Is Disney Springs a waste of time ?

agamble

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
the grandchildren like RFC or TRex as we don’t have them where we live.
How does TRex compare to RFC food wise? My husband is not a fan of RFC. He felt it was overpriced, adequate food with minimal service. We ate at the one at AK as well as Disneyland. I think my kids would enjoy the TRex restaurant.

I Possibly the Characters in Flight balloon. If you're doing memory maker they have a studio in Disney Springs and that could be fun way to start your trip.
What is flight balloon and does the studio experience at DS come included with Memory Maker?
 

chiisai

i am satisfied with my care
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
It’s an outdoor mall. Good restaurants, if you want something different. Also, the Void, if you think your older one would like it. We went, one kid did the Void, the other had a treat and looked at shops, then we had an early dinner. We haven’t been back, as we’re fine with restaurants at resorts, and won’t go back to the void until our youngest can go.
 

YawningDodo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2014
Whether it's a waste depends on what you'd get out of it. I've only been to Disney Springs once since it became Disney Springs, and I was surprised by how absolutely massive it is compared to its previous Downtown Disney form (which was already much larger than the Disneyland version). There's a good variety of shopping and restaurants there...but tbqh unless I decide to make a VOID reservation (it's a virtual reality attraction), I'll probably skip it on my upcoming trip. Most of the shops there are out of my price range, and while I enjoy World of Disney it seems like you can find the same stuff in the parks, just not all in one spot (though Mouse Gear in Epcot might at least come in second place).

When I was a cast member/Florida resident, I spent a lot of time in what was then DTD because it has a big movie theater and I could get interesting things to eat there and poke around the shops. As a visitor with limited time, though, I'm much less inclined to take time away from the parks (and I do inevitably view it as time away from the parks; it's really hard to get out of that mindset--if I have time and energy for DTD, I have time and energy for a theme park!). I don't view Disney Springs as restful at all--if you were only going to go straight to one restaurant and then leave again, maybe, but when I went there for an evening I spent more time walking than I would in an equivalent period at the parks, since it's not like you ever get on an attraction and sit down--it's just one shop after another.
 

Ed597

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Whether it's a waste depends on what you'd get out of it. I've only been to Disney Springs once since it became Disney Springs, and I was surprised by how absolutely massive it is compared to its previous Downtown Disney form (which was already much larger than the Disneyland version). There's a good variety of shopping and restaurants there...but tbqh unless I decide to make a VOID reservation (it's a virtual reality attraction), I'll probably skip it on my upcoming trip. Most of the shops there are out of my price range, and while I enjoy World of Disney it seems like you can find the same stuff in the parks, just not all in one spot (though Mouse Gear in Epcot might at least come in second place).

When I was a cast member/Florida resident, I spent a lot of time in what was then DTD because it has a big movie theater and I could get interesting things to eat there and poke around the shops. As a visitor with limited time, though, I'm much less inclined to take time away from the parks (and I do inevitably view it as time away from the parks; it's really hard to get out of that mindset--if I have time and energy for DTD, I have time and energy for a theme park!). I don't view Disney Springs as restful at all--if you were only going to go straight to one restaurant and then leave again, maybe, but when I went there for an evening I spent more time walking than I would in an equivalent period at the parks, since it's not like you ever get on an attraction and sit down--it's just one shop after another.
Thank you for the help. It seems like time that could be at the parks for me also. Maybe when they’re older we can go. Or if we drove down, but we fly and use Magical Express. I could see if your driving in and out, then it’s like Downtown Disneyland on a larger scale. Thanks for your help.
 

Ed597

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
It’s an outdoor mall. Good restaurants, if you want something different. Also, the Void, if you think your older one would like it. We went, one kid did the Void, the other had a treat and looked at shops, then we had an early dinner. We haven’t been back, as we’re fine with restaurants at resorts, and won’t go back to the void until our youngest can go.
Thank you for the reply, I think it helped.
 

SouthFayetteFan

Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
I’m planning a trip to WDW now with a 10 & 5 year old. Why would I go out of my way to visit Disney Springs ? This just takes time away from the parks. There are plenty of food and shopping options at the parks and resorts. I’ve been to Disneyland and at least Downtown Disney is on your way into the park. If you use the parking garage or stay on property. Disney Springs just seems so out of the way? Am I wrong ? I don’t have my flight yet and we’re going in December so if it’s a mid day arrival maybe we could go there and see the trees and eat and shop, but with younger kids they would probably want to head into a park.
Thanks for any help planning.
We go to Disney Springs on our non-Disney trips to get a little Disney fix. (ie on our Universal or Sea World trips).

