Disney Springs

Details on the NBA Experience Coming to Disney Springs

NBA_Experience_Disney

The NBA Experience will open at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort this summer. Developed by Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with the NBA, this new DIsney Springs attraction will feature hands-on activities that highlight the action and excitement of professional basketball.

The actual grand opening hasn’t been announced yet but stay tuned.

By Darren W

Update on New Cirque du Soleil Show at Disney Springs

New show coming to Walt Disney World Resort. 

New show coming to Walt Disney World Resort. 

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil is taking its final bow at Disney Springs on New Year’s Eve 2018. I'm told that the new show coming to Disney Springs will pay homage to Disney animation.

An opening date for the new show has not been announced. I'll share details here as they are finalized. 

 

New Benefits Extended to Disney Springs Area Resorts

Disney Springs Resort Area hotels now eligible for some new package benefits

Disney Springs Resort Area hotels now eligible for some new package benefits

Beginning January 1, 2018, Guests staying at one of the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels, which are designated Official WALT DISNEY WORLD hotels will be able to participate in Extra Magic Hours.

Scheduled to begin Jan. 10, 2018, Guests who book a Walt Disney Travel Company package staying at one of the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels, which are designated Official WALT DISNEY WORLD hotels and who have booked a Walt Disney Travel Company package, will be able to link their hotel reservation on My Disney Experience and can utilize a 60-day booking window for FastPass+ selections.

The Disney Spring Resort Area hotels include: 

Darren Wittko specializes in Disney Destinations

 

 

These 2017 Disney Resort Hotels will Undergo Refurbs in 2017

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Refurbishments and Closures

Please note this list is subject to change without notice. 

Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Villas  

  • Exterior Painting: through April 2017
  • Luna Park Slide: through Mar 3, 2017
  • Community Hall Pool: through Mar 1, 2017

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

  • Trinidad South Village Pool: through Mar 16, 2017
  • General Resort Construction (Trinidad South region): through March 16, 2017
  • Major Refurbishment to food court, pool (alternate on-site dining will be available): through 2018

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Disney's Old Key West Resort

  • Exterior painting: through July 27, 2017

Disney's Pop Century Resort

  • Room refurbishments: through May 7, 2017

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside

  • Alligator Bayou North Pool:  through April 7, 2017

Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort & Villas

  • Extensive Resort Refurbishment: through end of 2017
  • Cub's Den Child Activity Center: through end of 2017
  • Roaring Fork and Pool Bar (alternates provided): through summer of 2017

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

  • Room refurbishments: through end of 2017
  • Captain's Grille relocated to Ariel's: through Sept 30, 2017
  • Convention Center refurbishment: through Feb 2018

DisneyQuest at Disney Springs

  • Will close permanently: July 3, 2017

By Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Parks and Resorts

Re-Imagined Planet Hollywood Observatory Opens at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

Re-Imagined Planet Hollywood Observatory Opens at   Disney Springs   at   Walt Disney World   Resort

Planet Hollywood Observatory has opened its flagship location in the heart of Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, transforming its iconic globe into a four-story stargazing observatory with new spaces including an outdoor terrace, a new menu and an exciting new look and feel.

Inside it’s an immersive theatrical dining experience, with each floor providing a different ambience, including the fabulous curated collection of film-making memorabilia and a 4,500-square-foot video wall the uses trompe l’oeil 3D technology – images with such realism that they appear to be in three dimensions. 

Classic Planet Hollywood dishes, including the World Famous Chicken Crunch, are on the new menu, as well as a selection of over-the-top burgers and sandwiches by celebrity Chef Guy Fieri. Desserts are a hallmark of the restaurant, like the hand-dipped milkshakes.

The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. The new 5,000 square-foot Stargazers Lounge that will let you relax under the stars will be opening soon.

Darren Wittko - Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. He is rated a Best of the Best Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

DisneyQuest is Closing (This Time it's for Real - Most Likely)

DisneyQuest to Close July 3, 2017

Disney continues to bring new experiences to the West Side Neighborhood, including The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort. To make way for this basketball-themed experience, the West Side area will be undergoing changes – beginning with the closure of DisneyQuest on July 3, 2017.

