Walt Disney World 4 Parks in 2 Days: Disney Springs + Wedding

Following our fantastic and busy first day in the parks, Justin and I slept in on Saturday morning. We had brought back delicious croissants from EPCOT's France the night before, for breakfast, so that we wouldn't have to eat at the too-expensive hotel dining hall and we could take the morning slow. Our plan: pick up our rental car, explore Disney Springs, and attend our friend's wedding.

The way rental car pick-up works on Disney World property is this:
• You call in to your chosen rental car company and let them know you will need a ride to their office. They tell you when shuttles will depart your hotel for their pick-up location.
• At said time, you board the shuttle. (Don't be late!)
• They drop you off at the rental office where you sign paperwork and smile when they tell you that you've been upgraded. :)
• You check out the car, note any dings bigger than a nickle (or all dings, just in case) and proceed with rental-stuff.
• Get keys and GO! :)

Needless to say, with the process being very time-specific, the husband and I had a little bit of time to roam our hotel property before leaving to get our car…

our hotel buidling

River nearby.
Fall comes late to Florida.

hotel lobby and boat dock

Finally, it was time to board the shuttle and get our rental car.

Quite comfortable and super-fancy, our rental car drove like a dream. (Speeding? What's that?!?! ☺️) Although there is something to be said for getting stuck at a toll without coins wearing a suit (or dress, in my case) and not being able to pay with credit card because no one is around to take said-card! ☺️ We had to talk to the people in line behind us, who kindly covered our fee. (Construction workers who clearly needed us out of their way so they could get to work!)

Pro-Tip: ALWAYS carry quarters with you when traveling in Florida. You do not want to get stuck at a toll with no way to pay it! (Of course, some rental companies offer the Sun pass or cover tolls for you up to a certain amount a day. Be sure to speak with your rental company when you are renting though. They may need to tack on an extra charge.)

The idea behind getting the rental car so early in the day was not for the purposes of driving it around Disney Springs though… Rather, Justin and I drove it back to the hotel, parked, and fully intended on taking Disney transportation (via boat) to Disney Springs.

But line.

1) The boat doesn't start running until later in the day. Don't think you can hop on at 7AM.
2) The line builds fast. And the boat is small.
3) With the boat being so small, and coming so infrequently, you could easily lose up to an hour or more to get to where you are going.

Justin and I didn't have that kind of time to waste. After 30 minutes of waiting in line with only one boat having come and the expectation that we would be waiting another hour or more before it would be our turn, we decided to just drive over to Disney Springs. We were already losing enough time to a wedding (sorry friends! ❤️ you!) and we wanted to make sure we got more than just that done on our one Saturday in Orlando.

First on our agenda: lunch…

Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik via Visual Hunt / CC BY

at the iconic Planet Hollywood in downtown Disney Springs. 

We ordered an expensive bacon cheeseburger entrée with a strawberry milkshake all the while being mesmerized by the constant movie ads showing on the big screen and exploring the mostly empty restaurant for props and costumes from well-known movies.

Photo credit: carobe via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND
Then Justin and I went walking.

I pulled out my phone to google "What else is there to do in Disney Springs?" Surely there had to be something to entertain us! I mean – this is Disney we're talking about right?

Discovering that there was a boat, we decided to take it across to the other side of the lake … and then follow the lake around back toward our car hitting up anything interesting that we saw…

First we made our way to the Disney Store. Y'know the biggest Disney store in the world! I begged Justin to let me get some small souvenir, a pin or coffee mug, but he wisely said no. Apparently getting souvenirs for souvenirs sake is a bad idea. 😕

Pro-tip: Purchase Disney goodies outside the perimeter of Walt Disney World for better prices. Plus kids, can get a handful of pins to trade with Disney characters if you purchase a "lot" of them on ebay for far cheaper than you will ever pay in the parks!

Photo credit: Kolin Toney via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA
As a consolation "prize" Justin took me to the Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop. (One of the few days that we were on a health kick. 😜)

We ordered a brownie sundae with caramel.

While my image looks tiny, I can assure you that our dessert was huge. Easily enough for two hungry people to share! Maybe even three! (But why are you eating dessert when you are hungry? Get real food!) We ended up trashing most of it. The combination of LARGE dessert + not hungry + Florida heat = wasted (expensive) deliciousness. But it was a fun experience and totally worth doing once!

Pro-tip: Lines at Ghiradelli get long. Be prepared to wait. And then, once you have ordered, know that you will probably end up sitting outside. And there are bees. And your ice cream will melt fast!

At about this time, we had to start heading toward the car. We had been exploring Disney Springs for well over three hours. But as we walked, I took pictures along the way…

We drove back to the hotel, changed, and got ready for the wedding.

While I can't say there was a lot to do in Disney Springs, I do think it was nice having an off-day during our 4 Parks in 2 Days Grand Adventure.

What would you do with an off-day at Walt Disney World? Go shopping? (There were far more Disney and mall-like stores than I listed in today's post!) Eat yummy food? Visit a club? Admire lego statues? Eat chocolate?

P.S. Better images to come in next week's post. When we were exploring Disney Springs I was shooting mainly with an android. Check out our time at Animal Kingdom here and our first day visiting EPCOT here.

** Linking up to City Trippers Mummytravels.com and Wandermum.co.uk

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