Friday, March 16, 2012

Massive Downtown Disney Expansion Planned

Rumors have been going around for sometime that Downtown Disney is going to be expanded into a much larger shopping complex than it currently is.  Now a source has told the Blog that the expansion is going to be so huge that it's going to eat up part of the land currently used by Disney's Lake Buena Vista Golf Course! Supposedly as DTD is expanded to the west beyond Cirque, it will need land that is now the western most portions of the DTD parking lot and land that is the southern-most section of the LBV course.  It is unclear whether Village Lake would get lengthened too.
The Blog previously reported back in 2010 that a trolley system was to be installed at Downtown Disney.  A trolley or similar light rail system like the one shown above at Disney California Adventure is apparently still in the works.  It would run from the Old Key West Resort on the west, through and looping around DTD and then ending at Saratoga Springs Resort to the northeast.  The current road that runs beside DTD would remain in some form behind a decorative wall (for fire and emergency services) with the train track(s) running parallel. The current ferry boat service that runs on Village Lake between DTD points would be discontinued but ferry boat service to/from resorts up the Sassagoula River would continue to operate to Downtown Disney Marketplace.  Hmmm. Like any great downtown, it sure could use an adult entertainment district with maybe a dance club or two, a couple comedy clubs, you know!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, it should include some kind of adult entertainment!

strangeling said...

Good news indeed! Could use some sort of club.... for adventurers.... too =)

strangeling said...

Or at least something along the lines of the Trader Sam's at the Disneyland Hotel!

Anonymous said...

Disney needs to open something of its own to show it has a vested interest in PI succeeding. And since they own the rights to the Adventurers Club, that would be the perfect thing.

Anonymous said...

Expansion while the buildings sit empty on PI....SMH

Anonymous said...

By the time Disney does any of this I am going to old any way. Most of this would not be done till after my 10 yr old tun 20.

Anonymous said...

Just wish WDW would some sort of evening adult entertainment. You can only see Fantasmic! and Wishes so many times before it gets old. Even Jellyrolls, while lots of fun is a 1 trick pony, so to speak. Something like, say, The Adventurers Club or at least Trader Sam's would be IDEAL!!!! Universal has the right idea!

Anonymous said...

I think that Disney is spreading themselves a little too thin.
If they had any sense they would use some of the effort to reopen P.I., fix the clubs up, and light P.I. up.
So that everyone can dance and party.

KingBob said...

If they would reopen two dance clubs and two comedy clubs, they'd have a core from which to bring in other ventures. Right now it seems no one seems to be interested in the spaces which, let's face it, are ill-suited for anything but the clubs that they are.

Rus Wornom said...

Universal gets it. Disney doesn't. And they don't care.

Ace said...

Oh, I think Disney gets it alright... They're just waiting for the right time. Spreading themselves thin? Possibly. But when all the projects currently in flight start to bear fruit, it will be amazing. I suspect that "small" projects like Hyperion Wharf will give way to larger and more splashier things like the rumored expansion of the areas to the west of Cirque. Disney seems to be demonstrating, right now, that bigger and splashier is better. In other words, no half-hearted projects. When you go for it, you really go for it. They're not messing around with Disney California Adventure, or with Avatar Land. We may do well to expect the same of Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island. A whole-hog super-concept development would be consistent with Disney's current operating mode.

KingBob said...

Except that several knowledgeable sources say Avatarland will probably never get built.

Except that the re-do of Disney California Adventure is because they did a half-assed job the first time.

Except that Hyperion Wharf was a lame attempt to re-do of Pleasure Island which is why it got scrapped before it even started.

But let me say this: I hope whatever PI becomes is a huge success. I want to be wowed and I want it to be a great place!

Ace said...

Agreed, I always thought that Avatar Land likely will not have enough staying power in the public's mind to make it through to construction unless the sequels perform very very well. Avatar was no Star Wars. So for now it's likely just a place holder for all intents and purposes, although I have not heard that. ;)

DCA was crippled before it was built. But let's give credit for finally spending the big bucks to attempt to fix it.

And Hyperion Wharf had the appearance of being immersive, flashy, and creative, especially at night. But we only saw version 1 and there's no telling how it would actually have been executed.

I think we should look forward and expect a more cohesive and more integrated plan for the property in the future. Even the West End was built on the cheap and is a mere shadow of the immersive experience you get at City Walk Orlando and -- even better -- what you get at City Walk Hollywood.

KingBob said...

Ace, the concept art for Splitsville looks very futuristic to me. Maybe the re-design for PI and all of DTD is a "futuristic" look in lieu of the past plan for a "turn-of-the-century" look.

Ace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ace said...

KingBob: Splitsville "futuristic," and a possible glimpse of things to come? I agree. Disney has a lot of new technology to play with for both daytime and nighttime experiences and we're seeing interesting forays here-and-there using new technologies not previously employed. As an example, think LEDs and electroluminescence. It is of critical importance for Disney to couple any major investment with making a major and unique splash on the future entertainment scene. Disney recognizes that they cannot simply create another bland shopping district or another City Walk clone but must make a splash. I think these are critical success factors which have been put before the imagineering teams to ensure that they address the expectations of today's audiences and park visitors. And I don't think that clubs are excluded from future development. If clubs are built, then they must be profitable, immersive, exciting and be "a good fit" for the long haul and not just for the first few years. I recognize Splitsville as a club of sorts and therefore hold a fairly optimistic outlook. There is plenty of creativity at work behind the scenes. The real problem for the future will be budgets and other externally imposed limitations.