Disney Springs Debuts More

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More to Come for Disney Springs

When Disney released plans to update it’s Downtown Disney shopping and dining district none of us knew just how large a project it would be. While many Disney Springs retailers have opened shop, there’s still more to come for guests to enjoy.

Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village


The Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village opened on March 22, 1975. The outdoor shopping and dining area has gone through several changes and expansions over the years. In 1977 it was renamed Walt Disney World Village, then changed to Disney Village Marketplace in 1989, and finally Downtown Disney in 1997.

The Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village was first envisioned as a shopping mall, but when Michael Eisner took over management of the property in 1984, he envisioned much more. By adding additional sources of entertainment, guests would have even fewer reasons to leave Walt Disney World property. Church Street Station in downtown Orlando was increasing in popularity, so Disney went to work on plans for nightclub experiences. On May 1, 1989 Pleasure Island opened at Walt Disney World Village. The area featured nightclubs of various themes, and gave adults a place to go after hours.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs Gets Announced

In 2013, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs announced that Downtown Disney would be going under construction as re-open as Disney Springs. The expansion project would be huge, including 150 new retailers and two new parking structures. Pleasure Island would be retired and re-imagined as The Landing.


What’s New

Disney Springs opened in 2016 with brand new dining and shopping experiences. The goal of the new project was to make visitors feel more at home while shopping, dining and being entertained. “We want to give them opportunities to relax, to be entertained, to wander in and out of unique and distinctive shops or enjoy a world-class dining experience,” said Chief Operating Officer of The Walt Disney Company Tom Staggs.

More than just your typical shopping area, Disney Springs is highly themed and distinctly Disney, “Because we’re Disney, we’ve anchored the entire experience around a story that gives us the ability to deliver on the legendary place-making and creativity for which we are known. The result is Disney Springs, a timeless and vibrant place that celebrates the turn-of-the century lakeside towns that dotted the Florida landscape,” Staggs wrote.

There are 51 dining options, and 107 retailers to choose from including:

There are at least a dozen more experiences coming to Disney Springs including The Edison, a steampunk themed nightclub and the re-opening of the Planet Hollywood Observatory. The Edison’s first location opened in 2007 in Los Angeles, CA in the basement of the Higgins Building. The Higgins Building was Los Angeles’ first power plant. Planet Hollywood had lost it’s sheen over the years, which made it prime for a remodel. The new restaurant has been re-themed and will open with the addition of a patio area. Planet Hollywood will reopen this fall, while The Edison has a targeted opening of next Spring.

Rainforest Cafe WDW

Your Favorites

Some favorites have been replaced, while others remain. Pleasure Island has been retired, along with Disney Quest. Guests can still enjoy Rainforest Cafe, The World of Disney Store, Wolf Gang Puck Grand Cafe, Bongos and Plant Hollywood (although renovated).

It’s always sad to see things go, but often what takes its place is just as great if not better. What will you miss about Downtown Disney? What are you excited to visit at Disney Springs?

Michelle McKinley is a journalist and digital marketer from Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Journalism degree from Pepperdine University, and has been writing for the web since 2003. She’s a life-long Disney fan who travels and writes about her experiences for fun.

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