Friday, November 19, 2010

Goodbye Pleasure Island....Hello Hyperion Wharf

It's been over 2 years since Disney officially closed down Pleasure Island.  Two years ago, we lost the clubs and party atmosphere that completed this parcel of land.

For two years....Pleasure Island has sat, like a shell of  it's former self...sure you could see glimpses on the outside about what this unique area was all about, but it was all a tease as you couldn't actually go inside.

Oh...and two years ago, Disney promised us that they would reveal a "Bold New Vision."

After what seemed to have taken forever to come up with a "vision" (I'm sure hampered greatly by the economic downturn) Disney finally announced yesterday, plans for the area that now formerly will be called Pleasure Island.

The whole idea of Pleasure Island has officially died in exchange for a new idea called Hyperion Wharf.

Hyperion Wharf is going to be a 120 acre complex with new dining, shopping, and entertainment mixed together to create one vibrant district.  According to The Disney Parks Blog, by day, stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants will draw you in and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland.

Other aspects of this updated area will include an expanded LEGO store with a larger footprint and new LEGO models of Disney Movies and the AMC Theater will get updated with a Concession Stand of the Future and a Fork and Screen Theater, plus various other updates to the whole Downtown Disney area. 

As a former Pleasure Island fan (and more specifically Adventurer's Club fan), I was saddened when this whole area closed down.  But I was also realistic in realizing that the area simply wasn't as grand as it once was when it first open.  The majority of the clubs were empty a lot of the time...and even when it was announced Disney was closing them for good...many weren't too disappointed, minus those of us who were Adventurer's Club fans.  (It was still a popular and entertaining place to go.  And it is still quite beloved.)

However, if you remove the sting of the knowledge that the Island that I once loved really is going to be changing, the area does look really nice.  Of course, I'm sure that it will just mean that Disney will be outsourcing everything...which isn't one of my favorite things that they do...but it looks like it will be lively once again.  Certainly a good step in the right direction.

And from the concept art, I will probably like the feel of the area.  It seems like it will be quite open and inviting.  It will be interesting to see what they do with Hyperion Wharf at night, since they are calling it an electric wonderland.  That sounds quite intriguing. 

And as I've reported previously, it looks like we may know one of the tenants to the new Hyperion Wharf area.  A restaurant by the name of Mahogany Bay, a nautical themed restaurant (which fits in with the new theme of the Hyperion Wharf area quite well) is apparently slated to be included in the mix.

Of course, Disney has been slowly making changes to the whole Downtown Disney area for the past 2 years with the additions of Little Miss Matched, T-Rex Cafe, RideMakerz, D-Street, Characters in Flight, Paradiso 37, and the newest to open Pollo Campero. So, it was plain to see that change was probably coming and coming soon for Pleasure Island.  

The new Hyperion Wharf area is expected to open completely in 2013.  Stay tuned here for more info on what's to come to this new entertainment/shopping/dining district.


sheila gallant-halloran said...

It's always sad to see a known entity change, but the new sounds interesting. Thanks for the post.

Becca said...

This does sound interesting! It would be nice to have an area just for "grown-ups" (if any of us who go to WDW can be called that!) but anything that creates more dining opportunities is a fantastic idea.

My one reservation is regarding a problem that I've already encountered in the general Downtown Disney area. I'm a former smoker, and even when I did smoke, I felt uncomfortable when I saw people walking around DTD with lit cigarettes. If they're going to develop the area in this way, I strongly feel that they need to designate smoking areas like they do in the parks.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of them reopening this part of DTD. However, I have a hard time seeing it as Hyperion Wharf??? Maybe I'm not the imagineer that I think I am, or maybe I just need confirmation that they are going to put out beloved Adventurers Club back! Whatever the case, I look forward to more updates!