The changes began back in December of 2007, when, as if preparing for its New Year resolutions, new planters suddenly appeared at the esplanade entrance to Disney Village. Contained within simple wooden borders like you can find at any garden centre, the new trees, shrubs and plants were a shock to the system, wrapped around either side of the entrance and behind the staircase into Planet Hollywood. It was a very good start — not great, the Disney “finish” was lacking, but certainly a major plus for the once barren, concrete areas.
Whilst the fans on magicforum whiled away the first month of the year dreaming of concrete borders Ã la the American Downtown Disney areas (and the esplanade leading to the Disney Village parking lot, in fact), little did we all know what would suddenly appear at the end of the month… Yes, concrete borders. Disney’s standard issue for planters in the resort area, and one of the first true, permanent “Disney” touches the multi-year makeover of the Village has seen so far.
Before we knew it, walls were popping up here, there and everywhere — brand new trees climbing into the sky behind them, housed in new footers being dug into the concrete flooring.
Next to Annette’s, between Planet Hollywood and King Ludwig’s, between Sports Bar and Disney Fashion and between Disney Fashion and the Hollywood Pictures store they arrived…
The entire lot reaches its crescendo at Café Mickey, where the uninspiring black tarmac terrace, bordered only by temporary potted plants for years, is finally being ripped up and replaced by a brand new pavement terrace, like the great cafés of Paris itself.
After the balloons and garish repainting works, Disney Village finally looks to be on the right track. With its harsh architecture softened by greenery and “through-passage” feel broken by all the extra seating on the concrete borders, wrapping and curving their way along the street, the area is finally beginning to appear like a real extension of the parks themselves.
Well, it at least now, finally, has that aspiration.
— Look out for another update following this soon, with the latest progress from the project.