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Disney Springs - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Disney General

Over the course of the last thirty years I have seen Walt Disney World change from a very large theme park, into a MASSIVE theme park covering over 25 square miles.

My first trip to Downtown Disney in 1979 was just something to do on a free wind down day, a rest from all the walking round the main parks. There was a small car park, some gift shops and a lake with a pleasure boat which took about twenty minutes to do. Plus a few small boats which you could take out yourself. There were a couple of small fast food outlets and a small play area which had a climbing frame and a couple of slides.

Fast forward 16 years and what a transformation - with more to come.

New highways have been constructed, in fact are still under construction. it is eye watering to the British to see how fast an entire new road system can be built. It took us 25 years to plan and construct the M25! Last year there was the usual large car park with 3 entrances in which you could park and walk into one of the three main areas: Market Place, Downtown Disney and West Side.

They now have a new name - Disney Springs. This now has four areas, The Landing, Market Place, Town Centre and West Side.

The Landing has waterfront views, featuring an older look with rustic buildings that are made to look like they’ve been around for many years.

The Town Centre is an upmarket mix of shopping and dining with a promenade where you can relax and unwind. It is being built with a Spanish style architecture.

West Side has been extended to include a boat landing with ferries taking guests to Market Place and The Landing (which is in the centre, by the Lego store). There is a new car park at the back of Cirque du Soleil which leads to a ferry landing or to the back of House of Blues.

Market Place is much the same as before except that it now has an entrance from a new multi story car park. One car park is built alongside Disney Springs but two more a being built on the other side of the main highway into the area and are accessed via a footbridges over the road. The original car parks are still there, but are accessed via a new flyover on the main road.

All this work is scheduled to be finished by 2016.

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