Where the Locals Like to Shop and Dine When Not on Disney Property

Locals taking time out from shopping
Credit: Winter Park Park Avenue

Have you ever wondered where Disney World locals head to when they aren’t actively visiting the parks or hanging out at Disney Springs? It may be difficult to believe that anyone would even want to go anywhere else, but there are in fact alternative places that area residents like to head to for shopping, dining, and more low-key experiences in general. So, what are these other venues so worthy of garnering the patronage of those who live in the heart of Disney magic full-time? We have six examples to share with you.

6. Orlando Vineyard Premium Outlets

Here’s another spot locals head to for great outlet shopping all in one spot. Orlando Vineyard Premium Outlets seemingly has it all, whether you come out for a daylong shopping excursion among popular brand name chain stores or seek to find specialty shops with something unique to offer. And yes, they too play host to an awesome Disney Outlet store as well!  Additionally, you can delight in delicious dining right onsite as you shop and even take a little time out to let the kiddies play within an area designated just for them. Learn more about all the dining, shopping, and other experiences awaiting you here by clicking on this link.

Orlando Premium Outlets
Credit: Orlando Escape

5. Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores

Just two miles from Walt Disney World Resort is this other contested favorite of Orlando residents. Quoted as being one of the “best-kept secrets for outlet deals,” the shops here comprise a wide range of famous brand names boasting factory-direct merchandise sometimes up to 75% less than regular pricing. Counter-service eateries and full-service restaurants alike offer up plenty of possibilities for hungry shoppers looking to spend the day here too. Click here to learn even more.

Lake Buena Vista Shopping
Credit: Experience Kissimmee

4. Park Avenue Winter Park

Move over Park Avenue, New York! Did you know that Winter Park, Florida has its very own Park Avenue? A highly hailed cultural gem amongst locals, this district of shopping, dining, and seasonal entertainment is the place you want to go to experience life in Florida the way the locals do it. Set within a quaint, extended commerce-laden community of sorts, Park Avenue Winter Park boasts 140 boutiques, along with several delightful dining spots, museums, and other points of interest worth checking out. It’s also the site for numerous ongoing special events and cultural happenings throughout the community. Visitors here will frequently find live entertainment performances and concerts taking place, along with seasonal art shows and other events. It’s also a hopping place to be for holiday happenings. Read more about all that Park Avenue has to offer by clicking here.

Park Avenue, Winter Park
Credit: Park Avenue Winter Park

3. East End Market

For a truly authentic small business/neighborhood-like experience, just head on over to Orlando’s East End Market. Located within the Audubon Park Garden District, this market, which is housed within a large, two-story edifice, is the ultimate hub to visit if you want to see some of the best local entrepreneurs in the region. From culinary masters to talented artisans, you’ll be in absolute awe by the diverse setups and all the amazing demonstrations of talent to behold, and all under one roof at that! In addition to the multitude of merchants here, East End Market also proudly boasts a demonstration and incubator kitchen, a large event space, pop-ups and permanent shops alike, offices, and is even the site for an award-winning caterer and world-class ramen restaurant–DOMU. To learn more about East End Market, visit their website.

East End Market in Orlando
Credit: East End Market (Facebook)

Related: In Search For More than the Disney Store: Disney Antiquing

2. Florida Mall

One of the top-rated mall experiences for anyone living within the greater Orlando area can be found at the one and only “state” mall. More than 250 stores create the diverse make-up of this mega shopping center, brimming with both well-known big-name chain stores as well as unique novelty shops. There are even some very unique standout entertainment exclusives to be enjoyed right on site as well. Some of these include Selfie World Orlando, two “parks” (the Play Park and Game Park), and the Crayola Experience—an interactive hands-on family-fun attraction that’s all about creativity. And as is always the case, you can enjoy delicious dining on-site as well, with both convenient counter picks at the food court as well as full-service restaurants. Find out more about Florida Mall by clicking here.

1. The Mall at Millenia

Another top-rated mall within the greater Orlando area is that famed Mall at Millenia of the legend you may have heard about. Owned by the Forbes Company and with more than 150 stores to its credit—many of which include big-name luxury anchors—It goes without saying this mega center lives up to the meaning of overall upscale shopping. But shopping isn’t the only great thing about coming here. The mall is also host to a broad range of dining options for those looking to make a day out of the experiences to be enjoyed here. Learn more about the Mall of Millenia by visiting their website link.

Mall of Millennia
Credit: Visitor Orlando

Related: Selective Souvenir Shopping at Walt Disney World

Whether you are a recently relocated located “new” resident of Orlando, a visitor on an extended stay, or just someone looking to step off Disney property from time to time, there are plenty of other venues to visit within greater Orlando in addition to these. And if shopping isn’t your thing, take note that there are also a host of day trip explorations worth considering as well. The greater Orlando area is a place of wonder indeed, which is why the magic of Disney is so well-suited to this part of the world, after all.

About Laura

Laura Catherine aka “LC” is a writer who resides in Maryland with her family and several pets. She visits Walt Disney World whenever she can. Additionally, she is a published author of three novels, a children’s book, and has a passion for gardening.

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