PHOTO: Disney Springs, formerly Downtown Disney, features a number of new merchants and eateries. (Photo via Flickr/Chad Sparkes)
With all the new big-ticket items unfolding in the Orlando area in the coming months, including the much-anticipated opening of a brand-new land, Pandora – World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the sunshine state is sure to be a popular family getaway this summer.
In addition to Pandora, other major new Disney offerings include the dazzling Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks at Walt Disney World Resort; the Music of Pixar LIVE! A Symphony of Characters at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; Frozen Ever After and Soarin’ Around The World at Epcot; and Kilimanjaro Safaris and the nighttime Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Also coming to Disney this summer is Happily Ever After, the largest-ever projection and fireworks show in Magic Kingdom history.
Outside of the theme parks, the outdoor Disney Springs (formerly known as Downtown Disney) also welcomes guests plenty of new offerings. The open-air, waterfront promenade is divided into four distinct neighborhoods, which collectively boast more than 130 retailers and restaurants.
Among the new eateries are Planet Hollywood Observatory, Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina, Paddlefish (built on an iconic paddleboat), renowned Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, Morimoto Asia Street Food and STK Orlando.
Despite all the new things to see and do in Orlando this summer, families trying to maximize their travel budget can still find plenty great hotel deals.
Right in the heart of the action, the seven resorts that collectively make up the Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels group have launched a “Spring into Summer” sale, with hotel rates starting from just $89 per room per night. All seven properties, which encompass such internationally recognized brands as Best Western, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton, Holiday Inn and Wyndham, are located within convenient walking distance of Disney Springs. And a new pedestrian bridge makes it even easier for guests to explore the area.
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Guests staying at these hotels also enjoy free shuttle service to all four Walt Disney World theme parks, as well as two area water parks and even nighttime transportation to Disney Springs. They’ll also receive a complimentary Disney Springs Passport booklet with special offers at such merchants as the House of Blues Restaurant, Rainforest Café at Disney Springs Marketplace, Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, Wolfgang Puck Express and Sephora.
The "Spring into Summer” hotel rates are good for stays from April 24 through July 31, 2017 and start from:
* B Resort & Spa; from $89 per room, per night
* Best Western Lake Buena Vista; from $79 per room, per night
* DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando; from $139 per suite, per night
* Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace; from $134 per room, per night
* Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista; from $116 per room, per night
* Holiday Inn Orlando; from $95 per room, per night
* Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista; from $82 per room, per night.
As a group, these properties include more than 3,700 rooms and some 30 food and beverage outlets.
For more information, visit disneyspringshotels.com/.