Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney to Become Disney Springs by 2016

Over two years ago, Walt Disney World announced plans to transform the Pleasure Island area of Downtown Disney into Hyperion Wharf.  While that project has not come to fruition, some changes and additions have taken place such as December’s grand opening of Spiltsville Luxury Lanes bowling alley.  Today, Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and Kathy Mangum, vice president, executive producer with Walt Disney Imagineering, announced a new plan to revitalize the Pleasure Island area into Disney Springs, a new shopping and entertainment complex.  Continue reading for more details from Walt Disney World’s press release.

WDW Downtown Disney Pleasure Island

From the Walt Disney World Resort’s Press Release

Walt Disney World Resort today announced the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm.

Walt Disney World Unveils Vision for Disney Springs

Concept Drawing for Disney Springs © Disney. All Rights Reserved

 

Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands.  From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.

“Disney Springs will be a timeless, vibrant place where Walt Disney World guests and local residents can relax, shop, dine and be entertained in an imaginative setting where they’ll instantly feel at home,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  “Featuring distinctive brands, world-class restaurants and unforgettable entertainment, Disney Springs will be brought to life with the same focus on storytelling and attention to detail that goes into our theme parks, resorts and cruise ships, resulting in a welcoming space that only Disney could create.”

Walt Disney Disney World Unveils Vision for Disney Springs - Town Center and The Landing

Conceptual Drawing for Disney Springs © Disney. All Rights Reserved

 

Disney Springs will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments.  In addition, Staggs noted, Central Florida stands to benefit from the expansion with more jobs, tax revenues and business opportunities.

Walt Disney World Unveils Vision for Disney Springs - The Landing

Concept Drawing for Disney Springs © Disney. All Rights Reserved

 

Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs will include four outdoor neighborhoods interconnected by a flowing spring and vibrant lakefront.  In addition to a new gateway with a signature water tower and grand entry, the destination will feature:

  • The Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.
  • A colorful and thriving commercial district called The Landing with inspired dining and beautiful waterfront views.
  • The family-friendly Marketplace that will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.
  • West Side that provides an exuberant atmosphere with lively entertainment, along with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.
Walt Disney World Unveils Vision for Disney Springs - Marketplace

Concept Drawing for Disney Springs © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Walt Disney World Unveils Vision for Disney Springs -€“ West Side

Concept Drawing for Disney Springs © Disney. All Rights Reserved

 

Collectively, these efforts will not only have an impact within Walt Disney World, but will also have an economic ripple effect on Central Florida.  The project will create an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and nearly 4,000 operational roles.

Walt Disney World Unveils Vision for Disney Springs

Concept Model for Disney Springs at Night © Disney. All Rights Reserved

 

Disney will share more details on specific experiences coming to Disney Springs in the future.  Construction is slated to begin next month with new areas opening in phases.  Disney Springs is expected to be complete in 2016.

WDW Downtown Disney Pleasure Island

So with this latest announcement, does the sun finally set on Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island?  What do you think of the plans?  Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.