I’m a little surprised to find myself saying this, but I think I actually really like the recent updates to Disney Springs with opening of the Town Center section of the big expansions.
Granted, I probably won’t shop at most of the shops, but I also recognize that they’re not really for me, and for the out of town guests visiting on vacation – some even from overseas – I can see how the attempt to deter people from hopping in the car to go shop for a day at the outlets is alluring for Disney because they’ve always strived to keep guests on property as much as possible.
Plus, for what it’s worth I will admit that there have been random occasions during our longer stays when we’ve had to sneak away to a nearby mall to pickup something, so it will be nice to have expanded options at Downtown D–, err, Disney Springs.
I tell you, that’s still going to take a lot of getting used to! 😛
But I love the open space and how it seems to already be helping a bit with how congested the pathways have gotten around the hill formerly known as Pleasure Island. Plus, my pregnant wife appreciates that now there are alternatives to having to climb up said hill on our way back and forth, which is always a good thing!!!
The Lime garage opening is an added touch, although thankfully most of our parking woes were greatly alleviated just with the opening of the first. Seriously, if you hate everything else that comes from this massive expansion, just adding those two parking garages more than makes the entire ordeal worth it!
I guess I’m also liking all of the new options because for the first time in a long time, there’s new stuff for us to do around Disney World again, which is very cool! This weekend we finally got to eat at Morimoto Asia for the first time and the place is AMAZING. We ended up snagging a couple of complimentary dishes that had accidentally gotten dropped at our table, and I think we loved just about everything that we tasted so I can’t wait to go back for a full meal.
We also unexpectedly got a chance to try out Sprinkles, which is apparently the most popular cupcake shop in the world because every time we passed it yesterday and today, there was literally a queue lined up outside of the shop! Yet out of sheer luck on our way back to the car after dinner – about 11:45pm – there was literally no line outside, so we were able to duck in and order a couple of cupcakes without any line waiting hassle at all!
Mind you, I haven’t had a chance to try them yet because we’re saving them for home and I’m writing this in the car while the wife is driving, but they looked and smelled pretty awesome when we were eyeing them in the shop.
Maybe not wait in line outside in the hot sun for an hour-awesome, but still pretty enticing… 😉
If I had to make any critique, I think so far my only one was that we were a bit surprised to see many of the shops and eateries closing up at 11pm last night … on a Saturday night … which seemed inconvenient for a place trying to serve as Disney’s nighttime hot spot. Even tonight it took some skimming of the guide to find places that were still open after 11pm to grab dinner – luckily Morimoto has a late night lounge, but I was definitely disappointed by the disconnect with some of the other stores and I hope that it’s something that will smooth out as we get into the summer months.
But everything else was great! Disney seemed to have lots of extra cast members around to welcome guests and answer questions – I took the opportunity to get directions into the Lime garage for future reference because we’re used to driving straight into Orange and tonight we parked in Lime as easy as can be.
I think a big part of adding the new stuff for me is that they didn’t really take away anything beloved to add all of these new stores. I mean, I guess they took away all of those horrible parking lots, but just between you and me I certainly am not going to miss circling ad nauseam looking for spots in lieu of said new shops!
I definitely won’t be missing those one bit. 😀