The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort will be a one-of-a-kind basketball-themed experience featuring hands-on activities that put guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. There will be immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences, as well as a restaurant and a retail store.

Stay tuned to SaveAtWDW for more updates on The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort and the continuing transformation of Disney Springs.

Darren Wittko - Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. He is rated a Best of the Best Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

This Disney Springs Attraction Will Be Huge This Holiday Season

Each neighborhood in Disney Springs will been transformed into a unique holiday wonderland beginning November 11, 2016

Each neighborhood in Disney Springs will been transformed into a unique holiday wonderland beginning November 11, 2016

Disney Springs is gearing up for the holiday season but the new Christmas Tree Trail seems to be the most anticipated experience among Disney fans ever since it was announced on the Disney Parks Blog. A light snow will be falling in Central Florida as you wind through a path of toy soldiers, singers and of course Disney decorated Christmas trees. There are 15 themed trees already planned including: 101 Dalmatians, Mickey and Minnie, The Little Mermaid, The Jungle Book and Mary Poppins. I'm betting the Frozen tree will be just a little popular. 

The trees are set to magically appear on Nov 11, 2016. 

 

 

Darren Wittko is rated a Best of the Best Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.

New Bus Service Offers Direct Access to Disney Springs from Theme Parks After 4 p.m

Walt Disney World transport buses are now available to transport Guests to Disney Springs from Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting at 4 p.m. daily. With a drop-off location in the heart of the property, the new service puts you in the middle of Town Center, the newest neighborhood at Disney Springs

 

Darren Wittko -  is rated aBest of the Best Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

What Disney Doesn't Want You Know about Disney Springs

Disney Springs | Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Springs | Walt Disney World Resort

It was getting painful to watch Downtown Disney slowly die on the vine at Walt Disney World. Pleasure Island, the once popular nightclub district had closed in 2008. By 2012, after more closures, the three sections of Downtown Disney felt disconnected and it was suffering badly. Eventually, after weathering economic uncertainty for several years, Disney went ahead with the project and Disney Springs opened to guests in 2015 - a much needed and aesthetically pleasing refurbishment to Downtown Disney. Disney Springs has a connected backstory now and a true “Disney” feel. Major improvements have also been made to parking with new “smart” parking garages (signs notify drivers where to find open spaces) and traffic congestion on Buena Vista Drive has been addressed with dedicated car and bus lanes.

However some of the feedback about Disney Springs is that the stores are, “pricey” or “just like the mall we have back home.” To be fair, tourists generally like to shop while on vacation so it’s not a far-fetched idea to offer a shopping district at Walt Disney World. But you might not know that there's actually a better place to shop while in Orlando if you're looking for great deals. 

What Disney Doesn't Want you to Know

Orlando Vineland Outlet Mall

While Disney Springs is certainly fun, you'll find a more comprehensive shopping experience just 3 miles away at the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets.  This outlet mall has over 100 name brand stores offering big bargains compared to regular retail locations - although much of the merchandise today is made specifically for outlet retailers. But the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets are located just five minutes from Disney Springs and it even has some of the same stores as Disney Springs - here's what they have in common:

  • Kate Spade
  • Kipling
  • Oakley
  • Tommy Bahama
  • Ugg
  • Under Armour
  • Vera Bradley

There's also an official Walt Disney World outlet store,  Disney's Character Warehouse. The prices are deeply discounted compared to the retail locations on property and it's a true outlet store (overstocks, past-season, etc). 

I do think everyone should take a day or perhaps just an evening to explore Disney Springs. Highlights are The Boathouse Orlando restaurant, Morimoto Asia (try the Peking Duck) the World of Disney Store, and even enjoy some of the live music and entertainment. If you're into bowling, try Splitsville Luxury Lanes.  

But if you're a shopper and looking for a some deals to take back home, then it's worth a short ride over to the Orlando Vineland Outlet Mall.  

Orlando Vineland Outlets Address

Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets Address:  8200 Vineland Ave, Orlando, FL. 32821. Located just off Route 535, about 3 miles from Disney Springs. Taxi fare is an estimated $15-$20 each way from Walt Disney World hotels. Uber, about $10 each way. With traffic, it could take about 10 minutes.

