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Downtown Disney will officially give way to Disney Springs as of September 29


In just one day, the official name of Walt Disney World’s shopping, dining, and entertainment district Downtown Disney will officially change to Disney Springs. With the new name comes a new backstory, one that works much better with both the setting and the new slightly more upscale direction the resort is taking.

I was never a fan of Downtown Disney as the name for Walt Disney World anyway (I think it’s fine for the more urban Disneyland). Even though it sits on an area twice the size of Manhattan and has many of the facilities that a real city would have, I don’t want to be reminded of any ‘downtown’ (which often means work) when I’m on vacation.

Marketplace, Westside, Pleasure Island worked as separate entities, and I understood the need to unite them under one brand, I just would have preferred something like ‘Disney Village’ (like they have in France) instead.

Disney Springs

What will be Disney Springs originally opened in 1975 as the Lake Beuna Vista Shopping Village (essentially what is the Marketplace area today). Pleasure Island opened in 1986 in order to help keep guests on property into the night instead of heading to Downtown Orlando. In 1995 another expansion was announced and the area officially became Downtown Disney in 1997 with the addition of the Westside. Disneyland’s Downtown Disney was added in 2001 when the resort was reshaped to add a second theme park gate and new hotel.

When the Disney Springs expansion is finished, it will add a fourth district called “Town Center.” Disney Springs will add around 150 new tenants to the area. We’re still waiting to learn the names of most of these new stores and dining locations.

The new backstory is that this area was once a old Floria town built around a springs. A water bottling plant opened and the area grew somewhat organically with additions added based on different eras of expansion that correspond roughly to Florida’s major growth periods.

So far, I am enjoying the new look of The Landing and can’t wait to see the Springs and Town Center areas when they open. Construction is expected to be completed sometime in 2016.