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Downtown Disney Update

posted on July 12th, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


In November, we shared plans to re-imagine Pleasure Island and bring other new and compelling experiences to life at Downtown Disney. Today, we’d like to update you on our progress.

First, we’re excited that some of the new experiences we announced are already becoming favorites, like the newly expanded LEGO Imagination Center and AMC’s first Dine-In Theatre in Florida. The great news is there is more on the way.

Orlando Harley-Davdison at Downtown Disney

Recently, Orlando Harley-Davidson opened its newly expanded 3,635-square-foot store at Downtown Disney West Side. The largest and most interactive Harley merchandise store of its kind, it draws guests in with a 40-foot tower and massive LCD/LED screens showing specially produced footage of motorcycles in action. Guests are also able to see and sit on some of the latest Harley-Davidson motorcycles and a brand new production studio lets guests be pictured in their favorite riding spot or transformed into real bikers. Guests can even design biker vests of their own.

Later this summer, Apricot Lane Boutique, a specialty retail store that offers celebrity-inspired branded apparel, affordable fashion jewelry, handbags and accessories, will open in the space the Harley-Davidson store previously occupied on Pleasure Island.

Artist Rendering of Splitsville Coming to Downtown Disney
*This is an artist rendering and is subject to change.

This fall, construction will begin on Splitsville, a 50,000-square-foot upscale entertainment center that combines bowling with billiards, dining, music and nightlife. To make way for this experience, RIDEMAKERZ, currently located on the West Side, will move to the Marketplace.

Over on Pleasure Island, we’ve completed removing some of the buildings that aren’t part of our future plans. During the course of this site work, we identified opportunities to further refine our master plan and are pausing to evaluate them. What does this mean for you? While we’re moving quickly, it will admittedly cause a delay in construction. But we’re willing to bet that any delay will be worth the wait once we’re able to share details about the exciting work we’ve been doing.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more updates on Downtown Disney!

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

78 Comments 4 Replies

51

Debra from FL on July 13th, 2011 at 10:56 am

While I like the idea of added things to do at DD, I don’t bowl so that’s not especially exciting for me personally. I just wish SOMETHIng (I propose bringing back the Adventurers Club) will be done SOON to PI. It’s just dead and without evening adult entertainment. A most exciting addition would be a couple clubs that make the most of Disney creativity and make DD stand apart from anything else on or off property. Virtualy all of what’s at DD now can be found elsewhere… I’m 60, have no kids or grandkids and as a local, only visit DD maybe 2 or 3 times a year anymore to shop.

52

Erin from NJ on July 13th, 2011 at 11:09 am

While I won’t be using it, I love the retro design. Very creative! I’m very interested to hear what the changes are that have caused a pause in the construction. I hope they’ll be announced soon. I would love to see Pleasure Island given a new life that brings back people like me who miss visiting there!

I’m a huge Adventurers Club fan and I’ve been glad to at least see the building still there. That will be a sad, sad day when that’s gutted for the construction. But I want to say thanks to all the people who gave me so many wonderful memories and laughs! I can’t thank you enough!

53

Joe from NE on July 13th, 2011 at 11:12 am

Looking forward to its completion. Hope there is some Disney Magic thrown into this area. Would love a creative area such as Aventurer’s Club to be opened. It gives so many more options for families staying on property to do something after parks close.

54

david from IL on July 13th, 2011 at 11:13 am

great theme to bring in…addition of things to do and live entertainment exactly what DtD needs. In today’s economy understand that things move slower…bringing back Adventurers Club would be an instant hit IMHO.
Maybe consider WoC for DTD ?

55

Dick on July 13th, 2011 at 11:20 am

The Adventurers Club and Comedy Warehouse were HUGE attractions. Why not just re-open them? People come to Disney for ENTERTAINMENT, and they were the best entertainment attractions in all of WDW.

56

Robert from SC on July 13th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

The work being done sounds very promising. I know Disney will do a great job, but ultimately these new additions are things we can do at home. The only reason my wife and I ever went to Pleasure Island was for the Adventurers’ Club. Please bring it back.