Finding your way around

Additional Orlando Outlet Mall


If you want an even bigger selection of savings at the outlet stores, travel a little further to the Orlando International Premium Outlets. Located about 20 minutes from Walt Disney World on I-4 East, Exit 75A, you’ll find an even larger outlet mall, also offering many of the same stores as Disney Springs mentioned above. 
 
Video:
The Story Behind Disney Springs.

Darren Wittko - Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. He is rated aBest of the Best Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

New Restaurant Coming to Disney Springs

The Polite Pig coming to Disney Springs in spring 2017

The Polite Pig coming to Disney Springs in spring 2017

I am a huge fan of smoked pork so I'm very excited to share with you that The Polite Pig will coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in spring 2017. A sister restaurant to The Ravenous Pig of Winter Park, FL, The Polite Pig will feature a variety of wood-fired smoked and grilled items as well as an innovative beverage program that serves all drinks on tap, including locally-brewed Cask & Larder beer, wine and cocktails.

 

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney Springs has Moved

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - Disney Springs has  new location. 

The Bibbidi Bobbidi BoutiqueDisney Springs- has moved from it's former home inside the World of Disney Store to a new location near Earl of Sandwich and Once Upon a Toy in the Marketplace district. Fairy Godmothers-in-Training will continue to make magical transformations for Guests ages 3-12. Girls can choose a hairstyle then add make-up, nail color and accessories – even a Disney princess costume. Boys can join in the fun too, as they’re transformed into gallant knights. View a current map of Disney Springs

 

Darren Wittko - Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. He is rated aBest of the Best Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

 

 

Disney Springs Water Tower

Disney Springs Water Tower Raised

Disney Springs Water Tower Raised

The water tower will serve as the new marquee for Disney Springs and welcome guests as part of the property’s entrance gateway. I thought maybe the recycled the Earful Tower that is slated to come down at Disney's Hollywood Studios but it appears to be different. In an earlier post I shared an update about new shops coming to Disney Springs. 

Shop til You Drop at Disney Springs

Disney Springs continues to expand and double its dining, shopping and entertainment options at Walt Disney World Resort. Today, 30 more high-profile tenants will be setting up shop at Disney Springs just in time for this summer, including Anthropologie, LACOSTE, Under Armour, kate spade new york, Sephora and Lucky Brand, among others.

Just announced, here’s a complete list of the new shops and dining venues that’ll be opening in phases at Disney Springs beginning May 15, 2016:

  • Anthropologie
  • kate spade new york
  • LACOSTE
  • Under Armour
  • M·A·C Cosmetics
  • Vince Camuto
  • Vera Bradley
  • Lucky Brand
  • Oakley
  • Coca-Cola Store
  • TROPHY ROOM
  • ALEX AND ANI®
  • Na Hoku – Hawaii’s Finest Jewelers Since 1924
  • Shore
  • American Threads
  • Volcom
Disney Springs Continues to Expand
  • Kipling
  • francesca's
  • Melissa Shoes
  • UNOde50
  • Johnston & Murphy
  • Everything But Water
  • Free People
  • JOHNNY WAS
  • Columbia
  • Sperry
  • Luxury of Time by Diamonds
  • International
  • Sephora
  • D-Luxe Burger
  • Amorette’s Patisserie
  • Tablas Frontera
  • Homecoming – Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar

Disney Springs, which was inspired by Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, is nearing completion on its largest expansion in history. It is exciting to see the area emerge as a new waterfront district with world-class shopping, unique dining and high-quality entertainment. Disney Springs has four distinct neighborhoods to explore: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center and will eventually have more than 150 retail, dining and entertainment offerings. 

Darren is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and Specializes in Disney Destinations withMagical Vacations Travel.

Special Walt Disney World Travel Co. Merchandise Offers

When you purchase a Walt Disney Travel Company package you'll receive a few Magical Extras including discounts at select locations throughout Walt Disney World. 

Receive 10-20% off the non discounted price of merchandise at select locations at Walt Disney Resort during your package stay. 

Receive 10% off your entire purchase when staying on a Walt Disney Travel Co. Package

Receive 10% off your entire purchase when staying on a Walt Disney Travel Co. Package


LittleMissMatched: Mismatched socks, clothing and accessories. Receive 20% of the non-discounted price of merchandise purchased at LittleMissMatched located at Disney Springs. 

