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Visiting Disney Marketplace - Springs - Downtown - Landing?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

One of our favorite FREE places to visit is Downtown Disney, err.. Disney Marketplace, um.., Disney Springs.... I have to laugh, this location has had its share of names. I remember it as Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village. Our first visit together it was Downton Disney. Now it's Disney Springs.
[Wikipedia] The complex opened on March 22, 1975 as the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village and has been expanded and renamed at other times over the years. It was first renamed Walt Disney World Village in 1977; then to Disney Village Marketplace in 1989; and afterward to Downtown Disney in 1997. In 2013, plans were announced for a three-year renovation of the complex, and on September 29, 2015, the name officially changed from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs. [ read more history ]
It was a gorgeous day, albeit HOT, so we decided to head there early, on the motorcycle, and get me my reward (self-gifted) for finishing the first draft of my new novella, Paradise Down. We had always parked by the Marketplace (the original section) but this time around, there was a lot of construction going on and some of the parking was closed. We ended up in the parking garage - HUGE but cooler. Not a bad thing, other than remembering to take a photo so we could find the bike.

We had a bit of walking to do before getting to our destination. The Lego section had a few new things outside, the boat dock area had been expanded with a new section with more stores, and a new bridge over to the other side of the lake added.

We wandered one of the main stores, just to get cool, then on to our spot for the next hour. Ghirardelli® Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. We had been there before, always taking the grandkids on the day we arrived for their vacations. But this time was different. I was on the hunt for the ORIGINAL banana split. Over the years, many variations were made by various outfits, but that wouldn't do. I needed the one, the only, REAL banana boat.

The strongest case for the title of “Home of the Banana Split” belongs to Latrobe, Westmoreland County. Not only has the original letter by Latrobe pharmacy owner and creator David Strickler been uncovered, but the Greensburg Tribune-Review documented the invention as well. In the article, Rachel Smith gives credit for the first banana split to David Stickler who “had sliced a banana in two, added scoops of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream, three kinds of flavored toppings and whipped cream” in 1904. This ingenuity had allowed for the creation of the delicious dessert, but there was no proper way for it to be served. This prompted Strickler to elicit outside help from a glassmaker in Grapeville who created the first “banana boat” to house his masterpiece. [source]

Why? It brought back so many memories for me, memories with my mother. In the mid-late 60's, we often would splurge and have one at the local Woolworth's in Vero Beach, FL. They would have a balloon special and the price inside the balloon was what you would pay. Often you could get one for only 59 cents! We always split it.

It was everything I had hoped for...we both enjoyed it!

We did a little more walking, hoping to find some Mickey Mouse Christmas shirts (we didn't) and then over to Rain Forest Cafe in hopes of me finding a spare "froggy" visor (we didn't).

We did find a friendly little stuffed sloth (Zootopia sloth fanatic here) and a fun hat that I didn't buy. [snicker]

Then it was back to the parking garage and home before the highest heat of the day settled in. All in all, a great day. (See all the photos in our SmugMug Album)

Ciao for now!


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