Disney Springs is the premier shopping and dining area at the Walt Disney World Resort. Spanning 120 acres of shops, restaurants, entertainment and more, the place is filled to the brim with different options. However, with only three meals in a day, it’s impossible to hit them all. This massive variety can get almost overwhelming for first-timers (or 50th-timers) who are unsure what to expect from each place.
In this blog, I’m going to try to make things easier for you by laying out my favorite go-tos for anything you’re looking for at Disney Springs. I’ll be going over my favorite restaurants on both the cheaper and finer end, show you where you can find the coolest bars and drinks, and then even give you some sweet spots (pun intended) if you’ve saved room for dessert. I hope that by the time we’re done, I’ve given you a handful of unique ideas for your group to try on your next visit.
Faster, More Affordable Dining Options at Disney Springs
I’ll start with dining on the less expensive side. Although these spots are not table service, they still offer some great food and unique dining experiences. As someone that’s always on the run and likes to save a bit when it comes to dining, I usually opt for quick-service locations-especially when it comes to Disney Springs. Typically known for it’s great sit downs, they also have a ton of fast dining options that are really great.
- D-Luxe Burger: This burger joint is located exclusively in Disney Springs. The restaurant is themed around Central Florida cattle ranching featuring a rustic cowboy style. D-Luxe Burger takes your stereotypical quick-service burger and flips it on its head. The burgers are a great size and feature fresh beef and ingredients. You really can taste the quality in these “gourmet” sandwiches. Pair a tasty burger with beautiful vistas of the springs from the outdoor seating area, and you’ve got yourself an amazing lunch-without breaking the bank. The shakes are also great as well. You’ll find D-Luxe Burger in the newer “springs” area in the Town Center.
- Chicken Guy!: This restaurant specializes in all things chicken. It’s Food Network star Guy Fieri’s pet project, so you know the food is going to be at a high standard. The main entree is the chicken tenders, and although I’m already fond of this simple meal, Guy’s take on them is truly delicious and different. The tenders are noticeably fresh and have a crispy outer with great unique seasoning. The sauce options are another highlight. They have a menu of their own, and each one is hand crafted by the restaurant. I recommend giving the secret sauce a try. There are a couple other Chicken Guy! locations scattered around the U.S., but they are few and far between. I’d recommend taking the chance to try it on a trip to the Springs. The restaurant is located on the side of Planet Hollywood. It’s a small location that fills up quickly especially around meal times, so keep that in mind.
- Disney Springs Food Trucks: Think your average food truck, but Disney-fied. These food trucks have specialty items with unique offerings that set them apart. The three main trucks right now are 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck, Hot Diggity Dogs, and Mac & Cheese. Each of these food trucks has solid meal choices. They’re also a great option for groups with people of many different palettes. I consider myself a mac & cheese aficionado, and the Chicken Parmesan Mac & Cheese gets my stamp of approval. Portions are certainly large enough to make a meal out of, but won’t leave you weighed down as you jump from shop to shop. The food trucks are nestled in the heart of the West Side of the Springs, between AMC and Starbucks.
Signature Restaurants at Disney Springs
Now I’ll move over into the bread and butter (will the puns ever end) of Disney Springs, the table-service dining. As you probably know, this area is littered with great restaurants around every corner. My top picks will hopefully help widdle down the long list for you. I opted to pick out specific dining experiences that are truly special and worthy of your time at Disney Springs.
- THE BOATHOUSE: This upscale restaurant sits right on the water overlooking the lake. Adequately named, the restaurant is an ode to all things boating. The large outdoor seating area houses a doc with boats that can be rented for tours on the water. THE BOATHOUSE’s iconic amphicars take off into the water to the side of the restaurant and are a fun sight as you eat. On the inside, some tables are actually themed to look like they’re inside of a boat. These tables are usually popular (so I would mention it if you call ahead for a reservation). The restaurant captures a classy vintage nautical theme that is super neat and clean. In terms of food, THE BOATHOUSE specializes in all things seafood. The restaurant prides itself on their seafood freshness, and it has the right to. Another staple are the steaks here. All the food is amazing, and seafood lovers will be in heaven.
- Raglan Road: This Irish restaurant is a staple in Disney Springs. The overall experience really is something different and makes it worth the trip. There is a large stage in the center of the restaurant with live performances and entertainment by Irish bands seven nights a week. These performances are fun for the whole family and are very engaging. The Irish pub style theming gives a fancy wooden aesthetic to the whole place. The food here, like the rest of the restaurant, is Irish style, but they have a lot of different options for those that aren’t huge into beef. People from anywhere can enjoy and become Irish for the day and dive into the culture. This is a great place for kids and adults to come together for a night of dancing, fun, and great food.
