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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.


  • In response to the previous comment – Scott, I’m thinking that you are not including the Adventurer’s Club or Comedy Warehouse in your definition of nightclubs? Personally I loved the old Pleasure Island – nightclubs, New Year’s Eve and all – but families have kids of all ages, and it’s nice for a family to have an entertainment option when they have all basically outgrown Dumbo (which I never will!) The Adventurer’s Club and the Comedy Warehouse were both certainly not aimed at young children, but I wouldn’t hesitate to bring a young teen to either one. The humor was playful and clean, and they were both great places – for families, for singles, anybody. Disney, you have a great opportunity here. Please consider bringing them back.

  • For so many people to be calling for a return of nightclubs I would say the problem with that is two fold.

    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.

    I applaud Disney for getting rid of them and taking the park to what it was meant to be. Family friendly.

  • please please PLEASE bring back the Adventurers Club – it was my favorite part of Pleasure Island as a kid and I would TOTALLY go back to visit if it were still there. The Comedy Warehouse was great too, but the Adventurers Club was the BEST EVER!

    Please don’t turn this area into another bland City Walk-esque shopping area. Disney’s brand image deserves unique guest experiences. Thats why we go to Disney!

  • Cool plans, new is new, and fixing a dead spot on Disney property is great. But will we ever get to see something like the Adventurers Club again? That was such a unique and fun place, I can’t believe it’s gone — or that it’s going to be torn down. More “shopping and dining” will not bring me back over and over again like the Adventurers Club did. Please consider putting the Adventurers Club back someplace, or provide something similarly entertaining and unique. Thank you.

  • Neat looking concept, but I really hate going to DTD anymore because it just feels like it’s heart and soul were ripped out when you guys closed down the Adventurer’s Club. This had better be an epic renovation and reimagination effort. I hope to hear good things in the future about this project. I will ask the same question many others have posed, can’t there be some room for the Adventurer’s Club in this project?

  • What a great concept, sounds wonderful and delicious…but…any room for the Adventurer’s club????

  • “Thousands of lights,” more shops & boutiques: sounds pretty wasteful to me! I’d like to see a greener, more interactive experience that I could enjoy without doubling my budget or feeling guilty about the over-the-top carbon footprint. The rest of Disney Parks seem to be going green and allow you more enjoyment with a simple park pass, whereas Downtown Disney is a tremendous extra expenditure. I realize Downtown Disney has a different aim than the parks, but this plan just seems like a flashier package of more of the same for the area. I say this as an avid Disney fan! I found City Walk to be a trashy alternative to Downtown Disney, so I’d like to see Downtown Disney remain a vibrant and fun destination, but I’d like to see something more innovative.

  • one word Kungaloosh!

  • #329 Richard from LA
    Didn’t get anything on the Disney World web-site, or gave up to soon, and tried Google instead. It showed a picture of the front of the former building with the words ‘Adventurers Club’ bending down on the right, and three steps leading up to the landing in front of the doors. More searching later…………

  • I used to get the Magic Plus option to my Park Hopper passes for one reason: The Adventurer’s Club. Never went to a water park, didn’t care about miniature golf or DisneyQuest. I know I’m not the only one. We Climb the Highest Mountains, Just to get a better view… Kungaloosh!

  • Looks nice. I’m not sure why anyone thought that Adventurer’s Club had to go to make room for this, though. I think it would have been a great fit at Hyperion Wharf. And it already had a built-in audience!

  • we want the adventurers club back!!!!Adventure was out there….but not now 🙁

  • Although I always look forward to new things at Walt Disney World, I hope those in charge listen to their customers and make some accommodations to please the widest possible audience. Even though many have stated how they are tired of shops, I for one would like to see Disney do something adventurous and open up a “Jungle Jim’s International Market” (Fairfield, Ohio, one-of-a-kind foodie paradise). This would be a destination draw unto itself.

  • Something for the adults – we don’t ALL have children with us on these trips. We like to think that the park is for US too sans children. We need adult clubs, entertainment and adult beverages even if it’s just for a night out. The plans look great though. Can’t wait to see it done!

  • The Adventurer’s Club was the most unique night club experience in the nation. I have no interest in visiting Downtown Disney until a unique entertainment offering along the lines of a re-imagined Adventurer’s Club is brought back.

