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

Thomas Smith

by , 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.


  • Glad to see some utilization of the space, but would really love to hear that the Adventurers Club was going to be added to the new Hyperion Wharf themed area. We would go there almost every night when we were in Walt Disney World before they decided to close Pleasure Island. Now there isn’t a whole lot to draw us to Downtown Disney. Bring it back and the people will come!

  • I am shopper, so new stores are always exciting, however, I am not interested in more homogenized merchandise that can be found in every WDW gift shop. I am interested in unique Disney experiences like the Adventurers Club! So, I sincerely hope you bring it back in some way shape or form. And by all means add on a gift shop or restaurant, just bring it back!

  • Disney! Are you listening???

  • Looks Great…Just needs the Adventure’s Club and Comedy Club back

  • Well, I do like the idea of updating the overall theme of Pleasure Island, since the lore sort of got lost amidst the updating of individual locations on Pleasure Island. However, one of PI’s most magical assets, The Adventurer’s Club, really should have been included in the make-over. That was one piece of Disney magic that should never have gotten the boot.

  • Sooo… Adventurers Club anyone?

  • Please, please, bring back the Adventurer’s Club!!!

  • Kungaloosh! Will there be a club where adventurers can feel at home? Like an adventurers club of some sort. That’s what I’d like to see as a DVC member who makes frequent visits to WDW. I visited PI twice on my trip last week, solely to take photos of the old club.

  • Looks great EXCEPT . . . where’s the Adventurers Club?!?!?!?!? Please bring it back.

  • It all looks really great, and could be a competitor to other areas, but come on… It’s modelled as a nostalgic look back to an early 20th Century port. Where else would you look for an Adventurers Club? It has to be there. Please find a place for it with its collection of off the wall characters. It was so popular and everyone has been crying out for this. Show that you listen to your guests and we’ll be back! Kongaloosh!

  • In theory, I like this. I love the name, too. However, even as the mom of young kids, I would love to see some actual nightlife come back. A few clubs, the street parties, etc. It was a fun, relaxing atmosphere!!

  • The new plans look amazing! To echo the common sentiment here, though… bring back the Adventurer’s Club!

    Marching along we’re adventurers,
    Singing the song of adventurers…

  • Looks good, but adding an “Adventurer’s Club’-type venue would make it much better. “Madison’s Dive”, the original concept of an Adventure’s hangout, would fit well. Kungaloosh!

  • Adventurer’s Club, please. As an adult with no kids, this was one of the key experiences I looked forward to when coming to WDW.

  • This looks amazing and really a step up from what pleasure island had become. I miss very much the adventures club but the rest of the area didn’t look even close to the renders above. Truly looks great!

  • So does that mean Adventurer’s Club will be restored? It fits in perfectly with the new theme! And it was the best part of the old PI. I hope it’ll be somehow included. Otherwise, Disney will be ruining a great thing for no reason.

  • This looks awesome! But it won’t be if they don’t bring back the Adventurers Club!!!

  • Looks like a nice redesign but shops and restaurants are still just shops and restaurants. As a stock holder I’m disappointed. Can we please have entertainment and Disney unique ideas back? Can you really only imagineer stores now? The Adventurer’s Club could be up and running fairly quickly and providing that Disney magic back to the area that it is missing, along with all the revenue it’s patrons bring to your beloved shops and restaurants. Please bring it back along with a couple of other fun forms of evening entertainment. Hopefully it’s already a part of the plan!

  • I really like the Hyperion Wharf concept art. But honestly, I would love to see the Adventurer’s Club return. I think it’d fit in beautifully here!

  • Unfortunately it looks like many other shopping districts today (including Downtown Disney in Anaheim) that one can find in their home town or a stones throw away. I’d like to see the Adventurers Club and Comedy Warehouse back to the Island or WDW property, at the very least. Reinvigorate the area with home-grown Disney innovation – not 3rd party cookie cutter gimmicks. Give something to those of us who grew up with Disney to enjoy, who seem to be given the cold shoulder as of late (grown up folk with or without kids, who enjoyed what PI was back in the day).

  • While it will be nice to have an expanded Lego store and some new restaurants they still need to do something about a lack of adult entertainment. I don’t see why the Adventurer’s Club wouldn’t fit into the area still. My husband and I just spent a weekend at Disney without the kids and only spent 1 night at Downtown Disney. There is nothing fun to do there anymore! I miss the Adventurer’s Club and the Comedy Club so much. All we did was bar hop and frankly I expect more from Disney! We opted for 2 nights at Jellyrolls so at least we had some entertainment!