We don’t go near it on our Disney parks trips. We are all parks on those trips :) (Plus we try to limit long bus rides - staying deluxe, split stay, mostly walking to parks, and tons of restaurants available in the Boardwalk and MK resort areas).
 
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  • Ed597

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2017
    First off, comparing Disneyland and Disney World's general areas is like comparing Apples to Oranges;

    With Disneyland being first - Disney only had the land Disneyland sat on at first, their Downtown came ages after. It's mostly luck and deep wallets that allowed that to happen - as for decades Disney had 0 control on what happened to be opened around Disneyland's space.

    Whereas Disney almost virtually owns the entire area WDW sits on, to the point that it's almost virtually it's own mini-state. Disney Springs was almost always in the plan for WDW. It's very close to one of the entries into the Disney resort area - while it's near the edge of the *massive* land space Disney owns. The Springs is probably at worst 10 mins away from any of the parks by car (maybe 15 for Animal Kingdom)

    Speaking from memory of my first trip to WDW, Disney Springs is a fairly calm introduction and primer for kids to the experiences they are just about to have. On my very first day to WDW we were encouraged to take the early morning at what then was "Downtown Disney" - you don't have to rush to rides and can take things at your own pace. There's aspects of Disney imagineering that sort of starts to give an idea of what to expect once you head to the parks. I have very fond memories of having McDonalds while getting used to the sights and sounds of Florida (I suppose these days Chicken Guy! or Earl of Sandwich would be that sort of spot now)

    As for what's available at the Springs. December is probably one of the best times as Disney dresses it up much like they do the parks, There is also the Christmas Tree walk, they'll usually have live choir concerts in the evening or a mini christmas party event. The LEGO store has a free-play area too and there are interactive water fountains. Plus World of Disney is fun even if just for window shopping, and there's a Christmas store open year long there if you wanna see some specific Xmas merch.

    Other things you can do but might have to pay a bit extra; ride the miniature train, bowling at splitsville, watch a movie, order a flight of coke floats or international flavours at the rooftop coke bar, try some new foods without the massive trek around a theme park beforehand. Raligan Road also has live entertainment good for all ages during the day to go with it's Irish Pub theme.

    The only downside is since the garages have been added + the conversion from Downtown to Springs started. The added car park capacity means Springs doesn't have as much of a calm atmosphere as Downtown Disney used to have. But it's still a pretty good place to go if you want a little bit of Disney charm but the family troop is still recovering from a previous day's trek around EPCOT or MK.
    Thank you for writing such long reply. No sarcasm, I appreciate any help in planning the trip. I watch the DIS all the time and I could think of 1/2 a dozen places I would like to eat at in DS. But while planning I’m trying to think do I really want to leave the park to go eat there ? We’re flying in so we use magical express. If we drove or were staying off property I can see how it’s just like Downtown Disney on a larger scale. Thank you the help.
     

    Ed597

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2017
    It sounds to me like you've already made up your mind, but I'll give my 2 cents anyway.

    First off, DLR and WDW cannot be compared in terms of proximity from one thing to another. Sure you can walk to nearly everything at DLR, but aren't they MUCH smaller than WDW? Why would you go out of your way....is there someone or something that's making you feel that way? So far out of the way? From what? That depends on what resort you choose to stay at. It only takes time away from the parks if you choose to do it on a day in which you have park tickets. My son and I are there for 5 days this time instead of just 4. Normally, we would do 1/2 day in MK on our checkout day and spend a couple of hours in what was then Downtown Disney. This time we are there for 5 days. I've got 4 day Discovery tickets for the parks. Now I can have four FULL days in the parks. We'll take our check out day and head to Disney Springs for a few hours before making the drive home. Depending on how many days your trip is should make it easy for you to decide if you want to dedicate one day to Disney Springs. If you're only doing a 4 day trip, I wouldn't bother. 5 or more....then I would suggest doing Disney Springs on a "rest" day from the parks.
    Thank you for writing a reply. What makes me seem like I would be going out of my way is we would be leaving the park to go there, when I could just eat in the park. We fly in, so we use magical express. If we were staying off property or drove down it wouldn’t seem out of the way because were driving past it. Sort of like Downtown Disney just on a larger scale. Thank you for the help in planning.
     

