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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.


  • This is so awesome! 🙂

  • This. looks. awesome!

  • Bring back some night clubs while yall are at it! I miss Mannequins… That place was AWESOME and was the ONLY reason that I ever visited Pleasure Island in the first place.

  • Excited! Can’t wait to see the transformation begin. 2013 will be here before you know it.

    The Lego expansion is long overdue! Since it opened, it has been a favorite destination of ours.

  • It really does look nice. Stunning even. This is needed to patch the problem that is PI, now.

    …But where’s the Adventurers Club!? It would fit PERFECTLY!

  • I am looking forward to it all! Love, love, love Disney!

  • Oh my gosh… We failed. PI is no more and the Adventurers Club is really going to be torn down. I… I don’t know if I can even stand to look at this place when it opens. :’-(

  • looking forward!

  • Lame…I wanna dance

  • I usually avoid Downtown Disney (all the crowds of the theme parks, with none of the rides), but this may bring me back, at least once. It looks interesting, and I’d be willing to come check it out.

    I am curious as to what exactly an “enhanced pedestrian walkway” is. Not sure how you fancy up a sidewalk, but I guess we’ll see!

  • I applaud you guys for this one. Walt always maintained the idea that WDW’s attractions should be for EVERYONE, not just children and not just adults. I will admit that I was skeptical at first. But now, with this announcement, I totally like what I’m seeing so far. (Of course, the hardcore nightclub people may not like this, but there’s plenty of other options for them in Orlando.) Just make sure you’ve got adequate security, especially for the lakeside park areas……..oh, and make sure Earl of Sandwich stays! Great work, guys!

  • I still miss the adventures’ club. Kungaloosh!!!

  • 🙁 i don’t go to DTD anymore now that Pleasure Island is gone, not worth leaving the parks just to shop and eat – bring back the Adventurer’s Club and we’ll talk.

  • cant wait to see it…

  • We can’t wait… we love Downtown Disney!

  • Disney, I love you but PLEASE bring back some “Adult” places. Listen, I have kids, I’m married and I’m not a “party person” but I appreciated the dance clubs and the comedy clubs. Please put something in there that would bring some of that back. Maybe just one or two really cool places???? I don’t want to go to City Walk!

  • You guys ROCK!!! Can’t wait to see it. Totally awesome things to come for Disney!!

  • What about the Adventurers Club? I think it would fit in with the concept. I really feel that Disney needs to bring this popular club back into Downtown Disney.

  • Do you have any more details about the changes to AMC. Which theater is going to be a “Fork & Dine”. What is the concession stand going to be like?

  • This is so cool. Always looking ahead and making a change. Great idea! Thats why I love Disney!

  • I am excited for these changes. As much as I enjoyed myself back in the Pleasure Island days, those days are long gone for me now at my age – so selfishly I am happy with what it is going to become. Its a shame they can’t incorporate the Adventurers Club back in, I have never been but I know there are lots of fans.

  • It looks very pretty! But it’s just more stores and restaurants, so it’s like a pretty strip mall from any city. When I visit WDW, I want experiences that I can’t get anywhere else.

  • hmmm, looks good, but I have to echo what others have said – what about things like the Adventurers Club? C’mon, Disney can come up with something exciting, right?

  • While I admit it looks nice, BOOO! Bring back some of the clubs or new nightlife venues. This is more of the same. PI offered something different.

  • And the Adventurers Club?

  • I think it would make the families happy to see a night club for them- dancing and lights, drinking for those with wrist bands, but under 21 allowed. A lot of college kids are looking for a club after a day at the park in that area. Mine go to FSC and would love that! They were looking for a place to take their father and I one night- no place for both age groups to enjoy as a nightclub. Your plans look amazing! The Lego place has always been one of our favorites!

  • Pleasure Island was so often dead when walking through, even a couple of weeks prior to it’s closing. I am glad SOMETHING is now happening with it, and I hope the new restaurants are on the level of a Raglan Road – great food, great atmosphere, fun entertainment. I do miss the Adventurers Club and wish it had stayed.

