I spent all summer with my children. I didn’t send them to summer camp and tried to make it fun with local trips and a few out of state experiences.
Before school started we were given the opportunity to do a stay-cation at a Walt Disney Resort Hotel and experience Disney Springs. It was perfect timing, because we still needed to get our children some items & we could enjoy each other at Disney Springs & their waterpark (Typhoon Lagoon) before homework and early bedtimes started back.
When we arrived, we pulled up to the Walt Disney Beach Resort. Two words, it’s beautiful. The grounds, the lobby, the layout and the rooms. Just beautiful. I told my husband, I just want to walk through this resort real slow to take it all in.
It knocked me and my youngest son completely over. We laughed so hard because every 90 seconds, you saw someone trying to brave this monsoon of a wave and get swept away. You have to see this if you ever visit this waterpark.
The next day we started our back to school shopping experience at Disney Springs!
What is Disney Springs? Disney Springs is a themed retail, dining and entertainment center inspired by Florida’s charming waterfront towns, historic architecture and natural beauty. The sprawling promenade features 4 distinct neighborhoods―The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center—built around bubbling springs.
My family and I had the coolest opportunity. We were able to make a mini-Disney Springs video for Disney Springs!! Whaaaaaaaat! On our last day, the cameras followed us as we shopped. Check it out and if you happen to be at a Disney hotel and see us on the TV Disney Springs channel, let me know.
With over 150 offerings ranging from Disney-themed shops to noteworthy brands, you can’t see everything in one day. On this trip we were there for back to school items, so our main focus were stores that catered to our children. We visited:
- Design a Tee – the kids all designed their t-shirts for the 1st day of school.
- Melissa’s Shoes – remember the plastic jellies we had back in the day? Well, they have put a new twist on plastic. These shoes are beautiful and I am going back to get me a pair!
- Curls – We got my son’s backpack from here but you can find a range of items for your family from, Toms shoes to swimsuits, outfits & shades.
- Levi’s – in this store they have someone that can actually customize your jeans on site. They will sew patches, hem, and more. My son wanted some jean shorts to go with his T-shirt.
- Uni Glo – my first time in here felt like, “Where have you been all my life!” The prices were RIGHT and the selection was vast. It’s a two-story building that covers everything from infant to adult. I bought me a cute pants jumper for $14! My daughter was able to snag a few pair of short as well.
52! That is the number of places within Disney Springs that you can stop to eat, get a drink, a cup of coffee or have a full course meal. 52 different dining experiences. Which means, you can come multiple times and always try a new restaurant. On our first night at Disney Springs we dined at:
- Splitsville – What makes this place different is that it’s a bowling alley and restaurant. So, you can bowl while you eat. We are a competitive family, so this made my kids day that we were able to shop but stop for fun.
- Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ – We ate lunch here & our waitress advised us to get the fried chicken sandwich. We also ordered the Grilled Grouper and split it (the hubs and I), they were delicious! The kids fish plates were real pieces of tasty battered fish and not those stick like things you get a the grocery story.
- Sprinkles – All that shopping can drain you! I’m kidding, but it is an excuse to stop for a sweet treat. Who doesn’t love a good cupcake and/or ice cream scoop? Sprinkles actually lets you see people making the cupcakes in front of you or you can use the cupcake atm. Yes, a cupcake comes out of the atm. They also have vegan cupcakes too!
- Planet Hollywood – This was a last dining experience before we headed home. This place had so much going on, we didn’t know where to look. We even had a TV screen built into our table to watch upcoming previews and music videos. My husband tried the fried lasagnas, he loved it.
In Disney Springs, they actually have a Cirque du Soleil show, La Nouba. Unfortunately, after 19 years and over 8,500 performances, this show is coming to an end on December 31, 2017. My husband and I have been to about 4 different Cirque du Soleil shows, but this was a first for our children. I love how they gasped at certain performances and gave a good belly laugh when the clowns did something silly. It’s a 90 minute show with showtimes twice a day.
If Cirque du Soleil is not your thing, they have 12 other entertainment venues throughout Disney Springs. Some of which include live entertainment in the middle of the park. You could be walking, and a Disney Show will just start. It will stop you in your tracks.
Bonus – It’s Beautiful
The first time I went to Disney Springs was last year, and there were still some phases that they were completing. It was pretty then, but beautiful now. When you walk through Disney Springs, my suggestion is that you don’t rush. It’s so many stores but the scenery is amazing. Disney doesn’t do anything half way, and if you know how you feel walking through a Disney amusement park – you will have a similar feeling walking through Disney Springs. You will just feel like you are walking through an amazing community.
The fun part is, if you are staying at a Disney resort, you can actually take a boat to Disney Springs because a big part of the venue is surrounded by water.
As I said on the video, if I had to give two tips on how to shop at Disney it would be:
- Plan – We were there for back to school shopping, which means we had targeted stores in mind. That allowed us to map out where we knew we wanted to go.
- Be Spontaneous – We were also open to adding some fun into our plan with bowling (Splitsville) and Cirque du Soleil. Sometimes spontaneity brings the best memories.
One more video!! Check out my video showing clips of our full experience! I can’t wait to go back.
Have you ever been to Disney Springs? What is your favorite part?