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Disappointing Photos That Show What It Can Really Be Like To Visit Disney Springs


I took this photo at 6:05 p.m. on a Thursday in July.Amanda Krause/Insider

  • Disney Springs is an outdoor shopping and dining center in Disney World with free admission.

  • It’s a fan-favorite location, but large crowds and hot temperatures can make a visit disappointing.

  • Disney Springs can also be pricey due to expensive food and souvenirs.

Disney Springs might be one of my favorite places to shop and eat in Disney World, but it’s not always magical to visit.

A Mickey Mouse topiary and planters at Disney Springs in August 2021.

This Mickey fountain is located near the World of Disney store in Disney Springs.Amanda Krause/Insider

Located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Disney Springs has little shade and dark asphalt walkways. So when it’s 90 degrees outside, you feel the heat.

A view of Disney Springs in August 2021.

Good or bad, Florida weather hits you as soon as you enter Disney Springs.Amanda Krause/Insider

There are a few shady paths near the shops, but they are small and the sunlight still penetrates them.

People gather in the shade at Disney Springs in July 2022.

People gather under shaded walkways at Disney Springs in July 2022.Amanda Krause/Insider

As you walk around, you’ll notice that some of the stores are a bit basic, like the giant M&M store which sells regular sweets at extortionate prices. Some small boxes of candy, for example, cost over $20.

Stores at Disney Springs in July 2022.

In Disney Springs, there is an M&M store located near an AMC movie theatre.Amanda Krause/Insider

You might also see some sections under construction for months at a time, like this restaurant which isn’t expected to open until 2023.

A section of Disney Springs under construction starting in July 2022.

It will probably be months before this new restaurant opens in Disney Springs.Amanda Krause/Insider

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in Disney Springs, but they aren’t always open. Food trucks, for example, only open late on weekdays.

The 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck at Disney Springs.

This food truck was closed when I visited after 5pm on a Thursday in July.Amanda Krause/Insider

Other food stalls, like the carts that sell pretzels and Mickey’s ice cream, don’t have set hours, so you may have to walk around until you find one open. And when you do, be prepared to spend a decent amount of money. The pretzels alone cost $7.50.

A closed food cart at Disney Springs in July 2022.

A closed food cart at Disney Springs in July 2022.Amanda Krause/Insider

There are plenty of photo ops throughout the mall, but they are often crowded with resting travelers.

Disney fans gather around a Lego sculpture at Disney Springs.

Disney fans gather around a Lego sculpture at Disney Springs.Amanda Krause/Insider

There are also unique activities to participate in, such as Amphicar tours. But beware, a 20-minute ride in one costs $125, and if you want to watch from behind the scenes, you’ll have to walk through large crowds of onlookers.

Crowds gather to watch the Amphicars leave the Boathouse restaurant in Disney Springs.

Crowds gather to watch the Amphicars leave the Boathouse Restaurant.Amanda Krause/Insider

If you visit after 5 p.m., expect to see the large crowds grow even larger. People flock to Disney Springs at sunset to avoid the heat.

A crowded view of Disney Springs in July 2022.

I took this photo at 6:05 p.m. on a Thursday in July.Amanda Krause/Insider

As Disney Springs fills with tourists, the lines get extremely long. At popular restaurants like The Polite Pig, where reservations aren’t suggested, there’s often a wait to get in.

A line of people wait to enter The Polite Pig at Disney Springs in July 2022.

A line of people wait to enter The Polite Pig at Disney Springs in July 2022.Amanda Krause/Insider

The Rainforest Cafe was one of the busiest restaurants I’ve seen, with a line stretching past the destination’s giant volcano just to make a reservation.

A line of people wait to enter the Rainforest Cafe at Disney Springs in July 2022.

A line of people wait to enter the Rainforest Cafe at Disney Springs in July 2022.Amanda Krause/Insider

Gideon’s Bakehouse had an equally long wait, with dozens of visitors waiting to buy the shop’s half-pound cookies.

People wait to buy dessert at Gideon's Bakehouse in July 2022.

People wait to buy dessert at Gideon’s Bakehouse in July 2022.Amanda Krause/Insider

Read more: I tried the $6 cookies at Disney World that people line up for hours for, and it was the highlight of my vacation

You’ll also have to wait for quick-serve snacks, like Dole Whip.

A line awaits Dole Whip at the Swirls on the Water booth in Disney Springs.

A line of people waiting for Dole Whip at the Swirls on the Water booth in Disney Springs.Amanda Krause / Insider

And once you get your ice cream, it might not be too scenic. Even at 7:15 p.m., the Dole Whip I ordered melted in less than two minutes. Quickly, this $6.50 dessert seemed overpriced.

A Dole Whip flight melted down at Disney Springs in July 2022.

A Dole Whip flight melted down at Disney Springs in July 2022.Amanda Krause/Insider

Sure, you can shop instead of dine, but you probably won’t beat the crowds. When I visited Disney Springs Sephora in July, I could barely walk the aisles.

A large crowd of shoppers at Sephora in Disney Springs.

Evening crowds at Disney Springs often gather in air-conditioned stores.Amanda Krause/Insider

Some of the worst lineups are the result of confused shoppers. The World of Disney line was so long that people didn’t know where to stand. And at the Disney Christmas store, I waited over 20 minutes to purchase an ornament before realizing I was at the personalization counter, not the checkouts.

Shoppers wait to shop at two Disney Springs stores.

I spent over 20 minutes waiting in line to make a purchase at Disney’s Days of Christmas.Amanda Krause/Insider

Some designer stores are a little quieter, but the merchandise is less accessible. After seeing fans gather around a handbag in the Coach store, I checked the price. It cost $695.

A Disney-themed Coach bag at Disney Springs in July 2022.

A Disney-themed Coach bag at Disney Springs in July 2022.Amanda Krause/Insider

Whenever you decide to leave, good luck. It’s nearly impossible to get through the crowds, and rideshare pick-up locations can be hard to find. There are only two, and they are at opposite ends of Disney Springs.

Crowds at Disney Springs on a Friday night in July 2022.

Crowds at Disney Springs on a Friday night in July 2022.Amanda Krause/Insider

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