Disney Springs, News

Farewell to DisneyQuest

Walt Disney was a man who believed in innovating and always moving forward, so it should come as no surprise that changes are always being made around the Walt Disney World Resort. Today, a big and emotional change is happening as we say farewell to DisneyQuest.

DisneyQuest

DQ Animation Academy Donald
Animation Academy Donald Duck

DisneyQuest opened on June 19, 1998 as a part of a large expansion to Downtown Disney West Side. When it opened, DisneyQuest was ahead of its time. Spawning over 100,000 square feet and five floors of electronic games and virtual attractions, there was something for everyone. Guests could paddle down the river on a virtual Jungle Cruise, score big points on the life size pinball game Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam, jump behind the wheel on one of eight linked Daytona USA racing consoles, and learn to draw popular Disney characters at Animation Academy. Guests could even design and experience their very own roller coasters on Cyberspace Mountain, or practice their aim on Buzz Lightyear’s AstroBlasters.

 

AstroBlasters

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Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters

Few Disney attractions hold as many positive memories for my family as Buzz Lightyear’s AstroBlasters. Best described as a cross between bumper cars and dodge ball, players would board their enclosed vehicle, collect asteroids (AKA foam balls), and fire them at other vehicles to disable them. This attraction wasn’t one we would typically put on our list, but all of that changed after our first time playing. AstroBlasters became one of our favorite attractions in all of WDW.

Personally, I love this ride because my daughter loved it and it was something that we could do together, as a team. I was the pilot and she was the very hungry gunner. We didn’t just play, but we were students of the game. We studied the best way to maneuver around the arena, most efficiently fire our asteroids, and even pick out newbies to shoot at. We loved the disappointment on their faces as their vehicle would light up and spin out of control. Occasionally this would result in retaliation, but that was the price of playing. We would spend hours and hours in those ride vehicles, stopping only for the occasional mango-strawberry smoothie, or to take a picture picking Buzz Lightyear’s nose on the rules sign in front of the game.

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Picking Buzz Lightyear’s Nose

Future

All of these times are just memories now as we are forced to say “so long” to this once iconic place. Unfortunately, years of falling into disrepair, and more technologically advanced attractions going in elsewhere around property, have driven attendance numbers down and have forced DisneyQuest to close its doors for the final time. However, in true Walt Disney fashion, a new attraction is planned for this space on the Disney Springs West Side. Work will begin on a multi-year transformation from DisneyQuest to the NBA Experience. According to the Disney Parks blog, the NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort will be, “a one-of-a-kind basketball-themed experience featuring hands-on activities that put guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. There will be immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences, as well as a restaurant and a retail store.” On the heels of news that Walt Disney World will be the jersey sponsor of the Orlando Magic, this attraction appears to be a perfect fit and will appeal to basketball fans young and old.

Disney Springs

Food Truck Rally Invades Disney Springs

Visitors to Disney Springs certainly have no shortage of amazing restaurants from which to choose anytime hunger strikes. With over 50 different places to eat, Disney Springs definitely has something to tempt even the pickiest eater.

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London Fish N Chippy food truck
This weekend though, there will be several more amazing dining opportunities as Disney Springs plays host to the “Springs Street Eats” food truck rally. Two of Disney’s permanent trucks will be joined by six other popular food trucks on Friday, June 2 from 4:00 PM-11:00 PM and Saturday, June 3 from noon-11:00 PM. The food truck rally will be parked on the West Side of Disney Springs in front of Cirque Du Soleil.

The trucks taking part in the rally are:

Fantasy Fare: Food from Disney theme parks around the world (permanent truck)

World Showcase of Flavors: Food featured at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival (permanent truck)

900 Degreez Pizza: Italian wood fired pizzas

Caketeer: Cupcakes from Orlando and around central Florida

London Fish N Chippy: Fresh fried seafood featuring homemade beer batter

Magic 4 UR Palate: Creative dishes that are appealing to the eye

Philly’s Best Cheesesteaks: Hot and fresh Philly style cheeseteaks

Tikiz Shaved Ice: Features ice-cream and Hawaiian shaved ice

If you’re at Disney Springs on June 2nd or 3rd be sure to check out the food and let us know what you think!

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Springs Street Eats food truck rally
Disney Springs, News

Preferred Parking at Disney Springs 

Preferred parking has been in place at Walt Disney World parks for several months, but beginning on June 1, 2017 preferred parking is an option for guests visiting Disney Springs as well.

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Preferred parking is available in two different lots, the Lemon lot (located near the World of Disney store on the Marketplace side) and the Grapefruit lot (located near the West Side). The cost for preferred parking at Disney Springs is $10.

Guests who are looking for complimentary  parking are in luck! Free parking is still available in both the Orange and Lime garages, as well as the Strawberry and Watermelon parking lots.

Would you pay for preferred parking at Disney Springs?