Awhile back Walt Disney World Resort had planned a facelift for Downtown Disney, but those plans were scrapped. Now, Disney has announced a multi-year plan that will completely transform the entire Downtown Disney area and experience. Downtown Disney as it is today, has become my family’s favorite go-to spot each time we visit. It doesn’t require a pass of any kind and there are restaurants and shopping galore. Not to mention that it has the largest Disney merchandise store, The World of Disney. That in itself is enough reason to go there. Some of my favorite memories are of my children playing in the water play areas, getting sprayed with water by the statues that are on top of the entrance by the World of Disney. (Didn’t know that? Be careful when you stand in front of the store!) Downtown Disney is also our date destination when my husband and I have a night out by ourselves. We go to dinner at Raglan Road (my Irish guy MUST go there at least once a trip!) Now with the upcoming transformation, I am so incredibly excited to see what has been imagined come to life. Anytime Disney enters into a transformation phase, you know that the end result will be nothing short of spectacular. This is going to be exciting!
Now, I will let you read all of the details that Disney has shared AND the artist renderings. They are spectacular!
Walt Disney World Resort today announced the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm.
Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.
“Disney Springs will be a timeless, vibrant place where Walt Disney World guests and local residents can relax, shop, dine and be entertained in an imaginative setting where they’ll instantly feel at home,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Featuring distinctive brands, world-class restaurants and unforgettable entertainment, Disney Springs will be brought to life with the same focus on storytelling and attention to detail that goes into our theme parks, resorts and cruise ships, resulting in a welcoming space that only Disney could create.”
Disney Springs will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments. In addition, Staggs noted, Central Florida stands to benefit from the expansion with more jobs, tax revenues and business opportunities.
Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs will include four outdoor neighborhoods interconnected by a flowing spring and vibrant lakefront. In addition to a new gateway with a signature water tower and grand entry, the destination will feature:
- The Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.
- A colorful and thriving commercial district called The Landing with inspired dining and beautiful waterfront views.
- The family-friendly Marketplace that will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.
- A West Side that provides an exuberant atmosphere with lively entertainment, along with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.
Collectively, these efforts will not only have an impact within Walt Disney World, but will also have an economic ripple effect on Central Florida. The project will create an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and nearly 4,000 operational roles.
Disney will share more details on specific experiences coming to Disney Springs in the future. Construction is slated to begin next month with new areas opening in phases. Disney Springs is expected to be complete in 2016.