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Holiday Shopping Made Fun for Little Ones at Disney Springs

For many parents, the thought of holiday shopping with their kids in tow sounds like a surefire way to put a damper on the spirit of the season. The reality is that it’s not always possible to get away for a few hours, especially during this busy time of year.

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Our solution? Do your shopping at Disney Springs, and build in time for the kids to have some fun, too! There are countless scenarios, but here’s what we’d suggest:

SHOPPING: Start your day in Town Center, picking up presents for some of the fellow grown-ups on your list. Make sure to visit UNIQLO (where the fashions are on-trend and the looks are affordable) and let your son or daughter spin the famous UNIQLO prize wheel after you check out – kids love it! Next? Stop by nearby UNDER ARMOUR BRAND HOUSE where they’ve recently debuted a new virtual reality experience. For the perfect stocking stuffers, stock up on bath bombs from Basin in the Marketplace; while there, try out one of their latest scrubs for your own mini spa-like service. Then there’s World of Disney, with something to thrill Disney every fan in your life.

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TREATS: Looking for an incentive to encourage good behavior? Options abound! I’m currently craving the new Gingerbread cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes, but the peppermint milkshake from D-Luxe Burger or a holiday-inspired specialty apple from Candy Cauldron would also do the trick! If frozen treats are more your style, the seasonal flavors from Vivoli il Gelato are a sure bet.

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SANTA: Make sure your kids have their wish lists ready to share with Santa – he’s available daily from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. through Christmas Eve. With the convenient pager system (just check in at the podium when you arrive), your wait time in line is minimal.

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EATS: Fuel up with lunch or dinner. Kids go crazy for Rainforest Café or T-REX, both located in the Marketplace. Other favorites include The BOATHOUSE where kids’ meals come in tiny amphicars or Morimoto Asia where special chop sticks let kids practice their culinary etiquette.

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HOLIDAY FUN: During this time of year, your visit isn’t complete without a trek through the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail. (Tip: Find out which tree your kids love most, then let them choose an ornament to take home from Disney’s Days of Christmas, where literally thousands of ornaments are available for sale.) Every evening at 6:00 p.m. the nightly tree lighting ceremony kicks off the evening with a festive glow. Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt is not to be missed – it’s a scavenger hunt style adventure designed for families with kids of all ages. Cap off the night with a viewing of “Starbright Holidays | An Intel Collaboration” featuring 300 show drones choreographed in a stunning aerial ballet in the sky, at 7:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m.

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FAMILIAR FAVORITES: For some kids (my oldest niece included!), it’s impossible to visit Disney Springs without a ride on the Marketplace Carousel and Marketplace Train. Take a few minutes to indulge your kids, and their memories of your “shopping day” at Disney Springs will be nothing but fond!

Disney Springs Celebrates its First Holiday Season

Disney Springs receives a sprinkle of holiday magic as the shopping and entertainment location is transformed into a festive wonderland for the holiday season. With familiar favorites, new seasonal offerings and sparkling décor reflective of the unique Disney Springs neighborhoods, Holidays at Disney Springs will dazzle guests as they complete their seasonal shopping and enjoy the dining and entertainment offerings available during this cheerful time of year.

Guests will be transported to a magical winter wonderland as they visit Disney Springs during the holiday season. Each neighborhood in Disney Springs has been transformed into a unique holiday wonderland for the seasonÕs greetings, each reflecting the neighborhoodÕs role in the waterfront town. Disney Springs is the shopping, dining and entertainment venue at Walt Disney World Resort located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Holiday Décor

Each neighborhood has been transformed into a unique holiday wonderland for the season’s greetings, each reflecting the neighborhood’s role in the Disney Springs waterfront town.

The Marketplace décor will make guests feel right at home with wreaths and trees with a handmade touch. This colorful, authentic atmosphere is the ideal inspiration while shopping for loved ones.

The Landing is decked out in a bit more illustrious style, with silver and gold décor amidst the glittering holiday lights. With a slight modern flare, the metallic decorations fit the theme of this industrial neighborhood.

