This week’s ParkSpotting adventure takes a closer look at the ongoing changes to Downtown Disney… or should I call it Disney Springs?
It was a gorgeous day in Orlando and the new West Side parking garage continues to be extremely convenient. The parking garage does make it easier to find a spot but it’s still a slow process getting to one. Hopefully this will change in the future.
A trip into D-Street always means finding something cool and rare inside.
Rare artwork and collectibles is one of this store’s trademarks. I hadn’t seen any of this merchandise anywhere else on Walt Disney World property. D-Street is also the location to go to if you want to find Vinylmations, Marvel and Star Wars merchandise.
With the transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs we have slowly seen some new areas pop up like, this food truck park called Exposition Park. Disney’s own food trucks make this their home but you can also find one local food truck visiting to mix it up some. People were swarming this area like crazy this past weekend and with the live music going it was a hopping place.
Another new food offering that has recently showed up at Downtown Disney West Side is “Starbucks Evenings.” After 4 everyday, Starbucks has started offering wine, beer and small food plates.
The food ranges from savory plates like truffle mac & cheese to more sweet offerings like chocolate brownie bites. All the plates range from $4-8, which is a pretty high price for the small plates you get. Though this Starbucks has a lovely atmosphere with an open fireplace and lakeside seating, I think I will stick with just coffee.
Walking over the bridge from West Side into the previous home of Pleasure Island you now see plenty of construction in place for Disney Springs. Even though you mostly just see walls, it’s exciting to think of new things to come.
Walking into the new section of Downtown Disney Pleasure Island – now called the Landing – you are met with a nicely themed area that soon will have several new restaurants opening.
This new area is called Waterfront Park and is supposed to host live music performances that you can sit and enjoy but nothing was going on the moment I walked by. The view of Saratoga Springs is quite nice though.
To the left of Waterfront Park we have a yet to be revealed venue called the Hangar. A new boat structure has popped up next to the restaurant, an outdoor bar with accompanying fireplace. I can’t wait to have a drink here.
To the right of Waterfront Park we have the new restaurant The Boathouse. This pretty building will offer waterfront dining and “Dream Boats”. The Dream Boats will take you out on the lake and serve drinks and desserts. I definitely want to try it out.
Continuing walking towards Marketplace you see lots of new, so far empty, store fronts in this nice brick wall style. The whole new theme of Disney Springs seems to be more ‘old school’ charm, which I really enjoy and it feels like a huge improvement from the previous theme of Pleasure Island.
The Marketplace causeway/bridge is coming along beautifully. Cross the lake this way will be nice.
Checking out some of the shops at Marketplace I found these new MagicBands at the Pin Central Store featuring Cinderella Castle and Little Mermaid. These new themed bands are really popular, with many people snapping them up.
The clothing store Tren-D received some nice new Beauty and the Beast themed window displays. Some may think this Mrs. Potts look a bit scary, but I think it’s a really artsy choice.
The ever-popular Tsum Tsum plush toy collectibles have completely restocked shelves inside the Once Upon a Toy store featuring both Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Toy Story.
I ended my Downtown Disney trip back at Starbucks West Side. Sitting out in the sun with a view of the lake is a great way to spend some time at Downtown Disney – soon to be Disney Springs.
Make sure to come back next week for even more Disney Park adventures with ParkSpotting!