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  1. #1
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    Default Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Bold New Vision for Downtown Disney

    This story has been confirmed.

    Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Bold New Vision for Downtown Disney
    Plans Include New and Enhanced Shopping, Dining and Other Experiences


    Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (June 27, 2008) – Walt Disney World Resort today unveiled a new vision for Downtown Disney, with extraordinary new shopping, dining and other experiences including a completely re-imagined Pleasure Island. Also planned are numerous enhancements to popular Downtown Disney locations, as well as additional theming and storytelling brought to life by Walt Disney Imagineers.

    “We are committed to offering guests new and exciting experiences they can only have at Walt Disney World Resort,” said Downtown Disney Vice President Kevin Lansberry. “Our bold new vision for Downtown Disney reflects the feedback we receive from our guests each and every day and will enable us to continue to offer the high-quality entertainment that is our hallmark.”

    Over the next year, the 120-acre entertainment-shopping-dining complex will add a number of one-of-a-kind, immersive experiences for guests. Downtown Disney will even get its own iconic attraction, in the form of a giant, tethered balloon that will take guests 300 feet into the air to view the amazing vistas of Walt Disney World Resort. Other new experiences include:

    · In fall 2008, guests will enter a world of prehistoric creatures at T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure. The dinosaur-themed family eatery will serve up pizzas, pastas, seafood and more, and will feature life-size animated dinosaurs that dwell among bubbling geysers, waterfalls and a fossil dig site.

    · Also this fall, a design-your-own t-shirt store from Hanes will add to the growing collection of merchandise guests can personalize at Downtown Disney.

    · E-brands Restaurants, an Orlando-based, multi-concept restaurant group, will premier its newest concept at Downtown Disney in spring 2009. The high-energy, casual eatery will feature authentic Central and South American cuisine, specialty drinks and live music along the waterfront.

    Guests also will enjoy a brand new mix of shopping and dining experiences at Pleasure Island as it is transformed over the next two years.

    “Our guests tell us they want additional shopping and dining experiences at Downtown Disney,” added Lansberry. “We are currently considering a number of unique concepts from around the globe as we re-imagine Pleasure Island and look forward to sharing our progress over the coming months.”

    To make way for the new offerings, all of the clubs currently on Pleasure Island will close on Sept. 27. Other locations on Pleasure Island , including Raglan Road , Fuego by Sosa Cigars, Curl by Sammy Duval, Orlando Harley-Davidson and outdoor food and beverage locations, will remain open during the transition.


    To complement these new experiences, many popular Downtown Disney locations will undergo enhancements.

    · Beginning this summer, Portobello Yacht Club will be transformed into a Tuscan Country Trattoria. The refreshed menu features authentic Italian dishes and signature favorites and a re-designed interior along with an outdoor dining space.

    · This fall, Goofy’s Candy Company will add a special new room that will enable families to host one-of-a-kind birthday parties at Downtown Disney.

    · The Marketplace Stage will be completely replaced with a larger, covered stage this fall to welcome even more entertainment to Downtown Disney and serve as a new premier venue for Disney Magic Music Days.

    · Fulton’s Crab House will update its interior fixtures and furnishing and exterior in Spring 2009. The enhancements include a refreshed third floor deck dining area to offer additional Disney guests and larger private parties the traditional Fulton’s experience.

    · Next year, Wolfgang Puck Café will update its interior fixtures and furnishings and will feature an enclosed glass patio offering guests a year-round outdoor dining experience.

    These efforts come on the heels of recent enhancements at World of Disney, Wolfgang Puck Express, Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, Earl of Sandwich and Cap’n Jack’s Restaurant.

    ####
    Last edited by John; 06-28-2008 at 01:45 PM.
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  3. #2
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    I like the idea of "make your own tees" at the Hanes store. But I hope they don't get rid of the prix-fix meal at Portobello! That is my fave meal at DD. Sigh.

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  4. #3
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    Cool!

    Thanks for passing this along John!

  5. #4
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    Out of all these enhancements, I hope an new and improved parking lot will come along on the Marketplace side of DTD! That thing is ALWAYS packed!

    Thanks for the updates, John. I haven't been to th West Side or PI in decades, so this might be a good reason to stop by!
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    Thanks for the update. In a way I look forward to seeing the enhancements, (as they call them) but I'll miss the Adventurers Club for the first time since 1989. I hope they don't mess with it or Mannequins too much!
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    Thanks for the update.
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  8. #7
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    Thanks for the info John! I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with PI. It sounds like more restaurants and stores, and since I love to eat and shop this could definitely work for me! I don't go much for dance clubs so I won't miss them but like others have said, I hope they don't change much with the Adventurer's Club. We just discovered it our last trip and LOVED it! If they take it away I'm going to have one upset sister on my hands. I guess if it goes that just leaves us more time for the parks (and of course for me to shop at DTD!).
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    Sounds like good news for SSR owners.

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    1) Thank Goodness !
    2) Finally, a family version of Pleasure Island.
    3) We can go back to PI !
    4) We haven't been in years due to the loitering teens and groups.
    5) We just didn't feel safe.

