Thursday, September 18, 2014

Remembering Virgin Megastore

With Pleasure Island clubs shuttered at the end of September, 2008, the last thing Downtown Disney needed was more vacant space.  But that's exactly what happened with the announcement in March, 2009 that Virgin Megastore was closing two months later!  This created another large gap of real estate that could potentially prove difficult to fill.
But fill it they did.  In what the Blog felt at the time was a desperate move to eliminate the gap, the Princess Diana Museum temporarily moved in. There was an admission charge and it featured many of her gowns.
The museum was relatively short-lived and by 2010 RideMakerz opened. The store sold model car parts which could be assembled to make working race cars. Neither the museum or RideMakerz occupied the upstairs. RideMakerz was just temporary though.
It was difficult to imagine anything that could fit into this large space but Splitsville Luxury Lanes became the permanent replacement for Virgin Megastore.  Advertised to open in Fall, 2012, they made the deadline in mid-December.  There are bowling lanes on both the ground floor and upper levels; there is a restaurant and multiple bars.  This outdoor patio bar is arguably the most popular section of the complex.  They tried having a DJ on weekend nights at the upstairs bar inside but it never attracted much of a crowd.  Ahh, but I miss Virgin. The chain has closed all their North American and European stores though and only still exists in the Middle East.


Jeff - Gainesville said...

Man, I miss that store. Usually spent an hour or more there before hitting the clubs. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane.

Anonymous said...

It's a real waste and a shame that they closed down Virgin Mega Store.
As well as the dumbest thing they ever did, closing down Pleasure Island.
Hopefully they'll wake up, and realize that they still have Mannequins, 8Trax, and Adventure'ers Club,fix them up for nightlife.

KingBob said...

Jeff, Virgin was a great place! No one carried as many CD's as they did, especially the EDM section which back then they labeled "Techno".

Anon, no one bought CD's anymore so that's why the entire chain closed.