57

Barry from BC on July 13th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Best of wishes to Disney with the new bowling alley, but honestly I doubt that I’ll be popping in there on my next trip. I can go bowling or play billiards at home–I’m looking for something different when I go on vacation to Disney World.

I hope that we might see the return of the Adventurer’s Club and the Comedy Warehouse in some form or something similar when Hyperion Wharf is completed. Those were always the big draws for me to come and have dinner and spend an evening at Downtown Disney. I’d love to see the kind of quality entertainment that Disney is famous for offered at Downtown Disney again, so I have a reason to stay on property after the parks close in the evening.

58

Scott from NY on July 13th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Kungaloosh!

59

Wendy from NH on July 13th, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I really continue to miss the Adventurer’s Club and Comedy Warehouse. As DVC members we are at WDW annually, and now spend far less time at Downtown Disney than we used to spend, because there is less for us to do. I understand the new Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel has hints of the old Adventurer’s Club feeling; wouldn’t it be nice to bring back the original? Surely we adults deserve a place or two of our own kind of Disney fun?

60

Mike on July 13th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I hope the plans have changed to take a serious look at reopening the Adventurers Club. It was one of the most unique offerings from the Walt Disney Company ever that was never duplicated. As a direct result of the Adventurers Club closing, I stopped taking as many trips and sold my DVC member ship. I hope it comes back and I can return to making more regular trips.

61

David from FL on July 13th, 2011 at 1:55 pm

This is great news! It gives me hope that the Adventurers Club and Mannequins will return. One was an entertainment option like only Disney knows how to create, fully interactive and immersive. The other one was truly one of the best dance clubs in the country. I hope more people get to experience both in the years to come.

62

Maura on July 13th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Splitsville sounds like a neat place, but I am not sure it will make people rush to it. PI still has most of the buildings sitting there empty and you have many adults that would enjoy some adult only nightlife. Going out to the Comedy Club and the Adventures Club made you look forward toward the evening. It was great to know that once the park closed you had someplace to go have some adult fun. Please bring them back. You offer babysitting services as some of your resorts, give the adults a reason to use them again.

63

Jennifer from MS on July 13th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

By the way… what exactly is so family friendly about a cigar bar?
How is it any more family friendly than the Adventurer’s Club. I guess none of you ever saw little Christian on stage, singing along with Emil Bleehall.

64

Christopher on July 13th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

This looks great! I love having some things to do after the parks close at night! This will make a great addition! Like everyone else, apparently, I think it would be great to see the Adventurer’s Club back as well!!!

65

Ian on July 13th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

With the unbelievable success of Trader Sam’s Bar at the Disneyland Hotel, it is a no brainer to reopen the Adventurers Club on it’s lofty peak at 5189 Hill Street! Please Disney, adventure has been calling my name for almost 3 years now and I need to be reunited with my old friends Hathaway Browne, Samantha Sterling, Otis T. Wren, Emil Bleehall (Jr. & Sr.), Pamelia Perkins, Fletcher Hodges, Graves, Mme. Zarkov, Sutter Bestwick, Fingers Zambezi, Col. Critchlow Sunchbench, Babylonia, Arnie, Claude, Beezle, Dave the Soundman and of course the whole bevy of Club Maids!

Kungaloosh!

66

marissa from VA on July 13th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I am glad to see something permanent is being placed in the Virgin Megastore building and it is encouraging to see that it does trend towards providing something for adults to do after the parks close. I hope that Splitsville will be open later than 10 or 11 pm, and that it might take on more of a bar/club atmosphere later in the evening.

I agree with the majority in saying that Pleasure Island and Disney in general needs more venues that provide adults with evening entertainment. Jellyrolls is a fun place to spend a night, but I would love a little more variety. I hope that this change in plans signals that Disney is reconsidering its closure of the Pleasure Island Clubs, specifically the Adventurers Club and the Comedy Warehouse.

