Walt Disney World Resort today announced the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm.
Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.
“Disney Springs will be a timeless, vibrant place where Walt Disney World guests and local residents can relax, shop, dine and be entertained in an imaginative setting where they’ll instantly feel at home,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Featuring distinctive brands, world-class restaurants and unforgettable entertainment, Disney Springs will be brought to life with the same focus on storytelling and attention to detail that goes into our theme parks, resorts and cruise ships, resulting in a welcoming space that only Disney could create.”
Disney Springs will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments. In addition, Staggs noted, Central Florida stands to benefit from the expansion with more jobs, tax revenues and business opportunities.
Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs will include four outdoor neighborhoods interconnected by a flowing spring and vibrant lakefront. In addition to a new gateway with a signature water tower and grand entry, the destination will feature:
The Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.
A colorful and thriving commercial district called The Landing with inspired dining and beautiful waterfront views.
The family-friendly Marketplace that will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.
A West Side that provides an exuberant atmosphere with lively entertainment, along with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.
Collectively, these efforts will not only have an impact within Walt Disney World, but will also have an economic ripple effect on Central Florida. The project will create an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and nearly 4,000 operational roles.
Disney will share more details on specific experiences coming to Disney Springs in the future. Construction is slated to begin next month with new areas opening in phases. Disney Springs is expected to be complete in 2016.
Located in the West Side of the Downtown Disney District at the Walt Disney World Resort, Aerophile’s ‘Characters in Flight‘ balloon takes guests hundreds of feet into the air via a tethered helium-filled balloon, offering a panoramic view of the parks and its surrounding areas.
For a limited time, Groupon is offering future Walt Disney World guests the opportunity to experience the balloon ride at a savings of up to 44%. Guests can purchase a ride for one person for just $11 (regular price $18 per adult) or two people for $20 (regular price $36 for two adults). In addition, guests may purchase up to 10 Groupons, but only 1 may be used per visit. The Groupon will expire on May 31, 2013.
For more information and to purchase this opportunity, visit the official Groupon deal page.
The Disneyland Resort located in Anaheim, California has released the following list of ‘Black Friday’ offers for some of its shops located in the Downtown Disney District. All of the offers are available just for November 23, 2012, with many having further time restrictions:
- The Cupcake Store Kiosk – Purchase 2 cupcakes and get 1/2 off regular 16 ounce cup of coffee. Valid only on regular cupcakes and regular 16 ounce house coffee. Limit one per person. From 9:00 am – 1:00 pm only.
- RIDEMAKERZ – Build one RIDE and build a second RIDE for FREE. Free RIDE includes freewheel street chassis, stock wheelz,and treadz. Additional accessories not included. Body of equal or lesser value.
Not valid with any other offer. Offer not valid online. Offer good while supplies last. Limit one per person.
- Sanuk – Disneyland Annual Passholders receive 25% discount on all purchases, from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon only.
- Something Silver – Spend $100.00 and receive a $20.00 voucher to be redeemed at any Something Silver location. Purchase total must be $100.00 before tax to qualify for $20 voucher. Voucher expires 30 days after date of issue.
- Sunglass Icon – Receive 70% off 2 Vogue styles and 1 Arnette style (regular price $99.95).
In honor of the Disney 3D Blu-ray release of Secret of the Wings starring Tinker Bell and the rest of her Pixie Hollow friends, the Disneyland Resort has decided to bring some winter magic of its own to Southern California and open a temporary outdoor skating rink in the heart of its Downtown Disney District.
Last night, a grand opening ceremony was held in which Disneyland Ambassador Rene Toricco played emcee and welcomed everyone to the event. Also speaking at the event were Vice President of Resorts and Downtown Disney Daniel Delcourt and Downtown Disney’s General Manager Janet Knox and filmmakers Peggy Holmes and Michael Wigert — along with a special appearance by Tinker Bell and newly reunited twin Periwinkle, of course.
The Secret of the Wings skating rink is located between the ESPN Zone and AMC 12 movie theater in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney District and will be open every day through January 12, 2013 from 11 am to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday and 10 pm all other days. Plus every half hour, a magical moment happens and guests will hear the film’s anthem, ‘The Great Divide’ as performed by Hollywood Records recording artists The McClain Sisters set to a synchronized light show.
Ice skating sessions are $15 per hour per person with skate rentals (double-blade also available in children’s sizes) available for an additional $3 while toddlers are $12 per hour including rentals. Mandatory helmets and pads are provided at no additional charge.
And there’s more seasonal magic to come. Beginning November 12, a unique holiday village consisting of four chalets will sprout up around the rink featuring seasonal eats and treats. A forest of ‘snow’-covered pine trees, twinkling holiday lights and cheerful garlands will create an enchanting holiday atmosphere where guests can shop, ‘chill out’ and enjoy activities for the whole family, including ‘Santimals’ (an interactive children’s art experience) and fun winter-themed photos.
Below are some additional photos of the Secret of the Wings skating rink.
All video and photos © copyright Kelly Noble for Stitch Kingdom. All rights reserved.