  • This looks ok – but lets be honest – it’s not the Adventurer’s Club is it!? I used to spend many happy nights of my anual 2 week vacation in there and the Comedy Store, for the last 2 years there’s been no reason to go to Downtown Disney – if I want to shop or eat there are plenty of other places to do this in Disneyworld. Now I spend my vacation evenings between Jellyrolls at the boardwalk – which is ok but lacks the ‘wow’ factor of the Adventurers club, and the various bars at Citywalk – which is a pain when I’m staying on Disney Property.
    Please bring back the amazing – and unique Adventurers Club in Disneyworld – stick a restaurant in there if you have to – but just bring it back!
    ‘Marching along we’re adventurers…….!’

  • Please, please, please bring back the Adventurer’s Club. It was the best thing about the whole Disney experience! When we were at Disney earlier this fall, we went to PI just so we could gaze sadly at the shuttered AC and remember the great times we had there. My wife and I sang the club song on the steps. :) So please bring it back! Kongaloosh!

  • This looks good to me…I am glad to see some for that area.


    PLEASE bring back Adventurer’s Club. That place was SO Disney! I liked to think of it almost like an adult version of the Jungle Cruise…full of silly humor and fun. It was never more of a “BAR” than EPCOT is. I did always feel that “Pleasure Island” was a poor choice of a name for the area, but now that that moniker is gone, re-opening the Adventurer’s Club only makes sense. Make it larger. Add food if you want. Make it an interactive restaurant with a lounge area. Whatever….just bring it back.

    I guarantee a re-opened Adventurer’s Club would draw people like crazy… I can’t believe anyone could think otherwise.

    All in all… a great start… now – just finish up with bringing back AC, and you’ll all be heroes for thousands and thousands of people now and many more who will discover the place in years to come.

  • The best part of Pleasure Island was the Adventurers Club! Certainly it could have been saved or reworked into a dinner show. I can eat at an Irish pub at home. I can shop online. I can buy Legos at Wal-Mart. The Adventurers Club was UNIQUE and SPECIAL and had the Disney magic that brings you back year after year. When I lived in Orlando I went to DD/PI every weekend because it was so much fun. I won’t go on my next trip. It’s not worth the bus ride to just go to a mall.

  • Hyperion Wharf would be a great location for the Adventurer’s Club!!! KUNGALOOSH

  • So where is the Adventurer’s Club now?

    I managed to go once before Disney shuttered it. AC is the one Disney place with the most ‘return with a friend’ appeal. AC can be considered to be in the same class of ‘Come see this’ as Small World and Hoop-Dee-Do but was a lot more fun and interesting. Lots of weird items to look at. Lots of weird people to carry the show on to the next room. Lot’s of entertainment value.

    AC was refreshingly nice to not fit exactly into the Disney cookie cutter mold, but that is ultimately what did it in. Or was it because it was under-marketed.

    The art looks a lot like a shopping section out of California Adventure. The very same part that you skip over to get to the rides.

  • Please, please, please bring back The Adventurer’s Club! From our first visit on our honeymoon to our last when our seven year old daughter was treated to a ride on the barstool and a conversation with the Colonel The Adventurer’s Club was our favorite. In 2010 we really need a slice of 1937!

  • This looks absolutely beautiful. My wife and I are DVC members and usually stay at Saratoga. It has been really sad to see Downtown Disney take so many steps back over the years. I think the point that most people are missing is that it’s not just about shopping and dining… it’s about the experience. And right now, DTD feels like its on the decline. There is simply no magic there anymore. Can’t wait to see it revitalized. That being said, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, please bring back the Adventurers Club! Please!

  • As many have said, bring back the Adventurer’s Club. After going to the parks during teh day, we enjoyed some adult oriented fun at Pleasure Island. There really is nothing like the club and we have found ourselves coming to WDW less. Please bring it back. Kungaloosh!!!

  • I think this idea of reimagineering Pleasure Island into Hyperion Wharf is terrific.. i look forward to the new stores and restaurants. However, I am very disheartened to see all of the clubs abandoned completely. The Adventurers Club was so beloved by so many of us … it HAS to have a place inside this beautiful new complex … PLEASE SAVE THE ADVENTURERS CLUB – We miss it so much! I hope that Walt Disney World resort revisits SAVING the ADVENTURERS CLUB! KUNGALOOSH!

  • I sure hope there’s room for a comedy club and the return of the Adventurers Club – or a new iteration of it. I stopped going to Downtown Disney when they closed.

  • as interesting as this sounds, How come you cant put PI the way it was. I mean you want family oriented fine. But what about the young adults and full grown adults that want to go have night out away from the kids and go to clubs like the adventurers club or any of the dance clubs you had down there.