67

Thomas on July 13th, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I agree with the other ADVclub fans here although I will say one thing I am open to the club modifying itself a little bit, it doesnt have to be the same carbon copy place that was their years prior, but by goodness yes we need more live entertainment at Downtown Disney the DJ over by the docks can only entertain so much

68

Laura from FL on July 14th, 2011 at 11:07 am

I’ve got a Splitzville near me and it’s a fun place. I think it’s great that you are making Downtown Disney even more about “fun” then it already is. I make it to Orlando yearly and we regularly stop at Downtown Disney. I love the fact that it’s family friendly, great shopping, dining, and has lots to do. It’s an attraction all to itself. I say keep going. More street performers, more interactive exhibits, maybe even one or two more kiddie rides like the carousel (little “Cars Movie” cars going around on a mini track for the little kids) or a Disney themed playground with places for parents to relax and have a refreshment. With so much to do there, you would really bring in even more customers than just the shoppers.

69

Dave from FL on July 14th, 2011 at 12:04 pm

There is no reason NOT to reopen an “Adventurers Club,” it has a devoted fan base that has been wandering nomads for almost three years.

The club has grown in legend, much like the Hat Box ghost from the Haunted Mansion. Devoted Disneyphiles know about such things, that certain corporate callow bean counters know nothing about. The Disneyphiles will live on and the Bean Counters will be replaced.

Bring back the Adventurers Club, it really belongs in Downtown Disney. Kungaloosh.

70

Michael from NY on July 14th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

The Adventurer’s Club building is still there. This means Disney can still rectify their mistake. The fact they are pausing to “refine” their ideas for PI at least provides a glimmer of hope that they have recognized that mistake. All the other clubs, while I would have liked to see them return, I could find something similar at home. But not the AC. It was truly a one-of-a-kind experience you couldn’t get anywhere else.

The bowling alley looks nice and would make a good addition to DTD – especially for locals. But for us vacationers, I don’t know how many of us will look to do things like bowl, or go to a movie. When on vacation, I want to do and experience things I can’t do at home.

71

john on July 14th, 2011 at 7:57 pm

AC (clap, clap) AC (clap, clap) AC (clap, clap) AC (clap, clap) AC

72

Debra on July 16th, 2011 at 9:36 am

It is wonderful that you are adding a bowling alley. Every-one knows it can be hot & sometimes rainy in Florida. A great, active, air conditioned place to have fun is never a miss. Love to bowl & to do it Disney style has got to be fantastic!!!!!Now we will have another choice when the question is: “Oh no it’s raining!” or “I am just too hot.” Disney, you always come up with great family fun!!!

73

Kevin on July 17th, 2011 at 7:02 pm

The Adventurers Club always will have a special place in my heart. Unlike the other clubs on Pleasure Island, it had character. Entering AC gave me a thrill, like I was part of something. Everyone treated each other with a sense of camaraderie, and I always left with a smile on face. It was absolutely true, “If you come in here a stranger, you will exit as a friend.”

Please bring back the Adventurers Club!

KUNGALOOSH!

74

Salvatore from FL on July 17th, 2011 at 11:44 pm

I’ve been reading so much about re-opening the Adventurer’s Club. That’s great. But the last time (Feb. 24) I was at D.D., I notice the Rock and Roll Surf Club building was still there. I loved that place! Bring that back as well.

75

Jeffrey from IL on July 19th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Please consider reopening the Adventurers Club. It seems a concept with a ready built fan base would be ideal.

76

Crissy from FL on July 20th, 2011 at 6:17 am

Is this the chain that can also be found in Tampa?

77

David on July 20th, 2011 at 11:50 am

Naming it “Splitsville”? Really? A slang term for “divorce”?

78

Amanda from WV on July 23rd, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I love this idea for the bowling alley. I’ve worked at my local bowling alley for 4 1/2 years and currently serve as the nighttime manager. I’ve also been bowling for 15+ years. I’m coming down this fall to intern at Disney… but I would love to work for this bowling alley if given a chance. Just to bowl there would excite me!

78 Comments