Tuesday, October 19, 2010
PI Update: Where Are the Rumors Taking Us?
The news yesterday that construction permits have been filed by Disney for Pleasure Island construction is the biggest PI story since the announcement in June, 2008 that they were closing the clubs. But the permits filed so far are scant on details so everything is still up for speculation and rumor. Here is what is known so far, and I will make reference to the photos above as Photos 1 through 5.
1. Per writers Dewayne Bevil & Jason Garcia's article in the Orlando Sentinel today, a Disney spokesperson has stated that they will reveal some details within a matter of weeks.
2. PI changes originally were to be completed within 2 years (2010) and then that was bumped to 4 years (2012). You'll recall the Orlando Sentinel reported finding something in an Annual Report that indicated restructuring would not be finished until 2013. That would be 5 years. Well if you click on those Construction Permits I published yesterday, you'll see that they don't expire until December 31, 2013. So don't expect a brand new Island anytime soon.
3. We've had a couple people supposedly "in the know" comment here on the Blog in opposite directions. One said demolition on the Island would begin in October and the other said there were no demolitions planned and there was no money in the budget for it. We've not seen any club buildings come down yet but the demolition has definitely begun as shown in Photos 1 & 2 above. Let's talk about that.
4. The rumors out there have construction beginning on the east side and working their way west. The eastern side of the Island begins at the #1 Bridge and we've seen the east span demolished and replaced with a brand new span and now we're seeing the west span demolished and being replaced. (Photo 1)
5. That area where niche music groups and choirs used to perform, located in front of Portobello, has now been demolished. (Photo 2) If you look at last Saturday's article I said we'd watch closely to see if they were demolishing or rebuilding. Progress so far shows it being demolished! It's in the way of the new pathway. I also pointed out a second walled-off area in the background. Look at today's photo and you can see the two construction areas are now walled-off into one much-larger area.
6. The rumored walkway will travel into the current backstage area between Portobello and Raglan Road. (Photo 3) The construction permit refers so that area as a "Service Yard".
7. Motion is going to have to come down....and relatively soon, as the walkway must come through there and enter what is now Funmeister Plaza. Photo 4 shows the current employee-only walkway there now between Motion and the PI restrooms. Thus, will be looking for construction permit(s) regarding the demolition of both Motion and Rock'n'Roll Beach Club. This is where a different rumor had a restaurant/bar/lounge being built in the form of a lighthouse on the water. Expect a nautical theme to all the coming changes and a name change from Pleasure Island to something nautical such as "x Harbour". Insert your own name into x.
8. The Mannequins/8TRAX building cannot be demolished but it can be re-used. I have no clue to what.
9. Sadly, Soundstage and Adventurers Club are coming down! (Photo 5) But with these buildings at the far west end of the Island, we might not see this for another couple years! Stay tuned!