Disney Springs, formally Downtown Disney, is a must stop location when our family is in Orlando, Florida. We visit it at least once a year for our marriage anniversary and have a great time every time we go.
The tradition started when we celebrated our first year anniversary at Disney Springs and dinned at Bongos Cuban Cafe, which we highly recommend, and absolutely loved the whole experience.
A year later we added another tradition: pick out a Christmas ornament at Disney's Days of Christmas for that current year. It's so fun choosing from all of the different options Disney has put together, we always spend a great time just trying to decide which one to take home.
Now, Disney Springs isn't just about shopping, there are tons of activities and plenty of photo opportunity locations available but the time of the year you visit will also determine the type of activities and event that are currently happening.
For that reason, our favorite time of the year to go to Disney Springs is in November because that's when Disney sets the whole place up for Christmas and there's even more entertainment to enjoy.
With that being said, it can get tricky choosing what to do and what to see if you don't have much time to explore everything. If that is your case, I have compiled a list of our family favorite things to do when visiting Disney Springs during the holiday season.
You will notice that no restaurants have been included in this list and that's totally intentional because your choice will depend on your taste buds and how much time you have available. On the other hand, if you already know which restaurants you will be dining at, reservations are highly recommended as you may be sitting for hours just waiting on a table.
12 Things to do at Disney Springs during the holiday season
If you enjoy great views then definitely head to the Coca-Cola Store for a wonderful panorama of Disney Springs.
Also, take a picture with the Coca-Cola's signature polar bear, explore two floors of super cool merchandise like a women's purse made out of Coca-Cola's recycled material then head to the roof top for a cool beverage.
From root beer floats to alcoholic beverages or just a cup of good ol' coke, the Coca Cola Rooftop Beverage bar has it all including the views.
We usually get a 16oz of fountain drink that gives us up to 5 refills for an hour, a root beer float and just kick back, relax and enjoy the scenery.
2 - Lego Store
The Lego Store is a great place for anyone with children or anyone who enjoys lego in general, which is both our case.
There are a total of three tables inside and other three outside of the store filled with legos providing kids with the chance to enjoy and play with them without purchasing it.
Honestly, the Lego store it's always the place my children enjoy the most, they would spend hours there if we'd let them, they always complain when it's time to leave but then we bribe them with chocolate.
3 - Ghirardelli
This is how we bribe the children with chocolate: Free samples at Ghirardelli!
The Chocolate shop is literally just steps away from the lego store and each person that walks in gets a free sample.
We also usually head over to their ice cream shop which is right next to the chocolate shop and get a Treasure Island Warm Brownie Sundae and an Ocean Beach Sea Salt Caramel Sundae treat for our family of five. They are a bit pricey (about $12 per sundae) but the portions are big and totally shareable.
As mentioned earlier, Disney's Days of Christmas is one of our traditions to stop by and pick up a tree ornament for the year. There is so much Christmas merchandise to choose from and you can also add your own personalized touch to some of the ornaments.
For example, we always get an ornament with the current year on it but you can also write a name, a cute little message and pretty much whatever you want and that fits on it.
All of the customized work is done by a Disney artist right at the store and you are more than welcome to watch while your keepsake is being personalized just for you.
5 - Live Entertainment
From magicians to musicians and even DJ's, Disney Springs is a great place for a night time stroll and best of all, these live events are totally free.
There are a total of 6 stage and each one features a different artist/event Here's a list of all of them so you don't miss out on anything:
6 - Uniqlo
Uniqlo has Disney authentic and exclusive attires for the entire family at an affordable price. You can score great prices on clothes, accessories and several other items.
The store usually also features great discounts and deals as well as giveaways, so be sure to stop by and explore both floors to find the best deals on Disney gear.
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7 - World of Disney
Not necessarily bargain prices but if you are looking for anything specific that it is related to Disney then you will probably find it at this store. From Mickey & Minnie Mouse ears to home decor and plush animals, this store has everything Disney!
It is also beautiful on the inside and great for pictures. Some of the stuff you find here you may not find it anywhere else, not even in the parks so be sure to get it or you may not have the opportunity to buy it again.
Stop by the window of the Disney's Candy Cauldron to see how their delicious treats are made and decorated by their bonbon maestros as Disney calls them, then head inside to see the final results and get a taste of it.
If you love art and Disney then you'll have a great time at the Art of Disney Store. Filled with art pieces, paintings and collectibles available for purchase that you only find it there!
Even if you don't intend to buy anything, the store is literally an art galley so just enjoy it as such.
Now, if you really are in the market for great Disney art then I highly recommend asking someone for assistance on all of the items that are currently on sale. While I was browsing through and checking out the prices, I discovered that The Art of Disney is one of the few Disney stores that offers big discounts, so don't be shy and ask, you might just get really lucky!
10 - Scavenger Hunt
Play a Disney scavenger hunt with the entire family and win a gift when you complete the list.
It's totally free to play! All you have to do is pick up a map at a designated store then follow the instructions to find each hidden item at different stores throughout Disney Springs.
It's a whole lot of fun and we all love the surprise we get for completing the hunt.
From the beginning of November through December 24th, Santa is at Disney Springs from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm taking pictures at his chalet which is usually located within the Christmas tree trail.
Did I mention this is also free?
Starting the first week of November and ending the first week of January, the Christmas Trees Trail is a beautiful and wonderfully put together trail of Disney themed Christmas trees.
Each year the theme of the trees change so it is very exciting to see the different ideas, decorations and ornaments Disney Springs brings to life.
Another cool detail is the little snow-like particles that are released into the trail, it really makes it feel like Christmas.
Have you been to Disney Springs yet? What was your experience and favorite thing to do? Please let us know in the comments below.