In this video provided to us by Walt Disney World, Downtown Disney President Keith Bradford talks about some of the recent additions and changes to the Downtown Disney District at Walt Disney World as well as shares his plans and visions for transforming the former Pleasure Island section into Hyperion Wharf and how he plans to incorporate both the Marketplace and the West Side zones into the project.
Also making an appearance in the video is Walt Disney Imagineer Alex Wright who is a Senior Show Designer for the company. Alex briefly talks about the use and the importance of the lighting in the Hyperion Wharf area and how it will transition throughout the night.
Work will soon begin on a completely re-imagined Pleasure Island and other one-of-a-kind experiences as Walt Disney World Resort continues to bring new stories to life at Downtown Disney. Combined, the projects are expected to create an estimated 1,200 new jobs over the next three years.
“We have made great progress since first announcing our vision to bring new shopping, dining and entertainment experiences to Downtown Disney, many of which can’t be found anywhere else and have already become guest favorites,” said Keith Bradford, vice president of Downtown Disney. “We look forward to providing even more ways for our guests to enjoy Downtown Disney, while at the same time creating new jobs for Central Floridians.”
A nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th century port city and amusement pier will evolve Pleasure Island into “Hyperion Wharf.” By day, the bustling port district will draw guests in with its stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland.
Taking its name from Hyperion, the Greek god of light, as well as the street on which Walt Disney built his first major animation studio, the wharf district will also feature a relaxing lakeside park and enhanced pedestrian walkways. Its diverse eateries will expand dining availability at Downtown Disney by more than 25 percent.
“Hyperion Wharf will offer guests of all ages a vibrant atmosphere and new experiences that can be enjoyed by day or by night,” said Bradford. “Whether looking for a great place to dine with the whole family or a place to relax and enjoy live music, Hyperion Wharf will provide the perfect setting for guests to make new memories with us.”
In addition to the new wharf district, numerous other projects are underway at Downtown Disney, including:
- an extensive renovation of Lego Imagination Center, which will increase its overall footprint by nearly 3,500 square-feet and add new Lego exterior models featuring scenes from classic Disney movies;
- enhancements at AMC that will take the movie-going experience at Downtown Disney to the next level with new digital technology, a paradigm-shifting Concession Stand of the Future and Florida’s first Fork & Screen Theater; and
- numerous new or renovated retail shops and merchandise vignettes, as well as additional atmosphere entertainment, throughout Downtown Disney.
Combined, these projects are expected to create an estimated 600 construction jobs, 500 restaurant, retail and entertainment jobs and support 100 vendor and supplier jobs.
Characters In Flight operated by Aerophile is a 72-foot-diameter balloon with a whimsical design featuring silhouettes of a dozen of Disney’s “flying characters” – such as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Dumbo. The vibrantly colored balloon can lift up to 30 guests at a time on a six-minute trip – thanks to its enclosed volume of 210,000 cubic feet of lighter-than-air gas. The ascents, by day or night, provide guests with an unparalleled, 360-degree view of up to 10 miles.
Guests board a gondola beneath the 105-foot-high balloon from a landing platform on Village Lake at the end of the main promenade at Downtown Disney West Side. Riders can catch flights seven days a week. Hours Sunday-Thursday are 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. while ascents Friday-Saturday are 10:30 a.m.-midnight. Tickets ($16 for ages 10-up and $10 for ages 3-9) can be purchased on site. Availability is on first-come, first-serve basis.
A soft opening is scheduled to begin Friday, April 9 as per the Walt Disney World resort.
For more information about Walt Disney World Resort, visit Disneyworld.com.
Paradiso 37, a high-energy restaurant and bar featuring cuisine from North, South and Central America, welcomes guests to its table in May at Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort.
The lakeside eatery will offer a delectable variety of menu offerings representing the 37 countries of the Americas, plus an international wine bar, 37 varieties of tequila and 10 signature frozen margaritas.
The new concept was developed by Orlando-based E-Brands Restaurant Group, a multi-concept restaurant group which currently owns and operates Timpano Chophouse, Samba Room, Taqueria Canonita, Aquaknox, David Burke, Salsa Orlando and Canonita Express in a number of locations across the United States.
The lively Downtown Disney restaurant will feature nightly entertainment and will be open daily from 11 a.m. until late night.