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We’re well into 2015, and there’s plenty to be excited about! While 2014 was more about transition, this year is shaping up to be positively epic where Disney dining is concerned!

We have some fun stuff to tell you about all over Walt Disney World Resort, but today, we’d like to focus on an area that’s getting a lot of attention lately:Downtown Disney.

Let’s take a look at some of the new things that have already arrived as well as a few eateries on the horizon.

What’s New: Disney Springs

After plenty of stops and starts over the last several years, work finally seems to be moving forward on the overhaul of the former Pleasure Island area and the West Side in Downtown Disney. In fact, the entire Downtown Disney area will transform into Disney Springs, with the evolution scheduled to be completed in 2016. The new themeing will celebrate the history of Florida while providing guests with a fresh new shopping, dining, and entertainment district.
One thing that we’re very excited about… the wildly popular BabyCakes NYC closed in Downtown Disney Marketplace last year. Well, we’re happy to report thatErin McKenna’s Bakery NYC just opened in The Landing (formerly part of the Pleasure Island area). Erin McKenna is the founder of BabyCakes, and the emphasis of this new spot continues to be the popular gluten-free, vegan treats that McKenna is known for in her Babycakes NYC bakery!

Already, we’ve seen some progress in changing the landscape of the area. Disney rolled out a small army of Food Trucks previously to help ease the transition and offer guests additional dining options during the construction phase. While the trucks do still move around quite a bit, they’ve also gained a permanent home of sorts. Exposition Park located betweenBongo’s Cuban Cafe and West Side Starbucks will offer additional seating, and you’re sure to find at least one of the Disney Food Trucks parked here all the time. In addition, the space makes room for local food trucks, a fun opportunity for Disney to partner with Orlando businesses. 

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But there’s more than just food happening at the Boathouse! The restaurant will also serve as the launching spot for a number of boat-themed attractions. Guests can ride on a 40-foot Italian Water Taxi, an experience that also includes champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. And we’re very excited to see the debut of “Amphicar” Tours. The vehicles will launch from land before they enter the water to take guests on a guided tour of surrounding sites! The opening of The Boathouse is anticipated for April 2015.

Guests who enjoy a fusion of Asian flavors will want to check out Morimoto Asia. The restaurant, helmed by Chef Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef fame, will feature a Pan Asian menu.

Asian culinary artistry will come alive before guests in the show kitchens of the two-story restaurant. Chefs will demonstrate traditions like Peking Duck Carving. A menu of Dim Sum will also be available. Guests will enjoy waterside seating as they dine. Look for this sleek new eatery to open this Summer.

STK is also on the horizon, and promises an atmosphere that’s a cross between an upscale steakhouse and a night club. The two-story restaurant will offer an interesting fusion of its own — with special touches like rooftop dining and a DJ, you’ll be able to enjoy an entire evening at one venue. STK will arrive in Disney Springs sometime this year — no word yet on an exact date.

What the Future May Bring!

For all that we know, there’s a ton more to look forward to! As Disney Springs continues to take shape, we expect to see the area double in the number of venues currently located there. And this is only the beginning! We look forward to telling you much more about the development of Disney Springs as the story unfolds.

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