  • I was just at DW and had a blast. I went by my old favorite place, the Adventurers Club, and got a little choked up to see the old place closed up. I traveled from Dallas Tx to DW once a year for about 10 years running, and my favorite thing was to hang out at the Adventurers club. It was such good fun and I have so many great memories of the place. I hope the new design is able to include the club and possibly re-open it. Kungaloosh!

  • This looks great and all… and I understand getting rid of adult only night clubs (kind of) but… What about Adventures Club and Comedy Warehouse!?!?! People have worked endlessly to see them stay open and are still trying to get Disney’s attention to re-open them! They would work great here and EVERYONE wants them back! Family friendly options that are not just food and shopping. There has to be more the food and shopping so, why not give the people what they want and re-open Adventures Club and Comedy Warehouse!!!

  • Another vote to bring back the Adventurer’s Club to what looks like a wonderful destination. Adventurer’s Club to me was totally a Disney experience, in a direct line from the Jungle Cruise and Adventureland to most everything in Animal Kingdom (especially Expedition Evererst) The theming, animatronics, and particularly the awesome, talented cast made this club an experience like no other on earth.
    Each visitor to Walt Disney World IS an adventurer- we need this place to relax and revel in our exploits. (perhaps what’s needed is ties to the other park adventures?)

  • Sure wish that the Adventurer’s Club was a part of these plans.

  • I want the folks making all the decisions about Hyperion Wharf to know that it will not be complete unless you reopen the Adventurers Club as part of it. Many of us die hard Disney fans, the people whose advise you should be taking to heart, want it back in a big way! It was a special and unique part of WDW and things just aren’t the same without it. Please, please reopen our club as part of Hyperion Wharf! Kungaloosh!

  • Looks nice but is missing the Adventurer’s Club. Not worth the trip with out it! Bring back the AC!!!

  • Please bring back the Adventurer’s Club, it is sorely missed!!!

  • Please say that you’re bringing back the Adventurers’ Club. That would definitely make a lot of us happy, and I would gladly visit Hyperion Wharf several times a year just to see them! (And I don’t even live in Florida!)

  • Please consider bringing back the Adventurer’s Club or something similar. It was an amazing mix of Disney entertainment that really stood out as a unique destination. My wife and I used to stay near Downtown Disney, so that we could be within walking distance of the Adventurer’s Club. It was a great way to wind up a day at the parks with a little shopping and a drink in the most entertaining bar in the world before heading back to the hotel.

  • We want the Adventurers Club back. I go to Disney 2 or 3 times a year from NJ. I don’t go to DTD without PI and Kungaloosh.

  • Looks very incomplete… where’s the Adventurer’s Club?

  • It’s an interesting concept, and I’m sure it’ll be neat… but I was just at Downtown Disney the other night and found myself hoping that the Adventurer’s club would be re-introduced with the coming renovations. Is it possible that the club could find a place amongst the new attractions at Hyperion Wharf? The Adventurer’s club was a neat idea, and as a local to the area, it was a fantastic place to hang out when you were at the parks… and having it tucked in amongst the new shops and things like that would really be neat… might even contribute to the atmosphere and attraction to the updated section of DD for people like myself. Dare I say, Kungaloosh?

  • Which building in the concept art is the Adventurers Club? The return of the Adv Club is a must if this is to succeed.

  • There was nothing on PI that represented the Disney immersion experience like the Adventurer’s Club. Trading shopping for experience just doesn’t make me think “Disney.”

  • This looks neat and I love the idea of a fork and screen theatre experience. But I really miss the Adventurer’s Club. It was a truly unique location. So much more could have been done with it to fit it into a non-nightclub sort of scenario. Sure, it could have still had the bar, but it also could have been a place to have tea in the afternoon and a quiet reprieve from the shopping. With Steampunk becoming more and more popular, now more than ever it would fit right in. Bring back the Adventurer’s Club!

  • I’m sorry. I love all things Disney, but what I miss the most is the Adventurers Club. PLEASE bring it back! Every time a relative or friend came into town, I would say,”You have to go and see this place!”. It has been a while since I visited, and I’m sure it’s because my favorite “haunt” is no more. My all time favorite memory of my sister’s visit, was at the Adventurers Club. While I’m on my soap box, and before anymore favorites go by the wayside, please don’t ever do away with the Food and Wine Festival or Disney’s Very, Merry Christmas. Thanks for listening and best wishes on your new opening.Kungaloosh!

  • Yay! Does that mean we’ll finally get the Adventurer’s Club back?? Please bring it back/remodel it to fit/whatever – we really miss it!! It was the best thing about DTD….. :-(

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