Our 2021 Guide to Disney Springs provides all the essential information to plan your day visiting the Walt Disney World shopping, entertainment, and dining paradise. The complex initially opened in 1975 and has been expanded and altered on several occasions. It was renamed Disney Springs after a 3-year renovation in 2015.
Disney Springs Important Information 2021
Following a short period of closure, Disney Springs started a phased reopening on Mya 20th, 2020. The majority of stores, restaurants and bars are now open. However, a small number of venues have closed permanently.
Like other areas of Walt Disney World there are currently some changes in place to keep both guests and cast members safe:
- Limited parking and reduced capacity
- Temperature screenings before entry. Any guest with a 100.4 F or above temperature, including their party, will not be allowed access. Due to screening, Disney recommends you plan to enter Disney Springs 60 minutes before any reservation.
- Face coverings required for Guests ages two and up. Neck gaiters and open-chin triangle bandanas are not acceptable face coverings. Costume masks are also not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn. Face coverings must be made with at least two layers of breathable material and fully cover the nose and mouth.
- Changes are in place to encourage physical distancing
- Temporary modification of hours, including no scheduled entertainment.
- Increased cleaning and sanitation processes across Disney Springs.
Like other areas of Walt Disney World, Disney Springs is encouraging low contact processes. Cashless transactions and, where available, mobile ordering is encouraged.
Shopping at Disney Springs
While most shops are now open there are a couple of changes:
- Dressing rooms are currently closed.
- Packages are not currently being delivered to resorts but can be delivered to your home.
Disney Springs History
The story of Disney Springs begins at our new Town Center, which is oriented around a series of bubbling natural springs that first attracted settlers to the area. From there, the town grew to encompass three more neighbourhoods.
The above quote is the fictional history of Disney Springs. However, the area has its very own history, including several significant changes over the years. Previously known as Downtown Disney, the conversion to Disney Springs was completed in Spring 2016.
Originally opening in 1975, Disney Springs now consists of over 150 stores, restaurants, and entertainment locations. To get to where we are today Disney Springs has undergone several name changes and redesigns:
- In the early 1960s, Walt Disney identified, when planning his Florida Project, an area of land near the I-4 and Highway 535 interchange, which he thought would be suitable for an entertainment Residential district. This area became Lake Buena Vista.
- 1975 – Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village opened, featuring clusters of boutique and handicraft merchandise shops.
- 1977 – A significant retheming changed the area into Walt Disney World Village.
- 1989 – The name changed to Disney Village Marketplace, and the Pleasure Island area opened. Pleasure Island was a collection of clubs to compete with the popular Church Street Station. Pleasure Island closed in 2008.
- 1997 – Name changed to Downtown Disney. A 3rd area opened called West Side. West Side increased the number of dining and family entertainment options available.
In 2013 Disney announced a significant transformation of Downtown Disney, which would be renamed, Disney Springs. New construction included building 2 new parking structures, a new bus station, a widening of Buena Vista Drive, significant new mall space, & several new bridges. Disney Springs is now 120 acres in size.
Disney Springs Today
The modern-day Disney Springs is an extensive shopping, entertainment, and dining
Disney Springs is split into several neighborhoods each with a distinct feel.
The Town Center at Disney Springs depicts the fictional town’s central business district, featuring Spanish Revival architecture from the 1920s. There are interesting landscapes and water features throughout the Town Center. The area opened in 2016 after 3 years of building work and features many well-known retailers. Lacoste, Levis, Harley Davidson, and Superdry are just some of the brands you will find at the Town Center.
Dining locations in the Town Center include Planet Hollywood and Wolfgang Puck. Also, you can enjoy a beverage at the Coca-Cola Store Rooftop Beverage Bar.
Located at the Town Center is the Disney Springs Welcome Center. The Welcome Center provides guest services assistance at Disney Springs. Services available include:
- Accessibility Information
- Guide Maps
- Lost Guests
- My Disney Experience Mobile App
- Currency exchange
- Services for foreign guests
The Marketplace is the original part of Disney Springs and was first called Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village. Today the area houses many popular shops and restaurants. It has been designed to be reminiscent of the American Craftsman style of the 1930s. The area contains several fun dining locations, including the fantastic T-Rex and Rainforest Cafe.
The Marketplace is home to several shops which tend to be more fun-based than those you will find at Town Center. Shopping options located in the Marketplace include Disney’s Pin Traders, Goofy’s Candy Company, Lego Imagination Center, and Disney’s Days of Christmas.
