Walt Disney World news

Rumor: Orlando's Downtown Disney to get major overhaul

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Feb 17, 2013 | Updated: Feb 17, 2013 - 10:17:55 AM
As evidence that not everything Walt Disney World announces ends up seeing the light of day, a rumor has appeared on parkrumors.com suggesting plans have been officially revised for an overhaul of Orlando's Downtown Disney shopping, dining and entertainment district. In November 2010, Disney revealed plans for "Hyperion Wharf," aimed at turning Downtown Disney into "a nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th century port city and amusement pier. By day, stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants will draw you in and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland." In July of 2011, Disney admitted those plans had been put on hold. Their official statement read: "During the course of this site work, we identified opportunities to further refine our master plan and are pausing to evaluate them. What does this mean for you? While we're moving quickly, it will admittedly cause a delay in construction. But we're willing to bet that any delay will be worth the wait once we're able to share details about the exciting work we've been doing."

Now, nearly a year and a half later, it appears as if Hyperion Wharf has officially been eliminated from the drawing board. Instead, possible plans have surfaced for "The BVD Corridor Stormwater Project." If legitimate, these plans suggest that the Downtown Disney area will indeed get that major redesign after all. According to those plans, the downtown district will eventually be named "Disney Springs" and will have six different areas or "neighborhoods:" The Gateway, The Town Center, The Springs, The Landing, The West Side, and The Village Marketplace. Each neighborhood will allegedly have a distinct feel, with the current West Side and Marketplace basically retaining their current layouts. However, the apparent plans do call for Planet Hollywood to be rebranded as "The Observatory."

Regarding major changes, existing parking lots C and D would be removed to make room for a multi-level parking garage and the bus stations would be expanded to meet the demands of the new areas. "The Town Center" will supposedly be home to new retail locations and will sit on the site of current parking lots E-G. "The Landing" would contain more dining options as well as an outdoor amphitheater near Paradiso 37.

As we saw with Hyperion Wharf, just because there are plans and/or artwork seen by the public, doesn't mean any or all of those plans will come to fruition. Regardless, if true, this news of a long needed overhaul could breathe much-needed new life into Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World.


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