As a self-confessed shopaholic, Disney Springs is/was definitely the second happiest place on earth for me, right after the theme parks themselves. Disney Springs is pretty much a shopaholic’s paradise, with over 100 stores including brands like Kate Spade, Anthropologie, Sephora and Uniqlo, not to mention the insane number of dining options for any budget (of course their ‘cheap’ food was still kinda expensive…).
We visited the place on 3 out of the 6 days that we stayed at our hotel, since it was just a 5-minute walk away – we chose our hotel precisely for that reason – and there were also direct shuttles from the theme parks to Disney Springs, making it even more convenient for us to head there after a full day spent at the parks.
I loved the sprawling layout of Disney Springs and its chill vibes; it’s such a breath of fresh air (literally) compared to the crowded and congested Singapore malls. If you’re planning to cover all the stores in one day and have a meal in the area, be sure to allocate a minimum of 3 hours.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can pay US$20 for a 10-minute helium (yes, it’s helium) balloon ride that will afford you a birds eye view of the whole resort and the theme parks. Watching the balloon float around looked pretty cool from down below, but I’m not a fan of heights so I decided to save my money and pass on the experience.
There’s also a 3-storey Coca-Cola store with all the merchandise you could possibly imagine, emblazoned with their logo. There’s also a drink bar on the rooftop that serves…you guessed it, Coke.
The ‘World of Disney’ store was pretty huge, and it’s the best one-stop place to buy merchandise from the different parks. For avid pin collectors (like myself), there’s an outdoor store/hut that stocks hundreds of different pins located near the World of Disney store, so be sure to make a stop there if you’re looking to expand your collection!
For the Disney leg of our trip, we stayed at the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista. We chose it since it’s a 5-minute walk away from Disney Springs, making it extremely convenient to shop & dine after a day spent at the parks.
The hotel is serviced by the Disney resort shuttles, with pickups every 30 minutes (starting from 8am). The shuttles will send you directly to the parks, and if you manage to wake up early and get on the first bus, you’ll be at the gates right before opening time, which is what every hardcore Disney fan aims to do. 😂
It also happens to be an official Disney hotel, which means you get Extra Magic Hours if you purchase your park tickets directly from the hotel (they have a ticketing counter in the lobby).
We purchased our tickets for Disney World and Universal Studios from Best of Orlando since the website offers discounted (and 100% legitimate) tickets for the theme parks, as well as other Orlando attractions. For our 5-day pass to Disney, we paid USD$376 (per person) using this third party agent, compared to the $420 we would have had to pay if we had bought from Disney directly (same applies for our Universal tickets). The savings add up, especially if you’re bringing your whole family. And besides, more money saved on tickets = more money to spend on Disney merchandise!!
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If you’re interested in exploring my blog, click here for an index of all the posts I’ve ever written (travel, musings, doctoring), or check out my most read series below:
- the Chasing Dreams series: a multi-part series chronicling my thoughts, dreams & changing ideals over the years (since 2018), including burnout, quitting the rat race, migration and trying to find my path in life
- the (not-so-definitive) guide to doctoring: Getting into Med School & FAQs | Surviving your Clinical Years | MBBS Tips | Life as a M1 // M2 // M3 // M4 // M5 during COVID // Life as a Doctor (monthly series) | Chasing Careers series