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

posted on November 18th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Social Media 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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372 Comments

151

Elizabeth on November 18th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

The Adventurer’s Club needs to have a place in this new Hyperion Wharf!

152

john on November 18th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Hello, time to head back to Hong Kong and pick those artifacts back up. Are you hearing us?

153

Kim on November 18th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Bring back Adventurers Club! We stopped going to PI once Adventurers Club and Comedy Warehouse closed, both of which I miss very much! THe pictures of the new development look nice, but it won’t draw us to the warf. If Disney is interested in guests having “unique experiences”, both of those clubs were definitely unique and so much fun. We no longer get the Water Parks and More option on tickets because these two clubs are gone. They should return! :) Kungaloosh!

154

colin from somerset on November 18th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

The project looks spectacular, but feel there is already enough outlets for “retail therapy”. Would love to see the return of some of the old entertainment venues, especially The Adventurer’s Club. This would fit the concept perfectly. I so miss the friendly atmosphere and fun the club provided, and new development may also allow an expansion on the idea to include a restaurant themed in the same gentleman’s club genre. Cant wait to see the finished development, it will be great whatever happens, but would be truly fantastic if The Adventurer’s Club was returned.

155

Caitlin from RI on November 18th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I really hope there’s a new Adventurer’s Club! I loved it how it was.. so just … copy and paste it! It was definitely the best attraction in Disney World and it’s sad to see it’s gone. Bring the adventure back!

156

Barry on November 18th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

While the new designs look attractive, I’m just not seeing anything to draw me back to Downtown Disney. I used to go several nights a trip during my annual two week trip, now I drop by once to go to World of Disney and a couple of other shops. I just don’t see that there is a lot to do there. I prefer the restaurants in the Disney resorts to most of those in Downtown Disney–I used to go to the DD restaurants on my way to the Adventures Club and the Comedy Warehouse, but since their demise I don’t have much a of reason to venture over to DD. Instead I’ve been renting a car and heading off property. Bring back some real entertainment to DD. Bring back the Adventurers Club and I’ll be back. (BTW, I’m really not interested in going to see a movie while I’m at Disney World–I’m looking for experiences I can’t get at home. In fact, the theatres where I live are much nicer than the AMC.)

157

Kim on November 18th, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Please, please, please include the Adventurer’s Club in these new plans. It was absolutely the highlight of PI.

158

Kathryn from AR on November 18th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

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

159

Tom from PA on November 18th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I like the idea of this very much. and maybe they ncould extend the idea of 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 with adult entertainment,that the other posters have mentioned.

160

Janet from NC on November 18th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

This seems like an ideal time to “plus” this project. Bring back The Adventurer’s Club. Disney sends surveys all the time. Here’s a great chance to take the feedback and bring back a place that was loved by so many people. It really offered something so different.

It’s not too late.

Thanks!

161

Brian on November 18th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Hmm…is Disney getting the message yet? We want the Adventurers Club back!

Otherwise its the Boardwalk, and you’ve already got that elsewhere. This one would just have more parking.

162

Jay on November 18th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Bring back the Adventurer’s Club! Losing that place is one of the great disappointments of my Disney World experiences.

163

Karl on November 18th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

The Adventurers Club was the best “attraction” that Disney ever created. It just so happened that they also served alcohol. It was truly unique, and I miss it.
Bring back the Adventurers Club!!

Kungaloosh!

164

Scott on November 18th, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I’m still baffled and disappointed that Disney removed iconic entertainment experiences like the fantastic Adventurer’s Club and plan to replace it with utterly generic venues like enhanced movie theaters and more retail shopping. Disney characters in LEGO brick oustide the LEGO store won’t inspire me to vacation at WDW, nor will the Concession Stand of the future.

My home town has 30 AMC movie screens alone. Nearby Pasadena has a Gold Class ‘fork and movie’ theater. Carlsbad has LegoLAND. Where is anything uniquely Disney in these ‘enhancements’?

The Adventurers Club was a one-of-a-kind venue to be sure and it earned fans around the world (not to mention return visits by its devotees) for a reason: you couldn’t experience it anywhere else and it was first-class Disney entertainment all the way. It was one of the key attractions for my first vacation at WDW in 2001. I haven’t returned since the AC closed and was very sorry to see this Disney-only creation fade away in favor of commonly available franchise ‘attractions’, however brightly dressed up the surroundings are.

165

Jen on November 18th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Is it 2013 yet?!!! This looks amazing! I’m so excited to see this happen. The concept art looks beautiful and I’m sure the real thing will be 1000x better! Loving the renovations and changes that are happening at our beloved WDW!!

166

Richard from LA on November 18th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

When Walt Disney was planning Disneyland he didn’t tear down beloved places like the Adventurers Club to put in an “enhanced” pedestrian walkway. Bring back the Adventurers Club: Walt would have loved it. Adding more shopping and restaurants when WDW already has plenty? No.

