Disney Artwork Images – Courtesy of WDWMagic.com

This week, Disney revealed new concept artwork for its ‘under construction’ shopping area that is expected to herald the official completion of Disney Springs in 2016.
The huge transformation of the area that most guests know as ‘Downtown Disney’ has been a costly and lengthy process for Walt Disney World and its partners.
The benefits of that investment look set to be enjoyed by the investors and tourists for many years to come though.

Downtown Disney was always good.  It evolved, it changed and grew from the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, which opened as a modest collection of shops eand restaurants way back in 1975.  Since then, the area expanded around the South East side of the Village Lake, to represent a key part of Walt Disney World’s strategy to encourage people to stay close to ‘their Disney Side’ and spend their dollars with Mickey.

Walt Disney World are without doubt the leaders in Orlando, but it’s not easy to remain that way when your competing theme parks are investing heavily in the magic of Universal’s Diagon Alley and popular brands such as Nintendo themed attractions.
I-Drive at times appear to slip from view in the battle to win dollars, but huge investments from Fun Spot and I-Drive 360 have spun the fortunes around favorably.

The Disney Springs Effect

It’s early days just yet, to gauge the impact that Disney Springs may have on guest behavior.  However it would be fair to say that Disney Springs will almost certainly reward Disney for the vast investment.
If the Wizarding World of Harry Potter could create an economic impact on its own, it may be worth pausing for a moment and thinking about the Disney Springs effect!

  • Can Disney Springs bring additional guests into Central Florida, much in the same way as a new attraction area might?
    Probably not on the same scale, but people do travel just to shop and dine, so yes, there could be a modest boost in tourism numbers as a result of Disney Springs.  We can’t see it being a huge jump though.
  • What will traffic be like as a result of Disney Springs?
    Prior to the new construction, the roadways around Downtown Disney positively groaned at the amount of traffic trying to get into, or simply past Walt Disney World.  The pinch points always seemed to choke around the I4 between ramp 65 and 67 (map)
    Disney are creating new off ramps from the I4, that will flow directly into the 2 multi level parking garages, and the effect on traffic will purely be down to how well those ramps and parking lots can cope with volume.
    It’s busy now, but add a few hundred more shops into the mix and it could be fun!
    Thankfully Vineland Rd and Hotel Plaza Blvd should benefit from the help of the new routes into Disney Springs.
  • Other shopping ares will definitely suffer, and Mall at Millenia, and the Florida Mall will have to market heavily in order to compete with guests wanting to travel less and buy more!
    The big question is how the Premium Outlets on the nearby Vineland Avenue will prosper with the hundreds of fun themed shops and restaurants of Disney Springs less than a 12 minute drive away.
    As one of our favorite retail area in Orlando, we are hopeful that the brands will stay and this fabulous area might even benefit from the added footfall from shoppers looking for great products at factory prices.
  • Lastly, let’s think about Typhoon Lagoon for a moment.  Just a few hundred yards from the new Disney Springs parking lots, with pedestrian footbridges being installed over Buena Vista Dr. Typhoon Lagoon looks set to become a ‘dad creche’ like no other!
    While mom is busy enjoying the delights of Disney Springs, Disney’s most popular water park might get even more attention!

We’re not sure how accurate our thoughts may prove to be, but one thing’s for sure, Disney Springs will open in 2016, and there will definitely be a big effect as Disney continually asserts itself as the Tourism Leader in Central Florida!

If you are planning a fabulous vacation in Orlando, please take  a moment to visit our luxury villas in the Disney Parks area.