If you’ve been to Downtown Disney recently, you know that this shopping and entertainment area is currently under heavy construction in preparation for its debut as the re-themed Disney Springs in 2016. Parking has been cut down to a fraction of its former self thanks to the building of new parking garages (and the addition of new valet areas), and whole sections of the district, including the entirety of the former Pleasure Island area have been completely walled off, making getting around pretty difficult.
Though the transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs has certainly caused some frustration among guests and visitors, it looks like some progress is being made towards getting this area re-themed, including the return of a sorely missed transportation feature and new details about the eventual all-encompassing theme that will comprise the Disney Springs area.
New Marketplace boat dock now open
Hate walking across the landbridge that circles around the former Pleasure Island to get from the Downtown Disney West Side to the Marketplace? Well you won’t have to anymore, as the water taxis between the two locations are running again! While the West Side dock location is unchanged, the Marketplace boat dock is now next to the bus loop, near the Rainforest Cafe.
Water taxis ferrying guests from one end of the shopping area to the other are virtually unchanged except that they will now feature a running audio loop that details some of the developments underway for Disney Springs.
The boat route opening couldn’t have come at a better time, as the parking garage construction and the introduction of new valet areas have made parking at the Marketplace district nearly impossible. Now shoppers can park at the West Side and take a boat to their destination, which will probably save some time for those who are trying to visit the World of Disney or the Marketplace Co-Op and don't want to deal with the hassle of parking near the Marketplace.
More information released about Disney Springs theming
Though this second update doesn’t actually involve any physical developments, it does shed a little light on what guests can ultimately expect to encounter at Disney Springs when it is finished in 2016. According to a video released by the Disney Parks Blog, the idea behind Disney Springs is that of a small town growing out of a natural spring found in central Florida (we knew this already, but the video provides a little more context). You can check out the whole video below for full details about the evolving theme behind Disney Springs.
Disney is definitely committing itself to the idea of a “story” with Disney Springs, and seems to be very invested in the idea of a unified shopping and entertainment area, a huge departure from the districted approach of Downtown Disney. Though this commitment to theme might seem a little weird for a shopping area, Disney is looking to create an experience that immerses guests in the new area (and hopefully motivates them to stay longer and spend more money!)
Do you think Disney Springs will benefit from these new story elements and emphasis on theme?