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Changes to Pleasure Island
The recent news that Pleasure Island is going to be radically changed by Disney has been met with a mixed reception, particularly by the youngster generation. At one time access to this popular area was chargeable, but now you only pay if you want to visit a night club, so families can walk round this area at night.
Pleasure Island has long been a favourite haunt of both families and young people looking for a great night out. It has a variety of restaurants and nightclubs, and has provided an eclectic mix of music and dining. It was a popular place for youngsters to go clubbing, and there was a variety of options for their enjoyment.
However, it appears that Disney are anxious to move away from the late night clubbing atmosphere to introduce a more family-friendly experience – after all, Disney does appeal to families, often with young children, so the 6 night clubs will all be closed. The whole transformation is expected to take two years. Raglan Road, Fuego by Sosa Cigars, Harley-Davidson and Curl are the only places which will remain open when the night clubs close on September 27th.
It is not clear exactly what Disney have in mind, but they do intend removing all the night clubs. It appears that they are going to concentrate on opening a range of new eateries as well as more shopping outlets. The new T-Rex restaurant is already taking shape, and it can be clearly seen opposite Raglan Road, the Irish themed restaurant. It is due to be opened in the Autumn of 2008 and is the first of the new look eateries in Pleasure Island. It already looks fantastic, and will feature both a dining and retail area, in an interactive prehistoric environment.
Apparently, guests will be greeted by life size animatronic dinosaurs, who live amongst bubbling geysers, cascading waterfalls and even a fossil dig site. Owned by Landry’s Restaurants who operate Rainforest Café, Landry’s Seafood and Joe’s Crab Shack, to name but a few, the food available will have a prehistoric theme – like Triassic Tortellini and the Bronto Burger as well as Prehistoric Pizzas and delicious desserts with names such as Chocolate Extinction and Meteor Bites. After eating, guests will be able to wander round the shop which will sell the usual t-shirts, souvenirs, educational toys and prehistoric themed merchandise. There is even a Build-A-Dino workshop based on the Build -A -Bear workshop, plus an interactive hands-on Prehistoric Experience. It looks like it will be an exciting addition to Pleasure Island.
So far, Disney have announced a new Central and South American Eatery which will open in Spring 2009, and a design-your-own T-shirt outlet opening in Autumn 2008. The Portobello Yacht Club is going to change into Tuscan Country Trattoria in the summer, and its redesigned interior will offer Italian dishes, plus outdoor dining space. Fulton’s Crab House and Wolfgang Puck Café are going to be refurbished, too. It is expected that the Marketplace Stage will be replaced in the Autumn by a larger covered stage. All of this will complement the tethered ballon that will take guests up 300 ft from Downtown Disney.
There will be many who will mourn the loss of the Adventurer’s Club, the BET Soundstage Club, Comedy Warehouse, 8Trax – with music from the 70’s, Mannequins Dance Palace with its rotating floor, and Motion, as they provided a unique place for youngsters to enjoy a great night out in a clean safe and upscale environment. Maybe its very location, set within two family friendly areas of Downtown Disney, made it a concept that Disney needed to change.
What is certain is that Disney will have put much thought and research into turning Pleasure Island into a profitable area which will appeal to the family market, and no doubt it will morph into an exciting and attractive addition to Downtown Disney.
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