Top 10 Must-Do's at Disney Springs in Orlando

Mickey and Minnie Mouse on stage for the grand opening of Maria and Enzo's Ristorante
Maria and Enzo’s Ristorante (Photo: Patina Restaurant Group)

With four distinct neighborhoods and more than 150 restaurants, retailers and fun activities, Disney Springs™ at Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando offers a world of possibilities — one that continues to expand with each passing year. To help you make the most of your time at the walkable entertainment district, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 things you must try at least once at Disney Springs, including balloon rides, celebrity chefs, amphicars and more.

Also, keep in mind that Disney Springs boasts easy access and free covered parking. Just be sure to make a note of where you parked before exploring everything there is to experience at this fun, imaginative setting.

1. Celebrity Chefs

dining room at Morimoto Asia restaurant in Disney Springs
Morimoto Asia (Photo: Patina Restaurant Group)

Orlando has become a magnet for celebrity chef-owned restaurants in recent years, and you’ll find more at Disney Springs than anywhere else in the destination.

Current headliners include the farm-to-table freshness of Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen, inventive fusions at Masaharu Morimoto’s Morimoto Asia, authentic tastes of Italy at Tony Mantuano’s Terralina Crafted Italian, a line of burgers and sandwiches from Guy Fieri at Planet Hollywood, and Fieri’s all-new Chicken Guy. And though world-famous Master Sommelier George Miliotes isn’t technically a celebrity chef, his Wine Bar George serves tasty fare in addition to an incredible selection of wine.

Disney Springs also features Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina and Wolfgang Puck’s Wolfgang Puck Express. In 2018, Puck will debut the all-new Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, focusing on Californian cuisine, while José Andrés will bring the flavors of Spain to Disney Springs when he opens Jaleo.

2. Amphicar Tours

What’s an amphicar, you ask? Pretty much what it sounds like: a cross between a car and a boat that can travel on land and sea. Fewer than 400 of these James Bond-esque conveyances still exist, but you can experience what it’s like to travel in one via Disney Springs’ Amphicar Tours, hosted by The Boathouse!

After you climb aboard, an experienced captain will drive you onto Lake Buena Vista, where you’ll enjoy a 25-minute tour of Disney Springs’ landmarks and natural beauty. For an even classier option, book one of The Boathouse’s Venezia Tours, which take place aboard an elegant, 40-foot Italian water taxi.

3. The Edison and Enzo’s Hideaway

Empty bar area at Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar & Restaurant
Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar & Restaurant (Photo: Patina Restaurant Group)

Nights in Orlando have been more electric since The Edison debuted — and it’s not just because the restaurant, lounge and nightlife hotspot looks as if it was built inside a converted power plant! Instead, live entertainment brings the sizzle and serves as a vibrant complement to The Edison’s signature cocktails and upscale American fare. Burlesque is even on the menu during weekend evenings, when a dress code is in effect and entry is limited to guests 21 and up.

Head downstairs from The Edison for Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar & Restaurant, a speakeasy with a semi-hidden entrance, Prohibition-era cocktails and a hearty menu. You can enjoy even more of “Enzo’s” cooking at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, which is upstairs next to The Edison.

4. Star Wars and Marvel Merchandise

It’s easy to feel the Force at Disney Springs thanks to Star Wars Galactic Outpost and Star Wars Trading Post. They offer clothing, toys, accessories, art and other products based on the famous galaxy far, far away, including exclusives you can only get in Orlando.

For fans of Marvel’s comic books and movies, Super Hero Headquarters promises a smashing good time. Like Disney Springs’ Star Wars shops, this super store is packed with merchandise that True Believers won’t want to miss. Avengers assemble!

5. Helium Balloon Rides

View of the lake and helium balloon rides from the Boathouse restaurant at Disney Springs

Disney Springs doesn’t just promise adventure by land and sea via amphicars, but also by air courtesy of Aerophile. This attraction uses an Aéro30 helium balloon, which you can board for a relaxing ascent that will take you 400 feet in the air.

While you’re up there, enjoy gorgeous views of Orlando’s landscape — including Disney’s theme parks! For a fun family game, see how many iconic landmarks you can spot while you’re floating high in the sky on Disney Springs’ beautiful balloon.

6. World-Famous Retailers and One-of-a-Kind Gems

If you love to shop, you’re going to adore the more than 100 retailers at Disney Springs. Available options cover just about every style preference and budget, including everything from coveted brand names to unique boutiques to exclusive Disney collectibles.

Whether you want to browse the latest designs at Alex and Ani, pick up some fashionable headwear at Chapel Hats, shop for championship sports apparel at Trophy Room, or even buy a motorcycle at Harley-Davidson, you’ll find it all and a lot more at Disney Springs!

7. Themed Restaurants

Planet Hollywood Observatory interior
Planet Hollywood Observatory

You know how Disney’s theme parks in Orlando are filled with fantastical environments designed to whisk you away from the world you know to ones you normally only dream of? They brought the same magic to Disney Springs — particularly when it comes to themed restaurants.

Take Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, for example. Based on the blockbuster Indiana Jones films, it’s named after and allegedly owned by the pilot who flew Jones to safety in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Inside, you can marvel at artifacts from Jones and Lindsey’s travels while enjoying food and beverages inspired by their adventures.

Other themed restaurants you’ll want to try at Disney Springs include Rainforest Cafe and T-REX, as well as the aforementioned Enzo’s Hideaway, Planet Hollywood and The Edison.

8. Free Live Entertainment

crowd watching performer at The Edison
The Edison (Photo: Patina Restaurant Group)

Are you not entertained? Then head to Disney Springs, which hosts free, live performances every day of the week — including many opportunities for you to become part of the show! Keep an eye out for special events at the district’s Waterview Park, Sunshine Highline, Springs Overlook and Riverboat Square areas, with singing, DJ sets, performance art and more making appearances.

Also, keep in mind that many of Disney Springs’ eateries offer complimentary live entertainment for guests. Standouts include authentic Latin music and dancing at Bongo’s Cuban Cafe, traditional Irish singing at Raglan Road, burlesque at The Edison and more.

9. Splitsville Luxury Lanes

If you love to bowl and you’re coming to Orlando, we have three words for you: Splitsville Luxury Lanes. The two-story, 50,000-square-foot bowling and dining venue is perfect for people of all ages, and a great addition to your attractions and entertainment must-do list.

Splitsville’s atmosphere is a rare combination of upscale modern and nostalgic kitsch, complete with 30 bowling lanes, billiards, live entertainment and indoor/outdoor seating. Splitsville also offers an eclectic menu that features everything from fresh-rolled sushi and steak chimichurri to traditional favorites like mouthwatering cheeseburgers and hand-tossed pizzas.

10. House of Blues

Crowd watching band performing at the House of Blues
House of Blues

Home to world-renowned musical acts and artists, House of Blues is a cultural and musical mecca, where Southern cuisine and live music converge. Regional, national and international acts have all performed concerts in this famous venue to the delight of visitors and locals. Whether you’re planning a visit to see your favorite band, or popping in for a bite at the Blues Kitchen, House of Blues retains its hip and funky vibe.

What’s more, Sundays at House of Blues are for the World Famous Gospel Brunch. At this weekly event, enjoy traditional and modern gospel music while partaking in a tempting buffet featuring comfort food classics like peel-and-eat shrimp, biscuits and gravy, banana bread pudding and more. And one more thing: Did we mention it’s all-you-can-eat?

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