  • Blech! I am so over WDW. I was born a huge fan, love it, have won Disney trivia contests, can plan anyone’s vacation in my sleep, etc. but it’s just not what it used to be. I don’t know what they are thinking. First, they take all of the preschool shows off of the Disney Channel (I know, I am WAITING for Disney Jr. for redemption) so my kids don’t know any Disney characters or want to watch anything on the channel anymore. Which, by the way, I vowed was the only channel that would be on in my house but I agree, they don’t have anything for kids anymore. Then, they take Mickey Mouse out of the whole thing to make more room for princesses. If my BOYS did know any Disney characters, it sure wouldn’t be princesses. Besides, why have rides at a theme park? It’s much better to wait in lines all day to see someone in a costume. Now, they’ve taken all the fun out of it for my husband and myself as well. Really, do we need more shopping? Now there’s not too much for any of us to enjoy. I do, however, agree that it looks nice and will be better than the “ghost town.” We will look for a new destination that has things we will enjoy as a family…tear, tear. I never thought I’d ever speak those words but WDW is no longer a place for our family of kids and adults to have fun together.

  • We hadn’t been to Downtown Disney since they closed the Adventurer’s Club. On our trip last month we stayed at Saratoga Springs for the first time, and since we were so close we decided to head over to DTD. We ate at Ragland Road and wandered through the shops, we even walked over to take a look at the building where the AC had been. This just confirmed our feelings that there is no reason to make a special trip to DTD until they bring back the Adventurer’s Club. If it were still there I can promise that we would have gone to DTD multiple times during our last trip, instead of just that once. We probably won’t be going again unless they bring it, or something like it, back.

    If they don’t want it Downtown at least they could move it to the Animal Kingdom, or the AK Lodge. No matter where it is, I think that people would be willing to travel to experience it. It’s what put the Disney in Downtown Disney. Without it, the magic is gone.

  • Pretty disappointed in all of this. Pleasure Island (especially Adventurers Club and 8-Trax) was always a highlight of our frequent trips down to WDW; without it we’ve taken to cutting our trips shorter as we run out of things to do at night.

  • I’m so excited about this! Been waiting since PI was closed to see what was going to happen and this sounds like a great idea to appeal to all age groups! And Disney definitely needed more dining options outside of the Parks, so I’m glad to hear it’s not just going to be more shopping!

  • I will check it out as I always do. However I really will miss the Adventures’ Club Kungaloosh is right this really was a fun place and I was very sad to see it go, just when my kids were old enough to go. But I will still visit. My favorite store at Downtown Disney is Trend D maybe they will give them a larger spot.

  • While I hate to repeat something that has already been stated SEVERAL times – I must in hopes that Disney is listening! Please bring back the Adventurer’s Club – or at least something similar! This was an all time favorite for friends and family – and a great concept! We hope to see it back in 2013!

  • #323 Skip from FL: Kungaloosh! When searching, use WDWmagic Hyperion Wharf

  • Like everyone else, I’m waiting for the return of the Adventurer’s Club to get really excited about anything on the island.

  • How exciting! But please add one or two clubs for adults only. City Walk was a blast b/c it had real adult clubs, but I would much rather stay at Disney than go to Universal…

  • New dining, shopping and entertainment experiences? What about some just plain cheap family FUN!!! Hope you all bring back the Adventurers Club, it was the only thing that drew me and “my money” to Downtown Disney/PI or West Side. There’s 3 generations of my family that miss this place….

  • We have come to WDW for the the last (11) years and the highlight of each of these trips was spending a few evenings at Pleasure Island experiencing the unique entertainment at the Adventurer’s Club and Comedy Warehouse. These two venues would fit in nicely with the new concept for the area. I hope Disney recognizes that there is a huge following for these clubs both locally and for those of us who visit frequently and it would provide those of us who value these unique entertainment venues a reason to stay on property after touring the theme parks all day.

  • Bring back the Adventures’ Club. Such a fun place to relax after a Disney day.

  • #315 (and #268) Richard from LA
    Thank you; I will have to research that other artist rendering.

    To all the ‘Kungalooshers’ out there:
    Read Richards entries at #268 and #315,
    (concept art / artist renderings – Adventurers Club).

  • Bring back the Adventurer’s Club and the Comedy Warehouse. We need adult things to do at night at Disney World. The Adventurers Club was classic Disney. You need more clubs like it. Turn those imagineers loose.

  • It looks wonderful, but it saddens me that The Adventurers Club isn’t mentioned in the plans. My son and I went several times to WDW, taking advantage of my DVC membership and what we always looked forward to was our evening visits to the Adventurers Club. It was the one place on Pleasure Island – other than the comedy club – where my teenaged son felt welcomed and enjoyed the total magic it brought in true Disney fashion. It seems to me it would fit the theme – especially at night, bringing back a true gem. Please bring it back!

  • “The Hyperion” was the name of my father-in-laws boat, a small fishing boat from Ft. Bragg, in Northern Calif, back in the 60’s.

  • Add me to the chorus of voices wanting the Adventurer’s Club back. I used to go to Pleasure Island every night when AC and the Comedy Warehouse were open. We spent serious dollars there and would close the place at 2am. Now I go to DTD only once per trip, usually to kill time in the morning before I head to the airport. And when the parks close, I go back to the hotel to unwind and sleep. There is nothing there that draws me there at nighttime anymore and I don’t think Hyperion Wharf will change that.


  • I just wanted to add one more request for the Adventurer’s Club. While it was geared to adults, my parents’ first took us when I was 10. Most of the jokes went well above my head then, and of course, mom and dad were joked about bringing minors to a “club.” Fast forward 15 years: my brother and I thought it was the best part of our yearly trips to WDW. We’d spend ever other evening of our week long trip there (with a few trips over to Comedy Warehouse). It was Disney magic at it’s best and could easily be a wonderful part of the new make-over.

  • It looks beautiful, however, I miss the boutiques and shoppes from years ago. Lake Buena Vista had shops where you could find interesting items from all over the world, not just Mickey Mouse Merchandise. I grew up with WDW, but now as an adult, I want Disney inspired things for my home that don’t look like I’m still 10 years old.

  • I agree with the comments about Earl’s! Such good food! We were there the 2nd week in November and stood in line 20-30 min to eat the fantastic food offered their!

  • #299 Skip from FL: There is another artist rendering showing the hot air balloon (I don’t think I can post a link here, so search) and to the left of the balloon is part of the Adventurers Club roof (very small).

  • A great improvement over the old Pleasure Island. But we do miss the Adventurer’s Club.

  • One more for bringing back The Adventurers Club!! Even if the venue needs to change a little, (Dinner Theather maybe?), it needs to return in some format. Please bring this unique experience back, this is the type of attraction that sets Disney apart.

  • yeah me too! Disney has good ideas for the newest Waterfront District! ‘Hyperion Wharf is a Greek Goddess it’s means light!

  • *sniff* *sniff* The Adventurer’s Club is really going to be torn down? Even all this time after the clubs closed, I still held onto that little bit of hope. The day that it is torn down will be a sad day, indeed. I have such fond memories of visiting the AC with my parents growing up (where I didn’t quite understand the jokes but was happy that they made my dad laugh)…and with my husband the night we got engaged. There was nothing like the AC anywhere else, just like there is nothing like Disney anywhere else, and now PI, sorry HW, will be filled with shopping and dining…what’s unique about that? What’s “disney” about that? 🙁

  • I have refused to go to / spend money at Downtown Disney since the closure of Pleasure Island and my beloved Adventurer’s Club. Sorry Disney, this will not get me back, as it feels like more of the same. (Ten restaurants aren’t enough – let’s put in 15!) Love the parks, but Downtown Disney has been going downhill for years. No thanks!

    Even without the Adventurer’s Club, why can’t an “adult” entertainment district work for WDW? I talk to several people each trip that would love to see it.

  • Not sure we need more restaurants in DTD when the ones already open are rarely full. The fun, interactive entertainment of the Adventurers Club is sorely missing, however. For that matter, the area could use a place to dance like 8-Traxx or Mannequins as well. Just somewhere for the grown-ups to unwind after the parks close.

  • Just what Disney needs.. more shopping and dining. Adventurers Club please!!! If something like a dinner option was added to it, it would be much more profitable than the old set up. If it doesn’t return, there isn’t much of a reason for me to visit DTD.

  • The Adventurers Club was one of the most unique experiences Disney World had. It should be a part of this. It would be the reason to go to Hyperion Wharf. Kungaloosh!

  • Interesting concept, but lacking something. You must realize this was announced on Merriweather Adam Pleasure’s birthday and like the Adventurers Club, he also vanished. I entered as a stranger, hopefully I’m leaving as a friend.

  • Disney has a precedence of listening to its fans. When I went on the Keys to the Kingdom tour I was told about how Pirates of the Caribbean was originally only supposed to be a Disneyland attraction – but when the Magic Kingdom opened people clamored for Pirates of the Caribbean….and so Disney management acquiesced and Pirates came to Disney World.

    Perhaps this time the fans can once again prevail and Adventurer’s Club can return to Downtown Disney.

    After all these comments, and knowing they represent an infinitesimal fraction of the people out there who feel the same way….. how could Disney Management NOT listen once again to the voice of the people…?

    Please. Please. Bring back the Adventurer’s Club.

  • It looks nice, but they need to get the Adveturers Club back in there. Kungaloosh!

  • No, “Thomas Smith,” it is not exciting. Give us Adventurer’s Club back and we’ll talk.

  • This looks pretty nice, I was very disappointed when Pleasure Island closed, particularly The Adventures Club. I hope Disney sees what a shame it was to close it and how missed it is and brings it back if not at the Wharf someplace else then.

  • It would be amazing to have The Adventurers Club back!!!! Disney please consider bringing an icon back to the “World”. Kungaloosh!!!1

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