Shops at Disney Springs
What used to be Downtown Disney, an unassuming cluster of shops and restaurants, has been updated to the max! Disney has always been about “progress.” This staple tourist center was transformed into a mecca of shopping, food, and entertainment. Disney went all-out with this overhaul. There are a few originals left over from the old Downtown Disney, like the huge souvenir shop and the popular Lego store where kids can play and parents can load up on Disney Lego souvenirs for Lego lovers of any age. Restaurants like Rainforest Cafe, and several other Disney treasures remain, but much has changed.
Disney Springs Refurbished
The refurbished Disney Springs is now a destination for high-end shopping, gourmet restaurants, as well as special and exciting entertainment. The restaurants are mentionable, but lets talk shopping! Even if you are just window shopping, it is fun to go into the stores to look around. Disney carefully picked shops with only the best quality items.
The Best of Basin
One of my favorite new additions is tucked into the older part of the older part of the outdoor shopping mall. At Basin you can find bath bombs in dozens of different scents. There are sugar and salt scrubs, which you can sample at the large sink in the middle of the store. When I visited the other day I used the peppermint scrub (to go along with the holiday spirit). The scrub was great! It made my hands feel very soft. I also used sample non-scented lotion. My hands were still soft the next day! Basin offers scented lotions, as well. There are also slices of scented bar soaps with designs imbedded into the large blocks of soap the bars are cut from. This store is awesome!
Retail, Shops and Boutiques…Oh my!
Walk towards Cirque Du Soleil and you will find it difficult not to check out the array of retail and boutique shops. Disney brought high-end retail stores into its new outdoor mall. Some of my favorites are Alex and Ani, Anthropology, Free People, Kate Spade, The Spice and Tea Exchange, Mac Cosmetics, Sephora, Zara, and one of my favorite new discoveries, Shore. The CocaCola rooftop bar is great to refresh you after all of your shopping. All of the stores were dressed for the holidays.
The Anthropology at Disney Springs is the largest of that store I have ever been in. Disney did a great job planning for the stores to hold many patrons. Everything was beautiful. There were so many holiday, as well as traditional scented candles—they all smelled amazing. The store is a cozy collection of household sundries, as well as beautiful clothing. There were holiday coffee table books, like Jaime Oliver’s holiday cookbook. I wanted to buy everything.
Kate Spade is one of my favorite designers. As you enter this shop you are greeted by bags and wallets and jewelry specially made for Disney with Minnie bows and ears. For the Disney enthusiast, one of these Minnie-inspired items make for great souvenirs. Alex and Ani also has special Disney-inspired jewelry.
The Zara store is HUGE, and up with the newest trends. This year it seems like sequins are very “in,” but in any store I am always drawn to the cozy sweaters. Zara had very nice sweaters to keep you warm this winter, but also has a large selection of trendy clothing, from casual to dress wear. Shore and Anthropology had the best selection of great quality over-sized sweaters that make it feel like winter, despite the warm Florida weather. If you are traveling from out of state and are not prepared for a cold night, or two—these stores have you covered (literally)!
Shore was my favorite clothing store. Their cloths seemed to be made very well, and everything was so cute! The first thing that caught my eye was a burnt orange corduroy skirt with large wooden buttons down the front. As I moved through the store I found that there was very little I didn’t get excited about. With a name like Shore an image of the beach hits the brain; the casual clothing, cute shoes, and assortment of jewelry are laid back and comfortable, just like the beach. Time to plan your Disney cruise after a trip to this store. The flamingo Espadrilles scream “take me to the beach!”
Mac & Cheese is great, but Mac & Sephora is even better!
Mac and Sephora are upscale beauty shops specifically for makeup. Whether you are shopping for the holidays, or just to treat yourself, the mall at Disney Springs has something for everyone. Some mentionable stores I did not list are American Threads, The Art of Shaving, The Boathouse Boutique, Disney Pin Traders, Francesca’s, Free People, and Oakley.
Special thanks to Emily Shannon for writing this article. Emily Shannon lives fifteen minutes from the happiest place on earth. She grew up going to the parks and has loved Disney all her life.