Located in the Marketplace is the massive World of Disney. World of Disney is the largest Disney Store in the world and includes everything Disney you can imagine. However, it has one omission, you can’t buy a birthday card! The store has recently had a massive refurbishment.
The Landing is designed to be Disney Springs’ fictional transportation hub and marina. The area features nautical-themed restaurants and shops. The landing was the former site of Pleasure Island which closed in 2008.
There are only a few shops in The Landing, but there are plenty of restaurants. Dining options include Raglan Road, The Boathouse, Enzo’ Hideaway, and Morimoto Asia.
West Side, at Disney Springs, was developed in the 1950s according to the town’s fictional history. West Side was originally part of Downtown Disney and now features several popular restaurants plus a bowling alley and movie theatre.
The NBA Experience opened in Summer 2019 on the site of the former Disney Quest. In 2020 a new Cirque Du Soleil show was due to open at West Side. It is anticipated that Drawn to Life, Presented by Cirque du Soleil® & Disney, will open later in 2021.
Disney Springs Opening Times
Disney Springs is open 365 days a year, there is no charge to enter, and parking is free. The official opening times are from 10 am to 12 am. However, not all shops and restaurants will be open at all times. Currently, opening times are reduced, and you are advised to check the latest times before you visit.
Things to do at Disney Springs
Dining at Disney Springs
Disney Springs has increased the variety of restaurants available at Walt Disney World. Currently, there are over 60 locations serving food or drink. From upscale dining to family eateries, there is something for everyone.
Although currently suspended, the majority of restaurants accept the Disney Dining Plan. Many of the restaurants at Disney Springs have live entertainment and include waterfront views. Click here for an up-to-date list of dining venues.
Shopping at Disney Springs
Disney Springs has become a shopper’s paradise, especially for those who like their shopping with a Disney Theme! There are shopping options throughout Disney Springs, but the Town Center is home to many of the most well-known names & boutique shops. You can find a list of current shops here.
Entertainment at Disney Springs
Before your visit you should note not all entertainment options are currently available at Disney Springs.
Unlike the former Downtown Disney, Disney Springs entertainment is a family affair. From street entertainers to live music on the Marketplace Stage, there is something for everyone. Guests might particularly enjoy:
- The Classic Carousel
- The Void a virtual reality experience. Current features are Ralph Breaks VR and Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire.
- AMC Disney Springs Cinema
- Bowling Alley at Splitsville Luxury Lanes
- Drawn to Life Presented by Cirque du Soleil opening soon.
- Vintage Amphicar
You can find out about more entertainment options at Disney Springs here.
Disney Springs Your Questions and Answers
Do you have a question about Disney Springs?
We have created a collection of your most common questions about Disney Springs. The answers can be found in our post featuring Disney Springs Tips and Tricks.
Getting to Disney Springs
Parking at Disney Springs
Currently, not all parking options are available at Disney Springs. The Lime & Orange Garages are available for guests. There is no valet parking available. Check My Disney Experience for the latest information.
Disney Springs is open every day and has no admission fee and includes free parking.
Preferred parking, which costs $10, is available in the Mango parking lot and is located near the NBA Experience.
Valet parking is also available and costs $20 plus gratuity. Valet parking locations are:
- The Orange Garage from 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM
- On West Side in front of Cirque du Soleil from 4:00 PM to 2:00 AM
- Lemon Lot from 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM
Designated parking spaces for Guests with disabilities are available. A valid disability parking permit is required.
Getting to Disney Springs from Disney Resorts
Check My Disney Experience for the latest options available during the reopening period.
Bus transportation is available from all Walt Disney World resorts. Services are regular and run all day. However, travel times are not always that quick.
Also, there are water-taxis running to Disney Springs from Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside, Old Key West & Saratoga Springs Resorts. Arrival docks are located at the Marketplace and The Landing.
From Saratoga Springs a pedestrian bridge is available which goes directly to the Marketplace.
Getting to Disney Springs from Theme Parks
You can catch a bus to Disney Springs from the theme parks every day after 4 pm. However, to prevent guests from taking advantage of free parking these are only available 1 way.
You can learn more about transportation options at Walt Disney World in our Guide to Walt Disney World Transport.
Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels
There are 7 non-Disney Disney Springs Resort Areas Hotels. These hotels offer several resort advantages and can usually be slightly cheaper than booking an official Disney Resort. The 7 hotels are:
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Lake Buena Vista
- B Resort & Spa
- Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
- Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel
- Buena Vista Palace Resort & Spa
- Holiday Inn – Orlando Lake Buena Vista
To learn more about Walt Disney World visit our 2021 Guide to Walt Disney World.
This Guide is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.