Downtown Disney Officially Becomes Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Well, it’s finally official. Last week we said good-bye to Downtown Disney and hello to the new Disney Springs. Here are all of the latest details courtesy of Disney:


Disney SpringsWalt Disney World Resort officially changed the name of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, an important milestone in the ongoing transformation of the shopping, dining and entertainment district at the world’s No. 1 family vacation destination.

Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs treats guests to a one-of-a-kind Disney experience amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm.

Disney Springs will include four interconnected neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center. When Disney Springs is fully completed in 2016, the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues will increase from the current 75 to more than 150.

With more exciting venues to come, new dining and shopping open now at Disney Springs includes:

  • Morimoto Asia 3Morimoto Asia Morimoto Asia is a one-of-a-kind dining experience from Chef Masaharu Morimoto. This Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian restaurant provides flavors from across Asia with unique exhibition kitchens showcasing the continent’s traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving and dim sum. Designed by STUDIO V Architecture and located at The Landing, Morimoto Asia’s extraordinary, 36-foot tall, two-story layout includes open terraces, grand halls, private rooms, a cocktail lounge, waterside seating and more.
  • Jock Lindsay's 6Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – An aviation-themed lounge, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at The Landing at Disney Springs is tucked between Paradiso 37 and The BOATHOUSE restaurant, this new venue features unique cocktails and small plates. Ardent fans of the “Indiana Jones” films may recognize Jock Lindsey as Indy’s frequent pilot. In the main room, guests will discover an expansive bar, aviation decor filling the room, vintage travel posters covering the walls and correspondence between Jock, Indy and their fellow adventurers on display.
  • BoathouseThe BOATHOUSE An incredible culinary experience is showcased in the expansive restaurant with nautical-themed rooms, two private dining rooms for special events, and three distinctive bars. Guests will enjoy a gourmet menu with steaks, chops, seafood and a raw bar, served until 2 a.m. daily. This upscale, waterfront-dining experience immerses guests both on land and on water. There’s live music, plus guided tours aboard a 40-foot Italian Water Taxi and Amiphicar rides that launch from land, enter the water and take guests on a 20-minute tour of the landmarks of Disney Springs.
  • Paradiso 37Paradiso 37: Paradiso 37 recently expanded its outdoor dining to take advantage of its beautiful waterfront setting. As part of its renovation, the restaurant is doubling its seating, adding more terrace dining and building a new outdoor performance stage.
  • Disney Springs - ApexApex by Sunglass Hut- A first-of-its-kind sunglass store that was built with the athlete in mind. This retail location showcases the industry’s best selection of sport performance and lifestyle eyewear including Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Under Armour. In order for guests to choose a lens to best suit their needs, Apex has developed environmental simulators so guests can test out how a specific lens will perform under a variety of light conditions.
  • Disney Springs - Art of ShavingThe Art of Shaving– A boutique retail offering that sells high-end shaving supplies and related grooming products for the modern man. Founded by a husband and wife in a Manhattan apartment, The Art of Shaving has grown to a worldwide organization that is still nurtured by the founders’ talents and passion. Guests can receive expert shaving advice on products and techniques, or make an appointment for a luxurious grooming experience at the Barber Spa.
  • Disney Springs - Chapel HatsChapel Hats – A fashion forward shop that specializes in an assortment of hats for guests of all ages.  The location carries stylish hats including fedoras, cowboy hats, floppy hats, outdoors hats, kid’s hats and more. Every Chapel Hats location is themed to a different time period and is built by using old pieces of shops, factories, schools, pubs and churches from a bygone era.
  • Dockside Margaritas 2Dockside Margaritas – Dockside Margaritas treats guests to thirst-quenching margaritas made with fresh, all-natural products. Using authentic Florida ingredients whenever possible, the location (at the Marketplace) features unique theming reminiscent of a 1960s Florida roadside fruit stand. In addition to margaritas, the menu includes select frozen beverages, wine, bottled and draft beer. There is ample seating for guests and a built-in entertainment area.
  • Disney Springs - Eric Mckenna's Bakery NYCErin McKenna Bakery NYC – A unique bakery with savory offerings and an all-vegan and gluten-free menu. Look for a full selection of award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels with vegan butter, and other delicious items daily. Some of their fan-favorite cupcakes from their flagship bakery in New York and sister bakery in Los Angeles include vanilla cupcakes with zesty lemon frosting, red velvet cupcakes with creamy vanilla frosting and brownie cupcakes with rich chocolate frosting.
  • Erwin PearlErwin Pearl – Specializing in fashion jewelry and accessories, Erwin Pearl features hand-painted French enamels, 22k gold plating, sterling silver and freshwater pearls. The New York City-based company manufactures more than 80 percent of their products in U.S. factories, including earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, pins, watches and scarves. Erwin Pearl began his career as a diamond cutter and is recognized as one of the country’s foremost fine jewelry designers.
  • HavaianasHavaianas – A Brazilian-based shoe store that offers fashionable flip flops made with the highest quality rubber — with hundreds of styles to choose from. This store features a large assortment of colorful Havaianas for women, men and children, plus kids’ rain boots. There’s also the “Make Your Own Havaianas” and “Embellish Your Own Havaianas,” option, where guests can customize this casual footwear.
  • Disney Springs - SanukSanuk– Innovative, fun and comfortable footwear with more than 175 designs is available at this 1,000-square-foot venue. Taking its name from the Thai word for “fun,” Sanuk strives to make more innovative products that are as much about funk as they are about function. Favorite styles including Yoga Mat Sandal Collection and its patented “Not-A-Shoe” Sidewalk Surfers will be showcased.
  • Joffrey's TeaTea Traders Café by Joffrey’s — Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s specializes in premium loose-leaf teas (hot, iced, blended) featuring customs blends, accessories and packaged teas from all over the globe; created to go or for a tea experience in the café.
  • Vivoli il GelatoVivoli Gelateria – A family-run gelato shop, Vivoli Gelateria serves up gelato that is made with fresh, top-quality ingredients using the exact same recipes from the original shop in Italy. (The storefront at Disney Springs is the second for Vivoli, the first outside of Italy.) The artisans use local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy. In addition to their signature gelato, Vivioli Gelateria also serves traditional Italian panini, biscotti, espresso and tarts.
  • Sound LionSound Lion – A new retail concept that offers the latest technology in headphones, docking stations, wireless music players and other products. Before purchasing a product, guests can hang out at their Listening Barand find which product works best for them.

