Photo Update: A look at Downtown Disney’s transformation into Disney Springs


By Don Gworek

Construction is well-underway on the transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. Here’s some of the work in progress where Pleasure Island used to be.

jan2011-b Here’s what the Pleasure Island demolition looked like in January 2011. Note the yellow arrow, and compare to the next photo.

pi-detail1 A new service area has been built to replace the existing service area. A curved walkway is being added. Walls for a new building are also going up.

pi-detail2 Current state of construction at the other end of the former Pleasure Island. The concrete area in the center of the photo is really the roof of a former cast member support area. Buildings were recently demolished here, leaving the area bare.

jan2011-c The same area as it looked in January 2011.

bridge A new bridge will connect the Rainforest Cafe area with the Lego Store area.

bridgeView The bridge area from ground level.

render A rendering of the new bridge.

sbux-small A Starbucks is being built in a nook between two entrances of the World of Disney Store.

sbux-sm View from the ground.

sbux2 A much larger Starbucks is also being built near the Characters in Flight balloon landing. This is the former pretzel and ice cream store.

sbux The larguer Starbucks as seen from 350 feet up.

sbux1 The larger Starbucks from the ground.

ph2 Two smaller projects are underway near Planet Hollywood, noted by the yellow arrows. The fountain in front of the AMC Theater is also covered now, noted by the green arrow.

stg The fountain is now a temporary performance stage.

parking Here’s a look at the current status of the first of two massive parking structures. The plan is that the Epcot ramp from I-4 will have a split for direct access into this new parking garage.

parking-detail Part of the far-most west section of Downtown Disney parking, near the bus loop, is now fenced off for the work seen here.

china Have you ever noticed Characters In Flight soaring over China or Norway when in Epcot?

wshowcase Here’s what China and Norway look like from the balloon. The arrow points to the bridge near France.

eye This extreme zoom shows a football stadium near downtown Orlando, framed by tall attractions on I-Drive. The Orlando Eye is a giant Ferris Wheel under construction, seen here are the wheel axle supports. The top of the wheel should be about twice as high as the supports.


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  1. Love the photos and story about the new Disney Springs. I am traveling this summer, how much is anticipated to be completed by then? Is most of the addition taking place where the old Pleasure Island was? I have read that most of the new buildings will be housing shopping, is that correct ? Is Disney trying to go after all of those folks that go to the Premium Outlet Mall and the other malls in the area?

  2. Wow, another Starbucks! That will really add to the Disney experience…as if we don’t have enough of them already.

  3. Just came back from a trip to Disney. Just to let people know, the walking traffic at Downtown Disney has been SIGNIFICANTLY impacted by the construction. First, the boat ramps for the Port Orleans Riverside and all other boat accessible hotels (to Downtown Disney) is closed and they are now using the west side boat ramp. For many this won’t matter, but for those traveling with kids or elderly this can be an issue since it is much farther from the marketplace area. Also, with all of the walls that are currently up for construction, the walking areas are much more crowded than usual because lots of walking space is now blocked off. The whole distance from the west side boat ramp over to the marketplace was constant, heel to heel traffic. Again, not an issue for some, but in my case (I went with my older mother) it was an issue.