Disney,  Orlando,  Reviews

10 Things at Disney Springs

My love of the Mouse House began as a child but became the “real deal” in 1986 when my family went to Walt Disney World for the first time.  I wish I could say that I remember every element of that experience, but my most vibrant memory is of the visor featuring a stuffed Mickey Mouse head that I wore for an hour and then lost at Pecos Bill’s.  I shed a few tears but magically, a Disney employee – or my parents – gave me a replacement visor.

By the way…I no longer have that visor.
Disney Ticket
I used this ticket in my previous post, but it’s too good not to add back to this Disney-related one.

Walt Disney World has been a part of my life for a very long time and will always have a special place in my heart.  The home I purchased just over a year ago is three miles down the road from the Magic Kingdom.  The proximity to Disney provides a lot of opportunities for me to explore in and around the parks.  Today I’m going to focus on some of my favorite things (I just sang that to y’all) in Disney Springs.

Disney Springs, in my somewhat Disney-biased opinion, is an entertainment mecca of restaurants, shops, and experiences for Disney fans of all ages.  It’s a place that I go to on my own, on dates with Jared and out with friends.  I would call myself the “Mayor of Disney Springs,” but that would make me sound like Scrooge McDuck or his egotistical equivalent.

Without further ado…here we go…

Drinks and Dining

The Boathouse

I like to march my (not so) little Disney-loving behind out to the bar located on the back dock of the restaurant.  It’s a picturesque place to sip on the libation of your choice, eat some seafood and watch the amphicars and other boats drift by,

I like to get the oysters at The Boathouse.  As an aphrodisiac, they make me croon “I’d like another Chardonnay, please” to the bartender.

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

The live edge of the bar.  The fried chicken and biscuit sliders.  The decor.  All of these elements make the faux Southern girl in me swoon (I have the chicken “vapors”).  Bonus item – when I tweeted Chef Art Smith about a photo in the restaurant indicating a “job at the Colonel,” he confirmed that he worked for KFC in his early years.

Chicken, biscuits, and mashed potatoes sprinkled with chives.  Welcome to my face!

The Edison

Jared and I recently ventured into The Edison.  It’s “steampunky” with a side of Disneyfied “speakeasy” (everyone’s invited…with a reservation).  The cocktails are stellar, and the appetizer menu game is strong.  Like most venues at Disney Springs, it is pricey, but the food, service, and decor are worth the extra pennies….or dollars.

I’ve been waiting to use my “BAE-con” line.  I legit despise the term “bae,” but it’s too good not to use here.  #SorryNotSorry

The Ganachery

The Ganachery is a cozy chocolate shop that usually has quite the line (maybe it should have a Fast Pass system?)  The chocolates are worth the wait, but if the s’mores are available, please get one.  You get to watch the process of your s’more being made (they use a blowtorch!)  They are a delectable layered dessert made of handmade graham crackers, melty chocolate, golden-toasted marshmallow and finished with a confectioner’s sugar Mickey.  Want.  One.  Now.

Oh Mickey S’more, you’re so fine.  You’re so fine, you blow my diet.


A cupcake shop with an ATM.  An ATM that takes your money and gives you…cupcakes! Although the cupcakes aren’t the best I’ve ever had, the experience of the ATM is pinkalicious fun and oh so tasty.  I’d do it again (and I have!)

Professor Nicole at the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM.  If Sprinkles has a 401k program, please let me know.


AMC Disney Springs 24

I’ve been going to this movie theater for over twenty years!  It has evolved over time to include dine-in service in select theaters and a couple MacGuffins Bars.  Recently they added a Dolby Cinema theater complete with reclined seating.  You feel all of the action during the movie within and around your seat.  It was the BEST venue to see Titanic twenty years later.  “I’ll never let you go, Jack…”

Total bonus…a ticket purchased before noon is just under $6!


Aerophile Balloon Flight

The Aerophile has been around for close to a decade, and I still haven’t been up in it to check out the view of Disney Springs from the air.  The experience is typically available on Groupon so you can check it out at a discounted price.  The attraction will shut down due to weather (safety first, people!)  I am hoping to exchange my Groupon in soon to see the area with the eyes of a bird.

I got grounded by the weather.  At least it didn’t take my phone away.



I’m an Anthro-girl through and through.  The Anthropologie shop at Disney Springs is a two-level beauty.  It’s a “must stop” for me to find home decor odds and ends.  And it even has a “sale” section (how many sale sections have YOU seen at Disney?)

Jared is a trooper.  The store no longer has a “Husband Chair” for him to sit and wait for me as I ogle Capri Blue candles, monogrammed mugs, and gold-toned office supplies.

