What’s New at Downtown Disney?

The RIDEMAKERZ experience invites guests into the ultimate car customizing shop where they can build a one-of-a-kind radio control car or “RIDE”. Between bodystyles and colors, tires and wheels, lights and sounds, accessories and decals, RIDEMAKERZ estimates there are more than 649 million possible build combinations, not including individual decal placement!

“The RIDEMAKERZ experience is pure fun, and the process is designed to spark creativity, encourage collaboration and build confidence,” says RIDEMAKERZ ZEO (CEO) Larry Andreini.

In a nod to real-world car culture, RIDEMAKERZ has agreements with several automotive manufacturers to offer versions of today’s most popular cars in its line-up.   Guests, or “Customizers” can choose from the Ford Mustang and F-250 Super Chief Alternative Fuel Concept Truck, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R and C6RS, Dodge Ram, Challenger, and Viper, MINI Cooper S, and Scion xB. Retro hot rods, fire engines, racecars, cab-over tow and dump trucks, and many more favorites are also available.

Complete RIDEZ range in price from $10 to $32, depending on body and paint style chosen. Radio remote control can be added for an additional $25, and custom accessories range in price from $2 for grill guards, spoilers and hoods scoops to $15 for themed kits that include a wide range of complementary accessories. RIDEZ measure approximately 12 inches long, or 1:18 scale, and are easy to assemble with snap-in, snap-on components that do not require glue.

“RIDEMAKERZ delivers a high-octane experience and one-of-a kind fun,” said Downtown Disney Vice President Keith Bradford. “We’re excited to add RIDEMAKERZ to our existing portfolio of unique offerings at Downtown Disney.  It fills a niche our guest’s have been looking for.”

The limited engagement RIDEMAKERZ’ Orlando shop delivers an even higher-octane experience to visitors by incorporating a specially designated radio-control test track and real-world auto salon. Eight world-class show cars are on display, including a Chevrolet C5.R racecar built by Pratt & Miller Engineering for General Motors.

The display also features an F150 NASCAR Pace Truck and Dodge Ram from the personal collection of legendary car customizer Chip Foose, as well as a MINI Cooper from the private collection of famed movie car designer Fireball Tim Lawrence.

“The RIDEMAKERZ brand and this shop, in particular, are close to my heart,” said Foose during an autograph session at the grand opening on March 25th. “I learned about car customizing from my Dad, and now I get to help pass that experience on to fathers, sons and families across America.” Foose also serves as an advisor to RIDEMAKERZ.

Downtown Disney has also welcomed several other additions as part of its overall revitalization plan including two new stores, a quick-service restaurant and 3-D technology to the AMC Pleasure Island 24 Theatre Complex.

D Street, a new apparel store where urban inspired product “intersects” with a Disney creative edge, is open on the West Side, showcasing a mix of products for both men and women.  Building on the existing popularity of Tren-D at the Marketplace, D Street includes edgy apparel, pop culture novelties, Vinylmation figures and collectibles, artwork, handbags, accessories, jewelry and more.  The store features a raw, unfinished industrial look and provides a great venue to showcase Disney art created by local artists.

AMC Entertainment has upgraded auditorium #1 to be the first Enhanced Theater Experience (ETX™) in the United States.  The ETX auditorium includes a 20 percent larger, floor-to-ceiling screen, 3-D technology, 12 channel audio, and digital projection that delivers higher resolution than HD.

Opening this fall at Downtown Disney Marketplace will be an international Latin chicken quick-service restaurant- Pollo Campero.  This new restaurant concept will offer Disney guests savory combinations of freshly prepared Campero Latin chicken, flavorful side dishes such as yuca fries and sweet plantains, and Latin drinks including horchata and tamarindo.  For the more nutritious minded, they will offer chef-prepared salads, sandwiches and wraps, as well as sugar-free, gluten-free, low sodium, and organic offerings.

These new efforts come on the heels of the recent openings of little missmatched, Paradiso 37, Tren-D, Characters in Flight and Disney’s Design-a-Tee. While over at La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil world-renowned juggler Anthony Gatto has been added to the 90-minute spectacle at the famous Downtown Disney theater.

Anthony Gatto comes to La Nouba from the tour of KOOZA by Cirque du Soleil and holds 11 world records in juggling.  In the nine-minute act, Gatto juggles balls, hoops and clubs in unprecedented numbers at amazing speed with seemingly impossible accuracy.

Gatto joins the ranks of professional athletes, dancers, vocalists, musicians and comedic performers in the cast of 67 artists in the incredibly creative and dynamic gem La Nouba. Time magazine calls Gatto, “simply the best juggler ever and the new act is entitled “cinq-a-sept” which means “five-to-seven,” generally known as “happy hour.”  This fits well with the meaning of La Nouba – “to party” or “live it up.”

So why not “live it up” and head to Orlando… we have a lot going on!

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