Downtown Disney is (technically) no more
Everyone say goodbye to Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida — it’s no more. But before you start freaking out about the loss of all those shops, restaurants, and amazing Disney experiences that populate the sprawling lake-side area, it’s not going away for real. Just like some Disney movies before it, Downtown Disney is getting a reboot.
(FYI: this is also just Downtown Disney in FLORIDA, not in California. So breathe easy, citizens of LA, Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar isn’t going anywhere.)
On Tuesday, Downtown Disney will officially be renamed, “Disney Springs.” This change has been in the works since 2013, when the Disney Company first announced that they were completely re-doing Downtown Disney. DTD (in Disney lingo) has been around since the 1970s, and this is not the first time it’s gotten a facelift or a name change. It was The Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, before it became Walt Disney World Village, before it was renamed, again, as Disney Village Marketplace. And then Downtown Disney. So 5th times the charm.
If you can remember back in the 90s, there used to be a Pleasure Island section of the area — named for the amusement park in Pinocchio — where it was New Years Eve every single day, with dancing and night clubs. But soon that was no longer the “family friendly” atmosphere Disney was looking for, and they closed everything down. What to do with all those empty buildings? Why, completely redo the entire area AGAIN. But hey, we like change, and if this means more Disney shops for us, we’re GAME.
Pleasure Island is now called “The Landing,” along with the the two other areas of DTD, Westside and The Market Place. Everything is now part of the bigger Disney Springs. It’s modeled after a Florida town in the early 20th century, and while a dozen more shops and restaurants have opened (like the Indiana Jones bar that opened this past Tuesday), it also includes a lot more outdoor seating and pedestrian walkways. And a giant parking garage because if you’ve ever tried to park at DTD, you know that’s a Disney horror story.
Though the renovation is still far from complete — it’s scheduled to be completely wrapped up in 2016 — its new name takes effect on Tuesday. So hold onto all those old Downtown Disney attraction maps that you’ve got, because soon they’ll be priceless Disney collectibles. Say hello to Disney Springs!
(Image via Disney.)