Beginning fall 2012, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World will open a new entertainment concept called Splitsville featuring bowling, billiards, and a restaurant. Located in the former home of Virgin Megastore and Ridemakerz, it will be the fifth Splitsville location, the first having opened in Tampa in 2003.
To learn more about what Walt Disney World guests can expect when Splitsville opens later this year, I recently chatted with co-founder Mark Gibson, who discussed details of the upcoming location’s hours, audience, and dress code.
Video: Interview with Splitsville co-founder
Late night hours at other Splitsville locations have age restrictions and require evening attire with the goal of allowing adults to socialize in an upscale, kid-free environment. But Gibson acknowledges that this will have to change for the new location, both due to the large number of families that travel to Walt Disney World and the fact that tourists wandering Downtown Disney aren’t likely to dress up just to go bowling. He said it’s likely the upstairs portion of Splitsville will, at times, turn into an adults-only area, still allowing that escape for those ages 21 and up, but leaving first floor open to all ages.
Splitsville will feature 20 lanes of bowling on the second floor and 10 lanes on the first, but they’re not set up in long rows like an ordinary bowling alley, instead “split” up throughout each floor.
Between bowling, room to hang out and play games, and a wide variety of food available, Gibson anticipates Splitsville at Downtown Disney to be open to at least midnight each night and likely 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. In addition to Orlando visitors, he expects the location will attract regulars including off-duty Walt Disney World cast members and locals.
”Splitsville is clearly going to be a great place to bowl,” said Keith Bradford, vice president of Downtown Disney. “But I think our guests are going to be surprised that they can also go there for great food and to watch sports. That’s what makes Splitsville a perfect fit and such a great addition for Downtown Disney.”
Splitsville is scheduled to open at Walt Disney World by the end of 2012.