It has been announced that Downtown Disney in Orlando will undergo a multi-year transformation as plans are underway to makeover the retail and restaurant section of the Walt Disney World Resort into a new area known as Disney Springs. Construction will begin on the transformation this spring and is scheduled to be completed in four years.
As part of the makeover, more than 150 establishments are planned effectively doubling the number currently located at Downtown Disney. The establishments will include a variety of businesses including shops, restaurants and other venues.
“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.”
Disney Springs will feature an early 1900’s Floridian water front town theme.
At the center of the expansion will be a new entrance hub complete with a signature water tower and a multi-level parking structure to handle the increased visitor numbers. The town center will feature a mix of shopping and dining along the waterfront. At the marketplace, shopping at sites like an expanded World of Disney store will be joined by other new stores. The West Side will continue to offer entertainment experiences.
Downtown Disney was first opened as Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village in 1975. Pleasure island expanded Downtown Disney in 1989 and remained opened until 2008. In 2010, it was announced that a new Hyperion Wharf would replace Pleasure Island, but those plans were later scrapped in favor of the larger Disney Springs concept.
Disney estimates that Disney Springs will create an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and nearly 4,000 operational positions once open.