Disney Springs (which was known as Downtown Disney up until September of 2015) is a shopping, entertainment area and mall and is one of the Orlando tourist attractions located outside of the Walt Disney Parks. It is free to enter and has enough Disney magic to still feel like you are still inside the Disney parks.
Disney Springs one of the free things to do in Orlando is divided into 4 main areas, each with its own unique style, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment offerings. The Marketplace (the main shopping area) The Landing (an area along the waterfront and with many more restaurants) Town Centre (more shopping) West Side (more restaurants)
The Landing now houses several new restaurants with beautiful waterfront views and a handful of new buildings that have been creatively Imagineered to look like they’ve been there for years.
This area was part of Downtown Disney and also a part of Disney Springs. The newly re-imagined West Side has a more industrial aspect to it and includes several popular restaurants and entertainment offerings including a bowling alley and movie theatre.
TOWN CENTER – one of the new Orlando tourist attractions
Town Center (a new area which was not a part of Downtown Disney) is themed after Florida’s turn-of-the-century waterfront towns and includes over 30 shops and a variety of dining options.
This family-friendly area (which existed as a part of Downtown Disney) is home to many of the most popular shops at Disney Springs.
With the transition, an expansion of The World of Disney store has been completed to this section as well as a new “Village Causeway” which is a bridge that connects the area around The Lego Store across the water to nearby The Rainforest Cafe.
Amazing Orlando tourist attractions at Disney Springs include:
The Lego Store – One of the free things to do in Orlando
This is a gigantic store with lots of wonderful Lego and gigantic Lego sculptures such as the Loch Ness monster, a fire breathing dragon and the characters from Toy Story.
World’s biggest Disney Store ‘World of Disney’
Officially the largest Disney merchandise Orlando tourist attractions store in the world with 12 different rooms filled with everything Disney related.
Boat cruises – One of the free things to do in Orlando
There are two main ‘routes’ that the boats take. One heads around 3 stops in Disney Springs. The other route goes to Disney resorts and then back to Disney Springs. Each cruise takes about 20 minutes return and are free of charge.
‘Characters in Flight’ balloon ride
This balloon is tethered to the ground. It soars 400 feet in the air and was custom built for Disney!
T Rex Restaurant and shop – One of the free things to do in Orlando
Almost like a mini museum inside with gigantic Amethyst rocks and reproductions of giant dinosaurs. To the right of the store is a dig pit for kids to explore.
A gigantic Orlando tourist attractions volcano that roars overhead with lots of animatronic animals to view for free both inside and outside.