Disney will soon begin “re-imagining” what was once Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney into a new experience called “Hyperion Wharf.”
Pleasure Island closed in 2008 to make way for new shopping and dining experiences. Since then, little activity has been seen around the area, leaving the former clubs dormant. Now Disney has announced they will create an estimated 1,200 new jobs over the next three years to complete the transformation.
Disney is calling the change “a nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th century port city and amusement pier” that will feature “stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants” with “thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland” at night.
Update (11/19/10): Here’s a short video featuring Downtown Disney vice president Keith Bradford and Walt Disney Imagineer Alex Wright discussing the changes:
The area’s new name comes from Hyperion, the Greek god of light, as well as the street on which Walt Disney built his first major animation studio.
Dining availability at Downtown Disney will grow by more than 25 percent, according to Disney. In addition to shopping and dining, a lakeside park and enhanced pedestrian walkways will be added.
A closer view of the artwork shows the park decor may be inspired by Disney’s short Silly Symphonies film “Flowers and Trees”:
Other changes to Downtown Disney as part of the project include a renovation of Lego Imagination Center, which will increase by nearly 3,500 square-feet and add new LEGO models outside featuring scenes from classic Disney movies.
The Downtown Disney AMC movie theater will offer a “Concession Stand of the Future” and and Florida’s first “Fork & Screen Theater” – another dining experience. AMC has opened other “Fork and Screen” locations around the country (here’s a great report from one in 2008).
(It should be noted that names of the restaurants in these renderings are fictitious, so don’t go starting rumors… yet…)
It’s all scheduled to be completed some time in 2013.