Disney World overhauls its 'downtown' district

By 
Kelsey Nash, Digital Editor

disney springs map

As traffic at Disney World grows, so too must the dining and retail options that serve it. That idea drove the resort to make over its shopping and dining district as Disney Springs, Downtown Disney’s next frontier.  Part of the revamp includes adjusting to the way diners eat today, says Maribeth Bisienere, SVP of Disney Springs, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Disney’s Water Parks & Mini-Golf. Downtown Disney’s four food trucks—among the first dining options to roll out as part of the Disney Springs transformation—give visitors an on-trend quick-service option beyond a brick and mortar. From there, additional casual formats followed. 

Restaurants from top chefs

rick bayless

Restaurants from top chefs appeal to visitors’ diverse appetites. Rick Bayless brings his brand of Mexican cuisine to Disney with open-kitchen Frontera Cocina, and local chefs James and Julie Petrakis will next year open Polite Pig, a fast casual with a strong bar focus.

New casual concepts

dluxe burger fries shake

New concepts offer more casual formats to enjoy a meal, including limited-service D-Luxe Burger, bakery Amorette’s Patisserie and kiosks Aristocrepes and The Daily Poutine. 

Disney World meal plans

wristband disney

 Seeking to up the ease for park-goers, many Disney Springs eateries are included in Disney World meal plans. Guests use cashless meal payment via a keycard or tech-enabled wristband that doubles as their entry to the theme park.

Planet Hollywood Observatory

planet hollywood observatory interior

Planet Hollywood is taking its star-centered brand literally, reopening this fall as the Planet Hollywood Observatory with an updated look and a new menu featuring sandwiches and burgers by Guy Fieri. The Observatory’s beefed-up terrace and bar will overlook Disney Springs, and plays up celestial touches, such as planet-inspired light fixtures. 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

Menu Development
eureka

Since California’s state motto is “Eureka!” it seems fitting that a recent conversation with the director of hospitality at San Diego’s Palomar Health led to the biggest aha moment I’ve had in a long time.

I called Jim Metzger in late April with the purpose of discussing Palomar’s recent commitment to the goal of making 60% of its total menu plant-based by this summer. It seemed a lofty number, and I was curious how the public health system planned to get there.

But my personal eureka didn’t come while we were talking about how Palomar had cleaned up the impulse-buy zones...

Industry News & Opinion

Labeling foods with indulgent buzzwords such as “sweet sizzlin’” and “crispy” can lead consumers to make healthier food choices , according to a recent study out of Stanford University .

In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

The green beans, for example, were listed as “green beans” for basic, “light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots” for healthy restrictive, “healthy energy boosting green beans and shallots” for healthy...

Ideas and Innovation
sparkling water

Our carbonated soft drink sales at Earls.67 reflect a national trend; we’re continually down on carbonated soft drink sales by 8% to 9% on an annual basis,” says Cameron Bogue, beverage director at the contemporary-casual chain Earls Kitchen + Bar.

The issue with spa water

Many operators are intrigued with the offering, but they are learning that infused water can’t be offered at a cost to guests unless there is added value beyond cut-up fruit. Bogue says, “I was adamant that I didn’t want to charge for spa water.”

Agua fresca alternatives

At the original location of

...

FSD Resources