Since Disney has made ABB (always be building) a vital tenant of their success, it should surprise no one that they’ve updated their shopping and dining district yet again. The former Downtown Disney, which was the former Pleasure Island, is now officially open and operating as Disney Springs!
Portions of the old complex remain in place. Want to see a movie at a state of the art theater? You still can at the AMC 24 theaters. Want to experience a dream interpreted by acrobats and circus performers? La Nouba is still performed by Cirque du Soleil. Want to see what’s the latest and greatest Lego sets? The Lego Store is still there with its amazing outside sculptures.
But that’s not to say there aren’t some amazing new additions to the entertainment, shopping and dining complex.
First and foremost, Disney has constructed several new parking garages, which is a godsend to shoppers. It’s only been recently that the people living in Florida realized that acres upon acres of blacktop parking lots were less than ideal for the “Sunshine State”. Too much time was spent driving in circles in search of an open spot, only to have your car turn into an oven while you were shopping. But since Florida developers have started to embrace parking garages, the fight for a parking space is no longer such a great concern, and the shade provided means that you will no longer have your brains boiled while the car’s air conditioning works overtime to curb the heat.
The area has always surrounded a small lake, but now those waters have been drawn into the shopping areas to create the illusion that this is a natural spring that Disney built a complex around, rather than vice versa. That alone makes window shopping at Disney Springs so much more fun. But, the real attractions are the new shops and restaurants.
Sprinkles, the premiere cupcake bakery that started in Los Angeles, has opened a location in Disney Springs. On opening day, the lines were intense, and for good reason. Their cupcakes are famous world over for being the best. Their salted caramel is well, well worth the price of admission.
But, that’s not the biggest selling point of Sprinkles. If you happen to be visiting early in the morning, or late at night, when the store is not opened, they have you covered. A key innovation for the sweet toothed is the “Sprinkles Cupcake ATM”. It’s an automated vending machine that dispenses cupcakes. Yes, you read that right, you can get a cupcake from a machine. It’s fun and it’s delicious. Again, go for the salted caramel, you’ll thank us for it.
Other amazing retailers have moved in like Pandora, MAC Cosmetics, Kate Spade, Sephora and many others. When visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, it’s well worth carving out a day of your vacation to browse the new shops and restaurants.