The Ultimate Splitsville Review – Disney Springs
When Mickey Travelers think of a trip to Disney Springs, bowling isn’t the first activity that springs to mind. After all, bowling is something that people do when they’re looking for something fun to do in their hometown. It’s a fun night out for some and an obsession for anyone who can recite the dates of League Night at several local bowling alleys. At the Disney campus, however, it takes on a special meaning. Disney Springs hosts one of the oddest pairings imaginable. Here’s a review of Splitsville Luxury Lanes.
Everybody bowls. No, that isn’t the name of a children’s book. It’s a reality. At some point in your life, you’ve put on some used shoes, stepped on a lane, stuck your fingers in a ball, and thrown it way too hard at an innocent set of bowling pins.
Now, you may not have done it a lot, but bowling is popular enough that it’s a college class worthy of credit toward graduation (I got a B+). It’s also one of those group activities that teen organizers and corporate planners tend to favor. Bowling has also soared in appeal in recent years thanks to its presence at some popular chains such as Dave & Buster’s and The Main Event. Whether you’ve noticed or not, bowling has made a comeback. Maybe it’s the shoes.
When you think of a bowling alley, your mental image might involve a dingy place serving food that makes you idly wonder about your medical deductible. At Disney Springs, the deluxe version of the sport is on display instead. It’s the refined kind of bowling that elevates the experience. Splitsville is one of the coolest bowling facilities you’ll ever see.
The bowling lanes are available on two floors, and there are 30 of them. You shouldn’t have trouble getting a lane during all but the most popular times of the week. Generally, those are weekend nights, but Splitsville runs a couple of other well-liked deals like a Disney Vacation Club night on Wednesdays.
The other reason why the place might be filled up is if a good band is playing. Yes, Splitsville has live music and dancing available as well as an exterior patio for when you want to people-watch at Disney Springs. It’s a 50,000-square foot facility with tons of entertainment options.
The interior of Splitsville features lots of bright colors, especially red. The best way that I can describe the style is retro movie theater lobby. The entire place is open in design, an intentional choice to promote social engagement. You should think of this place less as a bowling alley and more as a large group/family hangout where you can also bowl. Due to the odd table placement, however, you may feel a bit claustrophobic at times. Walking around the restaurant requires a bit of navigation and some side-turns to avoid running into other bowlers.
Let’s assume that you’re going to bowl…and you should. Otherwise, pick a place at Disney Springs that’s more intimate. What you need to know about the bowling is that the prices vary depending on several factors. You won’t bowl one game. Instead, you’ll book a lane for a set period of time. How long depends on the size of your party. A couple (or two friends) can book a single lane for an hour. Groups of three to four book for 75 minutes, groups of five to six book for 90 minutes, and groups of seven to eight book for 105 minutes.
The cost is also fixed. On weekdays, you can bowl from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $17 per person or from 4 p.m. until close for $22 per person. And that price does include shoe rentals, so it’s an all-in amount. On Saturday and Sunday, you can bowl for $22 per person, the same as weekdays after 4 p.m. That’s why weekends are so crowded. For $10 more on any day, you can sign up for Priority Bowling; it places you at the head of the line when bowling lanes are all occupied.
What bowling fans are thinking is simple. Splitsville charges a lot for its “Luxury Lanes.” You get quite a bit for the money, though. Televisions are everywhere, making this a wonderful place for friends to hang out. It’s basically a glorified sports bar that happens to have bowling (and billiards!) available for entertainment. Splitsville subscribes to Sunday Ticket, giving football fans a chance to celebrate two hobbies at the same time! Again, the intent is gatherings of friends and families. The price is in line with other places at Disney Springs, as you’ll see when we discuss…
Here’s the surprising part of the conversation. When you eat at a bowling alley, you’re generally happy if you get out without stomach cramps. Food poisoning is just the chance you take when you order a hot dog at a place that also rents shoes.
Splitsville will stun you with its cuisine. Guests gush over the sushi, and no matter how Millennial it is to rave about avocado, their grilling technique is exquisite. When you dine here, you’ll discover a shockingly deep menu with enough options to satisfy even the largest group of picky eaters.
The restaurant offers nine different appetizers that range in price from $7 – $16. My favorites are the Cheeseburger Sliders ($14) and Macho Nachos ($14), but the most adventurous option is the Spicy Edamame, which is also the cheapest option at $7.
You can also order 10 different kinds of sushi including conventional choices such as Spicy Tuna ($13) and California Rolls ($11). Alternately, you can order something with a food name like Ninja Crunch ($14) or Crouching Dragon ($16).
Amusingly, the perception of Splitsville’s cuisine depends entirely on whom you ask. Some folks would call it a burger place at heart, while others would maintain that it’s a pizza joint. Both are true. They serve eight different kinds of pizza here including a Meat Lovers’ version ($17) and the abomination that is Hawaiian Pizza ($17). There are five burgers and five sandwiches on the menu as well, including something I’ve never had the guts to order that’s called The Mad King. It’s 21 ounces of meat for $22, which seems like tremendous bang for the buck, presuming you survive the ordeal.
Splitsville’s menu has much more than what is listed here. It has ten other entrees, four entrée salads, and a solid children’s menu. If you can’t find something to eat, you’re going to die of starvation anyway. You’re just too picky.
The Conclusion: Should You Visit Splitsville?
What you can take from the listed prices is that Splitsville’s food is affordable. They sublimate the cost of the menu items through the bowling, which is frankly overpriced. A couple can have a really good meal at Splitsville for $40, something of a rarity at Disney Springs. And you’ll get a meal that you love, too!
Determining whether to eat at Splitsville is challenging. My family has this debate as we plan literally every Walt Disney World vacation. We love the idea of Splitsville, but spending an hour bowling when you’re at the Most Magical Place on Earth seems counterintuitive. You have other activities you could enjoy just as much, and you can always bowl when you get back home, right? Well, that’s correct to an extent, but these are truly Luxury Lanes.
Splitsville is an inimitable dining experience that leads to unforgettable memories. I absolutely recommend that every frequent Disney guest try this at least once. And I would add that Disney’s so confident in the idea of Splitsville that they’re opening a second one at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney very soon. Bowling at Disney may seem ridiculous at first blush, but it’s a great idea that’s very well executed.