It was previously known as Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village in 1975, Walt Disney World Village in 1977, Disney Village Marketplace in 1989, and Downtown Disney in 1997 now renamed, Disney Springs. It is located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, close to Orlando, and features outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment. The facility opened its doors on March 22, 1975, and has expanded and since been renamed, several times.
In 2013 the complex underwent a three-year refurbishment and expansion, and on September 29, 2015, the name of the complex formally changed to Disney Springs. The 120-acre (49-hectare) complex is divided into four distinct districts: Marketplace, The Landing, Town Center, and West Side. The marketplace is the largest of the four areas. Disney Carry operates buses and water taxis that transport guests between Disney Springs and other regions of Walt Disney World. For more information, visit their website.
The Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village opened its doors on March 22, 1975. The original intention was to serve as a regional shopping center for the surrounding area. The complex was renamed Walt Disney World Village two years after it first opened its doors. The introduction of new management, led by Michael Eisner, in 1984 resulted in Disney looking for ways to retain visitors on the Walt Disney World property for a longer time and prevent them from departing for entertainment outside of Disney’s boundaries.
To compete with the well-known Church Street Station clubs in downtown Orlando, Disney announced the creation of Pleasure Island to Walt Disney World Village on July 21, 1986. Pleasure Island features nightclubs that showcase Disney’s quality and innovation, as well as restaurants and shops. Construction began in August of the following year, and Pleasure Island opened on May 1, 1989, the same day as Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the company’s other theme park. Later that year, the complex was renamed Disney Village Marketplace to better reflect its location, in the Walt Disney World Resort.
When Walt Disney World was expanding quickly in the mid-1990s, the potential for additional expansion was there, and a $1 billion investment was made towards that expansion. The first World of Disney store opened on October 2, 1996, in the Marketplace district of Los Angeles.