Forty years after Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando first opened, new stores, dining and entertainment options being created along the waterfront as the area is refashioned as Disney Springs.
Disney Springs will feature more than double the number of stores and restaurants previously on site, rising from 70 to 150 in four areas, The Landing, Marketplace, Town Center, and West Side.
A handful of new stores and kiosks have already moved into The Landing and a footbridge created to the new Marketplace Causeway. The new bridge links the area to the other side of the Marketplace, near the popular Rainforest Cafe.
The new stores and kiosks at the former Pleasure Island clubs, include APEX by Sunglass Hut, flip-flop specialist, Havaianas, Art of Shaving, Sanuk shoes, Chapel Hats, music store, Sound Lion and Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC.
The Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE restaurants have also been confirmed for The Landing. . STK Steakhouse is expected to join them.
Feltrim Group Chief Executive Officer, Garrett Kenny says, “Orlando is famous for its theme parks, entertainment, and dining and it’s exciting to see Disney Springs starting to take shape and featuring elements from them all.”
Downtown Disney has long been popular with locals as there are no entry or parking fees, so everyone can come and get a piece of Disney, eat in a themed or specialist restaurant, see a Cirque de Soleil or street show, or visit the enormous World of Disney mega-store.
“The area is set to be a favourite of residents”, says Kenny, “holiday home owners and visitors and is just one more reason why Orlando is a world-class tourist resort and real estate hotspot. Certainly everyone who lives here is highly anticipating the opening.”
Feltrim Group features a wide range of real estate not far from the area, including exclusive luxury Feltrim developments, Lake Charles Resort and Country Club and Balmoral Estates, in Orlando, Davenport, Four Corners, ChampionsGate, Reunion, Kissimmee and Haines City.
The BOATHOUSE, which is due to open around April, will offer waterfront dining, floating DreamBoats artwork from the 30s, 40s and 50s. and Amphicars that take guest out on the lake for drinks, desserts and tours.
The upscale, waterfront restaurant will include three distinctive bars including The Captain’s Raw Bar, The Admiral’s Club Bar and The Dock Bar, which will be built over the water. Other spectacular nautically-themed rooms include The Runabout, Twin Transoms, and The Lake House.
There will also be two private dining rooms for special events, conventions and presentations: The Regatta and The Trophy Room. Guests will enjoy a gourmet menu served daily until 2AM, featuring steaks, chops, fresh seafood and a raw bar.
The BOATHOUSE restaurant will offer romantic Captain’s guided tours aboard The Venezia, a beautifully crafted 40-foot wooden Italian Water Taxi featuring champagne toasts and chocolate-covered strawberries.
There also will be the exhilaration of guided Amphicar rides that launch from land, entering the water with a splash, taking guests on a 20-minute tour of the landmarks of Disney Springs.
The Harbor Master will orchestrate daily flag ceremonies, accompanied by bugle songs performed on a classic 1800s steamboat.
George A. Kalogridis, President of Walt Disney World Resort, says, “Combining dining with interactive entertainment, The BOATHOUSE helps bring to life our vision of Disney Springs as a welcoming place for guests of all ages to enjoy with their friends and family amid the charm of a waterfront town center.”
Creator Steven Schussler, says, “The outstanding cuisine, the excitement of Amphicars, the Italian Water Taxi, and live music will make The BOATHOUSE a must-see destination for Walt Disney World guests from all around the world. Walt Disney Imagineering has created a wonderful, interactive, culinary and entertainment experience at Disney Springs. We are proud to be part of this magical experience.”
Downtown Disney first opened on 22 March 1975. Disney Springs is due to be finished by Spring 2016.
The feeder roads are being widened to accommodate more traffic and a ramp is being built so Walt Disney World visitors can drive off the I-4 and straight into the West Side parking garage.