Disney Springs transition from Downtown Disney has a long history

Posted Monday, January 18, 2016 9:01 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney habitually says of its attractions, “It’s all about the story.” The company won’t build a ride, won’t design a setting for a character meet-and-greet, won’t even mold a character topiary for Epcot’s garden festival until that feature has a story. So when the resort discarded its plan for a redesign of Downtown Disney a few years ago, it brought in its Imagineers to develop a new story and an expansive makeover for the dining, shopping and entertainment district.

Read more from The Miami Herald.

Monday, January 18, 2016 7:14 PM

We were there this morning and there is no doubt this is going to be a huge success. It is the off season and was pretty cold (for Florida) yet the crowds were just pouring in. The parking garages are a huge plus, having fought for parking and walked great distances in the past. The new stores, restaurants, etc look appealing. Do NOT miss Vivoli Gelateria...and awesome gelato straight from Florence, Italy. You can find it across from the launching point of the car/boat things.

I go back to the Pleasure Island days and while I'm nostalgic for that time...as a parent I think this will be far more popular (and profitable) in the long term.

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Monday, January 18, 2016 7:17 PM

I'm very excited about the new Disney Springs. I haven't been since August, so I've missed several of the newest tenants, but just seeing what they did with BOATHOUSE was a strong positive. I, too, will miss PI---especially the Adventurer's Club---but this looks like it is really going to work.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016 9:26 AM

I pretty much avoided the place for the better part of a year, but once the first parking deck opened, we started going in now and then, mostly for movies (first matinee can be had for $5.75). It's still entirely too crowded by midday, and you realistically need a reservation to eat at any of the good restaurants, but the atmosphere there is top notch. It's the live music that does it.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016 2:13 PM

The Adventurer's Club was really cool. Then South Park had to do their "NAMBLA" episode and nearly ruined the memory...

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016 3:04 PM

Jeff said:

...you realistically need a reservation to eat at any of the good restaurants...

...

I'm just playing. (winky)

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016 3:35 PM

Girls, you're both pretty and momma loves you both. Mostly. :-)

The Disney Springs (current and forthcoming) restaurants are fresh and new, and so they're going to be extremely popular for a few months. Once things settle down, reservations won't be as necessary.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016 5:04 PM

Yeah, Disney Downspringstown isn't really what I consider part of the core experience, and I tend to put it out of my mind. Shows you how skewed my perception is though... clearly with the mess of people who go there, I'm alone in my thinking.

But you're still OK not planning too far ahead in the parks, so there. :)

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016 9:40 PM

Going back through the years, Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village (the original version of what we know now as Disney Springs) was intended to bring locals on property. At the time, WDW as a resort consisted of one theme park, two hotels* and a campground. The Shopping Village was an upscale shopping and dining destination for locals who, at the time, didn't have the opportunity to annual passes.

*I'm leaving the various iterations of Shades of Green out of the equation.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016 9:46 PM

Most eateries in Disney Springs can be reserved using Open Table, including Morimoto, The Boat House and Raglan Road. Raglan Road is fabulous with live music and Irish Dancers. In addition, if you are a member of Landry Select Club you can walk up to both the Rain-forest Cafe and T-Rex for immediate seating. The wife and I enjoy dining at T-Rex frequently. Our wait it typically under 5 minutes even if the stand by line is exceeding two hours. The card is $25 to join, but you receive a $25 reward and a $25 Birthday Reward. If you are looking for solid quick service food Earl of Sandwich and Wolf Gang Pucks both excellent choices.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016 10:20 PM

So here is our plan for Disney trip #2 with the kiddos (39 days and counting)...

2 days at the parks, rest day, then 2 days at the parks. The plan for the rest day is to get up whenever and explore Disney Springs, which I have never experienced in any of its forms.

We have reservations at T-Rex...the girls love the dinosaurs. :)

I can't wait to see it in person.

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Thursday, January 21, 2016 10:54 AM

If you do not mind waiting a few extra minutes ask for the Ice Room at T-Rex! It is amazing! I always get their meatloaf and sub out the mashed potatoes for waffle fries. T-Rex has the best waffle fries! If we order an appetizer, we always go with their bruschetta. You will have a great time! Another trick for T-Rex if Disney does not have an available ADR, you can call the restaurant directly and book a table.

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