Disney Springs is a free-to-enter entertainment and shopping complex at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Formerly known as Downtown Disney this area of the resort has been transformed in recent years into both a kid’s and adult’s adventure playground filled with fun things to do!
Since we’re no longer travelling as a couple to Disney and instead as a family of three, we’re constantly taking note of what there is to do for toddlers and young children and in the case of Disney Springs, there’s plenty!
Table of Contents
- 1. Dining At The Rainforest Cafe
- 2. Watching A Film At The AMC Cinema
- 3. Taking Flight On The Aerophile
- 4. Building & Racing Lego Cars At The Lego Store
- 5. Playing In The Splash Pad
- 6. See The New Cirque du Soleil Performance ‘Drawn To Life’
- 7. Taking A Ride In A Amphicar
- 8. Riding The Marketplace Carousel
- 9. Taking A Ride On The Marketplace Train Express
- 10. Eating Cupcakes At Sprinkles Cupcake Shop
- 11. Grabbing Chocolate Tasters From The Ghirardelli Store
- 12. Buying Toys At The World Of Disney
- 13. Getting A Make-Over At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- 14. Taking Photos With The Incredible Lego Models
- 15. Trading Pins At The Pin Trading Station
- 16. Dining Among The Dinosaurs At The T-Rex Restaurant
- 17. Building A Dino At Build A Bear Workshop
- 18. Meeting The Incredible Coca-Cola Polar Bear At The Coca-Cola Store
- 19. Grabbing Some Sweets At Candy Cauldron
- 20. Go Bowling At Splitsville Luxury Lanes
- 21. Enjoy Face Painting
- 22. Watch Candy Be Made At Goofy Candy Co.
- 23. Take A Ride Along The Lake To Another Disney Resort Property
- 24. Watch A Show On The AdventHealth Waterside Stage
- 25. Buy Something Festive From Disney’s Days Of Christmas Store
1. Dining At The Rainforest Cafe
One of the most popular places to dine with toddlers at Disney Springs is The Rainforest Cafe.
This jungle-themed restaurant is a hit with kids of all ages and has an extensive menu to choose from for both kids and adults.
Complete with realistic animatronic animals including gorillas, elephants, and tigers this is the perfect place to see your kid’s faces light up while you all enjoy a delicious meal!
Given its popularity, it’s best to book in advance on the My Disney Experience app or arrive early to ensure you get a table.
2. Watching A Film At The AMC Cinema
The AMC Cinema at Disney Springs is a great place to take your toddler for a couple of hours while you enjoy some downtime and escape the Florida heat.
With 24 Dolby cinema screens, there’s a range of current releases showing throughout the day.
And if you’re looking to grab a bite to eat during your trip to the cinema then consider booking one of the six cinema screens that offer a dine-in for an experience nobody is sure to forget!
3. Taking Flight On The Aerophile
The aerophile is a unique experience at Disney Springs which will see you take to the skies in a giant hot air balloon!
This is perfect for toddlers who love to be up high and see the world from a different perspective – but maybe not ideal for any adults scared of heights.
The ride takes you up 400 feet and lasts roughly 8 minutes in total. Tickets cost $25 per adult and $20 for children.
4. Building & Racing Lego Cars At The Lego Store
The Lego store at Disney Springs is the perfect place to take your toddler for some hands-on fun.
While the store sells a range of the latest new Lego sets and provides children with the opportunity to build Lego Minifigures it’s also somewhere children and toddlers can build cars to race.
This activity is completely free and is located just outside the store in a sheltered area out of the sun next to the Disney Store.
5. Playing In The Splash Pad
Give your toddler the chance to cool off from the hot Florida sun in the free splash pad.
Located in the Marketplace area of Disney Springs between Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Earl of Sandwich and the exit for rideshare pick-up the splash pad is a huge hit with little kids.
Just remember to pack a change of clothing or a towel to avoid spending the best part of $100 replacing wet clothes.
6. See The New Cirque du Soleil Performance ‘Drawn To Life’
Cirque du Soleil is back after a three-year hiatus with a new performance ‘Drawn to Life’.
This award-winning performance is designed to transport you into an inspiring world with Disney animation with shows available twice daily with tickets starting from $80 per person.
Tickets can be booked online in advance (recommended during peak season) or from the box office outside the large Cirque du Soleil tent.
7. Taking A Ride In A Amphicar
Head to The Boathouse restaurant to book your experience of heading out on the water in one of the few remaining luxury vintage amphicars.
This tour around the lake lasts 20 minutes and costs $125 per car with each car holding up to 3-4 people.
8. Riding The Marketplace Carousel
Climb aboard this classic Venetian merry-go-round for a timeless treat—perfect for youngsters or the young at heart.
Located in the marketplace just to the right of Earl of Sandwich and behind the Pin Trading Station, the ride lasts three minutes and costs just $3 per person.
9. Taking A Ride On The Marketplace Train Express
Nestled down across from Once Upon A Toy in the Marketplace area of Disney Springs is the iconic Marketplace Train Express.
This train lights up toddlers’ faces time and time again and at just $3 for a three-minute ride, it’s almost impossible to say no.
10. Eating Cupcakes At Sprinkles Cupcake Shop
Sprinkles has taken the common cupcake to the next level.
Choose from an extensive range of seasonal and gourmet cupcakes either in the store or using the incredible 24/7 ATM just outside the store.
11. Grabbing Chocolate Tasters From The Ghirardelli Store
Ghirardelli is one of the most popular chocolates in our household, so a trip to the Ghirardelli store while at Disney Springs is always in order.
