Tuesday, December 3, 2013

PI Update: DTD Vendors Upset About Parking!

Sources down on the Island tell Save Pleasure Island Blog that third-party vendors at Downtown Disney are very unhappy about the parking situation there and have been very vocal to Disney management about it.  We're told that AMC Downtown Disney 24 Theaters is so upset about the situation that they've allegedly threatened to leave!  Apparently the lack of close-by parking as well as traffic gridlock around Downtown Disney is impacting theater attendance.  As you know, parking lots H-I-J-K were closed to allow construction of the West Garage car park. But these were also the lots closest to the theaters.  And this is despite the fact that garage construction is apparently ahead of schedule, we're told.
The theaters originally opened in 1997 as part of Pleasure Island, operating under the name AMC Pleasure Island 24 Theaters until 2010.  With the Pleasure Island name supposedly doomed, they changed their name at that time to AMC Downtown Disney 24 Theaters.  We were told at the time that Disney paid for the sign changes.  Now the elimination of the Downtown Disney brand as it supposedly converts over to Disney Springs creates the need for yet another name change.  AMC customers are not only guests staying on-property but a lot of others living or staying off-property.  Anyone who has experienced the recent parking situation at Downtown Disney probably wants to avoid the place if there are theater alternatives.  Certainly there are theater alternatives for many.

Also allegedly upset over the situation is Paradiso 37. In our opinion no one has suffered more from the Pleasure Island debacle than P37.  Keep in mind that construction of the restaurant/bar (shown above) was already well underway when Disney closed the clubs in late 2008.  The Island became an instant dead zone and wasn't much better when Paradiso opened in June, 2009.  To the extent that the venue was counting on adults to have dinner and drinks before heading to the clubs for the night, there were no PI clubs to go to.  Today you can't walk past the place without finding buskers (albeit pretty ones) out on the sidewalk trying to get you to come in to eat. It does not seem that the new bypass/causeway is going to help their plight either.

Would AMC really close-up shop and leave?  That seems extreme since Disney has a plan in place called Disney Springs and things are really happening out there.  The parking situation is certainly a pain at peak times but is not at off-peak times.  (Yes, most people go to the movies at peak times.)  But once the West Garage is finished, it's going to be sitting right outside AMC's doors.  So patience please. We're all just hoping that Staggs' promise of adult nightlife at Disney Springs was really telling the truth!


Brian said...

The theaters originally opened as Pleasure Island 10. then was expanded to 24

KingBob said...

Thanks, Brian!

Anonymous said...

These articles are pretty interesting, maybe leaves many to think that maybe closing like they did five years ago, is now hurting everyone, and their businesses.
Is'nt it about time to stop all the needless construction and try to fix and reopen the clubs at P.I., so that everyone can get their businesses back on track, and bring nightlife back to P.I. .

KingBob said...

The 10pm to 2am time slot used to be a revenue-generator out there but it no longer is, for the most part. But several of the buildings have been demolished so they're not coming back. I think the Disney Springs plans are what is going to be constructed out there. Mannequins, 8TRAX, Adventurers Club buildings remain so there is no reason not to reopen them and bring nightlife back. Nearly everyone is leaving the property at night now looking for something to do, taking their dollars with them. And that was the whole reason PI was built in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Disney is trying to get into the lucrative Outlet business. Some of the artwork looks like a scene straight out of a Prime Outlet mall down the street.