Downtown Disney is getting a major makeover and a new name: Disney Springs.
After more than 30 years of serving Disney World visitors, the entertainment, dining and shopping complex in Lake Buena Vista will be expanded and reimagined, the company announced on its website.
Disney Springs will more than double the current Downtown Disney offerings of restaurants, shops and entertainment areas, expanding from 75 to more than 150, according to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs.
It also will give visitors a taste of old hometown Florida, replicating “the turn-of-the-century lakeside towns that dotted the Florida landscape,” Staggs said.
When complete in 2016, Disney Springs will nearly double Downtown Disney’s size, featuring uniquely Disney venues coupled with high profile third parties. The replacement of former nightclub home Pleasure Island is at the forefront, becoming areas called The Landing and Town Center, featuring Spanish revival architecture amidst a retail setting with waterfront dining.
The work is expected to add about 1,200 temporary constructions jobs. About 4,000 permanent jobs will be added when all phases are complete.
Construction on the makeover begins next month. Despite much-hyped speculation about potential retailers, Disney isn’t revealing which businesses will be included. Disney representatives say its not because they’re unwilling to say; they simply haven’t confirmed the retailers yet, and that negotiations continue. “We’re really excited about some of the discussions that we’re having,” said Disney’s executive creative director Theron Skees.
Disney Springs will have four distinctive areas built around a series of bubbling natural springs: a Town Center with a mix of shopping and dining and a promenade; a commercial district called The Landing with dining and waterfront views; a family friendly Marketplace with an over-the-water pedestrian causeway and an expanded World of Disney store; and the West Side, with entertainment and shady elevated areas with overlooks.
“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,” Staggs said.