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First Look: Waterfront District ‘Hyperion Wharf’ Among Plans for Downtown Disney

posted on November 18th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Artist Rendering of the New Waterfront District 'Hyperion Wharf' at Downtown Disney

How about that? New dining, shopping and entertainment experiences are in the works for Downtown Disney and today we’re sharing a first look at what to expect in the future for the 120-acre complex. Look closely and you’ll see that Pleasure Island will evolve into a vibrant waterfront district called “Hyperion Wharf.”

Artist Rendering of the New Waterfront District 'Hyperion Wharf' at Downtown Disney

The district will come to life with a nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th century port city and amusement pier. 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.

Taking its name from Hyperion, the Greek god of light, as well as the street on which Walt Disney built his first major animation studio, the wharf district will also feature a relaxing lakeside park and enhanced pedestrian walkways. And its diverse eateries will expand dining availability at Downtown Disney by more than 25 percent.

Artist Rendering of the New Waterfront District 'Hyperion Wharf' at Downtown Disney

Along with the new wharf district, other projects are underway at Downtown Disney, including:

  • An extensive renovation of Lego Imagination Center, which will increase its overall footprint by nearly 3,500 square-feet and add new Lego exterior models featuring scenes from classic Disney movies.
  • Enhancements at AMC Theatres that will take the movie-going experience at Downtown Disney to the next level with new digital technology, a Concession Stand of the Future and Florida’s first Fork & Screen Theater; and…
  • Numerous new or renovated retail shops and merchandise vignettes, as well as additional atmosphere entertainment, throughout Downtown Disney.

Construction on the district begins immediately and it’s scheduled to be completed in 2013.

Pretty exciting, huh? Let us know what are you most looking forward to.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort



Lou from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

LOVE it!!! I’ve been waiting (and hoping) for the rebirth of the Pleasure Island district, and I think that Hyperion Wharf (great name BTW!) will make this a true destination for entire families.


Kevin from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Good deal. Kinda wish something could be done with what once was Virgin Megastore, something definately missing from there.


Michael from NY on November 18th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I would look forward to the re-opening of the Adventurer’s Club….Kungaloosh!!


Sarah on November 18th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Unless you want to loose business to City Walk, you should really consider having something just for adults.


John on November 18th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I’m most looking forward to Mannequins reopening! Now get to work on that one!


Rob from WA on November 18th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Sad to see Mannequin’s go … it was frequently voted the best dance club in America, and I had fond memories there. Also sad to hear the Wharf won’t be finished for my honeymoon in September.


Gary on November 18th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I agree with Chris and Sarah. My wife and I go off property for adult-oriented entertainment and dining, specifically to City Walk.
I vote for the return of the Adventurer’s Club also.


Wendy from NH on November 18th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Let me join the chorus of those singing the praises of the Adventurer’s Club. We are not “bar people;” still, every trip we made to WDW included a night of fun at the Adventurer’s Club (and a few side trips to Comedy Warehouse). I prize my souvenirs from there, and miss it still every trip we have made since it was taken away. The new theme certainly looks to me like there could be room for that idea…



Jeffrey from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

This is wonderful, now can we have the Adventurer’s Club added back in as one of the new establishments? PLEASE?!


Randy from MI on November 18th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Please…please…PLEASE…bring back the Adventurers Club!!! Make it bigger with a meal venue..what ever it takes…


Christie on November 18th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

That looks amazing!! I cant wait! The only thing I would tweek is adding back in the ADVENTURER’S CLUB! That was a great place!


Joanna from VA on November 18th, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with Ana from TX…bring back some cool “adult” places like the Adventurer’s Club and the Comedy Club.


Connie from NJ on November 18th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

This looks amazing!! I am looking forward to the change but, missing Pleasure Island. We LOVE Downtown Disney and can’t wait, just wish it didn’t have to take so long.


Chris on November 18th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

It does look very cool! However, I can’t say I have sen anything that would make me want to make a special trip. I was hoping there would be something a little more unique that just more of the same – restaurants and shops. Quite frankly, they could probably save the construction costs and the same number of people will visit Downtown Disney regardless.


Julie from MO on November 18th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

This is sooooo exciting. Good to see more of Walt’s dreams come true.
We never go to the Pleasure Island side so this is something to look forward too.
Can you make it happen sooner?
Thanks for more restaurants too!


