SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We Love DISNEY SPRINGS

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at DISNEY SPRINGS! In the transition from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, we’ve already covered some of the things we really enjoy, including the E-Ticket parking garages, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and the gigantic must-be-seen Baked Alaska at BOATHOUSE, but this week we’re going to look at some new additions to the area along with some under the radar experiences that you just have to do, so let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Amorette’s Pattiserie

Amorette’s Pattiserie is one of the true “best kept secrets” at Walt Disney World. Many of us watch various cooking shows on TV with world class chefs making incredible desserts that are as much pieces of art as they are food. You can actually get these mouth watering treats at Disney Springs and at a reasonable cost. While best known for their Instagram-worthy petit cakes, Amorette’s offers a rather large menu. Cake pops, cheesecake, chocolate covered strawberries, eclairs, and their too-cute-for-words mousse are just some of the offerings for those who have a sweet tooth. Meanwhile you can also get a light lunch or dinner with a selection of sandwiches and made-to-order crepes. Celebrating a special occasion while on vacation? Consider surprising your loved ones with a large character cake that can be pre-ordered and then picked up at the store (call (407) 934-3500 or stop by Amorette’s at least 72 hours in advance.)

Amorette’s Patisserie, located directly next to the World of Disney store. (photo by Brandon Glover)
The fan favorite Mickey and Minnie MOUSSE. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Halloween-themed Mickey Mousse. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Valentine’s Day-themed petit cake. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)
Easter-themed “bunny” petit cake. (photo by @thedclblog)
Holiday-themed cake. (photo by @thedclblog)
S’mores petit cake. (photo by @thedclblog)
Anyone given a petit cake as a gift is going to appreciate it. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Cross-section of petit cake. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Made-to-order crepe. (photo by @thedclblog)
St. Patrick’s Day strawberries. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Pride celebration strawberries. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Millenial Pink Celebration Toast (with chocolate rose gold ears), Unicorn Macaron and Dole Whip Eclair. (photo by @thedclblog)

 

# 5 – AMC Dine-In Theatres

I have two places in Orlando that I like to see movies at. One is the true IMAX screen at Pointe Orlando on International Drive. The other is the AMC Dine-In Theatres at Disney Springs. With a shockingly good menu along with a full bar, this was how movies were meant to be enjoyed…with people bringing you stuff! Instead of the usual movie theater where there is literally nothing to do while waiting for your movie, the lobby of the Dine-In Theatres features the MacGuffins bar and lounge. Here you can enjoy drinks along with being able to order off the food menu. Inside the actual theater, guests are seated with a table in front of them and a call button for your server. There is no minimum purchase, and you can even just order popcorn and soda (or nothing if you so desire.)

Draft beer at MacGuffins bar and lounge. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Chicken strips and fries. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Inside one of the dine-in theaters. (photo by Brandon Glover)
The call button for your server. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Drinks available inside the theater, something which makes a film like Solo: A Star Wars Story much easier to enjoy. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Pepperoni flatbread. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Popcorn and soda…free refills! (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

# 4 – Bowling at Splitsville

With Cirque du Soleil currently dark along with DisneyQuest and Wolfgang Puck’s Grand Cafe in the process of being remodeled into new experiences, the West Side can oftentimes seem like No Man’s Land. Here at the SAT SIX we say Nay Nay! It is well worth your while to head on over to Splitsville for both a meal and some fun bowling. When most people think of “bowling alley food” you generally think the lowest quality food imaginable, but do you know that Splitsville is one of the highest-rated restaurants at Disney Springs? The menu is absolutely awesome, including some of the best pizza at WDW (granted, the lowest bar possible, but still.) Great burgers and even better sushi are the highlights of the menu, and be sure to leave room for dessert. You can also get all of the items on the menu delivered to your lane while you bowl. Now that’s a sport we can get behind!

Splitsville at Disney Springs. The upstairs area is now enclosed dining. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Splitsville souvenir cup. Available in several colors and can be used with their Coke Freestyle mahine. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Vegan friendly Impossible burger sliders.(photo by Brandon Glover)
The Mad King burger. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Sushi. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Hold on, there’s bowling at this bowling alley?!! (photo by Brandon Glover)
Its a scientific fact that alcohol makes any sport better. They say soccer is the “world’s most popular sport,” but can you play it while drinking an ice cold beer? (photo by Brandon Glover)
Kids love bowling. (photo by Scott Sanders)
Splitsville bowling. (photo by Scott Sanders)
It’s a strike! (photo by Scott Sanders)
Three strikes! Gobble gobble! (photo by Scott Sanders)
Advertisement for Early Bird bowling. Regular prices are $17 from 10:30-4PM and $22 from 4PM-10PM. 1-2 get 1 hour of lane time, 3-4 get 75 minutes, 5-6 get 90 minutes, and groups of 7-8 get 1 hour & 45 minutes of lane time. (photo by Scott Sanders)
You can’t beat that price for 75 minutes of family fun. (photo by Scott Sanders)
Discounts for CMs abound at Splittsville. (photo by Scott Sanders)

