I had just arrived at my DVC home resort of Saratoga Springs. I had some things to take care of, so I got on the boat for the short trip to Disney Springs. Woohoo! It docked at the Landing! This stop between Paradiso 37 and The Boathouse had been closed during the updating. It’s now home again to the boats from Old Key West and Saratoga Springs, as well as the water taxi that stops near the Cirque du Soleil and the Marketplace.
I made my way to Guest Services in its usual spot near the Marketplace Co-op, but found the spot taken over by Photo Pass. Guest Services could be found at the Welcome Center at Town Center. Town Center? What’s that? Well, you go by World of Disney and make a left and you go up here and you make a right at this store and… Um, okay, right.
I made my way past World of Disney behind the Lego store and the whole area opened up. Whoa. A wide promenade showcased a number of upscale stores and after asking again where to find the Welcome Center, there it was set off by itself along the side of a small waterway.
What met me at the door was not a long queue line, but a Cast Member (CM) who greeted me (ala Apple Store) and took my name and information about what I needed. I was then directed to wait in one of the comfortable easy chairs scattered around the room until my name was called. Cast Members were assisting Guests at a number of different stations, many more than what we used to find at the Marketplace location. Once I was called, I was quickly able to take care of my business. Though one friend has observed that it’s difficult to know how long your wait will be without a line to judge, I found the experience much more pleasant, and though the CMs were busy, my wait was not terrible.
Finding my way out of there was another adventure since I went out the back and it did not easily connect to the other side of that waterway as I expected it to. After a bit of wandering (past the new Blaze Fast-Fired Pizza—you’ll want to eat there), I found a bridge near Planet Hollywood Conservatory (still be worked on at the time, but now open).
My friend and I planned some resort hopping and after a trip up to Port Orleans French Quarter for gluten free beignets (delish!), we took the boat back to the Marketplace and thought we’d catch a bus to another resort. We walked over to the bus stop and it was a ghost town—most bizarre. But like Guest Services, it has found a new home in between the Lime and Orange garages, pretty much where the old Pleasure Island bus stop was and a walk (from old to new) almost straight across from The Landing Boat Dock.
I look forward to further exploring Disney Springs on my next visit—which I need to book real soon!