Mark from NJ on November 18th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Just what WDW needs :-( I don’t think so. More places to eat and shop. The concept and original execution of PI was great, but you had to go and mess it up by not keeping it a ticketed adult area. No, you had to have the flow through foot traffic from DTD to Westside. Mark that a failure. What was wrong with having a ticketed adult area? I’m 54 years old and while I didn’t go into the younger dance clubs I did go to 8 Trax, the Adventurers Club, the comedy club and the Wild Horse Saloon.
Don’t get me wrong, I hope this works, but I just don’t see me wanting to shop and eat more than I already do. Somebody up above said it sounds like a glorified strip mall and I can’t say that I disagree.


Spencer on November 18th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Ditto on the Adventurers Club! Bring it back and the wife and I will happily spend a fortune at Hyperion Wharf!


William on November 18th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

First, let me say that I like what I am seeing in the concept drawings for Hyperion Wharf. The revitalized areas make a bold and vibrant statement. I usually stay at Saratoga Springs Resort so DTD is within walking distance and while my main reasons for visiting WDW are still the parks I do spend time there. I look forward to the new area and what it holds.
I know that this not a forum for the Adventurer’s Club but after reading the other comments the revitalization has struck a nerve. Almost half the comments have remarks regarding the demise of Adventurer’s Club. It makes me see that I’m not alone in my memories. As new plans go forth maybe this is the time re-imagine some of what has been lost.


Jessica from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I’ve read some negative and positive comments above. My question is will this new DTD be FREE and FREE parking as BEFORE????? Or will this be something you have to PAY to visit and shop? I ALWAYS sell to tourists and family/friends to visit DTD cause its just as MAGICAL and bonus is its FREE. For people that DON’T have the time or money to visit the parks they get to still shop and experience a little of what Disney has to offer them. I will go either way but its a tough sale if we are NOW going to have to PAY for this EXPANSION!! Hope it stays FREE.


Lee from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Eh….looks pretty….
But without the Adventurers Club it fails. Miserably.
Seriously…bring back the Club!


Chad from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Please give us variety of offerings, not the same types of restaraunts and shopping we already see…


Michael from OK on November 18th, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Time to do what so many people would like for Disney to do-reopen The Adventurers Club.


Jennie from SC on November 18th, 2010 at 2:10 pm

PLEASE, PLEASE, BRING BACK ADVENTURER’S CLUB!!!! How can Disney ignore such a huge fan base!!


Richard from LA on November 18th, 2010 at 2:16 pm

When Walt Disney said, “We believed in our idea – a family park where parents and children could have fun – together” he wasn’t planning to tear down beloved places to put in an “enhanced” pedestrian walkway. Bring back the Adventurers Club!


Erik on November 18th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Another Disney mall. Where is the fun for adults on property now?! You do realize that Universal City Walk is JUST down the street, right?! Bring back the Adventurer’s Club. Listen to your fans.


Craig on November 18th, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Kudos Disney! Pleasure Island was a swing and a miss. If it was as spectacular as some think it was, it would surely still be there. Glad that you realized that night clubs and all the problems that they bring don’t fit into the Disney theme. :)


Brodie on November 18th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Nothing presented has half the of the true Disney imagination that was present on every sqaure inch of the Adventurers Club. This is a very pretty mall, but it’s a mall.


Hollis from MD on November 18th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I used to buy premium annual passports for our family because of the Adventurers Club. That ended when the Adventurers Club ended. Keeping it seemed, at least to me, like a no brainer. But I guess it wasn’t a no brainer after all. It’s sad, really.


Alison on November 18th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Disney, I love your product, I stand behind you and defend your product, but have you noticed a trend on this post? There is still that yearning to bring the Adventurer’s Club back. To those who say good riddance, clubs don’t fit in Walt’s vision, I doubt they have ever been to the Adventurer’s Club. It was a perfect Disney product with a very loyal Disney following. We knew the Balderdash Cup results would never change, but we still loved frequenting the show as much as possible. Downtown Disney should not turn into a fancy mall with shops, restaurants, and a movie theatre. Offerings like the Adventurer’s Club made it more unique. Disney is built for everyone–including adults who don’t have children.


Susan from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Yes, the Adventurers Club was a unique venue. One that will truly be missed.


Kimberly on November 18th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Love it – love the name, too! I hope there is some way to fit in the Adventurer’s Club! I miss it every time we are in Downtown Disney.


Max from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

You may want to change that to first fork & dine theater in Orlando.

Cinébistro at the Dolphin Mall does in theater dining for films.

Other than that, it’s nice to finally see something happening in that area. It’s like a sad, little ghost town there most of the time.


