Goodbye Downtown Disney Hello Disney Springs
The major Disney shopping center now known as Disney Springs has been around since 1975 and has gone through a handful of name changes over the years. For most regular Disney World goers Disney Springs to them is Downtown Disney, which is what it was called before being renamed to Disney Springs.
In The Beginning
When Disney Springs originally opened in 1975 it was called “Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village.” Then in 1977 it was changed to “Walt Disney World Village.” Then in 1989 it was changed to “Disney Village Marketplace.” Then in 1997 is was changed to “Downtown Disney.” Then in 2015 it got it’s current name “Disney Springs.”
With all the name changes Disney Springs has undergone you will hear different people call it different things. The most common names are The Villages, The Marketplace, Downtown Disney and Disney Springs.
Unofficial 5th Park
While there is no park ticket required to go to Disney Springs many consider it to be just as important to their Disney vacation as going into the four major theme parks. You can easily spend a good three or four hours at Disney Springs and if you like to really shop you could spend the entire day there.
If you are going to do a no-park day at Disney while still doing all Disney activities then you will want to put Disney Springs on your list of places to visit.
There are many things to do at Disney Springs that at first glance you might miss. At first glance you will see that you can shop and eat. On the one half of Disney Springs you will find the original Disney stores, plus some new, all featuring Disney merchandise.
There are three sections to Disney Springs; The Marketplace, The Landing, and West Side. Here are some of the main attractions that tend to be the draw for most visitors of Disney Springs
Main Attractions at Disney Springs (Main Attractions)
World of Disney – The World of Disney is the largest Disney store on Disney Property and not to mention, Earth.
Disney Pin Traders – One of the largest if not THE largest pin trading store on Disney Property
Ghiradelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop – A Delicious Ice Cream shop with a chocolate shop attached.
TIP: Go into the chocolate shop for a free chocolate square.
Earl of Sandwich – Very good sandwich restaurant
T-Rex Restaurant – It’s like Rainforest Cafe but Dinosaur Themed.
Fulton’s Crab House – Restaurant on an old style riverboat
Characters in Flight – Giant hot air balloon ride ($12 for child, $18 for adult)
AMC Dine-In Theaters at Disney Springs – It’s a movie theater you can eat at while watching a movie. 24 screens.
Splitsville – Luxury bowling and dining.
DisneyQuest (Closing 2016) – Interactive gaming. This will become an NBA something or other once it closes.
La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil – Circus like show.
House of Blues – Live music.
While these shops, restaurants, shows and other forms of entertainment are not the only reasons to to go to Disney Springs they are definitely the most common reasons to visit making them the main attractions.
If you are looking for mostly Disney shopping then you want to go to The Marketplace where you can find the World of Disney, Disney’s Pin Traders, The Art of Disney, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories, Goofy’s Candy Company, Mickey’s Pantry, Tren-D and more.
How to Get to Disney Springs
You can take the bus to Disney Springs from any of the Disney World Resorts.
You can take a Boat from Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside.
You can drive if you have a car. Disney Springs has a parking garage that you can use or you can park down near the House of Blues in a regular parking lot.
If you are going to Disney Springs for Disney Shopping then the bus is the best way to go simply because the bus stop is at that end of Disney Springs. The parking garage is located by AMC Theaters which is on the West Side and is a little bit of walk to get from the garage to the Disney shops.
what do you think about all the changes at Disney Springs? Share your thoughts in the comments below!