Disney recently announced a new push on construction and theming planned for areas of Downtown Disney and the basically defunct section of Pleasure Island.
The shopping / eating / entertainment complex of Walt Disney World has been the focus of re-vamps for some time now, but the new plans call for a breath of life to be instituted in the former nightclub section of Pleasure Island. Once the home of two comedy and four dance clubs, this area was basically closed in 2008 to allow for a re-theming. Those updates were put on hold (except for one new restaurant) evidently due to the poor guest numbers attributed to the recession.
Disney, however, evidently now feels that the time is right to continue with the expansion. Pleasure Island will be transformed into “Hyperion Wharf,” a new waterfront district taking its name from both the Greek god of light and the name of the street where Walt Disney built his first major animation studio.
Theming will take on the appearance of an early 20th century port city and amusement pier. New boutiques and restaurants are planned along with a relaxing lakeside park. At night, these areas will be transformed into an “electric wonderland.”
Other Downtown Disney projects underway or being planned include a 3,500 square foot expansion of the Lego Imagination Center. This expansion will include new Lego exterior models featuring classic Disney animated characters.
The AMC theaters at Downtown Disney also plan major updates including new digital technology and a “concession stand of the future.” Along with that, AMC plans to add a “fork and screen” theater allowing guests to dine while watching a movie.
Downtown Disney began back in 1975 as the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village and was originally meant as a shopping area for the planned residences in the vicinity. As those residences were built as resorts instead, Disney shifted gears and renamed it Walt Disney World Village with plans to serve Disney guests.
In 1989, Pleasure Island opened with its nightclubs and the whole area was renamed again as the Disney Village Marketplace. Finally, in 1997 new growth gave of the area gave Disney the chance to rename it again, this time to its present Downtown Disney.