Disney vacations are indeed magical experiences, however, they can be incredibly expensive. From theme park tickets to on-site resorts, there are many things that will eat away at your Disney vacation budget in no time.
One thing tourists to Orlando don’t readily know before arriving is that Disney also has Disney Springs, a gorgeous sprawling property filled with shops, restaurants, and a variety of entertaining things. It gives off all the magical ambiance of a Disney property, but with free parking.
If you’re coming to Orlando for a Disney vacation, take some time off to enjoy Disney Springs where you can get away with a great day without spending much. Here are some tips on how to enjoy Disney Springs on the cheap!
- Sample fine chocolates
The Ghirardelli store hands out free pieces of chocolate. It’s a nice way to get a special treat, but head into the Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop just adjacent and you can enjoy rich chocolate-covered ice cream sundaes. They’re not very expensive and they are large enough to share, making it a nice but cheap splurge on a hot Florida day.
- Catch a live show
Just across from the World of Disney store, there is an outdoor stage. You’ll be able to see live performances from dancers and musicians throughout the day, and because Disney has an extremely high bar set for standards, you will never have to suffer through unharmonious musical numbers.
- Random live performers
One of the greatest things about Disney Springs is that Disney employs street performers who do anything from acrobatics to theater. When you see one of these pop-up, grab a good spot and soak up the free entertainment.
- Take the kids to the splash pad
Nearby Goofy’s Candy Co. and the Rainforest Café, you’ll find a fountain that’s a bit like a splash pad. It’s a good idea to have kids ready with swimsuits and changes of clothes so they can hop in and cool off. The kids will have fun and you can take a load off on the nearby benches, watching them as they splash and play, or jump in yourself and feel like a kid again!
- Play with Legos
The Lego store has plenty to entertain. You don’t need to buy anything to enjoy the Lego races outside or create your own Lego structures in the air conditioned play area indoors. It’s a great way to beat the heat without breaking the bank.
- Go window shopping
This activity is probably best without little kids tagging along. There’s much to look at and see in Disney Springs from toys for the kids to things for you too. Not everything is horribly expensive either. You can choose to buy a small souvenir without spending too much money.
- Enjoy a relaxing boat ride
At Disney Springs, you can take the water shuttle to the Port Orleans Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort, and Old Key West Resort. You don’t need to be a guest at any of these resorts either to get a free boat ride with plenty of calming and scenic views. The boat ride is about 20 minutes so if you’re in a hurry, try this out when you’re not in a rush.
- Eat at the food trucks
One of the things Disney Springs really does right is that it allows you complete flexibility in spending. There are so many things to do free or cheap here that it really helps stretch your vacation dollars. That being said, there are a variety of restaurants here so you’re not forced to eat at an expensive place unless you want to. The Boat House is an iconic place for steak and seafood where you can watch the amphibious cars drive off into the water, but if you’re looking to eat cheap, check out the food trucks that have plenty of good eats on the cheap.
- See the animals
Near the Rainforest Café, you can usually find Disney cast members with live exotic birds. But if they’re not there, you’ll see animatronic animals like the giant crocodile. Or go inside the gift shop and check out the beautiful aquarium!
- Just watch everything
From other tourists to glass blowers and candy makers, Disney Springs really has much to look at. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon or evening enjoying the flavor of Disney without spending more than you want to.