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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

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Robert from GA on November 29th, 2010 at 10:16 am

reply to #349

I understand what you’re saying. However, if you look carefully, you’ll see that practically all of these posts are not “calling for a return of nightclubs” but are overwhelmingly asking for a return of ONE club – Adventurers Club. Yes, there are some asking for all or some of the other night clubs, but that’s not what the excessively vast majority on here are asking for. And for that, your objections, don’t hold.

1) Adventurers Club was very well attended. There’s no way you can say that place was “usually” close to empty…and from what I understand (obviously I wasn’t there every night, but people I know where there very, very frequently) it was seldom, if ever, close to empty. If the total number of people attending the clubs didn’t cover the cost, then having a cover charge on just the Adventurers club would take care of that. I, and most likely everyone on this blog who have petitioned for its return, would gladly pay a cover charge nightly.

2) Adventurers Club most certainly DID fit Disney. It was no more out of place than the Rose and Crown is in the UK in Epcot. Yes, it had a bar – but how many other places have a bar in Walt Disney World? This, however, was much more than that. Take the same kind of silly and partially scripted humor of the Jungle Cruise and put it in an adult setting and you get Adventurers Club. There’s nothing any more non-Disney about it than any number of other locations all around Disney properties. As far as the “family” aspect goes, by the time Adventurers club was open and in full-swing each night, few people with children still had them out in places other than the Theme Parks. And, as has been suggested by more than one on here…it could easily be a full service restaurant during the majority of the daytime hours and then after a certain time each night it could become the club type setting that it was.

And as far as your thinking “most people would rather have…” If you look at the numbers of responses most posts on these blogs generate and then look at this particular one, I think that the incredible number of responses on this blog, and practically every one of them asking for Adventurers Club, would indicate that you might be mistaken. I think “most people” aren’t interested in more shops and more restaurants. They want to be entertained…and entertaining is VERY “Disney.”

This was not just a “nightclub.” This was an attraction… a unique interactive entertainment venue.

It was supported by attendance, was a draw to Downtown Disney in general, and was very much the essence of Disney.


Melissa on November 29th, 2010 at 10:29 am

Let me add my thoughts to those above me in saying that The Adventurers Club would be a perfect fit into this “redesign”. The AC was the ONLY reason my husband and I ever went to Pleasure Island, and we still rave about it to family and friends who never got a chance to experience it. Please reconsider, or perhaps you’re already considering, and keep the Adventurers Club in your plans.

Pretty please Disney?



rosemary on November 29th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Sounds great…but there are already tons of places to shop…how about bringing back some great dining that includes entertainment…there used to be (years and years ago) great shows at the Contemporary…and hey, I STILL miss the Adventurer’s Club!


Amy from PA on November 29th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I wish I could be excited about this…..but as beautiful as it looks, I do not go to WDW to shop or do things I could do at home. I go for unique experiences. Bring back to Adventurer’s Club!!!!!


Eileen from MD on November 29th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I no longer go to DTD any more since the Adventure club closed…I really don’t have any real plans to ever go there again unless you happen to put in some adult venue….Hope that you can some how put the Adventure Club in your new plans..You sure would make alot of people happy


tio marco on November 30th, 2010 at 7:17 am

bring back the gates! PI was never the same once they removed the ages and it was over-run by teenagers….


William on November 30th, 2010 at 8:13 am

Not impressed.


Michael from NY on November 30th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

It will never happen…but how refreshing would it be to get some kind of response here from someone associated with Disney? Over 350 comments and there is one overwhelming theme – bring back the AC! I’m so curious as to what their thinking is – as much from an intellectual viewpoint than anything.


Valerie on November 30th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

BRING BACK THE ADVENTURERS’ CLUB!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! It makes me so sad that it was closed. That was a hidden gem at Disney.


Sherry on November 30th, 2010 at 7:19 pm

ok i have a suggestion for the new shopping experiences. why not make them immersive and interactive like the new stuff coming to the parks???? make the shopping experince totally immersive and interactive to the theme of the shop. Say like Tinkerbell shop make it completely like pixie hollow and interactive experience? that would be awesome. I love Disney i wish i could be an imagineer. its my dream to work with disney


Corinne from MA on November 30th, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I have been reading the numerous comments from your guests and the general concences is that Disney needs to consider reopening a new Adventurers Club. I really feel that the numerous comments will not be over looked by Disney after all they are experts at giving their guests exactly what they want and more. looking forward to seeing the plans for the Adventurers Club.

Kongaloosh from Cora


Todd from NJ on December 2nd, 2010 at 11:30 am

Orlando Attractions Magazine reports this morning (Thursday 12/2) of “a rumor on good authority” that the Adventurer’s Club will be a part of Hyperion Wharf. Take that for what it’s worth.


Simon on December 2nd, 2010 at 3:31 pm

My wife and I miss AC also! Favorite place to visit at PI and spent hours there. While the new design looks wonderful, I am not sure I would visit unless AC was included! Hope the rumor mentioned above is true.


alice from NJ on December 2nd, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Sorry guys, gotta disagree with you. This is a mall, sure a mall with bright lights but a mall anyway. What’s unique or “Disney” about an AMC movie theater?
It’s going to be more stores. Since pretty much all of Disney’s stuff is generic, not like the old days where every park had unique stuff, what’s so hot about having another store to sell t-shirts with Disney 2011 on them?

Why not just add a starbucks and a chuck e cheese and call it a day.


dan on December 3rd, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Scott, comment #349
1. The were not being used. Usually close to empty.

2. They did not fit Disney. They were out of place and most people would rather have something they could use in a family friendly place.


1. This is just a blatantly false statement. Anyone who stepped into the Adventurers Club would always see that it was well attended

2. Today, December 3rd, this blog posted information promoting an adults-only restaurant on one of their new cruise ships. To claim that an adult-oriented venue is out of place at Disney is so patently false as to be ridiculous


regina from VA on December 3rd, 2010 at 4:52 pm

This looks cool but please bring back the Adventurer’s club, the Comedy club & a dance place or too.


Judy on December 4th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

This looks absolutely wonderful but I would expect nothing less from Disney, we look forward to visiting when completed, wish it was going to be finished for our 2011 trip? Keep doing what you do Diney!!!!!


Judy on December 4th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I meant DISNEY!


Skip from FL on December 5th, 2010 at 2:31 am

#362 Todd from NJ
Read ‘Richard from LA’ entries at #268, #315, and #329.
It would certainly seem you guys are on to something.


matt on December 7th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I would love to see you bring back the Adventurers Club and maybe a couple other places along the same lines [some other kind of ‘show’ like this? Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? would be a pretty cool addition and a huge crowd draw]. But the AC’s immersive entertainment was uniquely awesome, and truly had a solid chunk of Disney Magic around it. I am a manly man, and I do not casually mention things like ‘Disney Magic’ about just anything. I only got the chance to go once, and I do have to say that this would get me to consider our next trip sooner rather than later.

Kungaloosh. That’s my final answer!


marc on December 10th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

In case nobody mentioned it, how about bringing back The Adventurer’s Club? Kungaloosh m’darlin’.


Maureen from NH on December 16th, 2010 at 11:02 am

Nostalgic, yet modern…Adventurer’s Club would be a perfect fit. While the concept art looks beautiful, I would love to see the Adventurer’s Club return.

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