 

# 3 – DisneyStyle

One of the most recent additions to Disney Springs is the DisneyStyle shopping experience located where the old Harley-Davidson store used to be. Now, for some reason in both California and even the “new and improved” World of Disney at Disney Springs, The Mouse has actually been taking out as much “Disney” as possible, and unfathomably turning their stores into generic retail offerings that just happen to sell character merchandise. Thankfully DisneyStyle went the complete opposite direction and is a true pleasure to be in for any theme park fan. The store is filled with some unique Disney items along with some fantastic photo-ops! Be sure to keep your head on a swivel, as there are some wonderful design elements everywhere you look, from Tangled-inspired lanterns and an old school Skyway bucket hanging from the ceiling, to its a small world-like artwork in the dressing rooms. With fun props throughout the store that are going to appeal to the Disney parks fan, its also nice to know that DisneyStyle isn’t stocked with a bunch of generic “Disney Parks 2018” merchandise, and instead has a great selection of themed merchandise that can be irresistible.

DisneyStyle. (photo by Brandon Glover)
DisneyStyle. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Tea Cup photo op. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Beast bag. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
DisneyStyle items. (photo by Scott Sanders)

 

# 2 – Rise & Shine Southern Brunch at Homecomin’

Yes, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is one of our favorite restaurants in all of WDW. We thought after the debut of the thigh high chicken biscuits that it was IMPOSSIBLE for this dining venue to get better. Turns out we were wrong, as earlier this summer Homecomin’ started to serve a weekend brunch menu. Blueberry mimosas. White peach sangrias. House made mini-doughnuts. The Hallelujah biscuit. We are starting to see a resurgence in brunches at Disney, and Homecomin’ is a great place to start your Saturday or Sunday (10:00am – 2PM.)

(photo by Brandon Glover)
You could pick from these menus blindfolded and still do great. (photo by Captain Cruiseline)
Blueberry Mimosa and Florida Crush. (photo by Scott Sanders)
Art’s famous cheddar cheese drop biscuits, served with jam. (photo by Scott Sanders)
French toast from the children’s menu. (photo by Scott Sanders)
Potato gratin mash. (photo by Scott Sanders)
Oh, it’s cheesy. Trust us. (photo by Megan Stump)
Hallelujah biscuit – open-faced biscuit topped with Chef Art’s famous fried chicken, two fried eggs, pimento cheese, pecan-smoked bacon and smothered in sawmill gravy. (photo by Scott Sanders)
Junior farmer plate from kid’s menu. (photo by Scott Sanders)

 

# 1 – The Void: Star Wars Secrets of the Empire

I have not done much Virtual Reality gaming. In fact my first experience with VR was on a Legoland coaster (this is of course completely discounting all the horrible “VR” such as Aladdin’s Magic Carpet at DisneyQuest.) I thought VR was a neat gimmick. After doing The Void at Disney Springs, I’m 100% convinced VR is the future of the entertainment industry. After being outfitted with special helmet and back pack, you literally walk into another world. I could not believe what I was experiencing. Without much spoilers, as a rebel spy you are transported to the lava planet Mustafar and as God as my witness it feels like you are there. One of my favorite parts of the entire experience is that it doesn’t “dumb itself down” and all but makes you figure things out on your own during the journey. You also have the smart aleck droid K-2SO (from Rogue One) along the experience, giving suggestions and funny comments about your ability in the game (or lack thereof.) At several points you get to shoot at attacking Storm Troopers, and its everything the 10 year old me wanted and then some. A literal dream come true. After we finished, all I could think about was doing it again. The cost was $29.95 per person, and while the actual gameplay is only about 7-10 minutes long, it is worth every single penny.

I used to say that the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was the one thing people had to experience at Disney if they hadn’t done it before. Now I’m telling people they have to do The Void, it’s that good.

For more info on Star Wars Secrets of the Empire, check out Erin Foster’s full review of The Void experience.

