Disney Springs Closures and Future Revitalization?
With Wolfgang Puck Express joining the list of locations not re-opening at Disney Springs, it is starting to beg the question what is going to happen to the shopping district at Walt Disney World. So far, we've seen The Void, NBA Experience, and a few other retail shops permanently close, with only Lululemon, the M&Ms shop, and Gideon's Bakehouse opening or under construction, there are going to be open storefronts available and the question is, what will takeover that space?
Retail stores are going to be needed in Disney Springs to occupy those vacant storefronts and new entertainment offerings will need to fill the gap left by the NBA Experience and The Void to keep guests coming (and staying) at Disney Springs.
When park hours increase and more dining options return to the parks, having a reason to leave the parks to go to Disney Springs is going to become increasingly important. Why? Guests travelling to Walt Disney World are not likely to spend time in a restaurant-filled location outside of the parks.
For most guests who travel in (and do not have Annual Passports), the limited time they have on property is going to spent in the parks. Yes there may be a "resort day" or a couple of "travel days" on which they won't buy tickets, but the reality is that they may spend a few hours at Disney Springs and may eat in one restaurant, if the merchandise isn't the same you can buy in the parks.
Equally important to remember is that many use their "resort day" to resort hop and book dining reservations at other resorts (such as Ohana, Sanaa, California Grill, etc.).
Disney Springs takes a long time to get to for many resort guests, unlike other Disney parks where it is at the front gate. Attracting resort guests to spend that up to 90 minutes return to get there. Making sure they have a reason to go will be critical to keeping it vibrant and a destination for guests.