WOW. That’s all I could find myself saying after my visit to the now complete Disney Springs last week.
The past few trips I’ve taken to the former Downtown Disney area have been slightly marred by what felt like years of ongoing construction, traffic jams, and trying to find a parking space. But not anymore. Disney Springs is (very nearly) complete, and it was worth all the pain.
Not only is there now a Coca-Cola store, where you can buy every possible flavour of Coke you could ever imagine and meet the Coca-Cola polar bear, there are shops that people actually want to visit – Superdry, Sephora, Pandora, Victoria’s Secret and ZARA to name but a few. There’s all the old favourites too – The Rainforest Cafe, Lego Store and T-Rex Cafe have all survived but seem to some how fit much better into the new environment.
There are four distinct areas to the new Disney Springs – ‘Marketplace’, ‘The Landing’, ‘Town Center’, and ‘West Side’; each with it’s own distinct architecture and ambience: 1920’s Spanish architecture adorns the ‘Town Center’ area, for example. There’s also a great range of bars and restaurants on offer, including the magnificent seafood based Paddlefish, which now sits proudly at the age of the lake in the form of a paddle steamer riverboat.
I don’t mind admitting that Downtown Disney was always a bit of an afterthought for me on previous trips to Orlando; something to fill the gap on the last day, or to squeeze in if we could. Next time, Disney Springs will be part of the plan – you can still check in at Disney Springs on the last day of your holiday with Virgin Atlantic, who whisk your cases to the airport for you – but you may find yourself needing to buy an extra case after visiting the plethora of new shops on offer!