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Disney Springs Announced for Downtown Disney Orlando Transformation

Pleasure Island goes away.

Early this morning, we were invited to a last minute news conference at a special conference room in Downtown Disney. There, Tom Staggs, Chair Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, announced a transformation of Downtown Disney that will double the number of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Disney Springs will involved four neighborhoods – Town Center, The Landing, Marketplace, and West Side. It will open in phases with construction set to begin next in Spring 2013 and scheduled to finish in 2016.

More, including the concept art released today, below the jump:

  • The Town Center, offers a sophisticated mix of dining and shopping along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.
  • The Landing will be a colorful and thriving commercial district with inspired dining and retail and beautiful waterfront views.
  • The family-friendly Marketplace will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.
  • The West Side will provides an exuberant atmosphere with lively entertainment, along with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.

Beyond the additional shopping, dining and entertianment options, Disney Springs will being over 5,000 new jobs to Central Florida. 1,200 jobs will be involved in the construction and 4,000 new jobs will be created at the venue when it’s complete.

“Disney Springs will be a timeless, vibrant place where Walt Disney World guests and local residents can relax, shop, dine and be entertained in an imaginative setting where they’ll instantly feel at home,” said Staggs. “Featuring distinctive brands, world-class restaurants and unforgettable entertainment, Disney Springs will be brought to life with the same focus on storytelling and attention to detail that goes into our theme parks, resorts and cruise ships, resulting in a welcoming space that only Disney could create.”

Staggs also addressed the idea that had previously been announced for Downtown Disney. He said that they knew they could do better than Hyperion Wharf and they wanted to spend the time to get it right.

If this project doesn’t suffer the fate of Hyperion Wharf, fans will have to live with the loss of Pleasure Island forever. The good news is there will be new entertainment to explore and even less of a reason to venture outside of Disney’s magic bubble. That’s probably how Disney wants it. What do you think?

Update: More details on Disney Springs, including a look at the model used to sell the idea to new tenants.

8 thoughts on “Disney Springs Announced for Downtown Disney Orlando Transformation”

  1. I would say no Pleasure Island (or another like venue) is a mistake. But maybe there are stories that I don’t know. Was PI bringing some crowds to Disney that wasn’t necessarily safe?

  2. The sense I got wasn’t that it was bringing unsafe crowds, it was more that Disney was looking to make money by renting out the spaces to outside companies (like the Harley Davidson store) where they wouldn’t have to invest as much or spend as much on operations.
    Then the economy turned and not a lot of companies were looking to open fancy new retail outlets.

  3. Pleasure island was the best, but it started going downhill when they changed the admission policy. Originally you had to buy admission to get onto the island, then you had free rein of the clubs and the street scene. Then they changed to allow anyone onto the island but admission required to the clubs. This took away from party atmosphere on the street and required admission checking at the venue doors which made club hopping very time consuming
    I say bring back the original pi concept with updated clubs and for sure the adventurers club and comedy warehouse

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  5. This was leaked a few weeks back @ I’m so unhappy about it!!! R.I.P. Pleasure Island! It was THE place to be in HS & my 20’s, it lived up to the Peter Pan-esque theme! I agree as far as the admission policy changes! Worst idea ever! I cannot believe they are doing this, when they can’t compete w/City Walk as it is! BOOO! 8(. Hopefully, they will listen to all the people on the actual Disney blog, ESPECIALLY the locals such as myself. I’m in my 30’s w/children, but wish Disney would get that we adults like a Pleasure Island where the big kids can unwind & quit sanitizing everything!

  6. Disney really started dropping the ball on Pleasure Island during its last few years of operation. Mistake number one was changing the system of admission in 2006 from purchasing admission onto the island to purchasing admission for individual clubs. But by far the biggest nail in the coffin was in 2007 when they began implementing age restrictions for admission into some of the clubs. Now that move was just plain stupid, and exceptionally so in the fact that it was a Disney property. Pleasure Island was an intriguing endeavor, but in my opinion, this replacement ‘Disney Springs’ does not manage to spark an equal level of allure as its predecessor.

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