Recently Disney has made the long awaited name change from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, but I want to take today’s Saturday Review article to look back at my last visit to Downtown Disney. I knew this visit was a goodbye to Downtown Disney for me and my family, but I also knew it was a chance to see some of the new things that had already been unveiled for Disney Springs.
We arrived via a bus from our resort and we had already been touring Disney World for four days, so needless to say we were a little tired and this was a day we were set to rest, but we were also changing resorts. With the resort change happening we needed somewhere to go for a part of the day until we could get into our room, so what better place than a visit to Downtown Disney. We were not at all sure how long we would make it with a three year old and we wanted to get to our new resort and relax as much as we could on this rest day, but we were going to give it a go. We also had planned for this to be our only visit to Downtown Disney on this trip. You see, this was the middle of summer in 2015, when Downtown Disney/Disney Springs construction was at its height, and for this reason we did not have much of a desire to spend much time here.
We arrived at the bus stop, which was only available at the Marketplace at this time and stopped in one of our favorite stores, Days of Christmas. We have the tradition of purchasing a Christmas ornament every year and what better place to start than here. I did snap a picture of one ornament I thought was pretty cool, it was a mixture of Mickey and Spaceship Earth.
After days of Christmas we had to stop in the Marketplace Co-op. This is probably my favorite addition so far to the Marketplace side of Disney Springs. I love the Disney Centerpiece area as I am a huge fan of the vintage plates, cups, bowls, decor, everything in this area that deals with rides and attractions. I won’t get much deeper, but you’ll see what I mean later in this article. My wife is a fan of the Cherry Tree Lane, mainly because she is in love with Vera Bradley…the bags, not the lady!
After finishing in the co-op we began to start seeing the evidence of the large scale construction projects that were taking place. I am a huge fan of what they are doing to Disney Springs and am extremely excited about seeing it completely finished, but construction kind of stresses us out. The crowds are closer together and we are just fans of waiting until something is finished to see the final product. We pulled ourselves together and headed on down to World of Disney, because it is an unwritten law that everyone who comes to Disney Springs must buy something from this store.
Once April and I get inside this store we just naturally go our separate ways, me to look at a variety of things and her heading to the closest selection of “cute stuff”, which most often involves more Vera Bradley bags. As I browsed I found more of the vintage kitchen accessories that I love and I ended up getting a full set of these cups to add to the plates and bowls that I already had at home.
We also wanted to find a t-shirt for our three-year-old son and it seems like the only ones we can ever find in a small size like that are the yearly shirts that have the year on it. Well…this year was no different. The 2015 theme shirt is what we settled on and he loved it because it had Mickey on it, and that is all he really cares about!
After finishing up at World of Disney we headed over and spent a little time letting our son play in the Lego store before heading down to get one of these beauties, a Cookie Bits Sundae. We discovered this on a previous trip and it has become a requirement for April and I at Downtown Disney, and you can bet it will still be a requirement ever after the name change to Disney Springs!
After we finished our sundae we headed back into the fray, and by that I mean endless construction walls as we ventured into the old Pleasure Island area. The crowds by this point were very thick and the construction walls were very tight, and those two things do not go well together. We shopped around a little bit, but by this time it was about 2:00 and we were ready to get into our hotel room, and the youngster was ready for a nap, so we made the trek back to the Marketplace bus stop.
All in all our last visit to Downtown Disney was a success. The Marketplace area was almost completely construction free in the areas that were open and we had some nice shopping time and a nice snack at one of our favorite places. Once you left the Marketplace though the construction was a little more in our faces, so we said, “So long Downtown Disney, we’ll see you next time.” And next time we are around Disney Springs should be completed or nearly completed and that is something I am very excited to see.