With Downtown Disney‘s rebirth as Disney Springs, the entertainment, shopping and dining center has been given new life. By the time renovations are complete, the number of locations within the complex will double from 75 to over 150. Each new offering brings with it unique opportunities to try new foods, purchase rare finds and enjoy exciting entertainment.
Much like Disney Springs, there is a television show in the ABC lineup which introduces new foods and unique products all while entertaining viewers. In case you missed it, Shark Tank has become ABC’s surprise Friday night hit. Known for being a ratings wasteland, Friday night is often referred to as the “death slot” and is typically reserved for shows destined for cancellation. Instead, Shark Tank drew in 6.5-7 million viewers during its most recent season. Whether that is due to the entertaining banter of the Sharks, the joy of seeing the “little guy” succeed, the schadenfreude derived from watching a goofball blow a deal, or the infomercial like quality of viewing new products, clearly, America loves Shark Tank.
Considering that Disney is the parent company of ABC, why not bring Shark Tank to Disney Springs and capitalize on the cult-like obsession with the network’s popular show? Imagine a location known as The Tank, where Disney Springs visitors would be given the opportunity to purchase products from entrepreneurs that made deals with the Sharks. Of course, the décor in The Tank would mimic that of the show’s set, and all the shelves would be lined with items like Scrub Daddy® (scrubbers), Mission Belts (ratchet belts), Mo’s Bows (bowties), Biaggi Zipsaks (luggage), The Painted Pretzel (treats), Wicked Good Cupcakes, ReadeREST (eyeglass holders), Drop Stop (auto seat gap blocker), Zipadee Zips (wearable blankets), and more. Needless to say, it would have to be exciting for a successful Shark Tank entrepreneur to know that their product was being featured at Walt Disney World, a destination where millions of people from around the globe flock to vacation, dine and shop.
In addition to offering guests the opportunity to purchase Shark Tank products, the shopping area could be adjoined to a Tom+Chee dining location. Tom+Chee started as a food tent in Cincinnati, Ohio. So popular, this small business situated on the square quickly grew to multiple restaurant locations known for bringing unique grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soups to the city. In 2013, during season four of Shark Tank, owners Trew Quackenbush and Corey Ward pitched their gourmet menu and shared their grilled cheese donuts with the Sharks. Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran were quick to make a deal, and since then Tom+Chee has expanded to over thirty franchise locations in sixteen states. The quirky and inventive menu items partnered with its casual and quick style make Tom+Chee an ideal dining location for the trendy, on-the-go shoppers visiting Disney Springs.
An exclusive to Walt Disney World location would present a unique opportunity to bring television directly into the real world. Fans of the show would certainly enjoy a visit to The Tank, and Disney Springs guests that have yet to view an episode of Shark Tank just might become regular viewers.
What do you think, readers? Would you visit The Tank if it came to Disney Springs? What dining or shopping location would you like to see come to Disney Springs?
Kendall is an editor and contributing writer for WDW Radio. She began visiting Walt Disney World in 1991 with her family and has continued to visit the resort with her husband. Her home-away-from-home is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and she believes a perfect day at WDW includes a dip in the Lava Pool, a ride on Splash Mountain and a Pineapple Dole Whip. Follow her on Twitter @kl_foreman.