In celebration of Disney’s new stop-motion animated movie Frankenweenie, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Tim Burton and opening October 5 in 3D, Walt Disney World Resort is hosting a variety of engaging experiences inspired by the new movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Alice in Wonderland. The fun takes place at Downtown Disney West Side Sept. 28 – 30, 2012.
Here’s a look at what’s in store for guests:
Special 3D screenings of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Alice in Wonderland, featuring a 3D extended preview of Frankenweenie, which debuts Oct. 5. Tickets may be purchased for $6. The fun takes place at AMC Downtown Disney 24. Show times:
- The Nightmare Before Christmas — 4:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Alice in Wonderland — 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
New Holland Pet Cemetery picture spot presented by HGTV will place guests in one of the key locations of Frankenweenie among tombstones of beloved turtles, rabbits, cats and of course, dogs. Located between AMC Downtown Disney 24 and Something Silver boutique, available 6-11 p.m.
The first-ever meet and greet with Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas at Walt Disney World Resort. Located between AMC Downtown Disney 24 and Harley Davidson, available 6-11 p.m.
Special merchandise inspired by Frankenweenie and The Nightmare Before Christmas will be available for purchase at D-Street boutique and mobile carts throughout Downtown Disney West Side. Special treats, such as Franken Fusion Lemonade and Frankenweenie hotdogs will be available near the New Holland Pet Cemetery picture spot.
Starting this fall, Walt Disney World Resort guests will become the stars of ‘Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality.’ The virtual experience will allow guests to play with animated characters from Disney’s Emmy Award-winning animated series ‘Phineas and Ferb.’ The fun happens at Downtown Disney West Side, next to Bongos Cuban Café from September 1 through December 1, 2012 from 2 pm – 9:30 pm daily.
How it works: As many three guests are invited to stand inside the virtual experience set, and out of 20 randomly pre-determined animation segments, Phineas and Ferb, Agent P or even Dr. Doofenshmirtz will magically appear to play and dance alongside them. It all happens in a virtual (on-screen) 30-second experience. But the fun doesn’t end there! Guests may visit a special website to download and share with family and friends a complimentary souvenir photo of their starring role. To complement this limited time engagement, special Phineas and Ferb merchandise will be available at a nearby merchandise stand.
For more Phineas and Ferb fun at the Walt Disney World Resort, guests may go undercover with Agent P—the alter ego of Perry the Platypus—on a fun-filled quest around World Showcase at Epcot or meet and greet Phineas and Ferb at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Please note that this review is based on the soft opening of the exhibit. All information is subject to change prior to official opening and this should be considered when reading the following article.
With the exception to a couple of hours for a Cast Member preview the day before, Diana: The People’s Princess officially soft opened its doors on July 4, with a scheduled grand opening/media event for Tuesday, July 7. Because of a computer-related issue, the doors opened approximately 20 minutes later than the scheduled opening time of 11 am.
The exhibit is located on the West Side of Downtown Disney, in the building formerly occupied by the Virgin Megastore, sandwiched between the AMC 24 theater and DisneyQuest. Reportedly due to issues with exposure to the exhibit from the sun/weather elements, the main doors are currently not being used (they are closed, but remained unlocked that day, causing confusion for several guests). Instead, the small door all the way to the left of the front is being used as the entrance.
Despite the policy posted on the building window (which prohibits flash photography), photography is not permitted at all so I have nothing from the exhibit to share with you. I was told the confusion with the policy was in error and that it will soon be corrected. The printed tickets do specify No Photography however.
The first item you encounter is a dress of Princess Diana’s and a tiara, arranged in what strikes me as a funeral parlor-esque display (grey faux granite columns topped with large bouquets of white flowers surround the display). With the tiara, you run into the first major issue with the exhibit, which will soon be corrected with any luck: lack of signage. In the extreme majority of the cases, there is absolutely no placard or any time of information associated with the objects on display that give you any indication as to what they are or what they mean to the exhibit. The best example of this is a small, bright orange chair placed directly in the middle of the Charles area with much ado. I also lost a considerable amount of time trying to read a 2 page letter hand-written by Diana trying to identify its content, finally coming to the conclusion that it was just a letter and there wasn’t much more to it than that.
ABC’s wild and wacky obstacle-filled game show Wipeout is set to begin its second season on television May 27 and it’s not coming quietly.
The show will be taking its act on the road and its first stop is Walt Disney World. On both May 10 & 11 between 1pm – 8pm, guests will be invited to join the show at Downtown Disney’s West Side between DisneyQuest, Cirque du Soleil and the House of Blues where they will be able to participate in two different stunts taken directly from the hit show.
If you happen to see Skunk Boy, tell him we said hi.
We will bring you more details on the ‘Wipeout Road Trip’ as they become available.
PARIS, Apr 17, 2009 — TUESDAY, April 21st at 9:00am (EST), Aerophile will celebrate its newest venture as the Characters in Flight Operated by Aerophile balloon in Downtown Disney enjoys its grand opening!
Jerome Giacomoni, president and co-founder of Aerophile, along with the balloon’s ground crew and pilot cordially invite you to attend the official inauguration of Characters in Flight Operated by Aerophile.
Come witness, cameras in hand, this breathtaking moment at Downtown Disney’s West Side!