Friday, December 3, 2010

PI Update: Is Adventurers Club Returning to PI?

Pleasure Island fans are abuzz this morning because of a new rumor circulating out there like wild fire that Adventurers Club is returning to Pleasure Island / Hyperion Wharf. The story begins a couple weeks ago when five pieces of concept art were released by Disney as part of their Hyperion Wharf announcement. I published three of those pieces here on the Blog but supposedly Disney pulled two of the pieces off their website before I could copy them. But several websites had copies of all five. Why did they pull them? Well the rumor goes that way back in the distance you could still see the red roof of the Adventurers Club, a building that was supposedly going to be torn down and should not be there! And Disney did not want people to know that! I don't didn't look like the AC roof to me. Nonetheless, that's where it started.

But now we have Orlando Attractions Magazine saying that a cruise director on one of the Disney Cruise Line ships told them that AC is definitely returning and it would be there on the Island as part of Hyperion Wharf. That would be incredible if true but can you trust a cruise director anymore than you can trust a Disney bus driver? You can view the story above on YouTube which begins about 5 minutes into the program.

What do I know about this? Two sources told me a more than a year ago that Adventurers Club was returning and one source said that it would be part of a new "land" at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The latter source had supposedly seen the concept art for the AK expansion which ironically enough was designed by the same company doing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion at Islands of Adventure. But if instead they bring this back to Pleasure Island, that would be huge. Then they need to bring back a comedy club and 8TRAX and the all of that would be family-friendly and draw huge crowds back. It would eliminate so much of the hostility that surrounded the closing of the PI clubs! Big thanks to reader Rich Koster (DisneyEcho on Twitter) for bringing this breaking news to my attention.


Anonymous said...

I only reported this because I myself am a huge fan of the AC and would love to see it come back, So when I heard this from the Cruise Director I wanted to share the excitement I felt. Lets all hope for the best! And if you are a Disney Imagineer or executive reading this, PLEASE MAKE THIS A REALITY!

Oh yeah and bring back an Imagination with some imagination, I miss The Dream Finder too.

Jimmy Strater

71 said...

Calling shanningans on this one:

(1) Heard from a fairly high-placed DTD source that everything in HW will be 3rd party--Disney is not even keeping the bars/popcorn stands. I don't see Disney selling AdvClub rights to a third party, or running the Club themselves.

(2) Word from months ago is that BET--part of the same building--has a mold problem, needs to come down. Can't tear down BET and leave the AC standing.

(3) About the only thing kinda/sorta confirmed for HW is Mahogeny Bay. It will be on the waterfront. It's not in the concept art for the east side of HW. It's not replacing Paradiso 37. Only waterfront plot left is the current AC/BET site. (I'm with Bob, that red roof could be Mahogeny Bay, not the AC--in fact, the reason those two pieces of artwork were not officially released may be that they show restaurants that are not formally signed yet--the other being Silk Road.)

(4) DCL Cruise Director seems fairly out of the loop--not the first person who'd be called with this news. When was the last time anything happened at Disney without Bob or Screamscape or WDWMagic catching wind of it first? Especially news this huge?

71 said...

Just to clarify, don't doubt for a second Mr. Stater heard this...just doubt that the Director was sharing anything but a rumor he'd heard.

And I totally agree, we need a rejuvenated JIYI with DreamFinder. Kungaloosh!

Disney Echo said...

Jim Hill does have a rumor that Australia is being added as a new land to Animal Kingdom, but the AC would have to be open late to be successful, later than that park stays open... plus there wouldn't be anything around it open at that hour even if there was a way to enter the club from outside the park like the Rainforest Cafe. I hope it remains where it is, at the new Hyperion Wharf. Go ahead and tear down the old building if mold is a problem, then rebuild it bigger and better than ever. Kungaloosh!

Disney Echo said...

Without the Adventurers Club, there is only Hype in the announced Hyperion Wharf plans. Kungaloosh!

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the HOOPLA the day it re-opens!!!!

Anonymous said...

from what I have read in earlier posts you can't believe any CM and or any Management? they seam to be unreliable.

Anonymous said...

I definitely hope this is true about AC reopening.
Hopefully this'll bring back Comedy Warehouse, and 8Trax, and Mannequins to fix up and reopen.
So everyone can have night life at Hyperion Wharf for the adults and party.

PS Janurary start in a month so "get cracking"!

KingBob said...

If Disney doesn't reopen 8TRAX, I will. There is money to be made!

Anonymous said...

It seems odd Disney would close a club, then re-open it a couple years later.
...unless that just proves they have no idea what they are doing.

Virtual Toad said...

DisneyCo is so huge that stupid decisions get made all the time... like clsoing the clubs and letting them rot while the economy stagnates. Permits have been filed to demolish AC/BET, but even Disney now says that demolotion would take place in the final stage of the redevelopment What if they can't find enough third-party vendors to fill the space? There's a ton of empty space on the Westside already.

Reopening just one club wouldn't work financially. But reopening 8trax, CW and AC would make a HUGE amount of sense.

And don't believe the mold rumor BS. Disney always floats rumors like this one to justify closing popular attractions. The Horizons building was built over a sinkhole... 20K had to close because water was leaking into the utilidors, etc. etc.

KingBob said...

>It seems odd Disney would close a club, then re-open it a couple years later....unless that just proves they have no idea what they are doing.

When it comes to Pleasure Island, I think they have shown that they don't know what they're doing. We're finally seeing some demolition action there but that may be just to please the stockholders who have GOT to be fed up with management regarding PI. The clubs needlessly closed more than 2 years ago amid great promises, only to sit idle the entire time!

71, it's Disney's ultimate call as to whether everything goes 3rd party or not. To make HW work, they may have to include some venues of their own. We see that today in both other sections of DTD.

