How does Walt Disney Imagineering re-imagine an area of Walt Disney World Resort that guests have enjoyed for more than 40 years?
That’s the creative challenge our Imagineering team, including Executive Creative Director Theron Skees, has been tasked with – to transform the area currently known as Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a destination that’s being expanded to include more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment experiences. From an Imagineering perspective, this means developing a storyline and creating a sense of time and place that influences everything from the architecture to the costumes.
We were also excited to share that our Imagineers will continue to share updates here in our “All in the Details” series in the coming months as their work progresses. Here’s the first piece, in which Theron introduces the Disney Springs project and Imagineering’s role in it.
The first “neighborhood” in Disney Springs – the opening of The Landing – is set for 2015. Construction on Disney Springs will continue into 2016, so be sure to stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more behind-the-scenes looks at the progress happening as Downtown Disney transforms into Disney Springs.
For more about Disney Springs, visit the stories below:
While The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean were my favorite attractions growing up, I really fell in love with The Jungle Cruise as an adult – maybe it’s the dry humor.
Check out this cool shot of one of the more memorable scenes from the attraction. Looks like he’s been up there for quite awhile. What’s on his mind? You tell us – go ahead and “Caption This” in the comments section below.
By far my favorite photo we shared this week on the Disney Parks Blog was of the new baby gorilla that was just born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The yet-to-be-named male gorilla is the fourth to be born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the park’s history. Too cute!
We recently shared some exciting updates about enhancements coming to Downtown Disney as the area expands and transforms into Disney Springs, which when complete, will double the area’s number of dining and retail options. Work is already underway to widen Buena Vista Drive which will eventually make it easier to access the area. As expansion work continues through 2016, here are some of our best tips for navigating the property during this time so you can continue to enjoy all of the shopping, dining and entertainment options that Downtown Disney has to offer.
- Use Complimentary Resort Transportation – Disney resorts offer complimentary bus transportation to Downtown Disney, which drops guests off at the Marketplace end. Watercraft transportation is also available from Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts, Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. Once at Downtown Disney, all guests can use boat transportation to travel between the Marketplace, West Side and Pleasure Island districts.
- Follow Parking Signs For The Best Access – If driving, follow the lighted signs to available parking lots, including those at the Casting and Team Disney buildings located across the street.
- Take Exit 67 on I-4 – If you’re arriving via I-4, take exit 67 to approach Downtown Disney from another direction and continue to follow signs for parking.
- Arrive Early For Scheduled Entertainment & Dining Reservations – Have a reservation or tickets to a show? Be sure to allow extra time for parking; we’d suggest arriving at least an hour early. Most ticketed experiences at Downtown Disney take place at Downtown Disney West Side, so parking in the Team Disney parking lot is your best bet for those.
- Valet Parking Is Available – Based on guest feedback, we now have two locations for interested guests to choose from. Valet Parking is available from 10 a.m.-1 a.m. at the Marketplace (via entrance 2) and from 2:30 p.m.-2:00 a.m. on the West Side (via entrance 3). The cost is $20 per vehicle.
Be sure to keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for future updates as the Disney Springs transformation continues!
This week’s “Disney Parks After Dark” image was shot by photographer Tom Bricker in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.
I love the interesting angle he took on this shot, which shows the intricately sculpted detail of the Fantasyland wall, plus the light and color of the carousel and Cinderella Castle in the background. Such a pretty sight!
Are you planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation but don’t know where to start? Well, there are actually a lot of complimentary vacation planning tools available out there that can help you plan the perfect trip for your family. Here are some of our favorites.
- WaltDisneyWorld.com – This essential planning website is where you can begin to explore our theme parks and resorts, buy theme park tickets, make resort and dining reservations, and more. You can also create set up a MyDisneyExperience profile, which lets you organize all of your vacation plans in one place, as well as select FastPass+ for specific attractions you want to experience during your vacation.
- Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD – When you order your free Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD, you’ll discover a world of ways to make family memories together, including special tips on how to make the most of the magic. You can also watch online.
- Walt Disney World Customized Maps – Our Customized Map tool allows you to explore our different theme parks and select the attractions and entertainment that are specific to your family’s interests and activity level. You can also have the maps printed and have them shipped directly to your door (US only).
- Ratings & Reviews – Discover what other guests are saying about our Walt Disney World resorts, dining and attractions and start planning your must-sees today!
- Disney Parks Moms Panel – Got a vacation-planning question? Ask the Disney Parks Moms Panel, our team of talented vacation planners that are ready and waiting to help.
When Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns to Magic Kingdom Park September 1, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom fans are in for an additional party “treat” – the chance to pick up another event-exclusive game card.
In case you’re a Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom newbie, SOTMK is an in-park interactive experience that allows guests join Merlin in a quest to defeat a team of Disney villains who are scheming to take over the park. Guests use maps to search for villain’s lairs throughout the park. When they find a magic portal, guests use spell cards that each feature a different magical power to foil a villain’s plan. This complimentary experience begins in the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A., where you can pick up everything you need to join in the fun.
This year’s special event card features the Helmsman pirate from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.
The Pirate Helmsman’s Bombardment card will be distributed in addition to the regular Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card packs (yes, you can still pick up both while attending the party). Guests must show their party ticket and event wristband in order to get one.
Can’t wait to test this card out? Share your excitement in the comments section below!
Have you had a chance to experience everything that our Frozen Summer Fun celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has to offer?
As Shawn Slater announced last week, the offerings – including Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome and the “For the First Time in Forever: A ‘Frozen’ Sing-Along Celebration” – have been so popular among our guests that some will continue through September 28.
What do you love about our Frozen Summer Fun celebration? Tell us in the comments section below!
For more about “Frozen Summer Fun” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, visit the posts below:
One of my fondest memories of visiting Epcot for the first time in the 1980s was this attraction, the Universe of Energy. I was mystified by these towering dinosaurs who look so unbelievably lifelike and watched us with curiosity as our ride vehicle passed by.
The attraction opened with the park in 1982 – which means these guys have been snacking on plantlife for more than three decades. What do they think of all the guests who pass by with delicious Disney Parks treats? You tell us – go ahead and “Caption This!”
Check out this week’s “After Dark” image, which was shot in the New Fantasyland area of the park just after the Magic Kingdom Park closed.
Anyone else fancy a late-night ride on the carousel?