In part one of this photo tour of Downtown Disney we covered the West Side and all the walls surrounding Pleasure Island. We start off part two with one of the only references to Disney Springs that you will see in the entire Downtown Disney area. Even the concept art doesn’t have “Disney Springs” on it. Several lampposts outside of Fulton’s Crab House were emblazoned with the Disney Springs logo earlier this spring.
It has been a while since I have done a photo tour of Downtown Disney, and it was time to head back into what might be the construction capital of the world. There are major projects going on in every single section of Downtown Disney, making a day trip there a potentially stressful challenge. However, it seems as though the area has finally turned a corner, and we are starting to see developments that make Downtown Disney a place worth checking out rather than avoiding because of the construction hassle. Looking at my previous Downtown Disney article from April shows some rather significant changes, so here is what is going on now….
Status of parking garage on West Side of Downtown Disney near Cirque du Soleil
The parking garage is looking massive, and the map of the area says it should be completed “Early 2015.” Busch Gardens should have done that for its long delayed Falcon’s Fury ride that is “Opening Sometime in 2014.” As ugly as Downtown Disney is right now because of the overall construction, far and away the biggest problem is parking. It was bad enough before huge sections of parking spaces were completely shut down to make way for a much-needed parking garage, and now it can be maddening. For the Guardians of the Galaxy showings this past weekend, the AMC movie theater at Downtown Disney was advising guests to arrive an hour early to give themselves time to find a parking space, with many guests being directed to the overflow areas across the street at Team Disney and Casting.
This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Top Six Reasons to Visit Downtown Disney in its Current State. There is a lot of construction going on right now at Downtown Disney as the area is being converted over to Disney Springs. “A lot” may actually be an understatement, as there is work being done in every single area of Downtown Disney: the parking lots, West Side, Pleasure Island, and the Marketplace. Parking can be – at best – inconvenient and – at worst – something that can trigger even the most peaceful person to go “Michael Douglas in Falling Down.” Construction walls are everywhere. However, there are still some very good reasons to overcome these obstacles and spend a day or evening there, and today we are going to count down the top six.
I went to check out the latest developments at Downtown Disney this past weekend and finally got a chance to stop by Splitsville for lunch. I have heard nothing but positive reviews since it opened in December, 2012, in the former home of the Virgin Megastore, but I often end up taking visiting friends and family to the Rainforest Cafe or T-Rex Cafe because of the theatrical nature of those restaurants. I personally enjoy going to House of Blues, Raglan Road, and Cookes of Dublin when I’m by myself or with friends, so it was high time to check out this relatively new venue.
Splitsville is located on the West Side of Downtown Disney, directly next to the AMC movie theaters.
Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’ll be visiting the Magic Kingdom to check out progress on all the renovations there then heading over to Downtown Disney to see what’s new. We’ve got a lot to cover so let’s get started with a sunny Saturday morning at Cinderella’s Castle. It looks like it isn’t that crowded from the photo but when I arrived at the gates at 8:45am they’d already started letting people in the park. I knew there was no way I’d get to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train without a long wait so I took my time wandering into the park.
It’s been a while since we’ve been shopping so I stopped into the Emporium. This early in the morning you can see how empty it is in there. You can also hear a bird that flew into the shop and was hanging out!
I also encountered a few of my favorite things on Main Street….
If you are a huge fan of the Cirque du Soleil show, “La Nouba”, then you will enjoy Disney’s latest backstage tour! Called L’Experience, guests who book this tour will not only receive a ticket for the show, but they will also get an unprecedented, unique look at some of the backstage happenings of the popular, long-running show.
This brand new tour experience gives fans of the show the opportunity to take an inside peek at the whimsical costuming, to get a unique look at the backstage area, and to meet a performer from the show. Tour participants also receive popcorn and soft drinks and a gift bag filled with Cirque du Soleil merchandise, plus, they get a 10% discount coupon for The Cirque Boutique shop. Finally, Front and Center category tickets for the 6:00 p.m. show are included.
This package is available for performances on Fridays and Saturdays and costs $250 (plus tax) for adults (ages 10+) and $215 (plus tax) for children (ages 9 and under).
For more information or to purchase tickets, call (407) W-DISNEY or the Cirque du Soleil box office at (407) 939-7600.
If you’ve been to Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World recently, you’ll have noticed that the food truck phenomenon has arrived. Most evenings of the week, Disney has four different food truck options spread throughout the shopping district. They include Namaste Cafe, World Showcase of Flavors, Fantasy Fare, and Superstar Catering.
However, if you visit Downtown Disney’s West Side on June 21, you’ll have not only get the option to stop and grab a bite from one of the four Disney trucks, but there will also be local trucks on-site. This is part of the first-ever event called “Trucks on the Town at Downtown Disney West Side.” The event will take place from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. in the Cirque du Soleil courtyard. and there will be 14 different options in all for guests to enjoy. Dishes will include empenadas, cupcakes, cheesesteaks, barbecue, seafood, sliders, flatbreads, and more. The trucks that will be featured are:
Do you hear that sound? It’s my wallet crying. You see, today at Walt Disney World the all new Marketplace Co-Op store opened on the Marketplace side of Downtown Disney. This new shop is home to six different specialty boutiques all under one roof. The store’s purpose is to be a testing ground for new Disney retail concepts, shops, and products, although it also appears it will sell some unique items that you can only get by stopping inside.
When guests enter they see a main common area with the shops forking off of the main area. There are six different shops that guests can choose to visit, each one selling rare and exclusive merchandise. Each boutique has a different theme, selling merchandise that fits that particular theme.
Those who rely on Disney’s bus transportation will have a few new obstacles to deal with when visiting Downtown Disney and Typhoon Lagoon in the near future.
First, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to know in relation to Typhoon Lagoon. In a bit of surprising news, due to the fact that the summer season is upon us and many will be traveling to the water park, bus service to and from the park will be impacted quite a bit.
Before 2:00 p.m., all will work the same way it has in the past: guests will continue to travel back and forth between their resorts and Typhoon Lagoon via dedicated buses.
The change in transportation begins after 2:00 p.m., when guests who wish to head to that water park will first need to travel to Epcot. From there, they will be able to hop on a dedicated bus that will take them directly to Typhoon Lagoon. Similarly, when they wish to leave Typhoon Lagoon after 2:00 p.m., guests will have to return to Epcot and then grab transportation back to their final destinations. This is being done to accommodate Disney Springs construction work. This new transportation scheme begins on Tuesday, June 10.
It’s the time again! A few newsworthy pieces have come across my desk from all around The World that I thought you all should know. Here are the fun details:
Downtown Disney is continuing down the path of refreshing the stores that are available for guests. Today, the second Starbucks location, which is located on the West Side, has officially opened. It is a full service location with indoor seating, unlike the other new Marketplace Starbucks kiosk that also recently opened. The new store features a covered patio overlooking the waterfront, a cozy fireplace, plus a Human Connection Wall, which is a large touch-screen monitor that allows guests to use their fingers to draw images. The location also features the new Clover Bar, which serves special reserve coffees that are brewed to order. This new full-scale Starbucks store is located next door to Bongos Cuban Cafe.
Speaking of Downtown Disney, I mentioned previously that a World Cup soccer store was opening soon on the West Side. I can report that it is now officially open. The pop-up shop, located where BLINK by Wet Seal previously sat, is officially called United World Soccer and will sell gear, accessories, and more.