501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Have you visited the new Disney Springs? Please leave a comment!

Fall In Disney World Is Filled With Festive Fun

Hallowishes 2

Fall is my favorite season of the year – especially at Disney World! With so many fun-filled events and activities, you just can’t beat an autumn visit to the parks. Here’s what you can expect if you’ll be visiting soon courtesy of Disney:


A Spooktacular Celebration at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

This fall, the Magic Kingdom will be transformed into a home for happy haunts at “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.” This special ticket event returns this year for 25 nights of boo-tiful festivities at Magic Kingdom park. Guests are invited to dress up in favorite Halloween costumes for this “not-so-scary” occasion, where there is an assortment of trick-or-treat sweets waiting to be found.

HalloweenEntertainment features the twice-nightly “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade,” a bone-rattling spectacle featuring Disney characters donning Halloween costumes. Also, for the first time ever, the mischievous Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s Hocus Pocus will throw an evil Halloween party for the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.” This new show is a not-to-be-missed Halloween production and features appearances by Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent and other great Disney villains, along with dancers, projections and special effects. For the fiendish finale, “Happy HalloWishes,” a green and orange fireworks display complete with Disney villains, will creep across the sky.

In addition to trick-or-treating, meet and greets with Disney characters in their festive Halloween costumes and Halloween treats and eats unique to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party are available throughout the evening. For guests’ ghostly pleasure, a barbershop quartet of dead cowboys also will be serenading Frontierland with their chilling musical arrangements. Listen if you dare!

Party dates are September: 15, 18, 20, 22, 25 and 27; October: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31; November: 1. For more information, please click here.

Savor the flavors at the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Disney guests can sip and savor fresh flavors from around the world during the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, presented by Chase September 25 – November 16, 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort. This year’s festival will include more than 30 global marketplaces, with four new food and beverage locations stretching into Future World. This will be first time the festival has expanded beyond the World Showcase.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival ©DisneyAlong the walkway toward Future World West, the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese festival area will feature the Cheese Studio (offering a cheese sampler served on an artist’s palette to pair with wines) and the Wine Studio with premium wines on tap.

Near the Epcot Character Spot, the new Next Eats area will debut with Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award winning lifestyle series “The Chew,” starring co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. Sustainable Chew will feature three dishes, and Chew Lab will show off hot culinary tech trends like a Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.

For more information, please click here.

New Downtown Disney Dining Locations and Roadway Ramps Opening Soon

Downtown Disney gives guests an assortment of options to “eat in style.” World-renowned chef Masaharu Morimoto and the Patina Restaurant Group will open Morimoto Asia, Morimoto’s first Pan-Asian restaurant, at Disney Springs in fall 2015. Morimoto Asia’s culinary elements will provide flavors from across Asia, while exhibition kitchens will showcase the continent’s traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving, and dim sum.

Hangar BarGuests with a flair for adventure (even those afraid of snakes) can visit Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar in fall 2015. With a storyline centered on the pilot from the “Indiana Jones” films, this aviation- themed lounge will feature unique drinks and small plates. Themed décor like propeller-based ceiling fans, vintage travel posters and correspondence between Jock and Indy will immerse guests in a world of adventure. With a prime location along Lake Buena Vista and seating for 150, the venue is perfect for a sky-high good time.

