Disney Springs Update: October 2018

As we continue our October 2018 Walt Disney World construction updates, we arrive at Disney Springs, which is decked out for Halloween and fall in general. While most of the Disney Springs re-imagining and expansion has completed, several projects are slated to open sometime in 2019, so work continues.

In this update, we’ll take a stroll around Town Center, Landing, West Side, and Marketplace to check out the ‘Fall at Disney Springs’ decorations and photo ops. We’ll also share construction progress photos of Jaleo, NBA Experience, Wolfgang Puck, World of Disney, and more.

Once all those projects are done, we’ll probably start to see the first round of restaurants that opened in early stages of the transition from Downtown Disney to the Springs be redone. To borrow a phrase, “Disney Springs will never be completed. It will continue to grow and be refurbished as long as there are Dining Plan credits left in the ‘World.”

Let’s set the tone for this update right off the bat with some photos of the “Fall at Disney Springs” decorations, which I’m guessing will stick around until slightly after Halloween:

The fall/Halloween decorations are not exactly big budget or elaborate, but they do a decent job setting the right mood.

Our ‘standards’ for these decorations are also a lot lower than for the parks. If Magic Kingdom had gold spray-painted pumpkins, we wouldn’t be on board.

Speaking of fall, there are a bunch of seasonal foods around Disney Springs. This was last month’s cupcake at Sprinkles (pumpkin), with candy versions for October.

We also saw a beautiful fall seasonal cake at Amorette’s Patisserie, but we were already stuffed from Chicken Guy, so we decided to pass. (I’m not even sure why we went into Amorette’s…it’s like force of habit now.)

In general, we found Disney Springs to be pretty quiet on our visits there this trip.

Of course, we go during the middle of the day on weekdays, so crowds are obviously a far cry from what they’d be at night or on weekends when locals show up in full force.

Moving on to the construction portion of the update, we have World of Disney, which has now debuted its new look. You can take a more thorough look around the inside–and at new Christmas 2018 merchandise–in our Inside the Re-Imagined World of Disney post.

The Florida redesign is a definite step forward–pretty much anything would’ve been. The interior is lighter and airier. It feels warmer, more inviting, and less claustrophobic.

I wish there were more personality, and more of a departure from the type of ‘clean industrial with brickwork’ style so prevalent at Disney Springs, but it’s at least a slight improvement (perhaps more, depending upon your perspective).

Probably not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it is what it is. Disney Springs is a lovely place that’s almost entirely devoid of character and charm.

One place that will not be devoid of character is Awesome Blossom Transformer Restaurant (a.k.a. Jaleo), a concept by world-renowned Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup that is replacing Wolfgang Puck.

Jaleo will bring the “spirit and flavors of Spain” to Walt Disney World. The restaurant will feature an extensive menu of tapas that reflect the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine, such as paella cooked over a wood fire, hand-carved Jamon Iberico de Bellota, and wood-grilled Iberico pork.

Work has been slow-going on the exterior of Jaleo, with minimal progress since our last update a few months ago. At this pace, we’re probably looking at an early Summer 2019 opening for Jaleo.

I’m hopeful that it’s before then. Out of the many strong dining options at Disney Springs, Jaleo is the most exciting to me. Everyone raves about the other Jaleo locations, and Chef Andres seems like a genuinely good and cool dude. (I still haven’t seen his appearance on Parts Unknown–need to do that soon!)

Across the lane from Jaleo, work continues on NBA Experience.

This is another project that seems to be moving at a snail’s pace.

Signs outside still indicate a “Summer 2019” opening, but with this being a fairly elaborate venue, that’s beginning to seem overzealous.

I’m really curious as to what NBA Experience will be like once finished. I really hope it’s a success, but I have my doubts.

On the other hand, I couldn’t care less about Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. I’m sure it’ll do just fine given the name attached, but I’m not exactly counting down the days until it opens.

Perhaps I’m totally off-base, but Wolfgang Puck has his hand in so many things that it seems like he’s diluted his own name. His empire is so vast it’s entirely possible he doesn’t even know this restaurant is being built.

That wraps it up for this Disney Springs update. We’ll drop in again once the holiday season here starts, with the next update giving us an excuse to try a bunch of Christmas-themed foods (not that we needed one!).

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!


Are you excited for any of the restaurants that will be opening at Disney Springs in 2019? Any thoughts on Jaleo, NBA Experience, Wolfgang Puck, or anything that has opened recently? Other construction insights or observations? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

7 Responses to “Disney Springs Update: October 2018”
  1. Michael Greiner October 24, 2018
  2. David Z October 24, 2018
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  5. Tammy Orr October 23, 2018
    • Mike October 23, 2018
    • Robert Alden October 23, 2018

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