Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is everything Disney Springs should be and that leads one quickly to a simple question, why doesn’t most of Disney Springs follow this model? Themed experiences are what separates the Walt Disney Company’s theme parks and other offerings from nearly every other company in the world. It’s one of their key differentiators and from the moment you walk into the Hangar Bar you can literally feel the difference.
It’s emotional in a way you can’t describe until you actually feel it for yourself but simply put very few can put together a vision of a themed experience together with the precise attention to detail and flair that Disney gets right far more often than not. When The Walt Disney Company much like Apple controls their experience from end to end it often results in a much better product than otherwise. And the moment you step outside into Disney Springs’ The Landing and out from the wonderful Hangar, you step into a Microsoft like approach where Disney controls part of the experience but leaves others to fill in the blanks and the theming doesn’t truly transport you. Disney Springs is perhaps the nicest outdoor mall you’ve ever been to (even though most of it is still under construction) but it’s not what it could be and honestly not what it should be, a place that makes me forget I’m at that four letter word — mall.
It’s a lot to ask for, it surely is not an easy task. And to Disney’s credit Disney Springs is looking more and more beautiful by the day. Town Center, the true new spring for Disney Springs will only add to the nostalgic Floridian theming. But there will likely always be something missing from this Disney Springs equation, something The Hangar Bar quickly reminds us of — pure Disney. It’s why most of us are here at Walt Disney World in the first place, isn’t it?
As for Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar it’s pretty stellar if you can look past the Disney prices. The inside is wall-to-wall decor, it’s rich and it’s our first step into Disney’s new ownership of the Indiana Jones brand. It’s a great sign for things to come but honestly would be better served at Disney’s Hollywood Studios amongst other themed experiences. At Disney Springs it only marginally fits in with The Landing’s light transportation motif best exemplified by the flagship restaurant The Boathouse but lost most everywhere else at The Landing. The specialty drinks are as you’d expect and the bar food is adequate, though the presentation is quite nice. Service was courteous and themed but was lacking. Our waters were never refilled and we were never asked if we would like another drink or bite. Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to it but on an opening day where Disney service is usually above and beyond any setbacks are a bit worrisome. Outside is peaceful but in my opinion not worth the prices, indoor is where the rich theming and show is and that’s the place to be. So for my money that’s where you should stick to. And when you do, it will be glorious. You may find out how Indiana Jones and Jock ventured to Florida in search of the “Fountain of Youth” and decided to open up shop at Disney Springs. There is a world to discover and we will have more to share with you from the Hangar tonight (live at www.periscope.com/damousenews ) and in the coming days.
For now we are left to wonder, why Disney didn’t just theme all of Disney Springs to the level we know they could. Why didn’t they operate more of the experiences and take everything to the next level like Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar wonderfully represents. Perhaps they were afraid of the enormity of that commitment. Good thing that at least they weren’t afraid of snakes!