Downtown Disney Construction Update

Filed under: Downtown Disney Orlando,Florida News,Walt Disney World |

Downtown Disney Redevelopment  - 17 September 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

We popped along to Downtown Disney yesterday to take a look at the latest construction work that is taking place to get the venue ready for Disney Springs.

Construction is moving along at a decent pace and the new monster sized parking garages are taking shape. The $85 million parking garages will eventually be able to take some 6,000 vehicles and there will be an I4 entrance and exit ramp coming off of the existing State Road 535 ramp. The expansion of Buena Vista Drive will see the present seven lanes increase to ten as part of the complex’s transition.

Downtown Disney Redevelopment  - 17 September 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

The funds for the improvement are coming from Disney’s own Reedy Creek Improvement District and this means they will save huge dollars in terms of not having to pay sales tax on materials. Reedy Creek also has the ability to finance the garages with tax free bonds and that means the company has a huge advantage over other theme parks and resorts in Florida.

It’s a unique arrangement that was created by the Florida Legislature over 40 years ago and in theory, it’s one that could see Disney build it’s own airport and nuclear power plant! It’s fascinating to see how Disney is effectively its own Government and can make its own rules.

Downtown Disney Redevelopment  - 17 September 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

The reason for the new parking garages is to prepare for Disney Springs, scheduled to open in 2016. Disney Springs will eventually be made up of four areas, Town Center, The Landing, Marketplace and West Side … and if you do a search on this blog, you’ll find more details on all of them!

The first parking garage is set to open later this year and that will house approximately 4,000 vehicles on it’s four floors. The second parking garage will be a smaller three story facility that will take some 2,000 vehicles. The garages will also have two pedestrian bridges installed to help lead guests into Disney Springs. One will be located near the current Marketplace side and the other will offer access through the West Side.

The Landing is the first phase of Disney Springs that is scheduled to open and that will happen sometime in 2015. It will offer lakefront shopping and dining.

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