Guests will be transported to a magical winter wonderland as they visit the West Side neighborhood at Disney Springs. The vibrant blue ornaments, beautiful white holiday lights, and contemporary Christmas trees will bring holiday cheer to shoppers of all ages.

Holidays at Disney Springs

Holiday Entertainment

In addition to the yuletide décor, Disney Springs treats guests to special entertainment offerings throughout the neighborhoods.

The Marketplace is filled with the sights and sounds of the season as Holiday Carolers perform favorite Christmas tunes from 6-10 p.m. each evening from Nov. 13- Dec. 30. The Marketplace holiday celebration continues with a special Kwanzaa musical group appearing at the Waterside Stage Dec. 26 – 27.

Also at the Marketplace, guests can visit Santa Claus to share their Christmas wish. The Chalet is in a new location this year by the Waterside Stage, where guests can meet Santa Nov. 13 – Dec. 24 from 12-10:30 p.m. For the second year, guests will be given a pager for a virtual queue so that they can continue their holiday shopping and be paged once it’s their turn to meet St. Nick. From Dec. 25-29, Santa Goofy will greet guests during the same hours in the Chalet location.

Waterview Park at The Landing gives guests the chance to learn about and experience the story of Hanukkah through music. Showtimes are scheduled throughout the evenings of Dec. 6 – 13.

In addition to the jolly musical offerings, guests will be astounded by the Holiday Stilt Walkers appearing throughout Disney Springs from 6-10 p.m. each evening from Nov. 13 – Dec. 30.

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Shopping

The World of Disney store at the Marketplace is the world’s largest shopping destination for all-things Disney. The recently-expanded location offers a vast assortment of Disney merchandise including plush toys, clothing, Mickey Mouse hats and trading pins. The new Disney Parks Castle Play Set also is available at World of Disney and is the perfect surprise for little princesses.

Disney Springs offers unique gift ideas that are exclusive to this premier shopping location. Ladies with a passion for fashion will appreciate a one-of-a-kind, personalized pair of flip-flops from havaianas, a hand-painted pair of TOMS shoes from Curl, or a stylish hat from Chapel Hats. A custom-designed phone case from D-Tech on Demand is the perfect stocking-stuffer. As for gifts for gentlemen, visit the new Twenty Eight & Main location at the Marketplace for exclusive Disney Parks gentleman’s apparel, accessories, and more.

For presents that sparkle and shine, consider the popular Pandora, Alex & Ani or Crislu jewelry. Dooney & Bourke and Vera Bradley bags add a touch of Disney design. The new Disney Boutique collection, which offers beautiful women’s apparel and accessories for dedicated Disney fans, can be found at TrenD in the Disney Springs Marketplace.

Sweet treats make for delicious holiday surprises. Opening in mid-December, The Ganachery offers rich, hand-crafted chocolate ganache with beautiful custom packaging. Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop also offers tasty chocolate treats and hot chocolates to sweeten this special time of year.

Disney Gift Cards give the gift of Disney magic to everyone this holiday season. Disney Gift Cards are accepted at many Disney Springs shopping locations and all Disney Springs restaurants, including the recently opened Morimoto Asia, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar and The BOATHOUSE.

Holidays at Disney Springs

Dining

In addition to a sleigh full of holiday shopping and entertainment, Disney Springs also offers special Christmas Day meals.

  • Fulton’s Crab House will feature a special surf- and turf menu, which includes braised short ribs and Alaska King crab with loaded mashed potatoes, crispy Brussels sprouts, lardons, and cabernet demi ($45 per person).
  • Portobello Country Italian Trattoria will offer a delectable three-course meal, including a filet with roasted garlic whipped potatoes and sweet cannoli for dessert ($50 per person).
  • For families looking for a classic feast in honor of the festive celebration, Planet Hollywood and Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant will offer a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings to make guests feel right at home.
  • Wolfgang Puck Express will feature a tender oven-roasted pork chop with mashed potatoes and broccolini finished with a special holiday dessert ($15 per person).
  • The beautiful upstairs dining room at Wolfgang Puck Grand Café hosts an elaborate holiday feast, with a three-course meal complete with a wine selection. Guests will enjoy a savory watercress salad, followed by Colorado rack of lamb and concluded with a bittersweet chocolate ganache ($75 per person).

