You probably know or have heard of Disney Springs, the former Downtown Disney. What most travelers probably don't know is the curious history of the area. This is where part of Walt Disney's planned "city of the future", also called Epcot, was originally to be located.

Before he passed away, Mickey's father and the creator of Disneyland, had a very peculiar project in mind. He intended to create a futuristic park that also included a highly technological city. It would be a place where the company's employees could live. Over time, there were some obstacles that made the Walt Disney Company change its plans and make the area what it is today.

Lake Buena Vista is under the jurisdiction of the Walt Disney Company. The city was named after the street where Walt Disney Studios was located in California. It is now an entertainment center with various attractions, such as resorts and golf courses, as well as a famous shopping mall that is visited by many tourists all year round.

Epcot: the Experimental City

Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (translation: Experimental Prototype of the Community of Tomorrow) and the original sketch doesn't look much like what was built years later. Walt Disney's idea for the park and the city of Epcot was to create an environment that would allow experiments to be carried out, which, according to him, would solve the main problems of cities.

In presenting the design of how everything would work, Disney was looking for encouragement from large corporations to develop innovative and technological ideas for the "city of the future", which would be annexed to the park. During the process of buying land and mapping out the region, Disney encountered some bureaucratic and legislative challenges. After his death, this project was put aside and priority was given to the Magic Kingdom and the hotels built around it.

With the first part of Disneyland up and running and a great success, the Walt Disney Company resumed construction of the Epcot park with significant changes to the initial project, including the exclusion of the "city of the future". At the time, Walt's brother, Roy Disney, was in charge of the company.

Years later, Roy decided to invest in the planned city and create a residential area that was part of Disney World. The new urban plan included four new hotels, a shopping center, a golf course and a few residences including houses and apartments, a small emergency hospital, a post office and even a police force exclusively for Lake Buena Vista. All the city's architecture would be reminiscent of the Disney world.

The idea was to receive between 3,000 and 4,000 residents in the first five years and would be restricted to a maximum of 15,000.

Lake Buena Vista and Disney Springs

Shortly afterwards, the other Disney brother also passed away before the project could go ahead. The Walt Disney Company then decided that it couldn't afford to run a city. It therefore granted some areas to companies in the hope that they would create a community for their employees or potential customers.

In practice, this was not the case and the project for a residential area ceased to exist. The dream of a Disney town would come true years later with the construction of Celebration. But this town also failed to reflect the modernist concept that Walt had designed.

The first houses that were built in Lake Buena Vista gave way to the famous Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. The few houses that were inhabited have gradually been left behind. According to the latest census, there are currently only 3 residents living in the area.

The city's shopping center gave way to the Downtown Disney - a Disney Springs - and has become a center with high tourist and leisure appeal with great attractions. It was a big gamble by the company that paid off and is one of the most popular places in greater Orlando.

What to do in Lake Buena Vista?

Not only are all the theme parks in this area - Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios - but there are also other attractions that can delight the whole family.

Disney Springs: is a must for fans. This shopping center has a wide variety of stores, restaurants, cafés and stores. The world's largest Disney store is even located there. It is also possible to attend shows and other outdoor performances. Entrance is open to the public.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park: is a water park with many attractions for children and another option for those who go in the summer and want to make the most of the Disney experience.

Disney Palm Golf Course: he golf course was completely redesigned in 2013 and has a more modern architecture. The course has 18 holes, water obstacles, bunkers and can be a program for the whole family.

Real estate investments in Orlando

Lake Buena Vista is no longer a residential area, but you can still live very close to the enchanted world of Disney. There are excellent homes in towns close to Lake Buena Vista, such as Kissimmee and Winter Garden. The consultants at The Florida Lounge can help you buy your dream home in Orlando.

And if you're a big Disney fan and would like to live in an almost cinematic town, Celebration could also be a great option for you. Contact The Florida Lounge to find out more.

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