Back in 2007, Walt Disney World announced plans for a new retail location that would be leased out to all third parties, kind of like Disney Springs, but bigger, and with third-party on-site hotels as well. However, when the US recession hit, third party interest in this new spot all but dried up, and many believed that the Flamingo Crossings project had been quietly killed by Disney.
However, even though this project hit an almost decade-long snag, Two new hotels (TownePlace Suites, Marriott's extended-stay brand, and SpringHill Suites) were constructed on this land (near Walt Disney World's western gate) and are actually now open in on the edge of a 450 acre lot and will be constructed on Flamingo Crossings Way, right outside Disney World's western gate (where the new entrance to the resort is being built).
Although almost everyone had forgotten that these two hotels were originally a part of this larger project, it looks like plans are re-coming together for a full-fledged shopping center to be constructed here. And this time, Disney is really shooting for the stars...
Bigger than Disney Springs?
Though Disney Springs is already pretty expansive, early plans for Flamingo Crossings now indicate that there will be about 237,000 square feet of retail space spread out across 29 retail and restaurant buildings across approximately 45 acres. This would make this location quite a bit larger than Disney Springs in terms of store space, and much larger in terms of total space, putting the total area of this new area on par with Disney's Animal Kingdom (including the hotel developments).
In an effort to use this space as wisely as possible, Disney is hoping to employ some smart design choices with this new development, putting hotels along the fringes of Flamingo Crossings and centering retail and dining locations around a central town center area that will feature grocery stores, which is something that has never been readily available on Disney property before.
This project is certainly ambitious, as Disney Springs is already quite big, and Flamingo Crossings is really looking to take things to the next level. However, even though Flamingo Crossings will be much grander in scale than Disney Springs, there's another big difference that will set this upcoming development apart from its predecessor in an important way: