Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hyperion Wharf vs Disney Springs

Rock'n'Roll Beach Club closed on February 3, 2008 and was the first club closing to be announced. Because it was reportedly quickly leased by a 3rd party operator for another purpose, Disney allegedly got the idea that they could close all the clubs, lease them out and not have to worry about them anymore.  That was the plan which led to the remaining club closures on September 27, 2008.  But then nothing. The economy tanked and no one wanted to lease anything, not even RRBC.  It would be over 2 years more before the replacement for Pleasure Island was finally announced: Hyperion Wharf.  The plan would die a quick death amid a lack of details and concerns from a very similar concept at Disney's Boardwalk.  But some concept art did get released and today we'll look at what stuck.....and what didn't.

 This piece of concept art displayed "The Hub" section of Hyperion Wharf.  The amphitheater did get built along the water for Disney Springs although it ended-up a bit more to the east. There is no refreshments kiosk as we see here.  We didn't get a "Disney Springs" sign atop Mannequins/Morimoto, instead we got a "Springs Bottling Co." sign.  The Fuego triangular building at the left got razed.
Zooming in, Hyperion Wharf promised us round pillar signs surrounding the amphitheater that would light-up with advertising and other features.  Those never got built.  Hyperion Wharf also had that large lighted Mickey Mouse sign that did not arrive with Disney Springs. The former Orlando Harley Davidson/Apricot Lane building got demolished and we didn't get a corner Zach Divine lounge with the glass second floor overlooking The Hub.  But we did get Jock Lindsey's which was not contemplated here plus a similar glass Coca Cola lounge is coming soon elsewhere!
This released concept art projected the view walking eastbound down off Hill Street passing Paradiso 37 and approaching the amphitheater on the left.  At the end, where Motion used to stand, was the "lighthouse" restaurant which was one of the earliest rumors published here on the Blog. It turned out to be right as The Boathouse, which ended up there, does have a lighthouse building. 
Lastly, the Hyperion Wharf plans called for the demolition of Motion and Rock'n'Roll Beach Club to allow construction of this pedestrian cut-through between Raglan Road and Portobello.  Those two clubs would become the first two to be demolished to make way for the "Motion Corridor" which today is where Chapel Hats and Havaianas shops are located. This passageway was needed at the time to address pedestrian backups traversing between the Marketplace and West Side.  Ironically, with the much larger Disney Springs concept and multiple new ways to travel back and forth, this was no longer needed but two dance clubs lost their life because of it.

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