A new way to get around also will be introduced to Downtown Disney this fall, improving access to the Orange garage. The flyover ramp on Buena Vista Drive will likely open first, with the I-4 slip ramp (with direct access from I-4, connecting near Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park) slated to open in time for the holiday shopping season.

The largest expansion in Downtown Disney history, Disney Springs will provide even more opportunities for guests to relax and enjoy themselves. When completed in 2016, Disney Springs will double the shopping, dining and entertainment experiences, with an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands.


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Will you be visiting Disney World this fall? What are you most excited about?
Please leave a comment!

Morimoto Asia Opens September 30 In Disney Springs

Morimoto

Big things are happening at Downtown Disney – soon to be officially renamed Disney Springs. On September 30, 2015 the long awaited Morimoto Asia will open. Here’s the scoop courtesy of Disney:


Morimoto Asia, a highly anticipated collaboration between Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group, is pleased to announce a scheduled opening date of September 30, 2015 as Downtown Disney nears its transition to Disney Springs. The Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian dining experience will showcase flavors from across the Asian continent, all with Morimoto’s creative touch.

Morimoto Asia’s eye-catching, 36-foot tall, two-story layout has been designed by STUDIO V Architecture. It includes lounges, dining spaces, and an exhibition kitchen that allows guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the culinary action. The second-level sushi bar and lounge have a separate entrance. Morimoto Asia will debut as part of The Landing, one of four neighborhoods in the new Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

“This has been a project of passion for our team and Chef Morimoto. We can’t wait to open our doors to everyone visiting Disney Springs this fall and beyond,” said Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group.

MorimotoMorimoto Asia will offer an entirely new experience for the diner, due to the creativity of Chef Morimoto, already one of the most inventive forces in Asian cuisine. The menu is Chef Morimoto’s eclectic take on his favorite Asian flavors including moo shu pork, Peking duck, lobster chow fun, sweet and sour crispy whole fish, and kung pao chicken. Dim sum will be served during weekend brunch service, and will include a variety of dumplings, shumai, bao, spare ribs and more. Being a true family-friendly destination, kids will have a variety of Asian-infused dishes including chicken ramen, kakuni pork bao, and karaage fried chicken.

The sushi bar will be a culinary experience unto itself. The intimate, 14-seat counter will offer pristine sushi and sashimi options from around the world. Items include toro, kanpachi, Japanese red snapper, uni, sea eel, hamachi, fluke, and salmon, as well as more ocean delicacies. A variety of specialty sushi rolls and selections from the raw bar will also be offered. While traditional sushi service will be limited to the guests seated at the sushi bar, a selection of specialty rolls and sushi platters will be available to the main restaurant’s diners.

Not to be outdone, the beverages at Morimoto Asia will also be destination-worthy. The beers will feature mostly Asian varieties in both bottle and on draft, including the Morimoto signature beer by Rogue Ales.

In addition to the collector’s edition Imperial Pilsner and Morimoto Soba Ale and the highly coveted Black Obi Soba will also be available by the bottle. The restaurant will also offer an assortment of sake, including the Morimoto signature line, plus a wine list showcasing wines of the world, signature cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.

“I am excited to create a menu that allows so many of my favorite Asian flavors to come alive all in one place,” said Chef Masaharu Morimoto. “I hope the guests at Morimoto Asia have as much fun eating this food as I have creating it.”

Morimoto Asia will be a visually stunning addition to Disney Springs. The restaurant’s main entrance features a three-story glass corner, revealing the dramatic interior design including a multi-level bar and spiraling chandelier made of illuminated glass bottles. The sculptural bar at over 270 feet in length is one of the largest in the world, as it leaps through the soaring 36-foot tall space to connect the grand dining room on the ground floor with the upper level, wrapping around the grand stairway. Custom glass beaded chandeliers evoke the ocean delicacies of Chef Morimoto’s cuisine, and are reflected in antique mirrors, interspersed with glass mosaic artworks based on ancient Japanese prints. Chef Morimoto’s exclusive sushi bar is sculpted from hundreds of pieces of hand-selected ash wood, backed with a wall of hammered copper. Morimoto Asia’s two-story outdoor terrace provides patio seating with sweeping views of Disney Springs.


Morimoto Asia will be open daily from 11:30am to 2:00am serving lunch, dinner, and a weekend brunch with dim sum. Beginning September 16, reservations can be made via Open Table. On September 30, you can make reservations by calling the restaurant directly at 407-560-6686. Reservations through 407-WDW-DINE or online will not be available until November 1.

501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Are you excited to try Morimoto Asia?
Please leave a comment!