Receive 20% off the non-discounted price of merchandise at Disney Springs

Receive 20% off the non-discounted price of merchandise at Disney Springs

Something Silver: Distinctive silver jewlery and accessories in a wide-array of styles. Receive 15% off the non-discounted price of merchandise at Something Silver located at Disney Springs. 

Arribas Brothers: Porcelain giftware, lead crystal glassware, and Pave crystal in Disney Characters and themes. Recevie 10% off purchases at the Arribas Brothers stores at Disney Springs, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot. Some restrictions and exclusions apply. 

Basin: Natural products for bath and body. Receive 10% off your entire purchase at Basin located at Disney Springs or Basin White located inside Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. 

Curl by Sammy Duvall: Surf, skate, swimwear apparel and accessories. Receive 10% of the non-discounted price of select merchandise Curl by Sammy Duvall, located at Disney Springs. 

Pop Gallery: Whimsical toys, art and jewelry. Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise at Pop Gallery located at Disney Springs. Exclusions apply. 

The Hairwraps Company: Receive one charm with a value of $5 with purchase of a hair wrap at select Walt Disney World locations (by most Disney Resort hotel pools)

 

 

Darren is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations TravelFor discounts, offers, ways to save money, visit SaveAtWDW.com


Discounts and offers are subject to change. Please consult the official Walt Disney World website for current information. 

Love is in the air at La Nouba - literally!

Love Inspires the Newest Act in ‘La Nouba’ by Cirque du Soleil

Love Inspires the Newest Act in ‘La Nouba’ by Cirque du Soleil

We’ve all heard the expression “love is in the air,” right? The newest act to join “La Nouba” by Cirque du Soleil takes the sentiment literally. Ekaterina and Alexander Abramova are real-life partners who dazzle Disney Springs audiences with their daring aerial bamboo performance. Practically a lost art, aerial bamboo, a skillful mix of acrobatics and storytelling that takes place high above the stage, is rarely seen on modern stages.

Darren is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. For discounts, offers, ways to save money, visit SaveAtWDW.com

Disney Travel Accessories Gear

A new boutique is coming to Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs! Opening March 11, 2016, Disney TAG (Travel-Accessories-Gear) will offer Disney-inspired travel products. Items include luggage tags, hanging toiletry bags, reusable totes, passport wallets, jewelry organizers, pillows, pouches and more – all featuring both retro modern and colorful Disney character artwork.

Disney TAG will be located in the space currently occupied by Zoey & Pickles. And, while Disney TAG items will initially only be available at Marketplace Co-Op at the Walt Disney World Resort, you might find them soon at Disneyland Park or on the Disney Parks online store.

Disney Travel Accessories Gear
Disney World Travel Gear

 

Darren is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations TravelFor discounts, offers, ways to save money, visit SaveAtWDW.com


New Acts for La Nuba by Cirque du Soleil

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil at Disney Springs allows you to enter a world of extraordinary as acrobats, singers, trapeze artists, jugglers and clowns delight and mystify with daring acts of grace. And now, this breathtaking show welcomes two exciting new acts.

New Acts for La Nuba at Disney Springs

The high-energy b-boys will delight Guests as they perform dizzying combinations of hip-hop and breakdance moves with choreography that merges from freestyle solo moments to precision-timed moves in unison. Plus, a mesmerizing aerial bamboo act will leave the audience breathless. These additions give the opening sequence and the acts that follow a new and fresh feel.

 

Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. He is also the creator of The Best of Walt Disney World blog.

 

A Disney Springs Must-Do for Chocolate Lovers

Chocolate fans are in for a treat as The Ganachery, a new one-of-a-kind chocolate shop, opens at Disney Springs. Located in The Landing, this charming jewel-box shop is reminiscent of an apothecary in another era.

Ganachery-Disney

The Ganachery features 16 different kinds of handcrafted ganache (a rich mixture of chocolate and cream) infused with exotic spices and flavors from around the world.  These chocolates fall into four flavor profiles: spices, such as chipotle and cinnamon, classic, such as coffee and caramel; trendy, such as Egyptian sea salt and matcha yuzu; and floral/fruit, such as mint and raspberry.