Michelle on November 18th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Looks great, but just as MANY have said before me: We need some adult fun spots. My friends and I are young enough to dance and have fun, but too old to go to the “clubs”. 8 trax, Motions, Manniquiens, they offered us a fun, SAFE place to dance and have a good time. I don’t want to go to City Walk. Disney is were I want to be. The food and shops are great and I’d love to see more choices, but give us semi-old timers our night on the town!!!


Julie from WA on November 18th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

We can’t travel to Orlando as often as we like, nor can we see everything on any given visit, but the Adventurer’s Club was always the one absolutely-must-do on our agenda. We were heartbroken last year to learn that it no longer existed. Please, please reconsider letting it fade away; house it somewhere else if you must, but bring it back to life!

And good luck with the redevelopment. More shops, wow.


Mike on November 18th, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Theme in The Adventure’s Club, Comedy Warehouse and Mannequins…and I will be excited! I am tired of driving to City Walk~!


Heather on November 18th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I’m hoping that the Adventurer’s Club will be back in the new location. It was always my favorite thing to do after a day in the parks.


Betsy from IL on November 18th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Although this looks nice, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be changing all that much. There are already stores and restaurants in Pleasure Island, Market Place, and West End. So basically it’ll just look nicer…and it’s going to take them 2.5+ years to do this?
Please, Disney, bring back the Adventurer’s Club! We all get that before it was too extreme with all the clubs, but it was so drastic to take them ALL away! Keep Adventure’s, and perhaps one dance club, then it’ll be a nice blend! There are already a ton of restuarants and stores on WDW property!


Aimee on November 18th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Family friendly entertainment seems to be what Hyperion Wharf seems to be all about. I remember loving the Adventures Club as a teen and an adult with my parents. Please bring it back so I can share that experience with my husband and family!!!


Debra on November 18th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Some really cool stuff going on here, Thomas.

But like many, many others have said, without the Adventurers Club, these plans feel incomplete. Kungaloosh!


Kristine from CA on November 18th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

The Adventurer’s Club was the most unique, engaging experience Downtown! I really felt like i was part of the Club when I went, the shows were incredibly fun, and every nook and cranny had something interesting to look at! It felt like I lost something very special when I found out it had closed. The pieces are all still there — please bring it back!!!


dan on November 18th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Oh my God!
I am SO EXCITED to see “The Concession Stand of the Future”!!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is pretty nice, I guess, but I am telling you, the Concession Stand of the Future is going to be what keeps Disney at the top of the mountain for the next 20 years!


Christine from TN on November 18th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

When we had the Adventurer’s Club to go to, my teen-aged daughter and I went to WDW every 4 months. We’d go to the parks during the day and AC at night. I haven’t been back to WDW in some time, mainly because of the loss of the AC. I would love to see it incorporated in Hyperion Wharf.


Gregory from TX on November 18th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Looks nice, but I won’t be visiting that area without the Adventurers Club! Kongaloosh!


Sharon on November 18th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

This looks really beautiful, and it is definitely exciting to see that there is some energy being put into reviving this lonely stretch of property! I would love to see a resurrection of the beloved Adventurer’s Club, as well as perhaps the comedy club and a mixed music dance club (maybe different genres of music on different nights of the week). Please remember that even people who travel with their family enjoy some time at venues geared toward adults, but with the whimsical and playful style that only Disney can deliver.


Dave from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I have not been back to Disneyworld since August 2008, which was the last time I visited the Adventurers Club. It was a great wind-down for an adult, after a full day’s adventure in the park.

The artist’s renderings look enticing, but I have a feeling that a money hungry wolf is waiting to scam me out of my hard earned vacation dollars. I least at “Adventurers Club,” I felt EVERYONE associated with the club enjoyed my company, therefore I spent more and tipped better!


Anonymous on November 18th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Please bring back the Adventurers Club!!! Kongaloosh!!!


ANDREA on November 18th, 2010 at 2:58 pm



Matthew on November 18th, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Taking away the Adventurer’s Club was like taking away Magic Kingdom. It was a major part of our several WDW trips. Now that it is gone… We are happy to find a new place to go on vacation.
There are lots of cheaper places to shop and eat that are just as enjoyable.


Chris on November 18th, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Looks good! Disney needs to bring back the Adventure’s Club to this venue. It’s uniqueness was truly Disney “magic” at its best and it needs to come back!


Cara on November 18th, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Please, please, please bring back the Adventurer’s Club! Bring it back to this new complex or to some other location. I can’t stand the thought that my son who was born after it closed will never see it!