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Reasons to Head to Disney Springs This Holiday Season

While it is traditionally Thanksgiving that marks the official start to the holiday season, it’s Black Friday that really sets off the gift-finding frenzy that signifies what has commonly been deemed the most wonderful time of year. And if you just happen to be visiting the most magical place on Earth around the most wonderful time of year, then you are doubly blessed. Disney has a way of replacing all that crazy shopping exasperation with experiences to be enjoyed to the fullest extent. While you will still find plenty of novelty shops and exclusive items throughout the various Parks and resorts, Disney Springs remains hands down the ultimate shopping destination. So is it any wonder that you should check it out at some point during your magical holiday visit to Walt Disney World Resort? From Black Friday onward into the holiday season rush, here’s a sampling of what you can expect to find at Disney Springs this year.

Related: Fun Ideas For A “Halloweekend” At Disney Springs


Holiday Feasting

Thanksgiving Day may be the main attraction as far as feasting goes this week, but in many respects, Black Friday begins Thanksgiving evening. Therefore, it goes without saying that the restaurant scene will be hopping just prior to the time when shoppers begin crowding in. Many such locations have already publicly announced their plans to provide an all-out Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. Some, however, are even carrying out specials throughout the weekend—keeping enthusiastic shoppers fueled and ready to go. One example is City Works Eatery & Pour House, which in addition to providing hearty Thanksgiving feasting on November 25th will be offering up a special Black Friday Brunch on November 26th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you love their regularly offered Rock n’ Roll Weekend Brunches, you’re going to love this!

City Works
Photo credit Disney


Related: Celebrate Oktoberfest with a Limited Time Menu at City Works Eatery & Pour House in Disney Springs


Sweet Treats

Plenty of venues throughout Disney Springs offer sweet treats any time of year, but this extra-special season merits exceptionally special sweet treats, which Disney Springs is scrounging up in plentiful supply! From now through the end of December, here are just some of the places where you will find limited-time holiday specialties to indulge in:

  • Amorette’s Patisserie
  • AristoCrêpes
  • City Works Eatery & Pour House
  • The Daily Poutine
  • D-Luxe Burger
  • Dockside Margaritas
  • Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew
  • The Ganachery
  • Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
  • Gideon’s Bakehouse
  • Jock Lindseys’ Holiday Bar
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Marketplace Snacks
  • The Polite Pig
  • Sprinkles
  • Starbucks at Disney Springs Marketplace
  • Starbucks at Disney Springs West Side
  • Vivoli il Gelato
Credit: The Polite Pig Facebook


Store Sales

This one is obvious. But what may not be obvious is that special Black Friday deals aren’t limited to Friday; they will be ongoing throughout the holiday season. Disney Springs offers up the most versatile shopping experiences, encompassing a diverse series of specialty Disney venues and high-end popular chains combined into a single setting. And we’re not even mentioning all those one-of-a-kind in-store happenings! The stores located at Disney Springs deliver magic that you wouldn’t normally find at the same establishment within a typical shopping mall or center.


Related: List of Disney Springs Discounts for Thanksgiving Week & Beyond


Christmas Tree Stroll

Here’s a fun and festive activity for your family to take part in this year. It’s the annual Christmas Tree Stroll featuring familiar favorites and new themes alike. Like last year’s event, this year’s adventure will feature specialty-themed trees spread out all throughout Disney Springs rather than being confined to one location. That makes it an active self-guided holiday tour of sorts. Anyone can participate, and it is free to do so. Just pick up a complimentary map detailing where to locate the featured trees from one of the following distribution points: The Boathouse, Basin, Under Armor Brand House, City Works Eatery & Pour House, Amorette’s Patisserie, or Planet Hollywood. The Christmas Tree Stroll is presented by AdventHealth and can be enjoyed anytime now through December 30th.

Christmas Tree Trail
Photo credit Disney


Related: Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll Returns for the Holiday Season


Live Entertainment

Disney Springs is famous for featuring live entertainment year-round, from specified in-house dining venues to outdoor stage locations that are free and open to the public. This time of year, however, you will find onsite DJs cranking up the festive tunes with seasonal themed melodies and hits to maximize your shopping and strolling experience. During the evening hours, you can also count on seeing various performers out and about, including snowflake skaters and toy soldier stilt-walkers.


Drawn to Life: Cirque du Soleil

One of the most highly-anticipated happenings at Disney Springs has premiered at last. The new Drawn to Life: Cirque du Soleil stage show just opened on November 18th, and it is everything it said it would be, plus so much more. While Disney Springs is no stranger to featuring Cirque du Soleil shows in the past, this new presentation is a first of its kind, as it is a collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Walt Disney Imagineering. The result is a spectacle comprised of artistry and illustration paired with stunning acrobatic feats.

Credit: interpark.co.uk


Related: New Video Shares a Behind the Scenes Look at Cirque du Soleil’s “Drawn to Life” in Disney Springs


Santa Experiences

Seeing Santa is a holiday tradition for many children each year. And while meeting Mickey Mouse is a special experience in its own right, we can all admit that it isn’t a substitute for the big man in red. And if you happen to be at Disney World during the holiday season, you may rest assured that your little one will still have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus at Disney Springs, now through December 24th. He will be onsite at Once Upon A Toy for photo ops set against a beautiful backdrop. Hours in which he will appear are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. now through December 14th. Following that, hours will be 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. from December 15th through December 24th. In addition to appearing at Once Upon A Toy, Santa has made plans to attend two breakfast events. The first will take place on December 11th at T-REX Café and the second will be at Rainforest Café in the Disney Springs Marketplace on December 18th.


Related: Santa Claus Sightings Coming to Disney Springs This Holiday Season


Ongoing Toy Drive

The Walt Disney Company has been proudly supporting the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation for well over 70 years now. And the tradition continues this year with the Disney Ultimate Toy Drive of $500,000. As a way of providing toys to needy children this holiday season, Disney is encouraging Guests in Disney Springs to consider contributing a new, unwrapped toy at one of the following designated drop-off locations: World of Disney, Marketplace Co-op, Star Wars Galactic Outpost, or the Disney Springs Welcome Center. Visit Disney.com/toydrive to find out more.

Credit: Disney

If you are lucky enough to be at Disney World this holiday season, then you won’t want to pass on the opportunity to spend a day or more at Disney Springs. In addition to all that is going on seasonally, Disney Springs remains a social hub laden with unique ongoing activities, events, and desirable diversions galore. Its magic knows no seasonal limitations.

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