The construction in and around Downtown Disney has caused headaches for those who want to the shopping and restaurant venues there. Entrances to parking have been closed, roadways have been clogged more than usual with the widening of Buena Vista Drive, and then there have been the construction barriers inside Downtown Disney itself. As we approach the holidays, many have wondered how all of this will affect the “Festival of the Seasons” with its decorations, events, and photo opportunities.
Good news, at least on one front! One parking garage opened November 2 for employee test use, and will be partially open for guest use beginning November 20. Levels 1 through 4 of the new 5 level garage will be open, making 1700 parking spaces available. It is said another 1300 spaces will be available in December, but this also means the closing of some more entrances to existing parking to make way for another parking garage.
When all is said and done, there will be two new parking garages – a total of 6000 parking spaces! Additionally, shopping and dining offerings will be doubled, Buena Vista Drive will have dedicated bus lanes, there will be pedestrian bridges across Buena Vista Drive, and a new ramp from I-4 will lead directly to a parking garage. All of this should make what will ultimately be called “Disney Springs” a wonderful place to visit!
In the meantime, parking continues to be available across the street, with shuttles taking guests over to Downtown Disney. If you are staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, use the complimentary bus transportation, but make sure you plan for plenty of time to arrive if you have dining reservations! Valet parking is available at Marketplace from 10 am to 1 am, and at West Side from 2:30 pm to 2 am. You will be charged based upon length of time at Downtown Disney, ranging from $10 for 0-2 hours to $20 for 3 or more hours. Time is counted from when you reach the valet podium to drop off your car until you return to the podium to pick up your car. Payment is collected as you leave.
Decorations and events for “Festival of the Seasons” begin November 14. Do you think they’ll be negatively impacted or overshadowed by this construction? Will it affect your decision to visit Downtown Disney this holiday season?
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