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P. 57 - Disney's Blizzard Beach reopens on March 7th, 2021!

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I went to PI once during the college program. That was enough for me. I was never into the club/dance scene so for me, I'm glad it's becoming a larger Downtown Disney. Especially since it means more restaurants to eat a ton of food at!

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Am I nuts, or does that look a lot like the concept art for what's currently happening to DCA's Paradise Pier & Buena Vista Street? The themes and decor appear strikingly similar, which is great because so far Paradise Pier is looking really nice. A mega shopping district in that same motif would be a very pleasant place to visit.

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^^I never saw a good improv show at Pleasure Island.

 

Really?? I thought most of the time they were way better than Whose Line Is It! It could depend a lot on the crowd, but 80% of the time I was trying to not pee myself from laughing so hard.

 

I don't understand dancing at all so I'd never go into a dance club.. but that was why PI rocked because you had places to go have a good time where you didn't have to deal with the loud music and crowds of (what I consider) insane people!

 

I also don't think anything is being "replaced with something better" unless you consider a huge lego store and some well themed desserts and burgers better.

 

Why did PI close anyways? Was it really losing money? That's hard to believe because alcohol is typically a gold mine. I also heard it was because it was starting to attract some thugs.

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I also don't think anything is being "replaced with something better" unless you consider a huge lego store and some well themed desserts and burgers better.

 

Absolutely!!! Themed desserts and burgers! More food is always better than almost anything else!

 

As for the theming, it kinda has a Port Discovery - Disney Sea look to me, but of course nothing can be that nice.

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^^Yes, really. Maybe it is because I am from LA, where good comedy is easy to find...but I never once saw a show there that had more than one or two funny lines. And those lines were usually when they poked fun at Disney.

 

I also do see more restaurants as an improvement. The dance clubs were extremely dated, The Adventurer's Club was a novelty thing I had no interest in ever doing again, and as I've mentioned I wasn't a fan of the Comedy Warehouse...

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I also don't think anything is being "replaced with something better" unless you consider a huge lego store and some well themed desserts and burgers better.

 

Absolutely!!! Themed desserts and burgers! More food is always better than almost anything else!

I totally agree. For years all I heard was stories about how the clubs and Pleasure Island lost money. The resort guests never went to them, and it was mostly locals and cast members who never spent money there, yet bitched and complained when they made changes or closed the place.

 

PI was a terrible idea which never really worked and I'm actually happy to see it bulldozed. I'd much rather see that space used for something that fits the resort and their guests.

 

I always looked at PI as the opposite of when Vegas tried to go "family friendly." People go to Vegas for sin, people go to Disney for family fun. Trying to deviate from your focus just isn't going to work. Stick to what you know, and the reasons why people come to your destination.

 

And quite honestly, screw the locals. That's not who Walt Disney World is made for. If the locals can't figure out that this new addition will be GREAT for Downtown Disney, and they'd rather have clubs and alcohol...move to Las Vegas!

 

--Robb "Spent about an hour at the Lego store this trip and really looking forward to the expansion!" Alvey

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Posted on Screamscape this morning

 

(11/22/10) A Screamscape source tells me that along with the introduction of the Hyperion Wharf concept to Downtown Disney, there are also plans in the works to add a small trolley system to run along the lengthy complex, very similar to what is being added to the California Adventure park.

There are likely to be a few other changes as well down at the West End. I’m hearing that House of Blues may be planning to leave Disney property entirely in the future, in favor of setting themselves up off-site in a new location. If this happens, look for Harley Davidson to move into the former HOB digs. Meanwhile the Mouse has plans in the works for the nearby Virgin Megastore building that would see it redesigned as a cluster of smaller high-end shops. I’m also being told that Cirque is currently planning a whole new show to eventually replace the long running La Nouba show in 2013, around the same time as the rest of Hyperion Wharf, taking advantage of it as the right time to relaunch themselves along with the rest of Downtown Disney.

 

Woah! This is pretty of upsetting to me. Most of the time I'm at Downtown Disney it's to see a concert at the House of Blues, that venue is great! It gets more business than any of the other venues in Orlando, and IMO it's half of what keeps the West Side busy. Harley Davidson? Ugh, I don't think I would have any reason to go back to that end of Downtown Disney if the House of Blues is replaced with a giant Harley place. I hope this turns out to be untrue.

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^ Yeah, that would be a shame.

 

I wouldn't be surprised to see Jellyrolls moved over there. The last time I was at Jellyrolls the place was very quiet and that was mid summer. Maybe I was there on an off night. Moving it over there certainly would be an easy way to liven it up. Some sort of live music would be a nice thing to incorporate.

