend evenings—however, this area is rarely crowded during the week, especially in the morning and early afternoon. Therefore, if crowds bother you, we recommend simply planning your visit for a weekday morning rather than a Friday night.
5. You Can Ride a Bus Over from the Parks
The Disney World transportation system is really fantastic. It allows you to travel all over the property without ever getting behind the wheel. Unfortunately, if you wish to travel from a park to Disney Springs, you will have to do a bit more work for it. There is no bus that runs directly between the parks and the Springs. Instead, you have to ride to a resort hotel first and then ride a bus from the hotel to the shopping area.
6. There’s Nothing for Kids to Do
As Disney Springs is a shopping and dining destination, many assume that kids would be bored to death during a visit there. Fortunately, this definitely isn’t the case. In fact, there’s plenty for young visitors to enjoy. We recommend taking younger shoppers to the LEGO Store, as well as the enormous World of Disney Store. Other fantastic options include Once Upon a Toy and the many sweets shops. Of course, T-Rex and Rainforest Cafe are both fabulous dining options for young visitors, and the bowling alley and movie theater provide entertainment for when the kids get tired of shopping.
7. You Won’t Find Anything Unique
Yes, Disney parks are full of gift shops, and yes, a lot of the same merchandise found in the parks can be found in Disney Springs. That said, there are also hundreds of items sold in Disney Springs that cannot be found in the parks. This means there most certainly is a reason to check out this shopping area, and it means that if you see something you love, you should grab it rather than wait until the next time you see it. There may not be a next time.
8. All Shops are Owned by Disney
Think Disney puts out all of the merchandise in Disney Springs? We can understand why you would think so, but this simply isn’t the case. While there are plenty of Disney-run stores, there are also dozens of outside merchants offering all kinds of fun goodies that have nothing at all to do with Disney. This makes the experience a well-rounded one and ensures there is plenty to look at.
9. Everything is Too Expensive
We aren’t going to tell a lie of our own and say that there aren’t expensive things in Disney Springs. Just as you would expect from any Disney-run entertainment district, most things are super pricey. That said, there is some budget-friendly fun to be had. The AMC Theater offers discounted tickets on Tuesdays, the Ghirardelli chocolate shop offers free samples, and during the holiday season there is a fabulous trail of trees and a Santa meet-and-greet. These are just a handful of the cheap things to do while visiting this area.
10. You Need to Have a Plan and Reservations
We’re the first to tell you that you need to have some sort of plan in place before heading into a Disney park. That said, we don’t really feel that way about Disney Springs. Instead, go in ready to relax and wander. See the shops that seem interesting, skip those that don’t, and choose a dining location that has availability or offers counter service. This will make for a nice, easygoing day in the middle of what is likely to be a more rigid and hectic vacation schedule.