An important milestone in the ongoing transformation of Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World took place yesterday, as the name has officially been changed to Disney Springs.
Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs treats guests to Disney experiences amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm. Although construction is still underway, Disney felt that enough has changed to warrant the name change now. It is all set to be completed in the summer of 2016.
Once finished, Disney Springs will include four interconnected neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center. The number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues will increase from the current 75 to more than 150.
New to Disney Springs is The Landing, home to unique shopping locations and memorable dining experiences, including the recently opened Morimoto Asia and Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.
The newest dining and shopping open now at Disney Springs include:
Morimoto Asia – Morimoto Asia is a one-of-a-kind dining experience from Chef Masaharu Morimoto. This Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian restaurant provides flavors from across Asia with unique exhibition kitchens showcasing the continent’s traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving and dim sum. Morimoto Asia’s 36-foot tall, two-story layout includes open terraces, grand halls, private rooms, a cocktail lounge, waterside seating and more.
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – An aviation-themed lounge, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is tucked between Paradiso 37 and The Boathouse restaurant, this new venue features unique cocktails and small plates. Ardent fans of the “Indiana Jones” films may recognize Jock Lindsey as Indy’s frequent pilot. In the main room, guests will discover an expansive bar, aviation decor filling the room, vintage travel posters covering the walls and correspondence between Jock, Indy and their fellow adventurers on display.
Paradiso 37 – Paradiso 37 recently expanded its outdoor dining to take advantage of its beautiful waterfront setting. As part of its renovation, the restaurant doubled its seating, added more terrace dining and built a new outdoor performance stage.
Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s — Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s specializes in premium loose-leaf teas (hot, iced, blended) featuring customs blends, accessories and packaged teas from all over the globe; created to go or for a tea experience in the café.
Vivoli Gelateria – A family-run gelato shop, Vivoli Gelateria serves up gelato that is made with fresh, top-quality ingredients using the exact same recipes from the original shop in Italy. (The storefront at Disney Springs is the second for Vivoli, the first outside of Italy.) The artisans use local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy. In addition to their signature gelato, Vivioli Gelateria also serves traditional Italian panini, biscotti, espresso and tarts.
Disney Springs will continue to add and expand through 2016. Coming soon, Town Center will be a diverse mix of retailers – including premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options – and unique restaurants.
New dining locations opening in 2016:
STK – STK will be a modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge and emphasizing a social and fun environment. The vibrant scene will offer guests fine dining, signature cocktails, and a DJ playing eclectic music nightly. It will be one of the largest STK locations in the world, occupying 14,000 square feet in a two-story building, including a main level and the only rooftop-dining venue in Disney Springs.
The Edison – A lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination that will feature exceptional classic American food, artisanal craft cocktails and unparalleled live entertainment. Similar to its sister location on the west coast, The Edison at Disney Springs will be dedicated to a resurgence of old-world style, sophistication and romance. Themed to a 1920s-period electric company, the space will recall an exuberant era of invention and imagination. With 35-foot ceilings and a range of themed areas to explore, The Edison will feature nightly entertainment including contortionists, palm readers, DJs and more.
Sprinkles – The world’s first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, will serve up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies. Their innovative Cupcake ATM will satisfy sweet-toothed epicureans 24/7.
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza – Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” known for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. The fast-casual restaurant will feature an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize their pizza, choosing from over 40 fresh, artisanal toppings – all for one price. The generously sized, 11-inch pizzas will be “fast-fired” in a blazing hot open-flame oven and ready to enjoy in just 180 seconds.
New retail locations opening in 2016:
Zara – Zara is known for its men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories, and how it interprets current fashion and style trends of the season, delivering original designs to the consumer in a matter of weeks.
Tommy Bahama – The hallmarks of this casual collection include island-inspired sportswear, denim, and swimwear for men and women in luxuriously soft silks and cottons, richly woven textures and eclectic prints.
Lilly Pulitzer – The authentic American resort wear brand, Lilly Pulitzer will be offering their clothing and accessories, and happy prints to those who’ve loved the brand for years and new Lilly Girls out there.
UNIQLO – UNIQLO designs, manufactures, and sells casual apparel that comes from the company’s Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity. The simplest design hides the most thoughtful details in clothing that is constantly being innovated to bring more warmth and lightness, better design and comfort to people’s lives.
Pandora – Building on its existing relationship with Disney Parks, the popular jewelry brand will offer classic yet modern charm bracelets, along with necklaces, rings and earrings, as well as a line of exclusive Disney-themed jewelry.
UGG – A premium lifestyle brand offering men’s, women’s and kid’s footwear as well as loungewear, outerwear, home products, cold weather accessories and handbags.
L’Occitane en Provence – L’Occitane en Provence is an international skincare and beauty line celebrating the culture and beauty of Provence, France.
Edward Beiner – An eyewear designer, purveyor and retailer, Edward Beiner offers today’s aspiring lifestyle-oriented customer the world’s most original, authentic and innovative designer, fashion and high performance eyewear.
Re-imagined dining coming in 2016:
Planet Hollywood – Transforming its flagship venue, Planet Hollywood will become a star-themed Planet Hollywood Observatory to match the look and feel of Disney Springs. As part of the makeover, the venue will add a new outdoor terrace and bar space called Stargazers and feature live entertainment.
While Disney Springs continues to grow at Walt Disney World Resort in the space once occupied by Downtown Disney, Disneyland still remains home to Downtown Disney in California.
We will have a look inside Jock Lindsey’s and Morimoto Asia on a future episode of Orlando Attractions Magazine: The Show. See the moment Downtown Disney became Disney Springs in the video below: