In what has been the worst kept Disney secret for months, Tom Staggs announced the new Disney Springs concept today, which will change the landscape of what is currently Downtown Disney. Disney Springs will encompass 4 neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side, and the Town Center.
Check out our video, and we will be talking about Disney Springs on our Mousesteps Weekly YouTube show this week.
This changes will encompass the entire Downtown Disney district, unlike the scrapped Hyperion Wharf, which was only to replace Pleasure Island. All of the clubs – including the beloved Adventurer’s Club (we have 180 photos from the former Adventurer's Club and vintage Adventurer's Club item pictures ) – were closed in 2008. Hyperion Wharf had been due to open by early 2013, which shows how long it’s taken to get to this point. That said, while I was never excited about Hyperion Wharf, I have high hopes for Disney Springs.
According to Staggs on the Disney Parks Blog, construction is set to begin next month, with the expansion opening in phases and expected completion by 2016. Of Disney Springs, Staggs says:
"The Story of Disney Springs begins in our new Town Center, which is oriented around a series of bubbling natural springs that first attracted settlers to the area. From there, the town grew to encompass three additional neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace, and West Side – each with it's own distinct charm and atmosphere".
When complete, Disney Springs is said to be expanded from "75 to more than 150 shopping, dining, and entertainment venues".
One of the rumors is that the Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar concept will be brought here. Trader Sam's is an extremely popular and very well themed bar at the Disneyland Hotel. The bar is also extremely small inside. It's a must-do on any trip for us to Disneyland, but I'm not sure how the concept would play in a large-scale setting as opposed to an intimate setting like Disney's Polynesian Resort. Check out our detailed photos and video of Disneyland's Trader Sam's Enhanted Tiki Bar.
Two parking garages are planned.
My first visit to Downtown Disney was around 1976 – it was just the Disney Marketplace back then. A lot has changed since the 1970's! I don't always embrace change in the parks and resorts quickly, but Downtown Disney has needed a serious shot in the arm, and Hyperion Wharf wasn't it. Many of my favorite restaurants are also third-party vendors, so I hope we get some good ones (like Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Pucks). What do you think about the new plans?