SAME.

 

This is exactly the kind of thing that I'm hoping for. While I'm not opposed to more shopping and food options, I think there is definitely a need for places like this. Basically, I just wanna see a "complete" area.

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That would be a bummer if House of Blues left--always thought it was the best of the "Hollywood" type chain restaurants (the others being the Hard Rock Cafe and the wretched Planet Hollywood).

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^

(11/22/10) A Screamscape source tells me that along with the introduction of the Hyperion Wharf concept to Downtown Disney, there are also plans in the works to add a small trolley system to run along the lengthy complex, very similar to what is being added to the California Adventure park.

There are likely to be a few other changes as well down at the West End. I’m hearing that House of Blues may be planning to leave Disney property entirely in the future, in favor of setting themselves up off-site in a new location. If this happens, look for Harley Davidson to move into the former HOB digs. Meanwhile the Mouse has plans in the works for the nearby Virgin Megastore building that would see it redesigned as a cluster of smaller high-end shops. I’m also being told that Cirque is currently planning a whole new show to eventually replace the long running La Nouba show in 2013, around the same time as the rest of Hyperion Wharf, taking advantage of it as the right time to relaunch themselves along with the rest of Downtown Disney.

Well, just based on this little information (which is only a rumor as of now), it sounds as if HOB is the one wanting to relocate. I may be wrong, but sometimes we just never know the underlying circumstances for why things happen.....especially if something appears to be making money.

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Oh, true. I never figured that it could be the other way around, instead of Disney to rid of House of Blues. Good eye.

 

Also, I figure there has to be some reason. Y'know? Instead of just removing parts unnecessarily. I would love to know the reason, haha. But eh, just a preference.

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I have gone ahead and added two previously unreleased pieces of concept art for the new Hyperion Wharf district to the original announcement post.

 

Not to create false hope, but the first of the two new images holds a small glimpse of a white building next to Paradiso 37. Based on the concept art alone (and we know how different things could turn out in real life), many are drawing the conclusion that this building is the former Adventurer's Club. Again, based on the concept art, the building looks to be the same, but I'm certainly not holding my breath on this one.

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Here are some short videos of what I miss the most about pleasure island.

 

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=S6305779_0wjr[/coastertube]

 

 

And.

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=S6305776_0839[/coastertube]

 

But most of all, I miss manaquins.

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=S6305644_dmsx[/coastertube]

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  • 5 months later...

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/05/curtain-rises-on-amc-dine-in-theatres-at-downtown-disney/

 

We have an exciting announcement today for those of you who frequent Downtown Disney. The AMC Downtown Disney 24 movie theater has transformed a section of their property into AMC Dine-In Theatres – special theaters that combine the concept of “dinner and a movie” into a spectacular new in-theater dining experience.

 

Six theaters in the complex have undergone this transformation and now feature cozy seating and table-top dining. The experience includes reserved seating, table-top dining, and a personal notification button that can be used to quietly call your server at any time during the movie. These theaters also offer an extensive menu that includes appetizers, entrees – like quesadillas, burgers, and flatbread pizzas – desserts, movie theater candy, and more. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages also are available.

 

I was lucky enough to test this new offering out during a preview last week, and I have to say it really redefined “dinner and a movie” for my husband and I. We no longer had to worry about battling busy restaurants and rushing through our meal in order to make it to the theater in time to snag some great seats. The new dine-in theater experience took care of all of that for us and saved a ton of time.

 

Ticket prices to see films in AMC Dine-In Theatres range from $6-13, depending on the day of the week and the showtime. Menu items start at $6.59-8.99 for appetizers, and $8.59-11.59 for entrees.

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  • 1 month later...

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/07/downtown-disney-update/

 

In November, we shared plans to re-imagine Pleasure Island and bring other new and compelling experiences to life at Downtown Disney. Today, we’d like to update you on our progress.

 

First, we’re excited that some of the new experiences we announced are already becoming favorites, like the newly expanded LEGO Imagination Center and AMC’s first Dine-In Theatre in Florida. The great news is there is more on the way.

 

Recently, Orlando Harley-Davidson opened its newly expanded 3,635-square-foot store at Downtown Disney West Side. The largest and most interactive Harley merchandise store of its kind, it draws guests in with a 40-foot tower and massive LCD/LED screens showing specially produced footage of motorcycles in action. Guests are also able to see and sit on some of the latest Harley-Davidson motorcycles and a brand new production studio lets guests be pictured in their favorite riding spot or transformed into real bikers. Guests can even design biker vests of their own.

