It's official: Goodbye Downtown Disney, Hello Disney Springs
Downtown Disney officially changes name to Disney Springs
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. —Over the last several months, Downtown Disney has been undergoing its transition to what is now officially known as "Disney Springs."
It's not just the name that has changed. Venues have been revamped, replaced and revealed.
Below we have broken down the transition from the very beginning to the present.
In March of 2013, Walt Disney Co. officially announced plans to revamp the Downtown Disney area. During that announcement, officials said the changes would be the largest expansion in the 30-year history of Downtown Disney, while creating 5,000 jobs, including 1,200 in construction and 4,000 after completion. Disney also revealed its plan to change the name of the area to "Disney Springs" in order to give it a small-town feel, playing off and highlighting an existing lake. We were told that the number of restaurants, shops and venues would double to 150.
In August 2014, Walt Disney World debuted the Marketplace Boat Dock and Saratoga Bridge at Downtown Disney. The newly opened bridge offers a pedestrian-friendly connection between Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and more than 70 shopping, dining and entertainment offerings available at Downtown Disney, according to Disney marketing manager Darcy Clark.
The Marketplace Boat Dock also provides easy access to the West Side and Pleasure Island, Clark said. The complimentary water taxi also provides guests with information about what’s on the horizon as they travel from district to district. The Marketplace Boat Dock operates daily starting at 10:30 a.m.
In January, the Springs Bottling Co. marquee was installed above what is now Morimoto Asia. The design is part of Disney Springs' theme of Florida waterfront towns at the turn of the century.
The Landing opened this year and brought new lakefront shopping and dining options, including The Art of Shaving, Apex by Sunglass Hut, Chapel Hats, Sanuk, Havaianas, Sound Lion and Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC. This area is also where restaurants have already opened and will soon open, including STK, Morimoto Asia and The Boathouse.
The first of two parking garages, the Orange Garage, opened in January of this year. The second garage is under construction. Once it is complete, there will be 4,000 parking spaces. The garage also features a walkway that connects guests to the West Side promenade.
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Epcot: Refurbishment of Soarin' starts Jan. 4
Soarin', the king-sized simulator ride that lets Epcot visitors virutally glide over California scenery, will begin its refurbishment on Jan. 4, according to the official Walt Disney World website.
The ride "shall reopen in the summer of 2016," the site says.
In March, Disney said the ride, which opened in 2005, would be expanded from its original two theaters to three. In August, the company said the content would be updated and called Soarin' Around the World at Epcot at the sister attraction at Disney California Adventure theme park. The changes will also happen on the technological side with the installation of digital screens and projection systems.
The new Soarin' will "take guests on a journey to far-flung lands," according to the official Disney Parks Blog.
Also scheduled to open next year at Epcot will be the Frozen Ever After attraction, currently under construction around the former Maelstrom ride, which closed in 2014.
David Archuleta, Pikachu, Disney, Frozen and Smash Bros fan :D