Downtown Disney at Disney World turns 40, plus construction photos of the new Disney Springs

Downtown Disney is now 40 years old and still changing.

On March 22, 1975, the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village opened with stores like the Potter Chalet, Posh Pets Etc., Toy Fantastique and Gourmet Pantry. The center featured 32 shops and restaurants.

© Steven Liebman

New branding and signs are starting to be placed around Disney Springs.

The area eventually turned into the Marketplace. Pleasure Island was created in 1989 and West Side opened in 1997. Now Downtown Disney is changing again into Disney Springs and when complete will have 150 shopping, dining and entertainment venues. This should be complete by 2017.

The Springs will have distinct neighborhoods, including:

  • The Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.
  • A colorful and thriving commercial district called The Landing with inspired dining and beautiful waterfront views.
  • The family-friendly Marketplace that will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.
  • A West Side that provides an exuberant atmosphere with lively entertainment, along with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.
Here’s a look at some of the recent construction:
© Steven Liebman

Construction around Planet Hollywood, which will be turned
© Steven Liebman

Signage is going up with the theme of Springs Bottling Co.
© Steven Liebman

New community areas make some quiet areas and bands to play.
© Steven Liebman

Construction is taking place at the new Boathouse.
© Steven Liebman

New businesses are already opening with a new look.