When Disney Springs was announced, one of my big litmus tests for whether this would be a great project was the springs themselves. If you haven’t been to Florida, there are real springs, and they are beautiful, and amazing in and of themselves. Disney knows how to do theming, but this theming is replicating Central Florida itself. I was afraid that the springs would look like this:
If you are not aware of how Florida works, this place is on swamp land. In order to build, you have to built up certain areas, taking soil from what then becomes ponds and drainage areas. Most of what you see at Walt Disney World is based on just that. Seven Seas Lagoon, World Showcase Lagoon, Rivers of America, Discovery River, are all based on that concept. And while bodies of water make the surrounding area beautiful–it does not constitute a spring. A spring is something different.
That’s why it’s very exciting to see that Imagineering has actually created the feeling of springs.
Imagineers shared their work on this spring this week on The Disney Parks Blog.
Here are some additional pictures of this Springs area:
I’ve heard from one leading imagineer not connected with this project that there is some feeling that this project is not themed enough. In my view, the project at this point feels like The Grove in L.A. on steroids. If you’re not familiar, The Grove hugs the boundary between Hollywood and Beverly Hills. It sits adjacent to the venerable Farmer’s Market, but it’s beautifully done. It’s a great place to enjoy a Saturday afternoon shopping or dining. I like The Grove a lot. But should Disney Springs be something much, much more?
It’s touches like the springs themselves that will add up as to whether this is just a bigger Grove of whether this is really taking the shopping/dining experience to a whole new level. Of course, having offerings like Cirque du Soleil and Characters in Flight help. The blogosphere has rumored that the NBA Experience may not be coming to Disney Springs and that DisneyQuest may be around longer. Keeping and investing in DisneyQuest is a perfect way to create an experience that is above and beyond any offering that you can find at a location like The Grove. And by the way, much of this West Side area still looks like a Universal Hollywood CityWalk. That needs to be attended to as well.
What do you think? Do you like the changes that are coming? Whatever the outcome, one thing is for certain. Whatever the outcome–the guests will be there. Despite the crazy multi-year construction, that hasn’t stopped customers from visiting. It is almost always busy. It will be interesting how much more crowded it will be when the second parking garage opens and the rest of Disney Springs is unveiled.