Downtown Disney to Disney Springs

Splitsville Bowling by M. C. Bob Leonard is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Well, it is official. The name “Downtown Disney” is officially Splitsville! No, not Splitsville. They are changing the name from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs. It’s a work that has been in progress for a few years. And September 29th, 2015 is the last time they want us to stop using the old name.

Read more here.

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony of sorts and it will coincide with the grand opening of Morimoto Asia, Iron Chef Morimoto’s new restaurant. I can’t wait to eat there. I’m hoping we can get there in December with our parents.

The construction at Downtown Disney… er… Disney Springs has been plaguing guests for a while. Last year when we visited they had a large chunk of the parking lot closed which forced us to park across the street. That is the first time we have ever had to do that. Fortunately, I believe with the new parking structures, garages with around 6000 parking spots, parking will not be as trialsome as it has been in the past.

There have also been a myriad of theme changes. Too many for me to list. I have been told that the theme change is supposed to be akin to a 20th century Florida town or village or something, whatever the heck that means. I can say it’s pretty and impressive. The glimpses that we’ve seen of the theme changes have been well thought out. Disney is known for this.

The Landing

The first phase of Disney Springs was their construction on Disney Springs’ The Landing which started a few years ago. It is in the area where Pleasure Island used to be. Pleasure Island was sort of an “adult” area of Downtown Disney. It opened in 1989. It was kind of neat. Every night at midnight New Years Eve was celebrated with fireworks.

In 2008, Disney closed all of the clubs in Pleasure Island but left the shops open and changed its name shortly after to Hyperion Wharf.

What’s Leaving

There have been a few things that have left already. One of the bigger changes was announced a few months ago. They will be closing Disney Quest. This news initially made me sad because it was a great rainy day stop for us. But the more I thought about it the less upset I was about it.

Disney Quest to me was nostalgic. When I was a kid a trip to the arcade was a big deal. Today we have four video game console in our house. My kids are much less impressed with arcades than I was. All I had was the Atari 2600. Pong FTW! Actually my favorite game was Adventure.

I’m a creature of habit. I usually resist change, event when Disney is making it. For some reason I get uncomfortable with it, but I will say this. There have been very few changes Disney has made that have disappointed me. Yes there are some attractions that have closed that I do miss, but usually whatever they put in place of whatever they nixed is good. And I’m happy to experience it.

What do you guys think? How do you feel about the Downtown Disney to Disney Springs transformation? Whatever you feel, don’t say Downtown Disney again after September 29th. Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

10 Replies to “Downtown Disney to Disney Springs”

  1. Hmmm. I don’t know Downtown Disney? Disney Springs? I don’t go to Disneyland enough to have an opinion. But, I’m like you. I like change when it’s over and everything has settled. I don’t like the transitioning part of change. However, as you yourself stated Disney usually makes a change that is for the better and one that you’re happy with. I just wish they would do something to lower the cost for rides that haven’t changed in over 50 years. Ha ha. I do love Disney, though.

    1. Hi Rawl, thanks for your comments. This particular area is in Orlando, FL which is Disney World, not to be confused with Disneyland. To your point about price, yes it can be spendy, especially when you have a family of five, but I would honestly spend more considering the joy it brings my children (and wife). Though I would not mind if the prices were lower. 🙂

      There are a bunch of ways to save a buck, though. Check back here soon. We are putting together some guides on how to save money.

  2. Everything moves on and that is one lesson I have really begun to be able to accept.
    That being said I wonder what the reason was to change the name.
    I understand why they would close Disney Quest.
    I too remember the old days but eh, they are now gone and you are right, today’s kids were not there and have progressed light years past what once was.
    Thanks for the update!


    1. Thanks for the comment, Shawn. Disney is no stranger to “rebranding” things. It think this is just one of those cases. Fortunately, they almost always do a good job of it. Time will tell.

  3. The information on your site is so helpful. With so many people making holiday trips, the information on your site is welcomed. These are some of the kinds of clear and helpful information that is needed before one goes on a trip. I also like the pictures that makes your site appealing!

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  4. Good article and it is so enjoyable idea with DVC, before I see this term, I can tell you I am not a Disney fan, and I just visited Disneyland in Japan and in my country, Hong Kong once only. To compare with in U.S or even in Europe, it is just a small playground in Hong Kong. By the way, your DVC post could help people to know more about this and its benefit, so all the family with their kids must love it. Enjoy!

  5. For myself, I have only been to Walt Disney World once, and that was over 20 years ago, so when I take my grandchildren soon, I would not remember names of most areas or what to see. I guess the biggest change is for the regulars that go yearly or semi-yearly that would notice the differences.

    For me, I’ll just be happy to take my grandkids there to have fun the way WDW always has made any time spent there to be with what they have created.

  6. Sounds like a lot is changing at Downtown Disney. Do you know when they are closing Disney Quest?

    That was one place I went to as a kid only once or twice but really enjoyed it. My son is only 4 right now so I was going to wait to bring him there but it sounds like I need to make that happen sooner rather than later.

    Did you ever make it to Morimoto’s restaurant? I wouldn’t mind checking that out as well.

    1. Hey Jeremy, thanks for the comment. As far as I know, Disney has not yet announced when they are closing Disney Quest. I’m thinking they may have gotten a bit of backlash on that move. They entrance fee is also now included with a regular park ticket, I believe, so if your hopping over to Disney Springs from a park, it would be a great time to visit Disney Quest.

      We have not made it to Morimoto’s yet. I’m hoping to on our next trip which will be October, 2017. I’ve heard some really great things about it.

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