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We continue our Disney Springs update with what is probably too much coverage, but such is life. Anything worth doing is worth beating into the ground I always say.
Whenever I start one of these updates, somebody inevitably asks, “Why would anyone visit Disney Springs? ARE YOU DUMB?” Which is potentially a valid question. The purpose of the Disney Springs expansion is absolutely to capture as many dollars that would otherwise walk over to The Mall at Millenia or what have you as possible. And many of those dollars are or were expected to come from the pockets of international visitors that could theoretically exploit tax loopholes or an advantageous exchange rate to spend more money than they would be able to otherwise. A few years ago, a Brazilian could buy a roundtrip ticket to Orlando and a MacBook Pro for less money than it would have cost to purchase said laptop in their own country. Imagine how much money you would spend if you could go on a vacation where everything you want is half off. That’s less true in 2016 as you may remember from our chat on the state of the Brazilian economy from a couple of Epcot updates ago.
It will be interesting to see how Springs’ many tenants end up doing and just how many domestic visitors are interested in spending precious vacation time inside an Erwin Pearl. Spoiler: (with the exception of poor Erwin) A lot. As anyone that has had the displeasure of visiting in the evening will tell you. Hopefully all of the additional real estate opening will help ease crowd “feel.” And by the time the economy tanks the next time, the deals will just be that much better with so many more establishments vying for fewer dollars.
But to answer your question somewhat directly, there are a number of things to see and do at Disney Springs:
This may well be the last Disney Springs Times Guide that is ever printed. As one of a STAGGering (get it…because Tom Staggs is out…nevermind) amount of cuts, Disney no longer prints the entertainment schedule or restaurant hours for its shopping and dining district. Guests are expected to pull up the My Disney Experience app, which often posts incorrect information, instead. But the above may offer an idea about how much live entertainment is offered – much of which is free.
And call me old-fashioned, but it’s not really out of the ordinary to spend a night out on vacation taking in the sights and sounds along with a nice dinner somewhere. And the Springs addition brings something like 100 new things to see, do, and eat, in addition to classing up the entire area. Some of the art along the walls may give some insight into the future of the development:
Granted most of these outfits are impossible in Florida most of the year.
Anyway, Disney Springs is an opportunity to do some shopping, take in the sights and sounds, grab dinner, and maybe a cocktail or two or three or four or five or six. That may or may not be appealing to your personal temperament. Personally, I was almost never excited about visiting Downtown Disney, but I wouldn’t turn down most opportunities to visit Disney Springs. And if you think about it, it isn’t all that much different from visiting World Showcase for or something, minus the $100 cover charge at least. (And yes before you scroll down to the comments box I realize that it really is a lot different but try to ignore that).
The menu for T-Rex is available online with prices here: http://www.trexcafe.com/pdf/MenuOrlando.pdf.
A couple of unexpected kiosks have popped up on the bridge that connects the World of Disney area with the Rainforest Cafe area.
B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co. looks like it’s straight out of The 3 Little Pigs (Big Bad Wolf).
There it is on the left.
There it is again.
The AristoCrepes sign is up on the wall at a kiosk going up across from Rainforest Cafe.
The size of the kiosk looks a lot more in line with something you’d see with a Disney VISA or Disney Vacation Club sign on top than something that would serve a considerable amount of food, but you never know.
Otherwise, the other kiosks along the bridge all offer different merchandise than they did originally. The cookies originally offered had a tendency to attract bugs.
I was expecting an expansion of the incredibly popular Lego Store.
But that doesn’t appear to be part of the plans as the building was recently painted.
The Starbucks location next to World of Disney is easily the least crowded on property. You’d probably have to venture over to Cabana Bay at Universal to find one in the state that does less business.
Such is life when you serve your customers “Death by Chocolate” and don’t display the snack credit symbol.
The stand next to Wetzel’s Pretzels and to the left of the stage across from World of Disney is now officially Joffrey’s-branded. It used to be called Forty Thirst Street. Only breaking news here.
The emphasis remains solely on smoothies along with a couple of alcoholic beverages that are available at all of their stands.
There otherwise isn’t much going on in the Marketplace.
World of Disney’s interior rearrangement should be complete.
Like Mouse Gear, most of the rooms are now arranged by character or property. That means most of the Minnie merchandise is located in one room, which makes things easy if you’re looking for something with Minnie on it. If you’re just looking for a cute Pillow Pal or a coffee mug or something then you’re going to have to walk through a large variety of rooms in order to track everything down and even then, you’re certain to miss a lot of it.
Disney’s official shirt for 2k16 visits.
The BB-8 hats have proven extremely popular and aren’t often in stock.
Somebody gets paid a lot of money to design these.
I feel like we’re headed into hyperspace.
Studded for $36.95.
This collection is relatively new.
I could see it with a Vero Beach or Hilton Head logo.
actually me irl
We’ll undoubtedly see a ton of Finding Dory merchandise.
In case you want to begin every morning with nightmares.
Thanks to slave labor.
Really unfortunate timing on this new headband.
I feel like nobody that will wear this should wear this.
Continuing our merchandise trend, we pop into Marketplace Co-Op.
Disney TAG (Travel-Accessories-Gear) is a new pop-up store in here, replacing the “Zoey & Pickles” section:
$350 for two pieces of luggage that will assuredly not hold up.
Most or all of this stuff should be available via the Shop Disney Parks app, which should still offer free shipping on $49+ and the occasional percentage discount. It’s often cheaper to have Disney ship you the item than it is to buy it and lug it around with you.
Probably nobody in the world is happier that Tren-D is almost all third-party stuff.
At least half of Once Upon A Toy was walled off at least a couple of weeks ago.
What’s left is almost all Star Wars.
Before Dockside Margaritas opens at noon, it’s a very relaxing spot to hang out for a bit. You might also bring your Earl of Sandwich over here.
After that it’s a decent spot to grab a drink to-go. The snack mixes that were originally offered for $4 or a snack credit are no longer available.
Or you might prefer an outdoor waterside seat.
This menu is served at a kiosk across from Marketplace Co-Op.
The current Ghirardelli menu:
Does anybody say “Nob Hill Chill” out loud? Still no peanuts. There’s always that ice cream place at the BoardWalk though right.
In indoor wall news, Mickey’s Pantry and Earl of Sandwich are no longer connected. Earl’s menu:
Granted I’m getting old, but I just don’t like to deal with the racket and would prefer a much more comfortable meal across the way at Wolfgang Puck Express:
It’s about twice as expensive as Earl, but you also easily receive twice as much food plus the side. No hassle ordering and they bring your food to your table. Why not?
The Christmas Store was looking rather bare, which is what you might expect from April.
Goofy’s Candy Company case.
Okay, some real randomness to close things out. These Italian Ice kiosks still pop up from time to time.
Here, for example, out in the boonies.
I don’t know why I used the other angle when this is much better.
It’s not even 2pm as The West Side is already filling up. By 5pm the garage would be full as it often is on weekend nights. Get here early.
Add Disney Springs watercraft hours to the list of spring cuts, now operating through just 11:30pm with fewer boats on the water.
The Havaianas store near THe BOAthouse offers what I thought was a surprising number of Disney styles.
Some Star Wars styles for adults.
These are pretty presh. $26 at Tren-D.
One of these days that Beef & Lamb Pie will be mine.
What’s on tap.
The person working at Joffrey’s was not amused at me taking a picture of their menu.
So I had to do it on the run.
Menu at whatever the gelato store next door is called.
Somewhat current flavors.
At least your Morimoto money went towards this oversized Connect Four game.
Washing your hands at basin will change your life.
That takes care of that. We’ll get back to Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.