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Vintage Walt Disney World: Ringing in the New Year at Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney

posted on December 29th, 2011 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


In honor of ringing in 2012 in just a few days, here’s a shot from the glory days of Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney when New Year’s Eve was celebrated every night from 1990 until 2005 with music, dancing and just a little bit of confetti. Ok, a lot of confetti. Happy New Year!

Ringing in the New Year at Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney

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Filed: Disney History, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

19 Comments 2 Replies

1

Paul on December 29th, 2011 at 9:26 am

Have any vintage Top of the World photos on New Years Eve? That would be something special to see!

 

Nate Rasmussen on December 29th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I’m not sure, I’ll have to go look.

2

Danielle from FL on December 29th, 2011 at 11:49 am

Thank you for posting this, I have such found memories of Pleasure Island. I miss that place so much. It was the site of my first date with who is now my husband. We had the best times there together. I hope someday soon the fun and exciting atmosphere of Pleasure Island and its clubs will return.

 

Nate Rasmussen on December 29th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

You’re welcome! :)

3

Jeffrey on December 29th, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Mew Years at the Adventurers club on Pleasure Island was quite the special occasion all by itself. I so miss that club…Whenever I go O feel like part of my vacation is missing

4

Aaron on December 29th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Every night was New Year’s Eve at Pleasure Island. Sure was a magical time at the Adventurers Club back on New Year’s Eve in 1937.

5

David from WI on December 29th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Nate – You hit it right on the head…those were definitely the glory days of Pleasure Island. It’s too bad those days are gone.

6

Sharon from TX on December 29th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

During our honeymoon you could find my husband and I at Pleasure Island most nights. We just couldn’t get enough of the Comedy Warehouse and Adventurer’s Club. Kungaloosh!

7

Bryan from NJ on December 29th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

It’s a darn shame it’s all gone. We had so much fun, my wife and I especially on trips with friends. The “kids” were in the parks and we got a night to be kids again. Oh well another Disney change that hurts.

8

Nikki from NJ on December 29th, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I remember this so fondly! Pleasure Island was a site to behold in its heyday. I remember walking under the archway, hearing the music from DJ up in the booth behind Jessica Rabbit, seeing the dancers on the small stage, and dancing to the band playing on the West End Stage. Taking a break every now and then to catch at show at Comedy Warehouse or The Adventurer’s Club, everyone in the street was happy and having a great night out in Walt Disney World! I miss it.

9

Evie on December 29th, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Oh, what I would give to be there celebrating New Year’s Eve every night again! Dancing at 8Trax followed by the Adventurers Club new member induction, back outside for the midnight fireworks, and then right back in for the Hoopla!

10

Valerie on December 30th, 2011 at 2:08 am

In 1990 my husband and I closed out the night of our first date at Pleasure Island and then later he proposed to me there too. It was a magical moment when he asked me to marry him, because all these people stopped to watch what was going on as he got down on one knee, then cheered loudly when I said Yes, and then the confetti exploded around us as if it was meant for just us! I still have some tucked in a scrapbook from that night so long ago, along with many pictures of what became one of our favorite places.

11

Carolyn from West Midlands on December 30th, 2011 at 8:51 am

For New Year 1999/2000, myself, my (now) ex-husband, 2 kids, mum & dad, and sister & brother-in-law all congregated around the stage area in Downtown Disney from around 10.00 p.m. We had party poppers, party blowers (like a round whistle tube that rolls outwards as you blow into it, with a feather on the end), and tiny Union Jack flags. Another family shared small glasses of champagne with us, and we shared our party stuff with them – it was so much fun! We had an absolute blast, and the greatest part of it was that our family was all together in Disney! (We are from the UK). Happy days.

12

Debra from FL on December 30th, 2011 at 9:28 am

At it’s heyday, it was so much fun when on vacation to spend time in the Adventurers Club, go outside for NYE fireworks, the live music on the West End Stage and the conga line then scurry back into AC for more adventures. I so miss that spunk, creativity and energy that PI and the backstory offered!!!!

13

Ian on December 30th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Please let this image leave the realm of “vintage” and renter the world of current news in this New Year. The world desperately want Pleasure Island (especially the Adventurers Club) back. Please let that be in the cards for 2012.

14

Friend on December 30th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Looking back at the great fun and theming at Church Street Station with Rose O’Grady’s in the early 1980′s and then Pleasure Island was born at Walt Disney World during the Great Era. I wonder how Disney can top that?? The creator behind the Adventure’s Club is still around and maybe he can come up with something even better.

15

Constance on December 30th, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I look at this picture and I am all at once happy and sad (for lack of more eloquent wording). Pleasure Island was amazing, a one of a kind entertainment experience that adults of all ages and cultures could enjoy. There really was something for everyone. So many wonderful things there. So many types of music and if music wasn’t your thing? Well, you could head over to The Adventurers Club and be fully immersed in a captivating experience unlike any other. I miss celebrating a new year in the middle of June, I miss dancing the night away and I sure as heck miss going somewhere for a good Hoopla! I wish Disney had done something amazing with those spaces, so that new memories could be made (if the old places HAD to go away) but as it is, they just sit there now, lonely and sad. There’s nothing that says those magical, wonderful places couldn’t co-exist with shops and other types of experiences. It would be so wonderful if we could celebrate new year 2013 the same way so many of us have been missing. It is just too much to hope for that some of the clubs would be restored and we could pick right up celebrating where we left off. Cheers and best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!

16

nance on December 30th, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Love, love, love your blog!! Look forward to reading more in 2012!!

17

Janine on December 31st, 2011 at 11:51 am

I oved Pleasure Island back then too and also miss the fun it brought. I really feel like it lost some of its magic.

18

nancy from SC on December 31st, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I was there I believe in 1996 and of course Disney, Mickey, were awesome enough. However, my cousin and I (both of us 23′ish) ran into Johnny Galecki (from The Big Bang Theory now for those who don’t know his main role on Roseanne) We did not see then filmiing anywhere for the famous episode but that was an awesome moment. We did love the singing, the confetti, and I thought there was a shop to buy old memorabilia. I think it was Mannequins, might have had a spinning floor or soap suds or something..that part is a little vague..lol

19

Kelly on January 4th, 2012 at 7:36 pm

PLEASE bring the Adventurers Club to Downtown Disney in CA! I spent 4 hours in there in Orlando and would love to take my wife there!

19 Comments