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Images: How Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney will be transformed into Disney Springs

Disney Springs concept art

Walt Disney World has confirmed that its Downtown Disney area will be transformed into a new shopping and entertainment district dubbed Disney Springs by 2016. The resort has released a swathe of concept artwork for the project, which offers a glimpse into how Disney plans to revitalise an area that has come in for fierce criticism from fans over the past few years.

The conversion of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs will be much more than a simple facelift. Disney plans to double the number of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in the district, boosting the total to more than 150 establishments. Two new multi-story parking garages will also be constructed, as well as new roads to improve the flow of traffic. Parking will be free, while Disney Springs will remain free-to-enter.

Fittingly given its Florida location, Disney Springs will feature a theme centred around an idealised version of turn-of-the-century lakeside town. Disney promises that it will create a "welcoming, comfortable space where families can enjoy time together and instantaneously feel right at home".

Hyperion Wharf

Hyperion Wharf was announced but ultimately never built.
Image © Disney

Of course, this isn't the first time that Disney has announced a plan to overhaul Downtown Disney. Back in November 2010, it revealed a project to replace the shuttered Pleasure Island area with Hyperion Wharf, which would have recreated the look and atmosphere of a 20th century port city and amusement pier. Having subsequently dropped the idea, the company now says that it has "scrapped a few preliminary plans that we felt didn’t measure up to our aspirations for this place."

With that said, let's take a look at the various areas that will make up the new Disney Springs area, which is due to begin construction next month, with completion in 2016.

Overview

Disney Springs model

Image © Disney

Disney Springs will be made up of four primary areas: The Town Center, The Landing, the Marketplace and the West Side. The conceptual model above gives an overview of the area.

Disney Springs entrance

Image © Disney

An updated entrance featuring a new gateway will welcome guests into the district.

Town Center

Disney Springs Town Center

Image © Disney

The Town Center will be based around a series of "natural springs" which are said to have attracted settlers to the Disney Springs area. It will host a mix of shops and restaurants, spread along an attractive promenade.

The Landing

Disney Springs The Landing

Image © Disney

The Landing will offer waterfront views from a variety of dining locations. It will be themed around a thriving commercial district of Disney Springs.

The West Side

Disney Springs West Side

Image © Disney

The West Side area of Downtown Disney will undergo a slightly less radical transformation. It will offer live entertainment, as well as elevated spaces that will look down on the bustling areas below.

Marketplace

Disney Springs Marketplace

Image © Disney

Downtown Disney's Marketplace will be enhanced, adding additional stores (including an expanded World of Disney store), and will boast an over-the-water pedestrian causeway.

What do you think?

An update to Downtown Disney is long overdue. But what do you make of the Disney Springs plans? Let us know via the comments section below.

There are 5 comments.

When the Comedy Warehouse was closed we were extremely disappointed. We have been to Disney 30 years out of the last 35. We love that type of comedy, but most of the time if you go to a show it often has inappropriate language and material. At Comedy Warehouse it was amazing and there were many subjects that could not be suggested or words not used because it took place in the most magical place on earth. Hopefully, you are bringing back the comedy!

I am so excited about Disney Springs development!!!! I am currently urging my company "CaboFlats Cantina" to look into opening a restaurant there... We are a New and Fun Concept... Hope it Works out :).

Initially, I am unimpressed. Where is Eisner when you need him. It feels like the current planners are only concerned with one thing, money. If it is entertaining and pleasing, they will come. I read that they are catering to those that want more "family" atmosphere, but that is not entirely true. Good clean fun, certainly. But after a day of family fun at the parks and everywhere you ture, Downtown Disney gives you a bit of a break from the kids screams being priority. Some of us adults want a bit of a break. The clubs were nice. Adverturers Club was the best by entertaining the entire family, and created a Disney family within itself. HELLO, IS ANYONE LISTENING OUT THERE? Stay with the wholesomeness but bring back some of the adult fun and give the parks to the kids.

There is a massive void in Downtown Disney without the Adventurers Club! PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!!!

Here is a description of The Adventurers Club for those not familiar.

As you enter the AC, you pass into a moderately large, somewhat darkened room known as the Zebra Mezzanine. The center of this room is completely open to the floor below (protected by a railing all around). There is a small Maitre D's podium to the left of the doorway, but there is usually no one there.

As you walk around to the back, you notice numerous old captioned photos hanging on the walls; photos that document the lives and travels of the fictional AC members. Along the way, you may come across Graves the Butler (one of the resident characters), all decked-out in formal attire.

Peering downstairs over the railing, you notice people milling about in the Main Salon on the lower level. It is a circular room centered about a life-size bronze statue of a mythical god that is completely encircled with comfortable seating. On one side is a small bar, and doorways into the other rooms can be seen at various points around the outer perimeter. Antique-looking chairs are scattered about. There are all manner of artifacts mounted on the walls and even hanging from the ceiling; the combined treasures and mementos of the Club's most daring and adventurous members!

As you reach the back of the Zebra Mezzanine, you walk down the staircase which leads you to the Main Salon. You enter, locate suitable seating, settle in and relax, perhaps ordering a drink. Before long, one or another of the club members may pass through. Perhaps it will be the frumpy Pamelia Perkins, Club President, or the Club Maid (whose uniform the gentlemen are sure to notice).

Every twenty minutes or so an announcement is made in the Main Salon that the next club activity is about to commence. You will then be directed to the correct location. Some activities, such as the Club Initiation, occur right in the Main Salon. Others occur in the Mask Room, the Treasure Room or the Library, all of which are just off the Main Salon. Each of these four rooms have their own special Disney magic. From walls that come alive in the Mask Room to Fingers, the haunted organ, in the Library, myriad strange occurrences punctuate the coming and goings of the slightly daffy Club members.

When does reservations open for Dec 2015?

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