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The story, said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Springs, is that this is a small, welcoming waterfront town of early 1900s Florida, where settlers were attracted by the springs and their natural beauty. It was inspired in part by Kismet, Florida, now a ghost town in the Ocala National Forest. But at the end of the 19th century, it was a new community built around citrus groves near Alexander Springs. Kismet is where Walt and Roy Disney’s parents met and married, although they moved to Chicago not long afterward, years before their sons were born.
The Landing: This area used to be the adult oriented Pleasure Island, a cluster of nightclubs that closed in 2008, located between Downtown Disney’s Marketplace and West Side sections. Some clubs were torn down, others remodeled for new tenants. Several waterfront bars and restaurants Morimoto Asia, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar and The Boathouse opened last year and more are to come. Longtime Downtown Disney restaurants, including Portobello, Raglan Road and Fulton’s Crab House, are also part of The Landing.
Homecoming: Farm to fork cuisine that showcases ingredients from Florida and the specialties of Florida and the South, by Chef Art Smith; glass walled show kitchen and the Southern Shinebar.
The Edison: A lavish “Industrial Gothic” style restaurant and bar with classic America cuisine and live entertainment (contortionists, palm readers, DJs and more).
Sprinkles: Cupcake bakery, ice cream and homemade cookies with 24 hour “Cupcake ATM.”
Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza: Fast casual restaurant with custom pizzas “fast fired” in a blazing hot oven, ready to eat in three minutes.
Tommy Bahama: Island inspired sportswear, denim, and swimwear for men and women.
Lilly Pulitzer: Palm Beach inspired women’s resort and beachwear.
L’Occitane en Provence: Skincare and beauty line
Edward Beiner: Fashion eyewear.
Source: Walt Disney World ResortMorimoto Asia: The first pan Asian restaurant from the Japanese master chef Masaharu Morimoto, with exhibition kitchens, street food stalls, Peking duck carving, dim sum, a sake flight, and the Forbidden Lounge.
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar: An aviation themed lounge named for a character in the “Indiana Jones” movies, with small plates.
The Boathouse: Nautical themed restaurant with steaks, chops, seafood and a raw bar; three bars; guided tours aboard a 40 foot Italian Water Taxi and Amphicar rides.