Pleasure Island: A Guide to Upcoming Changes -
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  

Pleasure Island: A Guide to Upcoming Changes

by Dave Marx, Authors of PassPorter Travel Guidebooks
Last modified 7/3/2008 > Articles > Walt Disney World > Making Magic  

Late in the afternoon on Friday, June 27, 2008, Walt Disney World announced that the six dance and comedy clubs on Pleasure Island, part of the Downtown Disney shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, would close on September 27, to make way for "a completely re-imagined Pleasure Island." A Disney spokesman said, "Our bold new vision for Downtown Disney reflects the feedback we receive from our guests each and every day."

Let's pick the hard information out of the press release:

The September 27 closure affects only the six nightclubs currently operating on Pleasure Island: 8-Trax, Adventurers Club, BET Soundstage Club, Comedy Warehouse, Mannequins Dance Palace, and Motion. (Disney's fiscal year starts October 1, and there can be tax benefits to wrapping-up club operations before the year ends.)

The shops and restaurants will remain open: Raglan Road, Fuego by Sosa Cigars, Curl by Sammy Duval, Orlando Harley-Davidson, and various outdoor food and beverage kiosks.

A new restaurant, previously announced for Pleasure Island, is expected to open in Spring 2009. Operated by E-Brands Restaurants, the "high-energy, casual eatery will feature authentic Central and South American cuisine, specialty drinks and live music along the waterfront. Concept art released by Disney suggests the eatery will be called "La Dolbe," and will be located between the Adventurers Club and former Rock and Roll Beach Club.

Disney also cataloged other changes for the Downtown Disney area:

Portobello Yacht Club, also on the Pleasure Island property, is being re-styled and re-themed in summer of 2008 (like, now), as Tuscan Country Trattoria, with new interior decor, new menu (but still Italian, of course), and an outdoor dining area. This establishment is operated by Levy Restaurants of Chicago.

Fulton's Crab House, just across a small bridge from Portobello and also operated by Levy Restaurants, will get spruced-up in spring 2009, and they'll add an upper-deck area for added guest capacity and the option for larger private parties.

Just steps away from Fulton's, Portobello/Tuscan Country Trattoria, and The World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace is T-Rex, a new themed restaurant operated by Landry's (the Rainforest Cafe folks). That's set to open in the fall of 2008.

In the final restaurant news, sometime in 2009 Wolfgang Puck Cafe in Downtown Disney West Side will also receive refreshed interior decor and a new, enclosed outdoor patio. That patio may help relieve some of the demand for tables that can be so frustrating on busy, weekend evenings.

Since old news can still be repackaged as new news, the recently completed rehabs of Cap'n Jack's Restaurant, Ghirardelli Soda Shop, Earl of Sandwich, and Wolfgang Puck Express, all in the Marketplace district, were also mentioned in the press statement.

Not to be upstaged by the very recently announced, 400-foot tall Big Wheel (observation Ferris wheel) set to rise in Orlando's International Drive district, Disney has unveiled plans for a tethered observation balloon, which will take passengers up 300 feet into the skies above Lake Buena Vista. It's sure to provide much better views of Walt Disney World property than the Big Wheel, which will be seven miles away to the northeast. According to Pleasure Island vice president Kevin Lansberry in an interview with Orlando Attractions Magazine/Inside the Magic Podcast, the balloon will be located in Downtown Disney West Side area, in the open area between Bongos Cuban Cafe and Wetzel's Pretzels. And if anyone is worried about floating away, Wizard of Oz-style, I have a feeling Disney will have the ropes fastened a bit more securely.

Hanes will open a design your own t-shirt store in fall 2008, at an unspecified location somewhere on the 120-acre Downtown Disney property.

Goofy's Candy Company, in the Downtown Disney Marketplace district, will be opening a private party room in fall 2008. That'll be for family-style birthday parties, of course.

Also in the Marketplace in fall 2008, the Marketplace Stage will be upgraded to a new, covered stage, intended to be a major venue for Magic Music Days (for which it already hosts many smaller events).

Fans of the Adventurers Club have reacted strongly to this announcement, as one might expect (Jennifer and I have many fond memories of the club and its cast, and have long recommended it to our readers). There is an online petition at that currently has nearly 3,800 signatures, and many are writing letters to Disney (for a start, Guest Communications, Walt Disney World Co., Inc., PO Box 10040, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040)

About the Author:
Dave Marx is the co-author of PassPorter guidebooks. He's married to his co-author and partner in crime Jennifer and father to Allie and Alexander. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Recent Walt Disney World Articles:
The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios - A Walt Disney World Dining Review last updated 07-30-2015
Visiting Walt Disney World During Refurbishments - A Walt Disney World Planning Article last updated 07-23-2015
The Character Breakfast at Ravello at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando - A Walt Disney World Dining Review last updated 07-16-2015
The Grandparents Guide to Surviving (and Actually Loving) Disney - A Walt Disney World Planning Article last updated 07-09-2015
Surviving 'The Drive' to Walt Disney World - A Walt Disney World Planning Article last updated 07-02-2015

More Related Links:

Gardens of The World Tour - A Guided Tour During Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival last updated 5/28/2009
Star Wars Weekends - Feel the Force at Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 6/4/2009
Unusual Photo Opportunities - Getting Unique Photos at Disney last updated 6/18/2009
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights - Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 7/6/2009
Dashing Through The ... Snow? - Sleigh Rides at Walt Disney World last updated 11/30/08

Reader Comments:

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 7/3/2008 - Article #144 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - 13,14,15,16,17,18
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discussion forums about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel provided by PassPorter Travel Press, the ultimate Disney travel guide and book series.

Does everyone get this email from Disney?
by CinderAbby
2 Aug 2015 at 3:32pm
Now that Disney is doing "direct to your room" is everyone getting the email from them stating that I "may be able to skip the front desk?" It seems...
(click title above to view replies)

Let's try this again - Does Disney sell neck straps for cameras?
by CinderAbby
2 Aug 2015 at 12:57pm
I tried this in another thread but people brought up another kind of strap that I am not looking for so I'm reposting my question. I got a new...
(click title above to view replies)

Disney may be prepping to extend Be Our Guest breakfast to year's end
by Her Dotness
1 Aug 2015 at 4:35am
Crossing fingers :luck: because dates are showing for our Christmas trip for BOG breakfast on the Disney ADR booking section. No availability...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 5566

PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.