    NOTE: This change just reinforces the pain that Disney has learned. Just because you build it, they won't necessarily come. They tried to copy City Walk and failed - just as badly as when they tried to copy Universal Studios with Disney-MGM Studios, or trying to copy Busch Gardens with Animal Kingdom.
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    Cool

    I'm curious to see what becomes of the Adventurer's Club.

    I'll admit I don't get there too often because of the kiddies, but when I do go I always have a blast.

    I'd miss it if it closed.

    Oh wait, I forgot ... it's moving over to "Night Kingdom."
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  12. #11
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    They did not say anything about the Comedy Club. Is that going too?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRustyScupper View Post
    NOTE: This change just reinforces the pain that Disney has learned. Just because you build it, they won't necessarily come. They tried to copy City Walk and failed...
    Um...I was under the impression that City Walk didn't open until Universal expanded and built IoA, at which time Pleasure Island had already been open for some time. So it was the other way around actually. And as far as DHS and DAK are concerned, yes, they were created to directly compete with those parks but they've certainly evolved into something uniquely Disney because YES, if you build it they WILL come. Go to Busch Gardens or Universal on any given day and they'll be considerably less crowded than their Disney counterparts.
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  14. #13
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    We were at the Adventurer's Club last night and it was confirmed that it's closing in September - the cast members found out yesterday, too. I sure wish we could save it - it's one of my favorite things at WDW - totally unique and very fun.

  15. #14
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    Talking

    I think it's great news! We avoid the westside cause of teens "hanging out" looking up to no good. With a more family feel added on to the westside it should drive the teens out of there. Also I am sure more families will spend time there (and money) .

    Another reason I think it's so great is it really sounds like it will have more of a disney feel, which is one thing it is lacking now. Plus I think PI could use a facelift. All in all I think it will be a great change, I know it will give us a reason to check it out.
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    The closing is also posted on WDW online. I looked at the FAQ's because boyfriend and I are both Premium Annual Passholders. Apparently Disney will now give us a free round of golf () because of the closure. I decided to write a nice note to WDW about this - neither of us have EVER played golf and are not about to start. I really hope they think up something else to offer; any other passholders feeling the same way?
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  17. #16
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    Here's a link I found to send questions/comments to Disney's Guest Relations...

    https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wd...=ContactUsPage

    (I know that Intercot generally doesn't allow the posting of links, but I thought this might be ok...)
    Rob

    PS: I also posted this in the 'Save the Adventurer's Club petition' thread in the Nightlife, Shops & Water Parks section...
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    It seems to me that Pleasure Island really started to slide when they removed the admission charge for the area as a whole, and made it club by club. I am in favor of upgrades, but I would miss Adventurers Club if it goes away permanently. I'd also like to see a more fully developed adult area, but for adults who are really kids, and want the Disney feel. That's what I think Adventurers Club does well, and what should be emulated there.

    I'm also not psyched to look out my window at SSR and see a big balloon above the water.
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  19. #18
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    So they are closing unique venues like the Comedy Warehouse and especially the Adventurer's Club, just to add more (3rd party) shops and restaurants... Oh, wait, there's a balloon too... This is not the idea of a brilliant imagineer, but of a short-sighted accountant...
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    Unhappy

    ALL SOUNDS VERY GOOD,BUT I THINK THE SHOULD KEEP RAGLAN ROAD,THAT PLACE IS GREAT,MAYBE TONE IT DOWN ALITTLE,MAKE IT MORE FAMILY FRIENDLY,THE FOOD IS SOME OF THE BEST AT DOWNTOWN DISNEY.
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  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Joker View Post
    So they are closing unique venues like the Comedy Warehouse and especially the Adventurer's Club, just to add more (3rd party) shops and restaurants... Oh, wait, there's a balloon too... This is not the idea of a brilliant imagineer, but of a short-sighted accountant...

    the writing was on the wall with this one for along time.....

    they will continue to outsource and third party as much stuff as they can....

    that is due to the fact they can't expand with their labor force already overextended......

    they line at casting has been non-existent for some time.....it just isn't a good gig entry level.....not even that good above entry level....

    so they will continue to do this in an attempt to free up enough labor to put together a new gate....in my opinion....

    on one side it's sad....but the practical reality is that disney will not increase pay and benefits to attract more/better workers.....
    so i have no problem with them supervising third party establishments that are willing to do that....as long as they are done right.....

    The balloon is a straight rip off from paris....as anyone who has been to the "downtown" there recognizes....

    but the list of "new things" that the article described isn't going to cut it....

    my interpretation is that the pleasure island clubs are CEASING to exist....not being rehabbed.....

    if so....then they will need alot more than a T shirt shop, restaurant, and a couple of overpriced private party rooms to make a dent in the decay that is fast setting in there....

    pleasure island and the west side need some serious work....in my opinion.....

    as neither cirque, nor disneyquest, nor Virgin, nor house of blues, nor bongos, nor any of the little boutique shops do alot for the rank and file traveler after sitting there for over 10 years now.....

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