• 02May
    News, Walt Disney World Comments Off on Big plans announced today for WDW

    Lots of other announcements coming out today…a quick roundup:

    The Polynesian Resort will revert back to the original name of “Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort”, and will get Trader Sam’s bar. DVC bungalows completed some time in 2015.

    Downtown Disney will become Disney Springs with the opening of the first section, The Landing, in early 2015. Other sections (Westside, Town Center, Marketplace) will be in 2016.

    New Details on ÒRivers of LightÓ Nighttime Spectacular Coming to DisneyÕs Animal KingdomRivers of Light nighttime show for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, to happen in the lagoon/river around Discovery Island

    Harambe Nights separate ticket event at Animal Kingdom will include special Lion King performances (which moves into the new theater in June), narrators every Saturday from June 7th-August 9th from 7:30-10:00pm. Tickets will be $119 adult, $79 child.

    World of Pandora (aka Avatarland) will open at the Animal Kingdom in 2017

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  • 14Mar
    Walt Disney World Comments Off on Disney Springs, a major overhaul of Downtown Disney, officially announced

    It is official – Downtown Disney is getting a makeover. Again. And maybe this one will happen. 🙂

    It’s been rumored for a few weeks after some details leaked, but the Downtown Disney area will receive a major overhaul that will include a new name (“Disney Springs”), new theme (a town that grew up around a spring), new areas (“Town Center”, between West Side and Marketplace, and “The Landing”, a renamed Pleasure Island), and new parking garages at either end.

    The Town Center will be VERY new, taking over the current area between the Marketplace and West Side areas by expanding into the existing parking area (which will be made up for by the two parking garages, which will hopefully overall increase parking) and provide better flow between the two existing shopping areas, a long-standing problem that led to the opening of Pleasure Island to the public and eventually to the clubs downfall. Don’t expect this to mean a return of the clubs, though…although there is still some hope that something make come back. But PI, or The Landing now, will not return to charged admissions again.

    Construction begins in April, with completion expected in 2016.

    No particular third party tenants have been announced yet.

    Check out the official park blog story for some of the artwork.

    Over two years ago, Disney announced and showed concept art for “Hyperion Wharf”, a rename/retheme of Pleasure Island. After tearing down a couple buildings and planting grass, however, the project was canceled.

    In 2006, Disney announced Flamingo Crossings, a new shopping/entertainment district that was to be located at the end of Western Way at the extreme western edge of the property along Route 429, to be filled with third party retailers, restaurants, etc. and some hoped would become a “Pleasure Island 2.0”. But aside from a lot of grading work of the land, nothing happened, although there is still a web site for it.

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  • 16Feb
    Rumors, Walt Disney World Comments Off on Rumor: Downtown Disney to be re-themed (again) and become Disney Springs

    The web site Park Rumors is reporting that Disney is attempting to re-theme Downtown Disney again…this time going with Disney Springs.

    I don’t know the source of the rumor, so I don’t know how much confidence I have in it, but Disney has been trying and trying to revitalize DTD ever since closing the clubs…most recently with the abandoned “Hyperion Wharf” project.

    At least once basis for the rumor is filing of Phase I plans for the “BVD Corridor Stormwater Project”, which apparently refers to the existing Downtown Disney area. From there, the article refers to later phases that include putting in a 5-story garage, taking the existing more central parking lots and expanding the area into the “The Gateway” and “The Town Center”, which would now give a more contiguous shopping district between Marketplace and West Side. The current Marketplace would be renamed “The Village Marketplace”, touching on the area’s original name. West Side would remain unchanged, and Pleasure Island would become “The Landing”.

    With the Town Center in place, the island-that-was-Pleasure-Island is no longer a necessary pathway, which brings up some interesting possibilities. PI became ungated in part to improve flow between Marketplace and West Side, which prior to that was via a small sidewalk along the parking area – the two areas were pretty separate and distinct. Then when PI was ungated, the clubs suffered and eventually were closed and have remained so since, although a couple were demolished and not replaced. Many fans hope for the reopening of the remaining clubs some day, and this could possibly offer the opportunity, but having a separate but more “family friendly” path. However, I don’t expect that “The Landing” will become gated again – there are now restaurants and retail located there.

    Also interesting – they show the Planet Hollywood location as becoming “The Observatory”, but I am unaware of the Planet Hollywood planning on closing.

    But even if Disney confirms this rumor, I’ll believe it when they actually complete it.

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