By Guest Blogger Kyra von Christierson
Late last year, Disney announced a new name for then Downtown Disney: Disney Springs. Most folks don’t know why they changed the name or how our Town came to be. With the name change, our town earned a deep, exciting backstory that I would love to share with you.
As you all know, the Downtown Disney area and Walt Disney World are in Florida. There are a plethora of springs all over Florida. In fact, there was one not too far from our property.
Disney Springs is the new “town” that took over the old town surrounding the spring- Disney Springs. In the town, we have 4 neighborhoods.
The “original side” is the Marketplace, where World of Disney, the Lego Store and Rainforest Cafe are as well as most of the Disney retail stores. These stores are in what used to be the residential area of the springs, look up and around and you can see what the homes used to look like.
The next neighborhood is the Landing- where most of the table service restaurants are, right along Lake Buena Vista. This used to be the packaging and shipping area of the springs. Where they would bottle up the water (check out the old “Springs Bottling Co. Sign above Morimoto Asia) and send it out via train (you can see the old train tracks throughout the landing and the West Side) and Boat- the big boat used to be used for shipping, and will soon be home to Paddlefish!
Our newest neighborhood is Town Center- where all of the stores, and springs, were located. Just outside of the Welcome Center (home to Guest Relations) you can see an Archimedes Wheel- this is what they would have used to pull the fresh water out of the springs. It works like a reverse screw and was so much more efficient than buckets! Be sure to check out the details in the building- the Imagineers really outdid themselves!
The final neighborhood (and the best side!) is the West Side. Right before the life of the town ended, a large exhibition came through the springs- they brought a plethora of larger than life stores and building as well as a giant circus tent! When they left, a new circus, Cirque du Soleil took its place and is still there!
While Disney Springs is still a new, ever growing center, it is fascinating and detailed and definitely the place to be! Come visit our town and help us expand our story!
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