167

Stephen on November 18th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I feel I must add to the overwhelming response of people clamoring for the return of the Adventurers Club. BRING IT BACK, DISNEY!!! NOW’S YOUR CHANCE!
Other than that, the changes look pretty cool, and should be a nice shot in the arm for Downtown Disney as a whole. For the past two years, walking through Pleasure Island has been like a sad, desperate tour of an abandoned amusement park. Looking forward to 2013!
-SteamboatStevie

168

John from PA on November 18th, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I think these plans could be great, if they include some nightlife for the adults. I only had one chance to visit the Advetureres Club as an adult, but I sure enjoyed myself. I think that without something like that to draw and KEEP adults interested after 10-11pm, this area will never reach the evening destination status the developers at WDW are hoping for. More evening entertainment of a varied and distinctly Disney variety are the answer!

169

Kate from NE on November 18th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

We also miss Adventurer’s Club. That could easily be expanded to include a restaurant. We have many fond memories there. It was a perfect place to bond with our adult children!

170

Andrew from GA on November 18th, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I see some shiny concept art and no real substance in terms of what the future holds. This is most a repeat of the promise for a “bold new vision,” we are getting more shopping and dining. That is already present at every park, every resort and even the rest of Downtown Disney. Maybe somebody will read all of these comments about the Adventurer’s Club and realize that we will pay good money to experience this unique venue once again.

171

Michael from NY on November 18th, 2010 at 5:58 pm

The only thing that matters is bringing back the Adventurer’s Club. All the other clubs, I could find similar clubs here in NY or anywhere else, really. But the AC was truly a one-of-a-kind experience that you could not find anywhere else. Disney really dropped the ball on this. I’m sure the new shops & restaurants will be nice, but nothing that you won’t be able to find elsewhere.

172

Barbara on November 18th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Gotta be something a lot better than that to entice me to return to the now defunct PI.

173

Bruce from NJ on November 18th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

This looks very nice, but back when the plans were decided to change the area from Pleasure Island into shops and restaurants, I sent a long letter to Disney explaining just how little we needed more shops. Pleasure Island was fine when it was treated like an Island. Once it became a general walkway between the Downtown Disney areas it became a problem. It was a great place for an evening out with your spouse or friends. The greatest loss in all of this is demise of The Adventurer’s Club. This was a truly unique and engaging place that was a standard stop on our Disney trips. While I like change and embrace it, I believe that this one was made for the wrong reasons and is a bit of a blemish on Disney’s record of usually making wise choices that are in the interest of its guests. I will continue to leave property and spend my dollars at CityWalk to have an evening out with my wife. Unfortunately, I have to pay for transportation. I would love to have a place like Pleasure Island on property again.

174

Kim on November 18th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Please include the Adventurers Club in your wharf plans! I dearly miss the place. I used to come to WDW with the family several times a year and trips to the club were a huge part of the draw. I travel on vacation to enjoy experiences I can’t have in Pliladelphia. I can see movies in a beautiful theater, eat in chain resturants and shop for junk at home – I don’t need to fly to Florida. We now only come to WDW when a new ride opens up. I hope to be able to celebrate at the Adventurers Club again someday. Until then, enjoy the world fellow adventurers! Congaloosh!!

175

Cassandra on November 18th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

OOOOOO Please make sure you add the return of the Adventurers Club in to these plans. DTD is just not the same without it! Kungaloosh! =D

176

Fred from PA on November 18th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

The additional atomosphere entertainment is a great idea. Incorporate live characters into the mix. Can you improve the traffic flow for parking.

177

Theresa from NY on November 18th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Sounds like a good spot for the return of the Adventure’s Club

178

Lucy on November 18th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

The Adventurers’ Club was the ONLY reason we ever went to PI. It was our whole family’s favorite attraction, even our middle/high schoolers LOVED IT! I can shop and eat anywhere; I won’t come back to downtown Disney unless the Adventurers’ Club returns.

179

Jennifer from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I think it is about time that something was done with this area because it is just not up to Disney standards but why oh why oh why can’t they find a place to keep the adventurers club? It is so sorely missed.

180

Dan on November 18th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Much like the WDW celebration for 2011 and the original plans for the princess heavy Fantasyland expansion, this is another letdown from Disney for me. The concept art for the water front looks like Universal’s CityWalk and the overall description sounds like WDW’s Boardwalk. At least Disney had the hindsight to re-imagine the Fantasyland expansion when they realized that it left out a demographic that they were neglecting.

Here’s hoping that at least one adult dance club or lounge makes it into the mix of “entertainment” offerings; maybe the return of the Adventurer’s Club?

