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  1. #1

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    Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Bold New Vision for Downtown Disney - 6/27/08

    Walt Disney World Resort Press Release


    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.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Bold New Vision for Downtown Disney - 6/27/08

    I was not a fan of PI, so the new expansions sound awesome!

    I love the Goofy Candy Co area for birthday parties!

    I love DTD so any improvements are a welcome site IMHO!
    Mandy

  3. #3

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    Re: Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Bold New Vision for Downtown Disney - 6/27/08

    PI and the Westside have always seemed useless to me and I've never visited them so I'm excited about something more coming that may be helpful. Downtown Disney Marketplace has started to feel a bit small. I'm glad to see some more expansion coming. I am sad to see Adventurers Club go though as it was such an original concept and even though I'd only been once, it was always nice to know something that original was out there. I really hope it comes back in some shape or form somewhere.

  4. #4

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    Re: Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Bold New Vision for Downtown Disney - 6/27/08

    ORDDU: Hmmm...not sure what to make of all these changes to Pleasure Island.

    ORWEN: I always thought that was the place people went to make donkey's out of themselves. I mean, that's what Pinocchio and Lampwick did, anyway. So I've always stayed away from the place.

    ORGOCH: That's 'cause ya don't NEED ta go all the way ta Pleasure Island ta make a jack-a$$ outta yer own dang self, sister!

    ORDDU: I'm actually surprised that Disney thinks there isn't still an audience for some of the more night time entertainment that Pleasure Island has to offer. The dance clubs seemed to be full enough whenever I was there with one of my gorgeous hunks.

    ORGOCH: Like as if ya had a full dance card, er somethin', ya tramp!! When did ya ever even have just ONE date ta take ya out?

    ORDDU: I was never the type to kiss and tell, dear. There have actually been many men in my Life over the years. Several of them have taken me to Pleasure Island. I even went there with Dustysage when we first met.

    ORWEN: Well, I just can't imagine what they would be able to come up with that's going to get more people to spend their hard earned money there--especially since I read, somewhere, that people are going to have to start paying for parking, once the place goes through its change.

  5. #5

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    Re: Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Bold New Vision for Downtown Disney - 6/27/08

    I can understand the direction they're going, but who would want a birthday party at downtown disney????? That just doesn't seem appealing at all. It's like having your party at the mall.

    And yah, I'm fine with shutting down a few of those clubs but Adventurer's Club and Mannequin's are actually really cool! Why do they need to close EVERYTHING?


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  6. #6

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    Re: Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Bold New Vision for Downtown Disney - 6/27/08

    I enjoyed the clubs at PL, but am curious to see what the concepts will be that will replace what's there. I hope they keep some kind of "over eighteen" system for the area.

  7. #7

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    Re: Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Bold New Vision for Downtown Disney - 6/27/08

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    I can understand the direction they're going, but who would want a birthday party at downtown disney????? That just doesn't seem appealing at all. It's like having your party at the mall.

    And yah, I'm fine with shutting down a few of those clubs but Adventurer's Club and Mannequin's are actually really cool! Why do they need to close EVERYTHING?
    Agree with everything.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Bold New Vision for Downtown Disney - 6/27/08

    I have to agree with my fuzzy ewok friend there, The adventurer's club was the most unique and fascinating places to go in the evening after everything else was closed. The dance hall was always packed when I visited it, and well one of the more interesting places to peoplewatch and we'll leave it at that.

    As far as birthday parties, I think they may have something there, I know a lot of parents who throw parties at various venues just to avoid having to clean the house. The local mall included, where they typically will do build-a-bear and then go to the Rainforest Cafe for the food, cake, etc. then have the parents collect them from there. (trust me its much easier on the nerves than say chuck-e-cheese or Jeepers) Having it in Goofy's candy co would be cheaper than in the parks to be sure, I can see them doing a create a t-shirt or (if they have a lot of money to burn) BBB then go to the party area.


    Growing up in Maryland I can remember having my 2nd birthday party in "The enchanted forest" which was a storybook land style park which probably was not cheap...(I say was since they closed sometime in the mid 70's or so...) but the fact that I remember it decades later means it was worth the cost... I expect the relative cost is probably the same figure they'll have some sort of Disney hook to it like Goofy and Pluto coming out to see the kids when they since happy birthday for a group photo... So I'd have to say let's wait and see what they offer and for how much before we pass judgment on the Birthday bash rooms...
    Last edited by Jerren; 07-07-2008 at 07:33 AM.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Bold New Vision for Downtown Disney - 6/27/08

    Why doesn't Disney just open a bank and a brokerage?

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