Disney-Themed Shops

There are so many shops in the Downtown Disney area devoted to the Mouse and all of his friends.  The options are nearly limitless – from clothing to jewelry to accessories and home goods.  It’s a Mouse House lover’s paradise.  Disney Style just opened its doors in May of 2018.  I’ve literally only window shopped it.  My wallet asked me to wait until next month to check it out.  I try to abide the “Wallet Dude.”

I think this was a vignette set-up in a store called “D-Style.”  I don’t believe this shop is at Disney Springs anymore, but you can see the level of detail and care in their “Beauty and the Beast”-inspired display.

My Disney Springs Future

Cake Decorating at Amorette’s Patisserie

Like Alice going down an internet rabbit hole, I stumbled upon a super cool activity available at Amorette’s Patisserie – a cake decorating demonstration.  The shop makes stunning Disney cakes and offers a class five days a week for guests to learn tips and tools of the trade while getting hands-on experience decorating their own Mickey Mouse cake.

The class size is incredibly small, so getting a reservation requires a bit of tenacity and legalized Disney stalking.  The price is also a bit high at $149 plus tax for two people.  My booking has been made for November (the first available date I could get!)  I will be sharing my experience with all of you months and months and months…and months from now.

Do you guys love Disney as much as I do?  What are your favorite Disney experiences?  I’m always on the lookout for new ones.

Do you ever wonder why Mickey has three fingers and a thumb?  Let me know in the comments.

Work Hard.  Play Hard. Drink Chard.


P.S. See you real soon…with another blog post!


  • annick

    ahh I didn’t realise there’s so much to do at Disney! And how cool is it that you still have that ticket – shame about the visor though… but I’m sure you got yourself new ones 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      Between the parks, hotels and Disney Springs there is so much to do! The visor was a bit of a hot mess, but I loved it when I was eleven years old. Now I have a tendency to wear sequined Mickey ears. 🙂

  • Laura Beth

    I loved this post! We spent two days at Disney during our honeymoon in November 2015. We’re already planning to go back for our five-year anniversary in 2020, since Star Wars Land will be open. I feel like a kid!

    • lauriegannon1

      I am so glad you loved it! I am such a huge fan of all things Disney! Oh my goodness…did you know that they have a Star Wars-themed race weekend? Professor Nicole and I did the Stars Wars Half Marathon. It was a trip!

    • lauriegannon1

      One of things I love about Disney Springs is that the parking is free. That’s a great perk for locals and travelers to Disney.

      That bedroom was so darn cute. The displays in that particular store of non-traditional Disney items was nothing short of stellar.

  • Tonya

    I love Disney too! Went to D-land back in the 60s for the first time. Still have my ticket book. All the E tickets are gone tho…When I used to work for the Portland School District we did a shoot at Disneyland as part of our “career” series. We got to go behind the scenes and meet topiary landscapers, costume people and other Disney career folks. I saw Donald Duck walking backstage with his head under his arm. I have to admit I was crushed. (they wouldn’t let us video that)

    • lauriegannon1

      There used to be a ticket book? How cool is that?

      The “career” series sounds like a ton of fun! I think seeing any character without a head would be quite the letdown. 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Amber! Are you an Orlando local? What’s your favorite cupcake from Sprinkles? I’m a salted caramel girl. 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      The bedroom was so darn cute. I wonder if anyone bought the elements to make a room of their own? If you do go, I hope you enjoy it. There is so much to do!

  • Krystin

    I’ve always wanted to go here, so thank you for posting this because you’ve definitely convinced me! I love all the food places you found too!!

    • lauriegannon1

      It’s such a fun place to go with a crazy amount of food places to try. If I was at home today I would be heading over to Disney Springs to try out the new wine bar. #NationalWineDay

    • lauriegannon1

      It is! And I appreciate that they have lots of parking that is free! Definitely makes me a repeat customer. 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      When we walked in nearly half of the tables had the “bacon on a clothesline” dish. It was such a fun presentation and delicious!

    • lauriegannon1

      I wish I could tell my eleven-year-old self that I was going to live down the street from the Magic Kingdom. It would have blown my little kid mind. 🙂

      I hope your “maybe” ends up being a “yes” and you have the best time!

    • lauriegannon1

      The Cupcake ATM is super fun, but that s’more is WAY better. It’s delicious and fun to watch them make it.

      Thank you for the blog ❤️!!

  • Edel

    Disney Springs is a “park” itself lol. So much to do and have a good time. How awesome is it that you live right there!

    • lauriegannon1

      That’s a really great way to put it! It’s definitely a park in and of itself.

      It’s really fun living so closeby. Sometimes I walk out to the back of my house to watch the nightly fireworks (I definitely hear them!)

