Last night (Saturday) Bambi and I were at a high-end fundraiser at the Orlando World Center. I do a fair share of work in support of ‘Give Kids the World Village.’ The annual WCI gala for the village is always on our calendar.
After the opening speeches and dinner, we decided to bolt. Not wanting to head back to THC Headquarters (It’s nice ... We have a pool … You should stop by) we decided to drop into Disney Springs. Bambi had a gift card she wanted to burn through and we had a birthday present we needed to pick up. We figured we could walk around and enjoy a “properly tuned adult beverage” (to quote Colonel Critchlow from the Adventurer’s Club [RIP]).
So it’s a Saturday night. We knew things would be busy. But still, it was such a PLEASURE driving down Buena Vista Drive. So many of the TPI WDW bash team growl about crowds and lines at the park. A lot of these same folks have moaned about the pace of development (“Disney is cheap!”) of attractions – often dismissing the massive investment in roads and bridges (civil) as “boring.”
But I gotta tell ya … The roadwork completed at Disney Springs is AWESOME! Traffic rolls! No bumper-to-bumper aggravation. Compared to what has happened in the past, driving through Disney Springs is like being on a paid vacation.
So we get near the Springs and start making plans to park and … “Orange Lot Full” … “Lime Lot Full.”
We end up parking at the casting castle and make our way across the street. Not a perfect situation but frankly, not all that inconvenient. Five minute walk.
So we enter around the area where Basin is (Bambi’s gift card) and two seconds into the visit I was blown away. Disney Springs was alive! Thousands of people. All kinds of activity.
There was a DJ on the Marketplace Stage who had the crowd jumping. It was followed by a live band. Over at The Landing, an electronic quartet was entertaining guests. A human statue was posing for pics across from Volcom. The strolling piano player was in her spot near Uniqlo. And people were everywhere … Enjoying the atmosphere … Wandering through the stores … Lining up for food and drinks … Spending money.
And yet the crowds were not intrusive. The setting was exciting … fun. During the 90 minutes we were there we covered about a third of the complex. When you consider that the extraordinary success of Disney Springs has hit before the NBA Experience, The Edison, the Neverland Tunnels, the Star Wars VR experience, Wine Bar George and whatever will replace Cirque in the big white theater have opened … I mean … My God … You have to be impressed. You have to believe that Disney will sustain this level of vibrance and vitality.Tweet
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