Luckily while paroozing the latest sweet treat offerings or picking up a luxury ice cream to share we’re all able to enjoy complimentary chocolate or two from the staff who are on hand to share hints, tips and advice when it comes to picking the perfect chocolate.
12. Buying Toys At The World Of Disney
World of Disney is the largest Disney store in the world and spans across Marketplace parallel to the outdoor stage.
As such, pretty much anything and everything Disney-related you could possibly want to buy can be found here, including every toddler’s favourite, TOYS!
Of course, if nothing here takes your fancy you can experience a more curated toy shopping experience further around the marketplace at Once Upon A Toy.
13. Getting A Make-Over At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
If your little one is desperate to dress up as a Disney princess or an incredible knight then Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique offers the perfect solution.
The store at Disney Springs has recently re-opened and much like the one at Magic Kingdom offers a range of different packages to suit all budgets with prices starting from $19.95 (plus tax) and going all the way up to $450 (plus tax).
Note that a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is only available for children 3 and over. It’s also recommended you book in advance given its popularity.
14. Taking Photos With The Incredible Lego Models
There are many photo opportunities at Disney Springs, but most notable are the incredible Lego models of various Disney characters located just outside of the Lego store.
These awe-inspiring Lego models have been made from thousands upon thousands of bricks and are a great way to demonstrate to children what can be achieved with some creativity (and a whole lot of Lego!)
15. Trading Pins At The Pin Trading Station
Pin trading is an iconic Disney experience and there’s no better place to top up your collection or trade the latest pin than at the Pin Trading Station located just outside of Earl of Sandwich in the Marketplace.
We used pin trading as a fantastic confidence-boosting exercise while on vacation with my niece and nephew at Disney World recently.
They were so excited to trade with other children, adults and on the pin trading boards around the resort.
Keep in mind that the back of the pins can be sharp so younger toddlers may need to be assisted with this activity.
16. Dining Among The Dinosaurs At The T-Rex Restaurant
It’s not every day you dine alongside a 15-foot-tall T-Rex.
However, that’s exactly what you’ll experience at the incredible T-Rex restaurant.
With an extensive menu for adults and children, this is a popular restaurant choice and it’s highly recommended you book a table in advance to avoid disappointment.
After dinner don’t forget to check out the Paleo zone where budding archaeologists can dig for hidden bones and precious stones.
17. Building A Dino At Build A Bear Workshop
Also inside the T-Rex restaurant, you’ll find one of the most unique Build-A-Bear Workshops in the world; Build-A-Dino.
That’s right, this entire Build-A-Bear is dedicated not to bears but instead to dinosaurs.
Providing children with the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind Friendosaur perfect to take along on modern-day adventures.
18. Meeting The Incredible Coca-Cola Polar Bear At The Coca-Cola Store
While the Coca-Cola store provides you with the opportunity to try different Coke products from around the world, this isn’t always suitable for toddlers.
However, the opportunity to meet the Coca-Cola polar bear located on the second floor of the store is always a hit.
This is a free experience and includes a digital download – Although being a diet coke fiend I personally find it almost impossible to head through the store without buying something!
19. Grabbing Some Sweets At Candy Cauldron
Disney’s Candy Cauldron is just one of a number of places at Disney Springs that allows you to watch the confectionary be made.
Located in the west-side shopping area of Disney Springs next to Disney Styles this is the perfect place to pick up a unique sweet treat or watch the magic of sweets and cakes come to life!
20. Go Bowling At Splitsville Luxury Lanes
With a range of bowling lanes, Billards and live entertainment it’s no surprise that Splitsville is incredibly popular with those visiting Disney Springs.
Meanwhile, the laid-back bar and restaurant is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or a drink before or after your game.
21. Enjoy Face Painting
Located just around the corner from the Ghirardelli store in the Marketplace area of Disney Springs you’ll find the face painting kiosk.
Let professional face painters work their magic by choosing either a makeover or mask-style effect from a range of different designs including animals, pirates, Super Heroes and more!
22. Watch Candy Be Made At Goofy Candy Co.
Located just behind the Magical Carousel you’ll find the famous Goofy Candy Co.
This recently refurbished candy store is the perfect place to either pick up a sweet treat including fudge, gourmet cotton candy, caramel apples and more!
Alternatively, if eating candy isn’t your thing consider watching the candy being made in the open kitchen featuring a range of electronics that automate the process and leave kids and toddlers alike in awe.
23. Take A Ride Along The Lake To Another Disney Resort Property
Several on-site Disney resort properties offer a boat service from the hotel to Disney Springs.
This boat is completely free and provides guests with the perfect opportunity to get out on the water.
The boats leave from two landing locations at Disney Springs and the journeys take up to 20 minutes depending on the hotel you visit.
24. Watch A Show On The AdventHealth Waterside Stage
Located just across from the World of Disney store you’ll find the AdventHealth Waterside Stage.
This stage offers first-come, first-served seating and plays host to a range of shows including Disney Performing Arts dance troupes and live musicians which often feature a rotating lineup of regional and local faves.
25. Buy Something Festive From Disney’s Days Of Christmas Store
Ever loved Christmas so much that you wished you could experience it every day of the year?
Well at the Disney’s Day of Christmas store you can.
This store is located in the Marketplace and offers an extensive range of Christmas products including personalised baubles which are fantastic souvenirs and a way to remember an incredible family trip to the Walt Disney World Resort.