  • jessylauren

    I love everything Disney! I do not think I have been to Disney Springs though! I love the thought of a cupcake atm and a cake decorating class! (Can you tell I love cakes?) I will definitely look into these for my next trip!

    • lauriegannon1

      I love cake, too! I really love personal cakes…a.k.a. cupcakes. There i so much to do in Disney Springs. If you do make it there, I hope you love it!!

  • Lisa Butler

    I loved Disney! I worked there as an intern at 21 in 1997. I was offered a job to stay but my mother who was helping me pay for school said no to helping me financially so back to NY I went. Then joined the Army. I’ll go back someday.

    I hope you don’t mind new people you never met before reading your blog, if so I can stop. I follow a lot of wine bloggers 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Lisa! I moved to Orlando in 1997 and worked at Planet Hollywood. I wonder if we ever crossed paths?

      I love new people and people I have never met so you fit right in. Only stop reading if you don’t enjoy the blog. Welcome to Work, Play and Chardonnay!! 🤗🍷👩🏼‍💻

      • Lisa Butler

        Hi! I mostly worked in MGM Studios at ABC Commissary (I still know the Happy Days dance!) I also did stadium vending and I was out there for the Hercules parade, selling those huge pretzels.

        So you would remember Cinderella’s castle for the anniversary when it was pink! ☺️

      • lauriegannon1

        I love those pretzels so darn much!

        And oh yes…I remember the pink Cinderella’s Castle. It looked absolutely horrid (I just became momentarily British). 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      The food options at Disney Springs are awesome! Have you seen the live action version of Beauty and the Beast? I liked it way more than I thought I would. 😀

    • lauriegannon1

      Hello, Australia! You are going to have so much fun when you get here. Disney is constantly making updates and adding new attractions/experiences so you will have so many things to try!

      Thank you for reading! 🤗

  • Drea Anderson

    Disney is truly a magical play. We go every 2 years to Florida and Disney is a must see for us each time we visit. It really has changed over the years to make it a play for adults to also enjoy.

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Drea! Where are you from? And when you come to Orlando do you stay on Disney property?

      Thank you for stopping by Work, Play and Chardonnay! 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      Thank you, Taite! I can still remember the first time the phrase came out of my mouth. It’s my never ending quest for work/life balance. With a glass of wine. 🙂

      Thank you for checking out the blog! I hope you come back soon. – Laurie

  • Kiwi

    Disney Springs looks so lush. I will be going to Disneyland next week but i will be going to Disneyworld this summer so thanks for this beautiful review.

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Kiwi! Thank you for checking out the blog. I hope you have a great time at both “coasts” of Disney! 🙂

  • Charmain payne

    THe food looks great, i love to try oysters and what are s’more lol (British mind thought it was cheese lol

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Charmain! Oysters are so darn good. I love them with mignonette. How do you like your oysters?

      S’mores are graham crackers and chocolate with a toasted marshmallow. They are ooey, gooey, messy and lovely.

  • Food Opium

    My daughter has been always asking us to take to Disney land and her list never ends what she wants to do their, recently when they visited States, they did not make it as it packed scheduled, but this time around we are trying to make it and let her live her dream :-)…!

    • lauriegannon1

      How old is your daughter? I am so happy for her and for you that she will be able to live her dream. She’ll have wonderful memories! 🙂

  • Genny

    Going to Disney Springs is terrific. I love everything without a doubt. The best adventure for everybody

    • lauriegannon1

      I really hated it when they changed the name but I have since changed my mind. I enjoy the area so much more than I did before (although I still miss the Comedy Warehouse). 🙂

  • Kaella

    We are huge Disney fans in our house but I never heard of Disney Springs. We will be visiting here next time we are in the area.

    • lauriegannon1

      Disney Springs was previously known as “Downtown Disney”. I hope you enjoy it when you come visit! 🙂

  • Marie Fe AmayaMarie

    I love Disney! We went with my Family last year and we had so much fun. My daughter loves the rides but I’m not that much as I am scared of heights. But it’s really a great experience. Thanks for sharing.

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi Gavin! It’s such a wonderful place where memories can be made in so many ways. I can’t wait for you and your family to go!

  • ohmummymia

    It looks like not only a kids have fun there:P I’m planning to visit Disneyland Paris next year with my toddler but I have feelings it will be ore for me not for him:D

    • lauriegannon1

      That’s so awesome! I hope you enjoy Disney Springs! There are still so many things that I need/want to try!

  • Sarah

    It looks like you had an amazing time!! I’ve never been but after seeing your post I want to go!! Thanks for allowing me to live vicariously through you! Great post. 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Sarah! I totally recommend time at Disney Springs if you ever make it to the Orlando area. It’s so much fun! They have added a lot more parking over the past few years which has been a parking godsend (I never thought I would write that!) 🙂

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