There’s a lot to do in Disney Springs, but if you’re not careful you might find yourself spending money on things that aren’t worth it!
But don’t worry! We don’t want you to walk away from Disney Springs broke and disappointed, so we have a list of the BEST things to spend your money on in Disney Springs. From food to entertainment to merchandise, these are the things you want to budget for on your next visit to Disney Springs!
First, let’s start at Gideon’s Bakehouse, home of the giant half-pound cookies! Along with regular offerings like classic Chocolate Chip and Coffee Cake Cookies, you can also get a slice of cake, unique coffees, and choose from special monthly flavors like Orange Pecan Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut, or Toasted Coconut Caramel (and MANY more)!
In addition to all your tasty treats, just checking out the inside of Gideon’s is worth it! Gideon’s is decorated like a spooky bookstore with a backstory and everything, plus there are also some unique souvenirs you can take home.
Note that Gideon’s frequently uses a virtual queue and your wait can be VERY long (we’ve waited over 3 hours!) depending on the day, but at least a virtual queue allows you to do other things in Disney Springs while you wait. We recommend entering the virtual queue as soon as you can if you want to try a Gideon’s treat (or five).
Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw is one of the newest arrivals in Disney Springs, featuring some truly unique ice cream flavors that are both surprising AND delicious. We’ve tried flavors like Honey Lavender, Deviled Egg Custard with Smoked Black Tea, and Pistachio Rose Water, among many more!
Like Gideon’s, Salt & Straw features limited-edition flavors every month, so you get the opportunity to try different flavors every 30 days or so, and a virtual queue may also be used on busy days. If you prefer typical ice cream flavors, don’t skip Salt & Straw — there are plenty of “safe” options like Chocolate Gooey Brownie and Double Fold Vanilla. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out on Salt & Straw!
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
If you’re looking for a sit-down meal in Disney Springs, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is a must-do! Featuring Southern and Floridian cuisine, this restaurant was founded by celebrity Chef Art Smith. Visit for brunch, lunch, or dinner, and expect to leave FULL. Favorite dishes include Thigh High Chicken Biscuits, Art’s Famous Fried Chicken, and Cheddar Cheese Drop Biscuits, and don’t forget to try moonshine available on tap!
You can sit inside the restaurant or outside at the new Shine Bar + Patio, but either way, you’re treated to a view of Disney Springs. We recommend making a reservation for Homecomin’ in advance — just note that reservations fill up FAST, so you might have to keep checking for openings. You may be able to join the waitlist in person, but that’s not a guarantee.
The Polite Pig
If fast food is more your thing, The Polite Pig is worth a visit! It is a bit pricey for a quick service restaurant, but you can get some quality modern barbecue at this spot. In fact, this restaurant has even been recognized by the Michelin Guide! Grab a Hop Salt Pretzel, Baby Back Ribs, USDA Prime Brisket, or share the Butcher Board with a friend (trust us, it’s a lot of meat).
You don’t need a reservation for The Polite Pig so it’s worth a visit if you prefer a more casual dining experience. And don’t forget to check out the selection of beer and cocktails, as well as their Bourbon Bar!
Coca-Cola Rooftop Bar
After you sample the selection of drinks from around the world, visit the Coca-Cola Rooftop Bar for unique cocktails, floats, or just for the panoramic view! You can participate in the Freestyle Experience to sample up to 5 drink refills (within an hour of your purchase), you can pretend to be a mixologist with the Create-Your-Own-Beverage Experience, or you can Taste Around the World with up to 16 different drinks.
The Rooftop Bar also features limited-time drinks so there are frequently new drinks to try! Even if you just want to hang out and take a seat for a minute, this is a great spot to rest.
Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew
In the mood for a sweet treat in Disney Springs? Check out Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew for some seriously tasty donuts and coffees, with limited-time menu items available periodically. You can get regular donut flavors like S’Mores Galore, Maple Double Bacon, and Cookies & Cream, or try their newest offerings, the Thalicious Donut or the Black Raspberry Beret.
But if sweets or donuts aren’t your thing, Everglazed is still worth a visit for their sandwiches or Loaded Fries! The Grilled Cheeeeeese (yes, that’s how they spell it) is exactly what it sounds like (lots of melty cheese), but you can opt to upgrade from the griddled sweet bun to glazed donuts. You can also add bacon for a small fee!
Everglazed requires no advance reservations and there’s something for everyone, especially if you like sweet and salty. Stop by to grab a donut for breakfast or dinner!
Chicken Guy! is another quick service spot, headed by Guy Fieri. It features, you guessed it, CHICKEN! Chicken Tenders, to be exact, with 22 different sauces and a variety of sandwiches, salad bowls, and mac-and-cheese items on the menu. We love the Big Bite B.L.A.T., but you can also order Grilled or Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders on their own, with two sauces like Curry Mayo, Chipotle Ranch, Sweet and Sour, Nashville Hot Honey, and lots more!
Chicken Guy! is one of the more budget-friendly spots in Disney Springs, and you can get filling sandwiches for $6.99 or less, or five chicken tenders for $7.99. If you have a tight budget but still want high-quality and filling food, Chicken Guy! is a great option.
