Downtown Disney Transformation Information

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., March 14, 2013 –

Walt Disney World Resort today announced the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm.

Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.

“Disney Springs will be a timeless, vibrant place where Walt Disney World guests and local residents can relax, shop, dine and be entertained in an imaginative setting where they’ll instantly feel at home,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Featuring distinctive brands, world-class restaurants and unforgettable entertainment, Disney Springs will be brought to life with the same focus on storytelling and attention to detail that goes into our theme parks, resorts and cruise ships, resulting in a welcoming space that only Disney could create.”

Disney Springs will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments. In addition, Staggs noted, Central Florida stands to benefit from the expansion with more jobs, tax revenues and business opportunities.

Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs will include four outdoor neighborhoods interconnected by a flowing spring and vibrant lakefront. In addition to a new gateway with a signature water tower and grand entry, the destination will feature:

  • The Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.
  • A colorful and thriving commercial district called The Landing with inspired dining and beautiful waterfront views.
  • The family-friendly Marketplace that will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.
  • West Side that provides an exuberant atmosphere with lively entertainment, along with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.

Collectively, these efforts will not only have an impact within Walt Disney World, but will also have an economic ripple effect on Central Florida. The project will create an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and nearly 4,000 operational roles.

Disney will share more details on specific experiences coming to Disney Springs in the future. Construction is slated to begin next month with new areas opening in phases. Disney Springs is expected to be complete in 2016.

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Disney Sets Age Requirements

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The happiest place on Earth is setting some new rules.

Disney is changing its policy for children and teenagers trying to get into the park alone.

Beginning on Saturday, anyone under 14 will not be able to walk through the gates by themselves.

Each Walt Disney Park and Resort has had its own admission policy but the company said it was time to establish a consistent company-wide procedure.

If an unaccompanied guest appears to be younger than 14, a cast member at the front gates will engage in a conversation with the guest to determine his or her age, since children that age do not typically carry identification.

If the visitor is underage, the child’s parent or guardian would be contacted and that adult would need to physically come to accompany the child into the park.

Disney chose the age of 14 after surveying guests and reaching out to organizations that deal with child welfare.

Those groups agreed the new age limit was the most appropriate, and also noted 14 is the age the Red Cross recommends for baby-sitting.

A Disney spokeswoman said the change is not a response to any particular incident.

 

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Disney Cleared In Ft. Wilderness Accident

It appears that according to the FHP (Florida Highway Patrol) that Disney, and the bus driver from the April 1, 2010 fatal bus / bicycle crash have been cleared.  They have determined that the accident was the cause of a flat tire on the bicycle.

While I don’t blame every parent for everything that their children do I do blame some parents for things that are within their control.  What I have seen in my past visits to Ft. Wilderness shows that when children aren’t with their parents they tend to do as they please.  This is actually noticable in almost any part of the world.  Disney just seems to be named in a lot of lawsuits, and I could venture to guess that is because people think that they will make loads of money.

We personally witnessed a child breaking every rule about the fitness areas in the Disney resorts.  Children are not allowed in the fitness rooms without parental guidance.  While that is a very loose term it is a rule that is meant to be followed.  We watched a parent leave the fitness area with their child, and once they got outside the child went back in to play around on the equipment.  The child could have been hurt, or worse on the weights, treadmills, or even the pull up bars, and who knows what that would bring.  Well, actually most of us know that the parent would try to sue Disney for something that isn’t their fault.

Everything is about money in this day, and age.  I personally don’t understand how people can actually outright try to scam, or take advantage of a bad situation.

Here is the text from CBS news article on the bus accident findings…

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (CBS/AP) Walt Disney World is apparently off the hook in a fatal bus collision this spring that killed a 9-year-old boy on a bicycle. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) has determined that in the April 1 crash that killed 9-year-old Chase Brubaker, the boy was “solely responsible” for the accident involving a Disney World bus.

The collision happened near the entrance to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.

The investigators’ report shows the bus was traveling in the same direction as Brubaker when he crossed into the road and hit the bus. He was pulled under the right rear tire.

The report released Monday also says the youngster’s bicycle had a flat rear tire and an under-inflated front tire that could have contributed to the crash. FHP says bus driver David Rich was not at fault, and no charges will be filed.

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Are They Referring To The Abandoned Pop Century Buildings?

Many years ago there was a section of Pop Century that never got completed, and sat in a “Ghost Town” stage.  Well, I just read over a release that I was given, and it makes me wonder if they are going to put that section of property to use finally.  After I thought about it I came to the conclusion that more than likely they are going to put those buildings to use, as they are already built, and modification would be cheaper than rebuild, or build.  Personally this is probably a very wise move, and will save the Disney company considerable.  Why they need more resorts right now is beyond me, but they must have a master plan.  I think that instead of spending more, and charging the customers more they should just buy diet pills, and lose some “Weight.”

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 12, 2010) – Work begins soon on an exciting new resort hotel built around the themes of Disney animation, Walt Disney World Resort announced today. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will be one-of-a-kind, featuring family suites designed around four themes: The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid.  

Crowned by a 35-foot-tall model of King Triton, the family-friendly resort will have themed room interiors in its nearly 2,000 new units — 1,120 family suites in The Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo wings and 864 themed rooms in The Little Mermaid wings. Suites will have both a living room and a bedroom.

“These themes have both compelling storylines and vivid visuals which will come together to create a truly memorable, immersive resort experience,” said Eric Jacobson, Senior Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering.  “With more multi-generational families vacationing together, guests are looking for places where they can play together and stay together. This resort was designed with the needs of families in mind, as we continue the Disney tradition of providing a great guest experience for every taste and budget.”   
 

Added Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts: “We are always looking for opportunities to expand and enhance our Walt Disney World offerings, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a great example of those efforts. This new resort will feature some of our most beloved characters and stories in a unique and special way that we think our guests will really enjoy,” said “This project also underscores our optimism about the future, as we continue to invest in new experiences for our guests around the globe.”   

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, the 26th resort at Walt Disney World, will be one-of-a-kind, with themed building exteriors and room interiors, and larger-than-life icons from the animated films in the courtyard areas. To be located next to Disney’s Pop Century Resort, all of the themed suites and rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are expected to open by the end of 2012.  

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Second Tragic Accident Within A Year

I ask that we observe a moment of silence for a boy involved in a accident in Disney World.

I have been going to Disney World for may years, and I have yet to be involved in any situation that causes me to question the transportation on grounds.  The operators of all Disney transportation go through rigorous training, and certifications.  Many of the trainings exceed state standards.

During one of the busiest seasons for the Disney resort comes a very tragic story.  In the wooded resort of Fort Wilderness comes the loss of a boy.  Today a 9 year old Florida boy was killed when he was struck by a Disney bus.  It is stated that the boy ran into the side of the Disney bus.  The State Troopers are conducting a homicide investigation currently.  This tragedy brings the bus incident count to 3 within the last 6 months, and the fatality count to 2 within the past year.  Last summer a monorail driver was tragically killed due to a “malfunctioning” track switch.  Disney was fined by OSHA for violations found in that investigation.

Our condolences go out to the family of the boy.

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