Big changes are already visible at Downtown Disney, as its metamorphosis into Disney Springs continues full speed ahead.
A slew of new restaurants and shopping venues are steadily taking shape. Entire sections of the district have been eradicated and barriers erected, leading some Orlando residents and visitors to find scavenger-hunt-like fun in deconstructing the large-scale renderings on the construction walls to determine the locations of the long-awaited new additions.
A few, however, need no such detective work.
The Art of Shaving had two recent openings in Orlando: at Disney and at the Mall at Millenia — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
Well-known men’s grooming haven The Art of Shaving has opened its doors, offering high-end creams, lotions, razors, brushes, soaps and more for the man who prefers a more spa-like experience in his bathroom mirror.
With beard and mustache culture at something of a fashion peak, those looking for the right product or some solid advice from the shop’s attendants should pop in and check it out.
Premium razors, oils, balms and lotions are among the high-end wares at The Art of Shaving — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
Its adjacent Barber Spa serves up an indulgent shaving experience. Beard and/or mustache trims begin at $35. But for the ultimate in man-pampering, go for the Royal Shave ($55 for 45 minutes), which includes Art of Shaving’s ritual “Four Elements of the Perfect Shave.”
A steamy, hot towel sets the stage for luxurious pre-shave oil, hot lather and a straight-razor shave by a skilled master barber. It’s a double-layer process, going with the grain, then against, for the ultimate in closeness. A litany of post-shave treatments, oils and ointments ensures guests leave not only relaxed, but also looking and smelling their best.
Pop-ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended.
Chapel Hats should prove a popular addition for those seeking respite from the Orlando sun — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
Over at Chapel Hats, the chapeaus range from simple sun visors to stylish straw, royal family-appropriate fascinators to $400 steampunk masterpieces. Though the latter is clearly a highly specialized item, the bulk of stock here is reasonably priced and wonderfully apropos for Orlando’s oft-blazing UVs.
While stylish wool numbers populate several shelves in cool weather, staffers note that come summer, these are replaced by more suitably seasonal offerings.
Those looking for even more shade may want to peek in at the Springs’ new Apex by Sunglass Hut, as well. It showcases a vast selection of specs.
Chapel Hats' selection runs the gamut from casual to cosplay — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
With so many new venues on tap and visible construction causing a bit of confusion, as visitors make their way in to check out the progress on the Springs’ lovely open-air promenades, one might think parking would be a bit out of sorts. Inside the Springs’ new garage, however, things are more orderly than you'd expect.
Signs – both grounded and overhead – let drivers know precisely the number of available spots on each level, in each row and, perhaps most delightfully, they even point the way to open spaces.
Gone are the days of the surreptitious Hummer-obscured Mini-Coop creating undue aggravation! Red or green lights over each space allow drivers to locate available slots with no need for x-ray vision.
While the garage is hardly the most glamorous addition to Disney Springs, for drivers looking to ease into their vacations, it could easily end up the most magical.