By Don Gworek
There’s been steady progress in the transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs next spring. It also looks like some of the plans have been modified or are changing. Here’s current status of the construction.
This tour begins at the Disney Springs shoreline. This area was once the site of three Pleasure Island nightclubs. The roof is taking shape on a new building and tower. There’s also a new amphitheater.
A new pier has also been built into the lake. This area is about the mid-point of Disney Springs. This pier might become the primary or central boat dock for guests at Disney resorts along these waterways.
An amphitheater was planned here when a project called Hyperion Wharf was proposed in 2010. A wharf (or deck) is being built here. It is said that Disney Springs will have different zones, representing different time periods of development. Do you think they might call this section “Hyperion Wharf”?
This area, next to the former Mannequins nightclub, used to have a one story series of retail shops. The shops were split in multiple elevations up the Pleasure Island hillside. A brand new, much taller building is here now. Construction is underway on the facade.
The walkways and construction walls have been reconfigured. The walls have also been signed differently. From above it seems like this area is now just a construction staging area. It could still become a second food truck park, but it seems like plans for this area have changed.
In the distance is the T-Rex restaurant, The T-Rex building theming makes Characters in Flight seem like it is flying above a fantasy movie skyline.
The large expanse of dirt at center of this photo used to be a waterway, extending from the Planet Hollywood area. It looks like the area has been reclaimed. Possibly for new retail and dining. This area will be adjacent parking structures where you see surface parking now.
The black and white circle is really the roof of a service building. This used to be the top of the hill at Pleasure Island. What seemed like pavement on the hill was really the roof of a cast facility underneath. (Something like how much of the original Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom is really the roof of the Utilidor in that area.)
The half circle to the right is interesting. What is being built there?
Some explanation … there’s a new park in lower Manhattan. It’s a converted elevated railway, called the High Line. New York City residents love the High Line, it is incredibly popular. Cities around the world are looking into duplicating this success.
This raised area is like a Disney Springs High Line. The storyline tells of abandoned railroad tracks.
It could be that this is a test in progress.
Concept artwork near the longer section of High Line. If you look closely, the length of the concept is the same as the longer length now standing. Yet, not that far away is that 30 foot section of High Line. Have plans changed to have High Line extend through more of Disney Springs?