by Beth Keating
November 9, 2021
Everyone has a list of gifts to purchase for friends and family this time of the year, and Disney Springs is hoping you’ll do some of that shopping at their location. To entice you to spend your dollars at the Springs, they’ve offered up a bevy of activities to make your shopping excursion more fun.
Obviously, more than 100 shopping locations are waiting for you to peruse their wares, and 63 different dining venues will keep you fueled for the day (or night!), but there are lots of other things to do as well.
Live entertainment abounds, particularly later in the day, as both DJs and live performers show off their skills at several different spots throughout Disney Springs. Waterside Stage is the place to go for live, and free, concerts. Check the board near the stage for up-to-date performers and times when you are there in your visit.
Make sure you head into the Town Center area, where “snow” flurries fall throughout the night to make your evening seem more magical. Toy soldier stilt-walkers and snowflake skaters will pop up throughout the night as well.
If your holiday shopping plans wouldn’t be complete without a visit to jolly old St. Nick, make your way to Once Upon a Toy, where you can snap a holiday photo with Santa, socially distanced, of course, in front of a special backdrop. (It’s indoors, so bring your masks.)
Santa will be there from November 12 through December 24, 2021, as will Disney PhotoPass photographers who can capture digital portraits that will be available for purchase. (Virtual queues may be offered at times, so you can continue your gift hunt while waiting your turn with Santa.). Santa will be available:
• November 12 to December 14, 2021 – 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
• December 15 to December 24, 2021 – 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM
And speaking of Santa, two Disney Springs locations will be offering a chance to eat with the big man himself. Breakfast with Santa at T-rex will take place on December 11; and Breakfast with Santa at Rainforest Café® at Disney Springs Marketplace welcomes families on December 18.
One of the annual highlights at Disney Springs is the Christmas Tree Stroll, which can also serve as a scavenger hunt of sorts. Presented by AdventHealth, twenty different themed Christmas trees, inspired by Disney films, television shows, and beloved characters, are scattered throughout the neighborhoods of Disney Springs. The festively decorated trees offer two completely different experiences: A daytime hunt, when the details of the trees are more obvious, but also a magical nighttime stroll, when the trees are lit up to their sparkling best.
Guests can pick up a Christmas Tree Stroll map at one of half a dozen sites, and complete their stroll by finding each tree, adding a sticker for each character or story to the correct place on the map. Once completed, maps can be returned to the redemption locations for a special treat. The BOATHOUSE, Planet Hollywood, City Works, Under Armour, Basin, and Amorette’s have both the maps to pick up, as well as a spot to redeem your prize. (Note: For those of you who have picked up maps at the welcome center in past years, maps are not available there this year.)
Disney Springs is doing double duty in the snacks and treats department right now as well, offering both holiday specialties at various restaurants, and the Resort’s 50th Anniversary goodies. Find a list of treats and participating locations at Disney Springs’ holiday guide.
If you’ve worked up a thirst, or need a bit of a nosh before forging on, Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar transforms into Jock Lindsey's Holiday Bar for the season. Jock’s Holiday Specialties include such options as Holiday Ham and Brie ($9); C9 Light Deviled Eggs (in festive holiday colors!) with Shrimp and Tobiko Caviar ($12); “Cookies and Milk” (in a distinctly adult iteration with rum!) ($27); or a ClausMo, a holiday twist on a Cosmopolitan ($16). Oh, and there are holiday decorations, too.
Each of the dining locales in Disney Springs is featuring either Anniversary specialties or holiday goodies, but a few of the newest holiday edibles around the Springs include:
At Amorette’s Patisserie
- White Chocolate Peppermint Éclair with White Chocolate and Peppermint Mousse
- Holiday Mickey Mousse Mini Dome Cake
- Holiday Parfait – Bourbon white chocolate mousse, cranberry cherry panna cotta, maple chocolate ganache, and chocolate chiffon cake
- Cherry Jubilee Bubble Waffle – Bubble waffle filled with scoops of vanilla ice cream, cherries jubilee fillings, and whipped cream
- Santa Hot Crêpe – Sweet crêpe filled with eggnog custard topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream (available Nov. 26- Dec. 30)
At D-Luxe Burger
- Holiday Turkey Burger – Turkey patty, butternut squash risotto cake, bacon-cranberry jam, lettuce, and tomato
- “Oh Deer” Cookie Shake – Hazelnut liqueur, vanilla gelato, cinnamon beverage syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon, and sugar dusting with ginger deer garnish
At Dockside Margaritas
- Snowman on the Beach Margarita – Silver tequila, key lime juice, crème de coconut, sweet and sour, graham cracker rim, chocolate pearls, and carrot sugar piece
At The Daily Poutine
- Gobbler Poutine – Turkey, brown gravy, cranberry chutney, and cheese curds
At The Ganachery
- Olaf Hot Cocoa Surprise
- Santa Mickey Piñata
- Gingerbread Ganache Square
- Peppermint Bark
Check out the Disney Springs Calendar for specific dates and times for special events and appearances.
Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.
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