Disney World visitors' favorite shopping center is facing the wrecking ball

April 5, 2018, 9:21 AM · Updated throughout. The Florida Department of Transportation has made an offer to buy the Crossroads at Lake Buena Vista shopping center, with the intention to demolish it for an Interstate 4 expansion, according to local news reports.

The Orlando Business Journal reports that FDOT has made an offer of about $146 million to the owners of the 155,597-square-foot shopping center, which includes tenants such as Red Lobster, Uno Pizzeria & Grill and the last Gooding's supermarket.

FDOT has started an ambitious I-4 expansion project called I-4 Beyond the Ultimate (that name!) with the hope of improving traffic flow on Central Florida's most popular roadway.

The Crossroads purchase would give the state more room to expand the interstate and reconfigure the interchange with State Road 535, which as many visitors and residents know, can be one the nastiest traffic snarls in Orlando's tourist corridor.

But what visitors and Disney cast members who frequent the area might enjoy with a smoother interchange, they will lose in no longer having a convenient grocery store and shops located at the end of the Walt Disney World Resort's Hotel Plaza Blvd.

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Note from the editor: Our original version of this story referenced a tweet from the Orlando Sentinel's Growthspotter publication, as well as a 2016 article from the Sentinel. We pulled our story after a Sentinel editor sent us a cease-and-desist letter insisting that we had no right to reference their publicly posted tweet.

We disagree with that assessment, however, since we lack the money to fight a court case with the Sentinel's parent corporation, we pulled the piece and posted the Sentinel's cease-and-desist letter to provide context for our decision.

After we did that, a reporter at the Orlando Business Journal reached out with an invitation for us to link to and quote their story on the Crossroads shopping center. So we took them up on that offer and rewrote this post for the third time.

In the future, we plan to cover our rear with the Sentinel by no longer linking or referencing any articles from the Orlando Sentinel or its publications on Theme Park Insider. When appropriate, we will link to our friends at the Orlando Business Journal instead. Thanks for reading!

Replies (16)

April 5, 2018 at 9:44 AM ·

Such are shame, even the cast members rely on that area for pretty much everything if they don’t dive

April 5, 2018 at 10:02 AM ·

I will miss the Fuddruckers (the other one is at Artegon Mall, a sketchy spot at night), but getting in and out of Crossroads was always a major PITA.

April 5, 2018 at 10:26 AM ·

Does this mean goodbye to Pirate's Cove? Man, that will be a loss.

April 5, 2018 at 10:38 AM ·

went to a sushi place over there years ago it was invested with bugs. we walked out

April 5, 2018 at 11:02 AM ·

That Goodings supermarket is a slim shadow of the great store it was 10-15 years ago. Nowadays it’s little more than a supersized 7-11.

April 5, 2018 at 12:52 PM ·

Normally I am supportive of Disney but this was a clear case of power politics on the mouse's part. There are tons of hotel rooms on 535 near Crossroads and lots of people uber to and from Palm Parkway resorts for meals. Its a shame they didn't try to find some other way to fix traffic other than going to Tallahassee and demanding their competition be bulldozed.

April 5, 2018 at 1:33 PM ·

This is another SMART move by FL DofT.

WDW employees CONSTANTLY complain about traffic.

Tourists have complained for years about POOR traffic management on Disney’s part. However, this highway is NOT under Disney domain.

I’m sure everyone will agree TRAFFIC SUCKS and can really mess-up a fun day at USO and WDW!

April 5, 2018 at 4:20 PM ·

I’m with mikew .... the pirates adventure golf will be a sad loss. For me it’s the best one in Orlando ... and I’ve played pretty much everyone over the years, but always went back to the crossroads pirates time after time.
In actuality the name crossroads has been gone for a while at the entrance. Goodings is major expensive and I always marveled how it stayed open. The Hallmark they had there was a good one, but not much else of shopping note drew me back when it closed. Food wise ... I will miss Fuddruckers too.
If it stops the miles and miles of I-4 traffic back-up (either way) at certain times of the day, then I’m all for the change.

April 6, 2018 at 3:13 AM ·

Dude! You did it! You p*ssed off THE MAN!!!! Kudos! They say that words can incite folks - and you nailed it. I'm so proud of you! ;) If you need a character witness at your trial, let me know!

April 6, 2018 at 4:39 AM ·

I will miss the Waffle House. Goodings is too expensive. Walmart should build closer. But I must agree, traffic at Crossroads is terrible. Plan on going down soon. Will have to get a game in at the golf course.

April 6, 2018 at 10:15 AM ·

Its crazy they would send that to you, I get where they're coming from but they handled it the wrong way. A relative of mine had a job at a newspaper for a few years but he ended being laid off as a result of shrinking profits. I don't think you did anything wrong, and with how easy it is for just about anyone to pharaphrase anyone online, they're fighting a losing battle. The fact you included links makes it worse, because you at least acknowledged them as your source and led some people to their story. If you copied and pasted some of their story, and didn't even acknowledge it, that would be an issue. Looks like I won't be looking at their website for any theme park news, since they're such jerks about trying to keep their business profitable. I'm a pretty conservative person, but they crossed a line.

April 7, 2018 at 12:11 PM ·

535 has always been a mess. I worked at Disney in the 70s even then we had number stickers thats said "Pray for me, I drive 535"

April 7, 2018 at 12:51 PM ·

I have to drive through that area several times a week and the traffic truly does suck. The only restaurant I will miss over there is the only decent Perkins in the area but that's about it. In terms of grocery stores, there is a decent Winn-Dixie about a mile up the road and a Walmart about 3 miles south on 535. I haven't been into Goodings in over 10 years since the time I had to get emergency kitty food at midnight and they hit me up for $10 for a 2 pound bag.

April 7, 2018 at 3:30 PM ·

Didn't Disney buy that shopping center at some point in the last 5-10 years?

The Goodings passed its "Sell By" date more than a decade ago. Much like the service stations selling $6/gallon gas near the airport, the store only exists to fleece tourists.

I do agree that FLDOT should have a better plan to offer access to a grocery store if they are razing the shopping center. On a direct line, the Publix on Vineland is not very far away. Maybe an overpass from Vineland to Palm Parkway could be squeezed in somewhere.

April 9, 2018 at 5:34 AM ·

@the_man - What does Disney have to do with this? It’s not their property to sell.

April 11, 2018 at 6:21 AM ·

If you think Disney didn't have anything to do with this you don't know much about Florida politics.

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