>Disney Co is so huge that stupid decisions get made all the time... like closing the clubs and letting them rot while the economy stagnates.

Toad, exactly. But this mistake has been very unforgiving. Yet no one there so far, even Staggs, has been bold enough to admit it and stop the bleeding by reopening the formerly profitable aspects of PI.

info? said...

Michael Eisner was PI! he was the one who wanted PI! he was the one who opened PI! after he was gone is when it started to fall apart. Disney didn't care for it. and closed it. and will NEVER reopen it.
call this a rumor I do not care! believe or not I do not care! ok this is what i was told and read somewhere?
Walt Disney was not a drinker didn't want alcohol on his property.
but maybe i am wrong? from what I read on here it there are some who want to disagree? but if you want to say something different go ahead I said my peace> LOL

Virtual Toad said...

There's already a TON of alcohol sold across WDW! For goodness sake, have you ever been to EPCOT's F&W fest on a weekend night?!

I will agree that PI was Eisner's baby, but the same can be said for much of the Florida property. I think Eisner cared much more for WDW than the other resorts. WDW was where he made much of his mark, a lot of it surprisingly creative for a modern CEO. In contrast, I don't think Iger is interested in the resort side of things at all, beyond the quarterly financial statments of course.

KingBob said...

The "family friendly" nature of the PI makeover has always been a MacGuffin.

info? said...

yes Virtual Toad i have heard!
but this Epcot was not the Walt's original design?
and ADH has sales of booze as well!

71 said...

@ info?: Actually, Walt was quite the drinker. Bordering on a lush. He is the one who made sure Club 33 was included in Disneyland for his personal use. Although he died before they were built, he certainly supported the idea of lounges (e.g. Top of the World) in WDW hotels. And well EPCOT is not what he planned, World Showcase, where most of the booze gets sold, WAS in his original plans.

@ Bob: I don't doubt that at some point they may need some Disney-run venues to make HW work. But as of the time the cruise director would've been hearing this rumor, TDO was telling its PI managers it will all be 3rd party. Still not buying it.

info said...

71 that is what I have heard. over the years if you have this kind of info about Walt then well it could be true?
I mean the truth about people is kept hush hush for a reason?
heck there was rumors about Walt on Disney property Frozen but as we all know now that snot true! oh well!

Anonymous said...

@ info? 71 is correct. Uncle Walt wasn't always the Weekly ABC Showman that everyone likes to think of him as. Apart from his chain smoking and drinking, he was quite the womanizer (heck he married one of his ink and paint girls!)

Also, If one looks back at Walt's origianl designs for his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (especially in his video proposal to the state of Florida) he inteded to include a nightlife and club district, for Walt knew better than anyone, "You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”

??? real???? said...

"he inteded to include a nightlife and club district"
ok lets see it the video proposal?? you say there is one I want to see it??

INFO? said...

oh yeah the origianl EPCOT was to have a city with in the park so you could live and work in the same place!

KingBob said...

The original EPCOT concept was a futuristic city where people lived and worked. Living included all aspects of life including night life. What happened? 1) Walt died; 2) Allowing people to live there meant loss of control of the Reedy Creek Improvement District which the corporation could not allow; and still does not!

Anonymous said...

Obviously the idea of Pleasure Island as a whole was a bust, since every venue had to be full to be considered a success. But parts of it WERE very popular - 8Trax, Comedy Warehouse and, of course, The Adventurers' Club. So why not just build a new building with ALL THREE inside?

Multi-theme bar complexes aren't new ideas, as there are many popular ones throughout the world. Put the three ideas under one roof, add a top-40 dance place (or give 8trax three dance areas: one 70s, one 80s and one today) and some food and it should do quite well. You cannot tell me there isn't a huge profit to be made from selling alcohol. Are we all going to pretend Disney doesn't make a mint selling it on their cruise ships?

A concept like this doesn't even have to be limited to Downtown Disney, which has become really annoying with the parking situation, the length of a bus trip and all the people. It could be added to the Boardwalk area, or somewhere in the Magic Kingdom area, since that park is often open until midnight or 1am. Make it a new stop on the monorail route and you have four hotels full of people that can get there easily. And the fans will show up wherever it is. Personally I'd put it on an actual island in the middle of the Seven Seas Lagoon and call it Pleasure Island again!

KingBob said...

Anon at 1:58am, a lot of good ideas in there. A real PI in the middle of Seven Seas Lagoon would be a really cool attraction.

We're not going to see it at the Boardwalk though, where any kind of noise after 10pm is discouraged because those paying $350/night in those hotel rooms won't tolerate it (nor would I blame them). It would not surprise me to see ADH closed down when the contract with Swan/Dolphin expires in 2013/2014.

I think the clubs belong right there on Pleasure Island. I've said it plenty of times; AC, CW and 8TRAX can be tweaked to be quite family-friendly. They could operate at a profit and give many vacationing at the WDW Resort a reason to hang-out at Hyperion Wharf rather than briefly visit and leave.

You'd better believe there are lots of profits in alcohol sales. And Disney sells LOT's of it!

Anonymous said...

Just got back for WDW (Pleasure Island 12-12-10) AC & Comedy Club are still standing, as are most other buildings.


Anonymous said...

I'm the Anonymous that suggested a Seven Seas Pleasure Island... I don't see why it has to be family friendly. In fact, I think allowing in kids keeps many people away. Who wants to go to a bar with kids?

But this is Disney and heaven forbid a single child not get to do every single thing it wants to! I suppose the bottom floor could be the "family" area, with, say, a safari-themed restaurant (this could be the mask rooms from AC) and disco. The Comedy Warehouse could be down here too, since that is basicaly family-friendly. But keep 8Trax and the rest of the Adventurers Club upstairs for the adults.