3/18 Downtown Disney Photo & Video Update – Including Expansive Look From Characters in Flight

Hi everyone!

We had a tour and interview today at The BOATHOUSE Restaurant, which opens in April. Our next stop was Characters in Flight to view all of Downtown Disney as it transforms into Disney Springs. In addition, we have photos and video from the boat and by foot. It is pretty incredible to see how much work is being done at Downtown Disney from the air.

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It was a gorgeous day for the balloon ride! Characters in Flight has been on Groupon recently. I always recommend checking Groupon and Living Social before a Walt Disney World vacation in case anything interesting is available.

Here is our video of the construction, and then read the article!

We last rode Characters in Flight nearly one year ago, after I broke my ankle. It is very accessible for wheelchairs.

The Hangar and The BOATHOUSE restaurants are side by side.

This outdoor dock of The BOATHOUSE restaurant is a bar (the restaurant has three of them). it is nice to see the waterfront utilized so well now!

We started to lift off, getting a better view below.

Here is a better look at The BOATHOUSE with the bar out back. There will also be 6 amphicars that will launch from this side of the restaurant.

Here is our interview from today with Schussler Creative CEO Steven Schussler about The BOATHOUSE.

We were also told today that The Hangar should be pretty spectacular, someplace that guests will want to hang out on a regular basis.

There is a lot of work being done on Paradiso 37 as it expands.


This was a “wow” moment for me. For anyone who goes to Downtown Disney now, it feels finished in so many areas. Stores and restaurants have been and will be opening up on a continual basis. But there is still so much to be done in the next year.

Here is a look from the full height down at Fulton’s, The BOATHOUSE and The Hangar. The Rainforest Cafe can be seen in the background.

The BOATHOUSE will be more upscale than other projects by Schussler Creative (Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex Cafe, Yak & Yeti).

Honestly, I have no idea what much of this will be. There are so many building footprints, I’m looking forward to seeing each restaurant and shop as it opens. I have been asked about parking – guests can either park in the opened parking garage or behind Cirque du Soleil. And I was also asked today about shops like Basin in the Marketplace. The Marketplace hasn’t changed a lot recently, and Basin is there. The WonderGround Gallery also opened in the Marketplace Co-Op.

Raglan Road from above.

This is the walkway through the former Pleasure Island. Paradiso 37, The Art of Shaving, Raglan Road and other shops can be found along the path.

It was a little too hazy to see much in the distance this way.

Planet Hollywood will be changing, I think that is very needed.

The Characters in Flight balloon shadow looks so small in the water below!

Here is a look at the West Side. The shops themselves have changed some, but overall the feel is very similar to the last couple of years. The food trucks can be seen in Food Truck Park.

Food Truck Park.

Spaceship Earth can be seen in the background behind Cirque du Soleil. DisneyQuest, House of Blues, Splitsville and other shops and restaurants are also here.

Looking out past the AMC Theaters.

All too soon, we were down. But next we took the boat to the Marketplace to use our Earl of Sandwich coupon.

Paradiso 37 from the water.

The Hangar from the water.

And here is The BOATHOUSE. Each building section looks different from outside, and inside as well.

This bridge opened a few weeks ago.

This sign will need to be changed in the near future.

And this one as well. Just replacing the signs will be a large project.

A Princess Parade was heading through the Marketplace.

We haven’t seen these two pieces of artwork on the walls before. They include Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Oswald, Donald and Daisy.

The new bridge spans from near World of Disney to the Rainforest Cafe area.

We walked back to the parking garage, passing by The BOATHOUSE and the Springs Brand Mineral Water ad.

The BOATHOUSE artwork.

We had a nice flight on Characters in Flight today, it is a great way to see Downtown Disney!

What are you most looking forward to at Disney Springs?