Monday, April 24, 2017

DS Update: Disney Springs Over The Years

When you look back at all that's gone on since the Pleasure Island clubs closed and Disney Springs shops opened, it's easy to think that progress was made quickly. But that would be incorrect. What he have out there now took a really long time to get here. We all know the clubs closed in September, 2008 and by then the plans to lease the existing club spaces to 3rd parties had fallen through due to the recession. Disney decided to proceed with the demolition of Motion & Rock'n'Roll Beach Club as shown above in March, 2011 because regardless of what was going to come, it would involve making a new pedestrian walkway between Portabello and Raglan Road.

 By late 2012, the Blog speculated on the placement of what was to come, based on information given to us prior to that by our Island sources.  A) That new pedestrian walkway; B) The future home of a restaurant with a lighthouse design which we now know became The Boathouse; C) An outdoor music amphitheater which we now know became the Waterview Stage.
The ill-advised plans for Hyperion Wharf as Pleasure Island's replacement came and went. In February, 2013, the website Park Rumors reported that Disney Springs would be the new name for Downtown Disney and this was officially announced one month later. By February of the next year, construction was well underway. In this 2014 photo, we see the Pleasure Island Bypass causeway operational, Comedy Warehouse, Laffers Cantina & Curl gone along with the buildings adjacent Mannequins on Hill StreetThe Boathouse is also underway. The PI parking lot is still in business.
One year later (April 2015), the first new shops opened along Hill Street and the PI parking lot is now gone to make way for Disney Springs Town Center. Pleasure Island was no longer an island with The Waterfront now drained.
And one year later again (April 2016), Disney Springs is almost ready and indeed would open one month later.  The Lime Garage also appeared during this past year!
And here we are in April 2017, with the entire Village of Disney Springs open for business. One plot of land remains (middle left edge) for Wine Bar George and then it's done. Of course there are rumors of Disney Springs expanding even further west into the current Strawberry parking lot beyond House of Blues where there would be plenty more waterfront spaces to offer. But none of this came quickly. 2008 to 2016 means it took 8 years!

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