- Wine Bar George: This restaurant doubles as a bar and winery and is definitely more of a high scale date night as opposed to a family outing. When you get there though, prepare to be wowed. For wine connoisseurs and casual restaurant-goers alike, Wine Bar George has a dazzling array of wines and perfect pairings for a delightful evening meal or light brunch. The main entree menu is a bit limited, but I recommended instead trying a few of the delicious small-plates or boards. The servers here are incredibly knowledgeable and will walk you through the experience to make sure you’re satisfied with foods, drinks, and pairings, so don’t fear if you’re not a wine expert. If you’re looking to add some flair to your next Disney Springs trip and impress your special someone, there’s no better place than Wine Bar George.
Best Places to Grab a Drink in Disney Springs
After a long day in Disney World, you need a nice spot to grab a drink. Luckily, you don’t have to look far in Disney Springs. There are some awesome spots, some of which are pretty hidden.
- Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar: This bar is a highlight in Disney Springs for a couple of reasons. One, the theming is amazing. Indiana Jones fans will especially love this hangar-themed hole in the wall full of artifacts and various details from the films. Jock Lindsey was Indy’s personal pilot throughout the saga, and the story is that he finally settled down and opened a bar after years of adventures. Items from said adventures litter the bar and add to an exciting, rich atmosphere. There are cool, random things to look at from all angles and sides. I could spend pages highlighting all the fun easter eggs and references, but I’ll let you take a look around and discover them for yourself. The signature cocktails are equally funky and fun. They have drinks for the more adventurous, along with classics for those who prefer simpler cocktails. No matter what you go for, you’re bound to have some fun at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.
- Coca-Cola Store Rooftop Beverage Bar: This one is a hidden gem that many people don’t know about. Located on the top of the Coca-Cola Store, this rooftop bar provides an elevated place to hangout with some great birds-eye views of the Springs. The bar also has a large selection of non-alcoholic beverages and is kid-friendly. As you can probably imagine, the bar has drinks made from coke products, along with frozen icees which are perfect on a hot summer day. With cool views and cool drinks, this rooftop bar is a unique place to get a drink in Disney Springs.
- Dockside Margaritas: This small stand in the central Marketplace area is a great place to get a quick drink if you’re on the move around Disney Springs. They have a couple great margarita’s with some twists, and places to sit bordering the water. The frozen strawberry margarita is a life saver on hot days. Whether you’re planning on sitting and enjoying some of the live-entertainment the bar provides, or just grabbing a marg on the go, Dockside Margaritas provides great utility and great margaritas.
Sweet Treats at Disney Springs
To cap off the day, you got to try something to feed your sweet tooth. Like everything else, Disney Springs has something to satisfy any of your dessert cravings.
- Gideon’s Bakeshop: This bakery is a recent addition to the Springs, and a popular one at that. Gideon’s has taken the internet by storm with their delectable cookie creations, and they do indeed live up to the hype. If you’re willing to brave the long lines, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing dessert. The interior and lore of Gideon’s is also worth noting. It’s an eerie gothic theme that’s unexpected but interesting. Overall, if you can get in, it’s worth it for some great and unique pastries.
- Sprinkles Cupcakes: Ever used a cupcake vending machine? Well if not, Sprinkles will be your first. Their distinct pastry process has made them famous-that and the fact they exclusively do cupcakes. To stay in business with only one product, you know they have to be good! The cupcake vending machine is an experience in-and-of-itself. Sprinkles will wow the entire family. A fun concept and yummy cupcakes.
- Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew: Another new dessert shop to recently come to the Springs. Disney has really stepped up their dessert offerings recently. This time, it’s in the form of specialty donuts. They have your more traditional choices, but specialize in their bizarre donut creations. From the coconut dream to the maple bacon, if you have a sweet craving, they’ve got it-with a pastry that has a hole in the middle. The specialty donuts are huge and very filling, so they’re great for sharing. This is Disney’s answer to the ever-so-popular Voodoo Donuts at Universal’s Citywalk. The cold brew here is also really good if you need a good caffeinated pick-me-up.
Disney Springs is a shopping and dining destination in Walt Disney World. No matter who you are or what you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find it somewhere here. You really can’t go wrong wherever you end up, but I hope you can take some ideas from this blog to find a couple of the truly amazing spots around Disney Springs. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
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