Disney Springs is a fun, vibrant section of the resort that is hard to appreciate unless you have spent time there. Disney Springs is not just a main street where you can watch a parade. Instead, it is a large area divided into three sections: Disney Springs West Side, Disney Springs Market Place, and the area formerly known as Pleasure Island.
Each of the three sections offers dining, shopping and entertainment options. It is easy to spend a day or two wandering in Disney Springs, exploring shops, taking in a live show or watching a movie. A 24-seat movie theater provides the chance for a nice, quiet night. You could also opt for the over-the-top spectacle that is Cirque du Soleil La Nouba, a show featuring some of the world’s most talented acrobats and performers.
The restaurants in Disney Springs are eclectic and include both casual options and more elegant fare.
There are about 20 dining options in the downtown Disney area. Let’s take a look at some of the options.
Special Dining Experiences
When you want a memorable, special Disney dining experience, these are the restaurants to choose. The finest food, wonderful atmosphere, and attention to every detail make these very good choices indeed.
House Of Blues Restaurant – West Side
The House of Blues Restaurant is a perfect choice for music lovers. Not only will you be treated to some of the most delicious Cajun and southern food imaginable, such as Cajun meatloaf and BBQ baby back ribs, you will also enjoy live music performed by talented musicians. Be sure to save room for one of the most delicious desserts in Disney World: White Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding.
Fulton’s Crab House – Marketplace
Seafood lovers will rejoice when they see this menu. The seafood is flown in fresh every day and is prepared by some of Disney World’s best chefs. The extensive menu includes tempting choices such as Lobster Narragansett and Alaskan King Crab Legs. If there is someone in your group who does not like seafood, there are options for him as well, such as Filet of Beef Oscar.
For the younger, less refined palates, Fulton’s Crab House has a kid’s menu that includes some seafood choices along with kid-friendly favorites like chicken tenders and hot dogs. This restaurant is set right on the water, so be sure to ask for a seat with a view when making your reservation.
On top of great food, the restaurant looks like an old time river boat. How fun is that?
Portobello – Marketplace
Portobello offers Italian favorites in a setting that overlooks beautiful Lake Buena Vista. The menu is extensive and includes pasta dishes, such as handmade Gnocci, Spaghetti Pomodoro, and Linguine with Clams. There are also many pizza, steak, and seafood options. You should start with one of the dozen or so available appetizers, such as the Crostini Sampler or the Sambuca Shrimp. Be sure to save room for dessert. You’ll surely want to try the Chocolate Ravioli, Tiramisu, or White Chocolate Custard.
Wolfgang Puck Café – West Side
A vibrant, casual setting provides the perfect backdrop to dine on fresh and fabulous choices that made Wolfgang Puck a celebrity chef and a foodie sensation – such as hand rolled sushi and gourmet pizza. There are also plenty of options for vegetarians including Pumpkin Ravioli, Rigatoni with Tuscan Vegetables, and a variety of salads with interesting taste combinations.
If you want a bit more formality, head upstairs to The Dining Room in the Wolfgang Puck Cafe. Here, both the atmosphere and the menu are a bit more highbrow. The Dining Room menu includes choices such as Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, Duck Napolean, and Seared Salmon with Sunchoke Puree.
Casual Dining Experiences
The casual dining restaurants in Disney Springs offer a more relaxed atmosphere than the choices above. These restaurants provide fabulous food in a fun setting.
A visit to Paradiso 37 may be a good time to take advantage of the babysitting services offered by Disney World. That is because, while the food is good, this restaurant is also well-known for offering 37 kinds of tequila as well as an extensive wine bar. You can also stop by in the morning for a cup of specialty coffee to help you start your day.
Rainforest Café – Marketplace
The food is great, but the atmosphere is a big part of what bring guests back to the Rainforest Cafe again and again. A giant aquarium, animatronic animals, and an abundance of rainforest décor make this a fun choice for the whole family. Fabulous seafood entrees such as Maya’s Mahi Mahi and Coconut Shrimp and Tribal Salmon are offered alongside numerous beef and chicken options for those who do not like seafood. There is something for everyone at the Rainforest Café – including plenty of shopping for plush animals and clothing.
Planet Hollywood – West Side
You can’t miss this place – just look for the huge, glowing blue globe. Fans of both the big screen and the small screen will love the décor in Planet Hollywood. Occupying three floors, Planet Hollywood is decorated using props from some of the best loved movies and television shows. You’ll have to stop looking at all of the interesting items just long enough to enjoy a delicious meal of New York Strip Steak, pasta or a delicious made-to-order sandwich.
T-Rex Café – Marketplace
T-Rex Café is a truly unique dining experience. Where else you can dine among Dinosaurs? Thanks to wonderful artists and animatronic technology, you can watch a variety of long-extinct creatures, such as Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops. Dine on Brachiosaurus Bruschetta, Giganosaurus Burgers or Layers of the Earth Lasagna. When your meal is over, stop by the Paleo Zone where the kids can try to uncover fossil bones in the Discovery Dig and learn about these fascinating creatures as their stories are told on giant screens. Take a few minutes to browse the shop and even build your own dinosaur plush toy.
Where to Grab a Quick Bite
These are great choices when you don’t want to take much time away from shopping or only have a few minutes before it’s time to catch your Cirque du Soleil la Nouba show.
Forty Thirst Street
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
Wetzel’s Pretzels – Haagen Dazs
Wolfgang Puck Express
Earl of Sandwich
Each of the quick bite options above offer quality food that you can grab on the go. For both the casual dining and special experience restaurants, reservations are recommended. Special dietary needs should be mentioned when you make your reservation. Most Disney dining spots will be able to accommodate special dietary needs, but may need advance notice to do so.
Consider spending some time in Disney Springs during your stay. Now that you have had the chance to read about some of the restaurants in Disney Springs, you’ll know where to stop when you get hungry!