For dining reservations, please call your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today!


Splash Into The BOATHOUSE At Downtown Disney

Over the past year, The BOATHOUSE: Great Food, Waterfront Dining, Dream Boats has been hoisting up along the Downtown Disney skyline. The venue has opened, is the first of several new restaurants coming to The Landing, a new neighborhood that will be part of Disney Springs.

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The BOATHOUSE is an upscale waterfront dining experience showcasing steaks, chops, fresh seafood and a raw bar. Built over the water, the 600 seat nautically themed restaurant also features a display of rare dream boats from the 1930s – 1950s, a beautifully crafted water taxi and a fleet of amphibious autos, called Amphicars.

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Amphicar Rides – Is it a car? A boat? Yes. And yes! Guests can experience the thrill of a Captain’s guided tour aboard a rare Amphicar that drives on land and floats in the water. The $125 price tag includes your own Car Captain and seating for up to three guests. Along the way, you’ll have a great view of Downtown Disney, direct from the water.  Tours are available daily from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., weather permitting, and will be available soon.

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Italian Water Taxi Cruise – The Venezia, a breathtaking 40-foot wooden Italian Water Taxi also offers a Captain’s guided tour of Downtown Disney; this one is complete with live music, chocolate-covered strawberries and a champagne toast. Tours will be offered hourly from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., weather permitting, starting soon, for individuals and groups of up to 20. The cost is $75 per person or $50 per child under age 13. (Want a more private tour for two? Ask about the Antique Steamboat Tour aboard Lady Rose; the cost is $150 per couple.)

“Floating Art” – They are not only beautiful, but they are part of a multi-million dollar fleet of rare boats. Gathered from museums, private collectors, and boat shows from around the world, be sure to take some time to stroll the marina. Photos are not only allowed, but encouraged, so have your camera handy.

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Interior Décor – Boat motors mounted on the wall. Trophies from regattas of days gone by. Stunning photography and artwork, some historical, some richly modern. It’s all incredible. Of course, the true visual hero, even from inside the restaurant, is the water. The good news is that every single table has a great view, so there’s no such thing as a bad seat.

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Entertainment – Harbor Master festivities take place throughout the day and evening, with flag ceremonies and lively musical performances of beloved bugle songs, performed aboard Lady Rose. Inside, live entertainment takes center stage with a variety of musical styles.

Make plans to visit The BOATHOUSE on your next Walt Disney World vacation!


Update On Downtown Disney Transformation

Disney has shared some of the new experiences coming to Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort, including two new dining locations – Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE.

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Here’s a look at some of the latest changes at Downtown Disney as it continues to undergo its transformation into Disney Springs.

The “Springs Bottling Co.” marquee was recently installed above the future location of Morimoto Asia.  This architectural detail is a nod to the design story behind Disney Springs, which was inspired by Florida’s waterfront towns at the turn-of-the-century.

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Right next to the recently announced site for The BOATHOUSE, the Waterview Stage is now offering nightly entertainment, along with beautiful views of Village Lake. Check a Times Guide for showtimes.

Opening later this month, the Food Trucks at Exposition Park on the West Side will be the permanent home for the owned-and-operated Downtown Disney food trucks. From chicken and waffles to tandoori spiced shrimp, the food trucks will offer a variety of delicious culinary creations daily.  This area will also offer additional seating for diners, as well as shaded areas during the day.

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Finally, The Landing – the first phase of Disney Springs – is starting to come to life with a new pedestrian walkway now open between Portobello Yacht Club and Paradiso 37. Later this month, the walkway will be fully open and provide direct access to the West Side.

With the new garage opening and so many new dining and shopping options, it’s great time to visit Downtown Disney and see the transformation for yourself!


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