LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. —With its multi-year makeover from Downtown Disney nearly complete, Disney Springs at every corner will be unwrapping its very first full-on holidays gala. For the first time, the just-expanded shopping, dining and entertainment district will be filled with festive decorations, the merriest of special events, and fun for the whole family.
During the celebration – now through Jan. 8, 2017 – Disney Springs puts a big red bow around the season of cheer with three extra special events:
— Stitch’s Holiday Gift A fun scavenger hunt will allow guests to explore all four neighborhoods of Disney Springs. Guests pick up their Holiday Hunt booklet at any participating location, then explore Disney Springs in search of a unique Stitch icon at each participating location. Once complete, guests redeem the booklet at a redemption location to receive a free “completer” button.
— The Festival of Toys. The Once Upon a Toy Fountain area comes alive with a holiday dance party, deluxe hot chocolate for sale, pin trading and a nightly tree lighting ceremony inviting a select family to turn on the holiday lights.
— Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail. This immersive and enchanting walk-through experience features 15 custom decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme. Custom music and a light snowfall completes the Christmassy scene.
Holiday Shopper’s Paradise
Talk about shopping, Disney Springs will be the address for shoppers at holiday time — from name-brand retailers to unique boutiques stocking that special trinket for under the tree to everything in between.
Some of the most recognizable names in retailing have opened their doors in Town Center, newest neighborhood of Disney Springs. These include Anthropologie, Lucky Brand, kate spade new york, UNDER ARMOUR BRAND HOUSE, Tommy Bahama and Sephora — plus brands unique to Central Florida including UNIQLO, Melissa Shoes and UNOde50.
In Marketplace, guests can shop for seasonal offerings at Disney’s Days of Christmas, Art of Disney, World of Disney, Wonderful World of Memories, Marketplace Fun Finds, and Marketplace Co-Op.
At Art of Disney, shoppers can find sketch artists doing holiday artwork. Goofy’s Candy Co. for the holidays is a yummy wonderland of chocolate-dipped candy canes, Olaf caramel apples, Mickey Santa Krispy Treat, miniature fruit cakes and a Mickey Santa Cupcake.
Disney Springs also unwraps a special, hard-to-find present found on every shopper’s wish list: convenient, close-in and complimentary parking.
With the proximity of two “smart” garages where open parking spaces are readily identified, Disney Springs guests are spared the holiday angst of jockeying up and down rows of parked cars for the elusive slot. Disney Springs also is connected to Disney resort hotels by complimentary motorcoach or watercraft service. After 4pm, transportation is available from all four Theme Parks to Disney Springs.
Holiday Feasting at Disney Springs
When the holiday hungries strike, there is no need to pack back into the car. Great dining options abound at every corner of Disney Springs, whether it’s grab-and-go (food trucks at West Side), casual sit-down (Earl of Sandwich, Paradiso 37, Wolfgang Puck Cafe) or a memorable dining experience at venues such as STK and Morimoto Asia. At select locations such as The BOATHOUSE, Raglan Road, T-Rex CafÃ©, Rainforest Cafe and Splitsville, entertainment becomes an extra added attraction to holiday feasting.
Frontera Cocina, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, D-Luxe Burger, Homecoming — Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine are new Town Center dining discoveries holiday shoppers will find. Also new for 2016: a holiday cocktails and craft beer in Marketplace.
Byways and stages filled with holiday entertainment
Between great shopping and dining, Disney Springs treats guests to a sleighful of holiday entertainment.
At Marketplace, Living Statues (World of Disney/Poutine Courtyard)
At Marketplace, The Festival of Toys
At Marketplace, Carolers (near Disney’s Days of Christmas and Santa’s Chalet).
At Waterview Park (The Landing), Hanukkah-inspired troupe Kalinka 24-30
At Waterside Stage (Marketplace), DJ Holiday Dance Party
At Waterside Stage, UHURU celebrating Kwanza Dec. 26-27
At Marketplace, Toy Soldier stilt walkers
Best News of All
That would be the Jolly Old Man himself. Direct from the North Pole, Santa Claus invites the young and young-at-heart to share their Christmas wishes at Santa’s Chalet (Marketplace) Nov. 11-Dec. 24 (Noon-10:00 p.m.) and Black Friday Nov. 25 (8 a.m.-10:00 p.m.). Santa Goofy joins the fun Dec. 25-Dec. 30 (Noon-10:00 p.m.).