    Disneylvr1971

    Wishing upon a star
    Joined
    Dec 1, 2010
    One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that it looks like a December trip. A lot of the time the parks close earlier. You could take one of these lighter park days if you want to go check it out for a couple of hours. Starting in the afternoon there are buses direct from the parks to DS. (But not from DS to the parks)
     

    Rach3975

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2018
    It's a waste for us. We went once when the kids were 7, 10, and 12 and again when they were 9, 12, and 15. The only reason we went the second time was that we'd spent the day at Magic Kingdom on a day that they were closing early for a party and we didn't have hoppers. In hindsight, we should have gone for dinner at one of the monorail resorts instead and skipped DS. Our trips tend to be short (5 park days) so we'd rather maximize park time. Between the travel time to and from DS and the length of time our 2 TS dinners there have taken, we ended up not even wanting to spend the extra time walking around and looking in stores. (Well, I wanted to! But I was outvoted both times.)

    On our most recent trip we flew in late afternoon and wanted to explore someplace outside the parks, so we tried the Boardwalk. That was more our speed--we looked around, snacked on ice cream, and watched a juggler. There isn't as much there as at DS, but between transportation both ways and an hour at the Boardwalk we filled about 3 hours of our arrival evening and enjoyed it more than DS. (Wouldn't give up park time for The Boardwalk either, but we might do it again on a future arrival night.)
     
  • Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Chugging along the path of life
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    Between the travel time to and from DS
    Did you have a car?

    I totally understand how someone without a car who was relying solely on Disney's bus transporation (as opposed to uber or lyft or minnie vans or a rental vehicle or their own vehicle) would find DS not their cup of tea on the basis of time in transit to and from the area if they aren't staying really close by to DS.

    We had a car and it was by no means a time sucker to get there and get back and we were coming from the All-Stars area. I totally know what you mean though on time spent at a restaurant and not wanting to do much afterwards.
     

    Eeyore daily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2019
    Personally I feel like besides the Disney shops it's not worth it to go. I can't afford the stores and I don't prefer eating there. I can see how it's nice if you live in the area but even then I didn't miss it on my last trip. I prefer the souvenirs from the World Showcase better anyway so it doesn't mean much to shop at DS.
     

    GoingSince1990

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2018
    Your kids will love the T-Rex Cafe. Amazing theming, but fairly mediocre, expensive food. Fortunately my kids have outgrown that restaurant and we now go to my favorite, Raglan Road!
     

    Heather Tyson

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2019
    We are locals and go to ds about once a month. The Christmas land with the trees and snowflakes plus the entertainment is so worth the trip there. Your kids would love to see the characters all dressed up for the Holidays. Plus there's good drink options all around to sip whilst you walk around. Lol.
     

    rdaky

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    We could take it or leave it. My husband and oldest daughter loved the Void. If you're looking for restaurants, there is a nice variety that is different than what's in the parks.

    Shopping though- we have an upscale mall near where we live and most of the stores are the same or better. If I want to shop, I'll shop at home.
     

    elaine amj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2012
    We like the atmosphere there. It's a lovely place to walk around. My daughter is obsessed with their (free) dance parties and I am obsessed with the Earl of Sandwich.

    On our last trip, we often went to DS after the parks closed to just wander around for a bit or to grab an ice cream. I rarely buy stuff but do enjoy window shopping. It's nice that it opens late for us night owls who are not quite done when the parks close at 9-10pm.

    On a short trip when you have park tickets every day, you may be better off just staying in the parks. If you are saving $$ by not buying park tickets for every single day, then DS becomes a nice break day.
     

    GoofyCoaster

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2019
    Like others have said, the appeal of DS depends on your itinerary and whether you and those in your travel party like outdoor mall shopping, live music, and the many dining options.
    I enjoy DS because there is no similar venue where I live. But on a short trip, we skip DS in favor of more park and resort time. But it’s a great choice for a half day when you don’t have park tickets.
     

    Weese's Pieces

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2019
    I absolutely LOVE DS so when my husband and I were planning our trip that we are taking in a couple weeks, I informed him that DS is a must for me while Typhoon Lagoon was a must for him. We made it work in our schedule and are good to go!
     


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