Formerly the nightclub area of Walt Disney World, Downtown Disney went through a huge transformation after the closing Pleasure Island. Refocusing its attention to becoming a more family-friendly destination, this shopping and dining area had somewhat of an identity struggle. However, this all changed back in 2016. The reimagined and reinvented Disney Springs drew in more guests than ever before to enjoy the new retailers, dining options, and thematic expansions. The entirety of Disney Springs is a gem, but today we’re going to focus on the joy of dining here. For Disney foodies that can never pass up a reservation at California Grill or ‘Ohana, there are some strong contenders.
1. Theme Park Experience Without a Theme Park Ticket
For guests who are looking for a break for their wallet, dining at Disney Springs can be just as immersive as spending an entire day at a theme park. For example, the T-Rex Café transports guests to prehistoric days with its life-sized dinosaurs and a glittering ice cave that experiences meteor showers! The 1920s themed establishment, The Edison, immerses guests in a 1920s era speakeasy with libations and entertainment for Jay Gatsby himself. And the Raglan Road Irish pub is as authentic as any international table-service restaurant in EPCOT’s World Showcase. Whether you are there to eat your fill or just sip on a cocktail, the options are practically endless. In fact, you can almost consider Disney Springs to be the only park with free admission.
2. Food and Wine Festival All Year Long
Ok, so Disney Springs may not offer an actual EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, but it offers the next best thing! With the endless option of lounges, quick-service spots, and inventive food trucks – you can easily snack and drink your way around the entire district. (And you’ll get much larger portions.) Favorite snacking locations include Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar, Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar, The Ganachery, and Vivoli il Gelato. Best of all, as you sip and nibble your way through the snacks, you can enjoy the array of live musicians and performers. Trust us. An entire evening (even an entire day) could be spent just doing this.
3. Romantic Date Night Options
While some restaurants are immersive enough to feel like a miniature park, there are minimalist romantic options for those without children. With a wide array of fine dining options, Disney Springs has become a great destination for honeymooners and foodies. As mentioned earlier, there are many lounges and bars to enjoy a pre or post-dinner cocktail. Regarding dinner itself, The Boathouse, Morimoto Asia, and Paddlefish all excel in ambiance and mouthwatering menus. After a peaceful stroll, cozy up with your sweetheart over dessert at the Ghirardelli ice cream shop. And if you’re not ready to turn in, stop in the chic nightclub, STK Orlando, or check out the rotating entertainers at The Edison. Whatever you’re craving, there’s a perfect spot for an evening with that special someone.
4. A Night of Family Fun
Although Disney World can be an intimate destination, it was originally conceived for families. This means that the restaurants aren’t only well-themed and delicious, they’re kid-friendly. The aforementioned T-Rex Café is very popular for families, along with its tropical sister, The Rain Forest Café. Splitsville Luxury Lanes combines quality comfort-food with a night of bowling. D-Luxe Burgers is an affordable spot that is ideal for picky eaters with its menu of sandwiches, fries, and ice cream. And Blaze Pizza is another budget-friendly option that lets your kids create personal pizzas. To clinch the deal, top any of these meals off with a fresh, sugary Sprinkles cupcake for dessert! Covering a variety of taste buds and budgets, these restaurants are bound to earn cool points from the kiddos.
5. Peek Into Disney’s Future
The future of WDW is as bright and innovative as it was during Walt’s time. The parks are expanding, ride technology is advancing beyond our wildest dreams, and Disney is aging out of its childish reputation. Additions like the improved and sophisticated Disney Springs only solidifies the direction we are heading in. With this new slew of eateries, long gone are the days where theme parks can skate by on frozen French fries and pizza. Gone are the days where vacation destinations can play it safe and still keep the guests returning. You see, the fabulous restaurants in Disney Springs don’t only show that Disney Dining is improving. It shows that Disney is improving as a whole.
On that note, Disney Springs is absolutely a must-do for all future vacations. Honestly, you’ll need more than one evening to experience even a fraction of what Disney Springs has to offer! Make room in your itinerary now. You won’t regret it.
$7.96 with discount
$6.36 with discount
$7.96 with discount