Monday, July 23, 2012

PI Update: Will The Pleasure Island Name Survive The Downtown Disney Expansion?

On September 28, 2008 the Pleasure Island clubs closed but it's important to differentiate that Pleasure Island itself did not.  The Island is still there and the name is still used quite prominently!  The question on many minds is whether the Pleasure Island brand name will survive whatever changes are coming?

My guess is that the name will not survive the changes. We know that when the Hyperion Wharf concept was announced that PI was done and the name was changing to HW.  Of course that thankfully fell through and we're awaiting the next set of plans known internally as the Downtown Disney Expansion.  But even before that, back when the PI club closures were first announced, AMC Pleasure Island 24 quickly changed its name to AMC Downtown Disney 24 because the name was to be dropped. So even now there is this overriding sense that the Pleasure Island name is a goner.

The Pleasure Island name remains used in many significant ways.  It remains on road signs, on Disney maps, in Disney brochures and publications.  At Downtown Disney there are references to it everywhere including that new sign added just a week or so ago.  It's a major bus stop on the Disney Transportation system. When they finally took down all the remaining club name signs last August, they didn't take down any Pleasure Island signs.  One has to assume that was deliberate.  I've estimated the cost of replacing the huge Pleasure Island sign atop Mannequins (pictured above) at more than $8M.  And how many more millions for the iconic "great sign" out on BVD?  Is that a wise use of money when there are so many pressing needs on the Island itself?  Let's not forget the Asset value of the Pleasure Island brand name itself.  It's tremendous and it does not translate over to any other name.

When the new direction for Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island are finally announced (I'm hearing in October), we'll know then if the name survived!

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