  • I hope there’s a spot for the Adventurer’s Club to come back… Kungaloosh!!

  • Glad to see the nightclubs going away. They did not fit the Disney vision and Walt would never have wanted them. Will Downtown Disney remain open during this time?

  • Can’t wait to see the enhancements to the LEGO Imagination Center!!!

  • I really do miss the adventures’ club. That was the first club I went to and wish that it would come back. At least bring back some of the clubs that were there….

  • This is wonderful news!! It is time that Pleasure Island got a make-over! I am so glad to hear this will be happening!

  • I never got to go to The Adventurers’ Club but always wanted to go! Please bring it back, as well as some dance options grown ups night out!

  • Well I knew this was coming years ago when the whole “every night is New Year’s Eve” thing was put to rest. I must say I’m sad that Pleasure Island wasn’t held at it’s original awesomeness. My mom and I went when I was 15 (1999) and had a blast dancing in the street and in the retro club. The girls on rollerskates with trays of jello shots, the street snowing with confetti, the street wall to wall with people, the general vibe; I will miss it all. 🙁 It’s sad that all this will just fade away into the mass of what Downtown Disney already is. I really wish my husband had gotten to see it in it’s hay day because it was AWESOME. Oh well. We will still go for Wolfgang Puck’s and Cirque but I’m really not interested in any MORE shopping as there is plenty of that in the parks!

  • Knowing this info is a wonderful birthday gift for me! Now I may actually stay at my home base of Saratoga Springs more often. However, I, too, miss the Adventurer’s Club.

  • This sounds like it will be really fun! I hope the Movie Memorabilia store comes back. Is there going to be an IMAX theater at AMC?

    Hyperion Wharf reminds me a bit of Disney’s Boardwalk. It would be nice if you livened that up a little more.

  • Looking forward to the transformation. Please have more live entertainment throughout the Downtown Disney area.

  • I too miss Mannequins and the Adventurer’s Club! The nightclubs were nice. It gave the adults a place to play.

  • This looks very exciting! I love downtown Disney and am thrilled with everything that is going on there. We are DVC members at Saratoga Springs and love to walk over to the downtown area in the evenings. It would be pefect if you added a new and improved Adventurers Club!

  • Looks nice. I really hope that Mannequin’s and/or Adventurer’s Club make it back in some form. I miss the PI dancers and the nightly NYE celebration!

  • No thanks. I miss the dance clubs and comedy club of Pleasure Island, especially the wonderfully unique Adventurers Club!

  • Dear Imagineeers,
    Just how many times do you need to hear EVERYONE say “We miss the Adventurer’s Club? It added an adult Disney experience that could be found nowhere else!

  • It would be really exciting if the plans included the return of the Adventurers Club, please please Disney bring it back!

  • This sounds pretty cool but I think a great deal of people would be more excited if it included the Adventurers Club. It has greatly been missed and was such a Disney place, whether Disney thought so or not. The theming was fantastic and it was the only reason we all ventured to PI. SO why not bring it back… it’ll be a great reason for so many fans to try out the new Hyperion Wharf.

  • It’s about time something is to be done with this area. The amount of eateries at DD is one of it’s shortcomings, so I hope there are choices for inexpensive meals. I do agree, to make it special, bring back the Adventurers Club. I wish the neon Jessica was still around too. I just wish it wouldn’t take 2 to 3 years to build it. It’s really sad to see the state it’s in now.

  • Very cool! I’m glad that Disney has finally figured out a way to make that area work within Downtown Disney, although I’ll always miss Pleasure Island. Hopefully there are some plans for the separate development of an adult area?

  • I’m still looking forward to the return of the Adventurers Club to Pleasure Island.

  • does the Adventurers Club fit in?

  • Looks nice but please have something for adults. I hate having to leave property these past few years.

  • I sure do hope the folks a Disney are reading these comments. There are alot of people who miss the adventurers club and are upset that it is now gone. This idea is great to redevelop downtown disney but give the people what they want! Kongaloosh!

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