Lake Buena Vista

Shopping, nightlife, and entertainment.

At the heart of our booming tourism industry, Lake Buena Vista is a municipality controlled by the Walt Disney Company. Beyond Disney’s gates, visitors can find everything from dining to shopping to nightlife and more. Restaurants with delectable cuisine from around the world and dinner theaters to delight young and old with shows, music, comedy, dancing and even medieval jousting are found in every corner. Several golf clubs are also located in this vacation hotspot making it an ideal destination for all families. It was located fully inside the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The city was controlled by Walt Disney Productions and allowed it powers that other area attractions had not had. The city was completely moved, taking over some land that had been part of the City of Bay Lake and including some other land that had formerly been unincorporated.


A magical history.

The Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village opened in 1975 with restaurants and souvenir shops for guests to enjoy. It was the first of its kind to bring high quality, unique shops to an already popular destination of Magic Kingdom. In 1977, the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village was renamed to the Walt Disney World Village in hopes that guests would recognize the area as a place that was a part of Disney World and therefore, they should visit it during their vacation. In 1997, the entire area was rebranded under the name Downtown Disney. Disney increased its marketing, promoting the area as a shopping, dining, entertainment, and nightlife district for adults to spend time after the theme parks and fun for families to dine in at a themed restaurant, enjoy live entertainment, and shop for souvenirs. The area underwent another refurbishment in 2015 to become Disney Springs. Today it offers some of the most memorable shopping, entertainment, and dining experiences at Walt Disney World. 

Lake Buena Vista is a municipality controlled by the Walt Disney Company. The city of Lake Buena Vista was established in 1967 as a subdivision of Orlando with the intention of being the future property of the Walt Disney World Resort. Disney developers originally planned on the resort being built around the plot of land between I-4 and Highway 535, but Walt Disney requested that the Lake Buena Vista area be included in these plans as he believed the area held potential for a shopping area, entertainment area, and even residential homes. 

Disney decides who gets to live in Lake Buena Vista; the company’s policy is to lease plots only to salaried employees and their families, or to recent Disney retirees. Lake Buena Vista has a population of 27. 

Although the mailing addresses for the Walt Disney World Resort and Epcot are Lake Buena Vista, all four of the Disney theme parks are physically located in the city of Bay Lake. 


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