The opening of new shops and eateries along with recent announcements of more high-profile tenants are the latest signs that Disney Springs, previously Downtown Disney, continues its multi-year expansion into Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. While the overhaul is well underway there are plenty of new and spiffy areas to hit up as Disney transforms this area into a shopping and dining destination.
Here is our list of ten new reasons to visit Downtown Disney this year.
#1. Boathouse Dining at The BOATHOUSE
Set sail for a dining experience unlike anywhere else in Orlando. The BOATHOUSE is the area's newest upscale restaurant that offers an extensive menu showcasing steaks, chops, fresh seafood and a raw bar. Serious steak lovers will want to gnaw on the Tomahawk Long Bone Rib Chop for Two ($115.00).
#2. Take a Ride in an Amphicar
Have a boatload of fun with a ride in an Amphicar. These iconic vehicles from the 1960s, that drive on land and float in the water, have been painstakingly restored and are ready for a one of a kind voyage in the lake around Downtown Disney. The $125 cost includes at 20-minute ride with a Car Captain and seating up to three guests.
#3. Free Covered Parking!
One of two planned multi-level parking garages has opened at Downtown Disney. Cast members point your way to the ramps and directional markers guide you directly into an available parking space.
Using the latest technology, Disney has taken the headache out of hunting down your parking space. Just follow the green arrows and you're there. Oh, and did we mention that the parking is totally free? That's just WAY cool!
#4. Posh New Shops
Shop ‘till you drop at the new retail outlets that are now open in new "The Landing" area at Downtown Disney.
#5. Morimoto Asia
Celebrity Chef Masaharu Morimoto, known for his appearances on Iron Chef America, is opening a one-of-a-kind dining experience this fall. Morimoto Asia will be the Japanese master chef's first pan-Asian restaurant, providing flavors from across Asia with unique exhibition kitchens showcasing the continent's traditions.
#6. STK Steakhouse
STK will be a modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge and emphasizing a social and fun environment. The vibrant, lively scene will offer guests fine dining, signature cocktails, and a DJ playing eclectic music nightly and will include the only rooftop-dining venue at Downtown Disney.
#7. Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar
Just announced, an aviation-themed lounge, Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar will open fall 2015. Strait out of a scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" this adventure venue will feature unique cocktails - such as the "Hovito Mojito" and small plates - such as "Air Pirates Everything Pretzels."
#8. Erin McKenna's Bakery
Grab a sweet treat at a unique bakery with savory offerings and an all-vegan and gluten-free menu. Erin McKenna's Bakery is a New York favorite that features a full selection of award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels with vegan butter, and other delicious items daily.
Adjacent to the Characters in Flight balloon and donning a unique Lemongrass roof is 3,900 square feet (362.32 square meters) of coffee utopia - twice the size of an average Starbucks. Guests can grab a hot beverage and enjoy a snack while taking the waterfront view.
#10. Super Hero Headquarters
Enthusiasts of famed characters from Marvel Studios will find their favorite super hero merchandise, including action figures, collectibles, apparel, costumes and accessories at the new Super Hero Headquarters which recently opened on the West Side.
When Disney Springs is fully completed in 2016, guests will enjoy double the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues from the current 70 to nearly 150 totaling more than 1 million square feet.
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