The Void, which took over the back end of the Once Upon A Toy store. (photo by Brandon Glover)
There is also an age minimum of 10 years old. There were a lot of kids in the groups before and after us. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Liability waver that was longer and just as easy to scroll past as an iTunes update agreement. Who knows WHAT I signed off on. (photo by @Brandon Glover)
Rebel Derek ready for The Resistance. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Preview video before you enter the actual gameplay experience gives you a small taste of what you’ll be encountering. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Cassian, from Rogue One, gives us our mission. (photo by Brandon Glover)
After your mission debriefing, you get to choose the color of your avatar in the game. (photo by Erin Foster) 
After your experience ends, the group gets together for a picture in your full gear. This photo is linked to one of your wristbands. For our experience, The Void cast member scanned my girlfriend’s wristband, and my girlfriend proceeded to immediately lose her wristband in the following 20 steps to the front registers. Thankfully ERIN FOSTER’s group was much better at their photo opportunity.
Secrets of the Empire merch. (photo by Brandon Glover)
The Void hats. (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

Honorable Mention: THE SAUCE SLINGER at Chicken Guy!

The greatest job in Florida, hands down.

, is the Sauce Slinger at Chicken Guy! The Slinger is loaded down with various flavors of dipping sauce for you to enjoy and adds a little fun to one of the most reasonably priced meals at Disney Springs. Be sure to check out TouringPlans’ review of Chicken Guy! including meeting the man steeped in legend… the Sauce Slinger.

The one. The only. The SAUCE SLINGER. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Some of the 22 sauces available at Chicken Guy! (photo by Brandon Glover)
Selection of items from Chicken Guy! (photo by Laurel Stewart)
Ace photographer Brandon Glover, the Sauce Slinger, and Drunk@Disney. Name a more iconic trio, I’ll wait.

So there you have it: Six Reasons We Love DISNEY SPRINGS! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).

If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:

6 Drinks You Gotta Try at DISNEY SPRINGS

6 Great Indiana Jones References at JOCK LINDSEY’S HANGAR BAR

Are Disney’s Hotels Going To The Dogs? A Review.

Walt Disney World Locations Used in Hulk Hogan’s THUNDER IN PARADISE

Special Thanks to our spirit animal Brandon Glover, Captain Cruiseline @TheDCLBlog of the world famous Disney Cruise Line Blog, the bio-est of all reconstructs @bioreconstruct, Erin “Bananas” Foster, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and Nick, crazy cat lady – and our Fearless Leader – Laurel Stewart, and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. The SAT SIX is inspired each week by goofballs Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde and you Potterheads will  enjoy Meg’s other blog work over at the Central Florida Slug Club.

FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2018 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it? Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now!

Executive producer: @FinnFromNY, check your local listings!

8 thoughts on “SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We Love DISNEY SPRINGS

  • August 25, 2018 at 9:48 am
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    I live in SC, and in the last few months we have driven down twice just for a weekend at DS. There is so much to do, and you don’t have to buy a park ticket; plus the nearby hotel is pretty nice, has a great pool, and is much cheaper than staying on property. We’ve done The Void both times. Amazing! I can’t wait for the Wreck it Ralph version! Also, the brunch at Mario and Enzos is well worth it.

    • August 25, 2018 at 3:07 pm
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      Wait, there’s going to be a Wreck-It-Ralph version??? My daughter has recently been infatuated with that movie and would love it!

      • August 25, 2018 at 4:01 pm
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        Yes! According to Jim Hill they will do half Star Wars and half Wreck it Ralph starting in November. They are trying to time it with the release of the new movie.

  • August 25, 2018 at 10:39 am
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    Great post! Thanks!

  • August 25, 2018 at 12:29 pm
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    Nice work getting so many great shots! This was a joy to read! 🙂

  • August 25, 2018 at 1:46 pm
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    We’re interested in maybe doing homecoming brunch but it doesn’t look like they have a vegetarian option? Do they have a separate vegetarian option?

    • August 25, 2018 at 2:06 pm
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      While I consider Homecomin’ to be one of my top 3 restaurants at WDW, I rarely go there with my vegan girlfriend because of the lack of options compared to other places. Recently they have started to add Gardein chcik’n item(s) to the menu, but I wouldn’t go there looking for a vegetarian/vegan friendly menu like other venues have.

  • August 25, 2018 at 3:13 pm
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    As I began reading this, I thought, “Oh, Great, just another list for foodies. This list is going to be so wrong if The Void isn’t number 1.” Glad to see that it was!

    We did The Void this past summer, and it was a dream come true. The VR is near perfect and the closest that today’s tech has come to mimicking The Oasis from the movie Ready Player One. One fortunate accident for us was that my daughter’s headset lost audio and video in the last room. The technicians picked up on the error and we got to go through again for free! On my second trip through, I got to playing around with the VR, and it was accurate right down to the number of fingers I was holding up in my stormtrooper-armored hand!

    Yes, we spent over $100 on a 10 minute experience, but for a Star Wars fan, this is a MUST DO!

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