Take a drizzly tour of Disney Springs in this Best Week Ever (photos by Seth Kubersky)
The end of July 2015 has certainly earned a spot on my Best Week Ever list, because just days ago my brand new book, The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando, emerged from the printer on actual dead trees, and will be available for purchase early next month. What better way to celebrate such a milestone than with a wet walk around the worksite known as Disney Springs?
Unlike Derek Burgan, I’ve been avoiding the area formerly known as Downtown Disney like the plague since construction began on its massive re-imagining. This week, I picked a blustery afternoon to make my return to Walt Disney World’s shopping and entertainment complex in the hopes of experiencing some of its newest additions.
The changes began long before I landed at Disney Springs, as electronic traffic signs detoured me away from my usual direct route to the parking lot behind Cirque du Soleil.
Instead, I found myself on a “scenic route” behind Old Key West and Saratoga Springs, in a land where golf carts roam,…
With House of Blues still on double secret probation, it was time to try a new venue for lunch while on a recent trip to Downtown Disney. I had intended on trying the menu of one of the four Disney food trucks, but three of them (the ones dedicated to food representing Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and “Magic Kingdom’s around the world”) were not open until 6PM. I met photographer Brandon Glover near Cirque du Soleil on DtD’s West Side, and The Smokehouse was the first place we walked past, so we made the easy decision of just eating there instead of walking all the way back to the Marketplace, where the Animal Kingdom food truck was parked next to World of Disney. (Please note that all pictures in this article can be viewed at full size by clicking on them.)
A half rack of St. Louis ribs at The Smokehouse (photos by Brandon Glover.)
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While Morgan Crutchfield was getting a private tour of the Cinderella Castle Suite at the Magic Kingdom, I was ripping every last single hair out of my head trying to find a parking spot at Downtown Disney, the soon to be renamed
Hyperion Wharf Disney Springs. In a stroke of mad genius, I decided to stop by both the Orlando Premium Outlet mall and Downtown Disney on a Sunday afternoon, which is apparently the equivalent of trying to ride Soarin’ on New Year’s Eve.
After pulling into the parking lot in front of T-REX and fruitlessly searching for a parking spot, I ended up driving all the way down to the lot that is in front of Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba. I still had to search for a spot in this lot, and thankfully someone was leaving during one of my trips going back and forth. I can’t even fathom how bad trying to find a parking spot will be when the Christmas shopping season comes.
Down by La Nouba they had a huge photo op set outside. There was a similar one over in the Marketplace section in front of Earl of Sandwich.
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