Downtown Disney has gone the way of Horizons and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – into the lore of Walt Disney World past. As of September 29, 2015 it became officially known as Disney Springs.
But what is Disney Springs?
Is it simply a renaming?
Is it just an area for shopping and dining outside of the theme parks?
What’s the story?
I’m glad you asked, because, if there’s one thing Lou drills home to us every week it’s that “Everything has a story.” Well, that and, “Food is an attraction” but we’ll save that for another post.
The Imagineers didn’t want just an area for shopping and dining, they wanted to tell a story, and they want to make you a part of it. So, welcome to Disney Springs!
Taking a cue from the history of some of the waterfront towns in Florida, the story goes that a group of settlers discovered a natural spring and a wonderful piece of land near it to settle on in the mid-1800s. They built the Town Center where the residents lived. They even built a water side promenade where they could gather to relax after a busy day.
But, as the population grew, so did the town itself. Branching out to towards the water with The Landing and then, on either side of the Town Center, with the Marketplace and the West Side.
Eventually, the town became not just a place for residents, but tourists and visitors as well. The Marketplace was filled to the brim with shops and restaurants that spilled over into the Town Center and even the West Side. The Landing also boasted great retail and dining experiences and the West Side has world class attractions.
Next time you visit Disney Springs, be sure to take a break between Food Truck vendors and shopping in new stores like the Super Hero Headquarters to check out the details that the Imagineers put into the town. Everything from the architecture to the landscaping gives you the feeling that you are in a small town that has been around for years.
Have you been able to visit Disney Springs yet? What did you think? Be sure to check out the image gallery below and let us know how the concept art compares to the finished product.
Chris grew up during the Disney renaissance of animation and took his first trip to Disney World when he was ten. Even though he has loved Disney his whole life, his obsession didn’t start until he began planning a trip for his honeymoon. Right now, his primary job (at least the one that doesn’t pay the bills) is to indoctrinate his daughter with his love of Disney while at the same time convincing his wife to move to Orlando, so he can become a tour guide in the parks.