Swirls on the Water
Any DOLE Whip fans out there? Swirls on the Water is a must-do in Disney Springs! Not only can you get classic DOLE Whip, but you can also get some unique and exclusive flavors and creations! We’ve tried the 50th Celebration Cone, which is made with DOLE Whip Lemon and Cookie Dough soft-serve, and the Habanero Lime, among others. If you can’t decide on a flavor, you can choose three flavors and get a DOLE Whip Flight for $6.49.
We’ve also seen specialty offerings, like the Buzz Lightyear Cone and the Watermelon Taco, available for a limited time. If you’re craving DOLE Whip but don’t want to visit a Disney Park, try our Swirls on the Water!
Cirque du Soleil
After you’re full from all your food adventures in Disney Springs, you might be wondering if there’s anything else to do. You’re in luck! You can see the new Cirque du Soleil show, Drawn to Life, which tells a story about a girl who goes on a journey through Disney animation. You can see Drawn to Life generally on Tuesday through Saturday nights, with showtimes at 5:30PM and 8PM. Tickets range from $85 to $185 for adults.
For a limited time, Disney World Annual Passholders, Florida Residents, and Disney Vacation Club Members can get a ticket discount for Drawn to Life, so you may want to find out if you’re eligible. You can also book the Animated Evening Prix Fixe Dining Package for dinner AND a show, with 13 different restaurants available to choose from in Disney Springs. With this package, you pay between $45 to $65 for a prix fixe menu, and you get to see the show after your meal!
The Vintage Amphicar Tours are a seriously unique way to spend your money in Disney Springs! Located next to The BOATHOUSE, you can take a 20-minute cruise on the Sassagoula River in a CAR. Well, it’s more like a car boat (the official term is “amphibious”).
It’s $125 per car and up to 3 guests can go on the tour. Tours are generally available between 10AM and 10PM daily, with walkup reservations available at the BOATHOUSE’S BOATIQUE. If you also dine at The BOATHOUSE, you can bring your receipt (as long as you spend over $50) for a $25 discount on your tour.
The Aerophile is one of the most memorable sights in Disney Springs, but you might not know that it’s the world’s largest hand-painted helium-filled balloon! Weather-permitting, you can usually ride the Aerophile from 9AM to 11PM, and you can get a beautiful view of Disney Springs and beyond.
One ride is $25 for adults and $20 for kids, and you get 8 whole minutes in the sky! It can hold up to 29 people at a time, and on a clear day, you can see up to 10 miles away!
The Art of Disney Sketch Artists
The Art of Disney frequently features artist signings as well as sketchings, and you can sometimes watch artists bring their work to life and then buy a sketch available in the store. If you don’t want to buy anything, you don’t have to, so this could be a good option for a free activity!
In the store, you can also shop a variety of collectibles and artwork, including framed prints, paintings, animation cels, figurines, postcards, and more. You can check Disney’s calendar for artist signings so you don’t miss your favorite artist!
Dinner and a Show
In case you didn’t know, AMC Dine-In Theater is also an option in Disney Springs. At this theater, you can order appetizers, entrees, and desserts, and have the food delivered right to your seat!
Sometimes you can catch special events for movie premieres so it’s not JUST a typical theater. On a hot or rainy day it can be a great way to rest and cool off, plus seeing a Disney or Marvel movie IN Disney World is pretty cool.
Now it’s time to go shopping! At the LEGO Store, you can design your very own LEGO Minifigure! Basically, you get to choose from a variety of faces, pants, and hair designs, and then you customize your Minifigure on a tablet. You can choose from existing LEGO designs or draw your own!
You can also pick an accessory for your Minifigure, which include options like flowers, a star, a soccer ball, and lots more. You even get a colorful LEGO box to take home! A custom Minifigure costs about $11.99.
World of Disney
If you’re looking for popular Disney World merchandise, World of Disney is basically the spot to stop by. In fact, they often have merchandise that is sold out in the parks, and sometimes they’re the first to get new merchandise, too. You can find lots of classic Disney World souvenirs here, from Minnie Ears to pins to Loungefly mini backpacks — and more.
When you’re on a budget and don’t plan to visit a Disney Park every day you can still do some shopping without a park ticket!
At the M&M’s Store, you can get personalized M&Ms made! You can choose from photos, icons, or texts to put on the M&Ms, and you get four different designs in your bag. You can even upload a photo from your phone!
If you don’t have a design in mind, you can also choose from icons like Disney Parks, Disney Princesses, and more, and there are a lot of symbols available too. Depending on what kind of packaging you choose, the price for personalized M&Ms can range from $20 to $45.
Basin Body Scrubs
Basin is a bath and body product store with lots of interesting soaps, and you might not know that you can wash your hands in the store! You get to use a sample of a Basin product to wash your hands, so you can walk away clean AND smelling good. Plus, it’s free!
We can’t promise that you won’t walk away from Basin without buying some soap, though. It smells so good!
And finally, UNIQLO is one of the cheapest places to get Disney t-shirts! Shop from a variety of clothing for adults and kids alike and walk away without having overspent your budget.
UNIQLO also features exclusive collections sometimes, so you may be able to get some really unique souvenirs without breaking the bank!
And that’s our BIG list of everything worth spending your money on in Disney Springs! Stay tuned for more Disney World money-friendly news and updates!
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What’s your favorite thing to do in Disney Springs? Tell us in the comments!
The post How You Should Spend Your Money in Disney World: Disney Springs first appeared on the disney food blog.