181

Todd on November 18th, 2010 at 6:51 pm

So, the big news is that the Lego Store is expanding, and that the movie theaters will be digital? That’s not exactly innovative or exciting, compared to what I have at home. We come to WDW for unique experiences, like what you used to have with the Adventures Club, which was entertainment that no other place on earth had! Then there was the Comedy Warehouse, where the jokes were kept clean and you didn’t have to worry about a foul mouthed comedian. The improvements announced to Hyperion Wharf doesn’t look like anything better than what my local shopping mall has, nor does it have any night time draw that makes it look worthy of spending time after the parks have closed early in the evening. A rather dissapointing announcement. Give guests a reason why they should be there.

182

Barbara on November 18th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

What about the Adventurer’s Club?????? It was the BEST place to party at Disney. PLEASE bring it back! Kongaloosh!!!

183

john on November 18th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

We aren’t talking about a retired ride like Toad. They have their place in the history of the parks. No, AC was an icon and one which people came and spend time and maybe more importantly to Disney, money. Freely! If you can’t hear the outcry after two years of blogs and websites and guest pleas then you’re really not in the entertainment and resorts business for the right reasons.
How could it hurt to just say “okay, okay, we hear you” and just bring it back!

184

Amanda on November 18th, 2010 at 7:02 pm

That’s it? Sparkly lights and more dining. Yawn.

185

Ginny on November 18th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Well, this does look amazing but without the Adventurer’s Club it will have no heart whatsoever. Come on Disney, listen to the fans!

186

Michelle on November 18th, 2010 at 7:07 pm

If you brought back the Adventurers’ Club (maybe as a perk for DVC members; that would get me to finally join) and put a big store on it full of “exotic collectibles” and member items, I’d probably blow my entire college grant there.

Please bring back the Adventurers’ Club. Otherwise, there’s no real reason to visit this (pretty) shopping center.

187

John from IN on November 18th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Looks interesting but still miss Adventurers Club. `

188

geraldine from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 7:13 pm

ADVENUTER’S CLUB FOR LIFE 8:)

189

Lisa on November 18th, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Another joiner to the “Include the Adventurer’s Club” list! My kids are now 13 and 10 and they know the song but don’t know the club! Although I’m not as pathetic as the poster who gazed at the club’s shuttered windows (ok, so he is my brother — really, he is!), I am with him in spirit! A truly unique Disney experience that deserves a revival.

190

Matthew on November 18th, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I hope the Mouse at the top is listening…bring back the Adventurers Club

191

Andy on November 18th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

It’s a radical re-imagineering of Pleasure Island. Please consider including the interactive comedy clubs, especially the Adventurer’s Club. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know anyone who wants more retail and restaurants here. There’s more than enough already over the bridge. Build another site if you must – but why change something that was good and vibrant and worked? Rebuild, extend, redecorate, but removing pleasure Island IMHO is a big mistake for the mouse. It was a REAL pleasure to visit.

192

Diana from NY on November 18th, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I could not be more excited about this! I’ve really missed Pleasure Island (loved the Adventurer’s Club and Comedy Warehouse), and have felt Downtown Disney has been pretty boring the past couple years. This seems really great! I hope that it’s not all 3rd party vendors, though…I like my Disney magic!

193

john from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

I have been going to Disney in Fla.scince 1978. And have seen all the parks open. Watched Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island evolve.This new rendering of Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island looks Fantastic. All the rest. and stores are great cant wait to see it finished. [DVC Members also]

194

Eric on November 18th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

You need a Disney’s Broadway, a place where the most amazing disney broadway productions can live year after year for families and future families to enjoy these wonderful productions!

195

Steven on November 18th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Wake me up when the Adventurers Club gets added back in.

196

Ian on November 18th, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Wait, wasn’t Pleasure Island’s New Years Eve every night stopped supposedly due to concerns about disturbing guests at Saratoga Springs? The fireworks lasted, a few minutes, this mess is going to be lit from dusk till at least until 3AM! What excuse will be concocted to allow this I wonder. Come on Disney, listen to what we the Public truely want, an adult night time escape from the “Family” atmosphere where we can dance, laugh and most of all Adventure till our heart’s content. We NEED the ADVENTURES CLUB back we will not be silenced till it is returned! Kungaloosh!

197

Lisa from NY on November 18th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

I’m hoping that there are plans for the Adventurer’s Club to return…

198

ROBERT from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 7:36 pm

How disappointing. Pleasure Island night clubs represented the best of Disney Imagineering. The experiences at Mannequins, 8TRAX and Adventurers Club were things one could not get anywhere else. To just throw that all away for more restaurants and a few gift shops is just inexcusable.

199

Joseph from RI on November 18th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

This looks cool, but seems too much like more of the same stuff you can get at the other parts of Downtown Disney. The Adventurers Club was something unique and special and we miss it A LOT! Bring it back!

200

Kyle from FL on November 18th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Looks nice and I’m excited to see it develop over the next couple years. However, I really hope they can bring back the Adventurer’s Club. It was truly a unique experience and would do well in DTD. Please bring AC back…

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372 Comments