Plus, nine varieties of custom-made chocolate bars (not made in house) celebrate Disney’s iconic destinations and the “Fab Five” (Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck).

 

Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. He is also the creator of The Best of Walt Disney World blog. 

Celebrate the Holidays at Disney Springs

New to Disney Springs, The Landing is home to unique shopping locations and memorable dining experiences, including the recently opened Morimoto Asia and Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. And, coming soon, Town Center will include a diverse mix of retailers and unique restaurants. Here’s a look at just some of the new dining and shopping offerings at Disney Springs that are open now.

During the holiday season, Disney Springs glistens with new offerings to make the season merry and bright. Around every corner, you'll find new decorations, including unique holiday trees and pop-up greeting cards. Plus, delectable food and non-stop entertainment - including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa musical groups, carolers, toy soldier stilt walkers and Santa himself – bring the holidays home to Disney Springs.

The Art of Shaving offers premium grooming essentials for the modern man. The location also has a team of shaving specialists who offer advice to Guests on proper grooming techniques. Appointments for a haircut or shave are suggested.

Apex by Sunglass Hut is designed with the athlete, sports and outdoor enthusiast in mind. This shop utilizes innovative technology, such as the Apex Smart Mirror, to help guests find the best choice in sport sunglasses.

Chapel Hats specializes in fashionable hats and headwear for Guests of all ages. The location carries just about any style of hat including fedoras, sun hats, floppy hats, outdoors hats, kid's hats and more.

Sanuk offers creatively inspired footwear designed with non-traditional materials like yoga-mats.

Havaianas provides the options to "Make Your Own Havaianas" and "Embellish Your Own Havaianas." This store features a large assortment of Havaianas sandals for women, men and children, plus kids' rain boots.

Sound Lion has the latest technology in headphones, earbuds, speakers, and other digital sound and music products can be found in this shop. They also provide education in digital music applications that improve the listening lifestyle.

Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC will offer the same unsurpassed core vegan, gluten-free menu as its flagship bakery in New York City, and its sister bakery in Los Angeles. Look for a full selection of award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels (with vegan butter!), and other savory items daily.

Vivoli Gelateria: Vivoli Gelateria serves expertly crafted gelato made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, panini sandwiches and espresso drinks.

Tea Traders Café by Joffrey's: Tea Traders Café. Joffrey's specializes in premium loose-leaf teas (hot, iced, blended) featuring customs blends, accessories and packaged teas from all over the globe; created to go or for a tea experience in the café.

New Dining Experiences Now Open!


The BOATHOUSE - This upscale, waterfront dining experience will immerse Guests both on land and on water with live music, guided tours aboard the Captain's piloted 40-foot Italian Water Taxi with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries and guided Amphicar rides that launch from land, enter the water, and take guests on a 20-minute tour of the landmarks of Disney Springs. The BOATHOUSE will feature steaks, chops, seafood and a raw bar.

Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar - Tucked in between Paradiso 37 and The BOATHOUSE restaurant, a new Disney owned and operated Food & Beverage offering is now open — an aviation-themed lounge, Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar.

With a prime location along Lake Buena Vista and seating for 150, the venue features unique cocktails — such as the "Hovito Mojito" with Barsol Quebranta Pisco, fresh lime juice and simple syrup — and small plates such as "Air Pirates Everything Pretzels" with house-made mustard and beer cheese fondue.

Ardent fans of the "Indiana Jones" films may recognize Jock Lindsey as Indy's frequent pilot. In the main room, Guests will discover an expansive bar, aviation decor filling the room, vintage travel posters covering the walls and correspondence between Jock, Indy and their fellow adventurers on display. Guests can eat, drink and be merry outside as well, in Jocks' old steamboat, now in permanent dry dock and aptly named "Reggie;" and in nearby seating on the adjacent deck.

Morimoto Asia - Chef Masaharu Morimoto, known from his appearances on Iron Chef America, has opened a one-of-a-kind dining experience in the heart of Disney Springs. Morimoto Asia is the Japanese master chef's first-ever pan-Asian restaurant featuring flavors from across the continent. This Disney Springs dining destination includes unique exhibition kitchens showcasing traditions like Peking duck carving, and dim sum.

Related

Holiday Events at Epcot

New Years Events at Walt Disney World