Saturday, December 1, 2018

Vacation Blog & Vlog! Free Things to do at Disney Springs! Christmas Tree Trail & Toy Hunting at World of Disney

Take a break from the theme parks, or get into the Christmas spirit with a visit to Disney Springs! We took half of our park day and took a stroll around Disney Springs. The last time we visited Disney Springs was March 2017, and many stores and locations were boarded up, so coming back in November 2018 was such a treat! It was like visiting a whole new place. 

Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs opened November 8, 2018, and runs until January 6, 2019, and there you will find Christmas trees decked out in fine style with your favorite Disney Pixar movies in mind, even Star Wars, and The Muppets were included! The trail opens at 11 and closes at 11 PM every day, and seeing the trees at night really does differ then the daytime. At night the lighting is so perfect with the spotlights, and twinkling lights on the trees and the real magic happens when it starts to “snow” while you’re walking the trail. Photos and video are encouraged, be mindful of little kids as they like to run to each tree! Give everyone time to take photos, as there is no limit on how long you can stay gazing at these beautifully decorated trees. Each tree depicts a specific movie or location of Walt Disney World. You’ll want to get up close with each tree as there are little nuances that only tree Disney fans will notice! For example, the 101 Dalmations tree has a box of Kanine Krunchies on the tree, which warmed my heart. The Sleeping Beauty tree has a beacon at the top and its Maleficent’s staff. Each tree has special ornaments on the tree as well, and you can buy those ornaments at World of Disney! 

You can also have a free visit with the big guy himself at Disney Springs! The trail opens with a kiosk to sign up with a free visit to Santa Claus. Pro tip: before you want to visit the trail, or do anything else, sign yourself to see Santa Claus, then do some browsing or get a bite to eat. By the time you’re done with your merriment, your appointment time will be ready. The wait for the next appointment can be as little as 30 minutes during the peak times or as much as 90 minutes long! Visiting the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs is totally free, even the parking is free, or use one of the many ways of Disney transportation to get you to Disney Springs without the hassle of looking for parking. There is still plenty of construction with the parking garages, and those handy parking space counters are all unplugged, so get there early or take Disney transportation to get you there if staying onsite. You can spend a whole day at Disney Springs, it’s such a vast place with different wings, plenty of stores, delicious restaurants with fun themes, and many free things to do! 

We also visited the newly reimagined World of Disney store, which is now the largest Disney Store in the world! Inside you will find every single product that can be found at the parks. You can save your park shopping for your visit to Disney Springs. You will also find a lot of hard to find board games that are only Disney Parks. My son has been asking for the Disney version of Candyland for at least a year! Outside of Disney, you can find it only for $60 plus, which is absolutely ridiculous. I got it for under $18 at World of Disney, it wasn’t too bad packing it, but I was definitely not leaving Florida without. I helped out Santa Claus with that one! You can also use up your snack credits at the World of Disney store as there are many Disney “snacks” that qualify toward your dining plan entitlements. Use those up, and buy some candy essentially for “free.” I say “free” as you already paid for this with your Walt Disney World vacation! 

If you have Memory Maker, which I hope you do, because it is worth every penny - be sure to stop by the PhotoPass store at Disney Springs. There you can wait in a short line to get photographed with two different backdrops by Disney PhotoPass Photographers. They will superimpose fun backgrounds behind you, and you can use these wonderful images to add to your memory maker images, and use them for your Christmas cards or family photo albums. If you have two hours to fill, go and take a Disney Vacation Club tour! Make an appointment before you leave your resort, and they will tell you what kind of gift they are giving just to visit with them. It’s a 45 minutes presentation, and they are not pushy salespeople! Learning about DVC is actually really cool! Plus you can get extra fast passes or even a Disney Gift Card for your valuable time. 

There is plenty to do at Christmastime at Walt Disney World from the awesome Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (blog and video coming soon!), monorail resort hopping at Walt Disney World to check out the gingerbread houses (free and blog and vlog coming soon!), or hanging back at your Walt Disney World Resort (pool day, movie night under the stars). Possibilities are endless! To get a really beautiful bird’s eye view of Walt Disney World Resort to be sure to take a ride in the hot air balloon ($18 for adults, $12 per child). The hot air balloon at Disney Springs is on my Disney bucket list!

What do you do when you’re at Walt Disney World Resort? Do you have any more tips for free things to do? Let me know in the comments below! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, Tubey Toys, to see more of our Walt Disney World vacation!

The views and tips expressed are my own! Stay tuned to our YouTube channel and this blog in order to see the latest in toy reviews and everything Disney!