 

Later this summer, Apricot Lane Boutique, a specialty retail store that offers celebrity-inspired branded apparel, affordable fashion jewelry, handbags and accessories, will open in the space the Harley-Davidson store previously occupied on Pleasure Island.

 

This fall, construction will begin on Splitsville, a 50,000-square-foot upscale entertainment center that combines bowling with billiards, dining, music and nightlife. To make way for this experience, RIDEMAKERZ, currently located on the West Side, will move to the Marketplace.

 

Over on Pleasure Island, we’ve completed removing some of the buildings that aren’t part of our future plans. During the course of this site work, we identified opportunities to further refine our master plan and are pausing to evaluate them. What does this mean for you? While we’re moving quickly, it will admittedly cause a delay in construction.

 

But we’re willing to bet that any delay will be worth the wait once we’re able to share details about the exciting work we’ve been doing.

 

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more updates on Downtown Disney!

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/07/topping-out-ceremony-held-at-disneys-art-of-animation-resort/

 

Have any of you been clamoring for details on the new Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which is set to open at the Walt Disney World Resort next year? If so, we’ve got an exciting update to share today on the progress of this highly anticipated guest offering.

 

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which will bring to life famous Disney and Disney•Pixar films, including Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid, hit a major construction milestone earlier today when Walt Disney Imagineers and various crews working on the project held a “topping out” ceremony for the resort. This special moment is a tradition in the construction and engineering fields and takes place when the highest piece of steel is placed on a building’s frame. The tradition dates back to the Vikings, who would place an evergreen tree on the top of a building to celebrate and wish for good luck.

 

Today’s ceremony took place atop a wing of the resort that will be themed after The Lion King.

 

Disney Parks Blog author Tom Smith previously shared a look inside this resort, which will feature elaborately themed building exteriors and room interiors.

 

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is set to open in early Summer 2012 and is already available for booking. Standard rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort start at $94 per night and family suites start at $248 per night.

 

For more information on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, visit disneyworld.com or call 407-W-DISNEY (407-934-7639).

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  • 1 month later...

Four Seasons Hotel Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Officially Announced

 

Orlando Sentinel - Four Seasons Hotel Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

 

OrlandoSentinel.com

Four Seasons finalizes deal for $360 million hotel at Disney World

 

By Jason Garcia, Orlando Sentinel

 

4:40 PM EDT, September 13, 2011

Advertisement

 

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts said Tuesday it has secured financing for a $360 million luxury resort at Walt Disney World and will begin construction of the long-planned project in December.

 

The 444-room hotel, which will include a rooftop restaurant with views of the Magic Kingdom and a "lazy river" water feature, among other amenities, is expected to open in mid- or late 2014. The project will also include as many as 40 Four Seasons time-share units and up to 90 Four Seasons private residences.

 

Four Seasons will hold a 30 percent stake in the project, with the remaining equity split between Silverstein Properties, a New York real-estate developer, and Dune Real Estate Partners, a New York private-equity fund. Grupo Financiero Inbursa, a Mexico City-based bank, will provide $190 million in debt financing.

 

"This is something that we've been very excited about for a long time, so this is exciting for us to get to this milestone," said Scott Woroch, Four Seasons' executive vice president of worldwide development. "And we're very enthusiastic about being on the cusp of getting shovels into the ground."

 

Toronto-based Four Seasons bought the land for the hotel from Disney World in August 2008 for approximately $51 million, according to property records. The land, in the northeast portion of Disney World, includes Disney's Osprey Ridge golf course, which will be incorporated into the resort.

 

Officials initially hoped to open the resort by last year, but the project was slowed by the global recession and credit crunch.

 

"When we first went into the market and started talking about this in '08, there was no market. No one wanted to talk to us," said Larry Silverstein, chief executive of Silverstein Properties, which secured the construction loan and oversaw master planning, among other responsibilities. "It got a little better in '09 and it got a lot better in '10."

 

Silverstein estimated that 2,000 construction workers would be hired to work on the project. Four Seasons says it expects to employ "several hundred" workers to staff the hotel along with its restaurants, spa and other facilities.

 

It was Disney that first approached Four Seasons about buying the land. Disney is banking on Four Seasons, one of the most prestigious brands in the lodging industry, to provide an enticing amenity for buyers in "Golden Oak," a residential subdivision of multimillion-dollar homes that Disney is developing in the same area. About a dozen Golden Oak mansions are under construction currently; Disney says the project will ultimately have about 450 homes.

 

Four Seasons will become the second elite hotel brand to build at Disney World in recent years. Waldorf Astoria in 2009 opened a 498-room resort on a piece of land in Bonnet Creek, a small area in the midst of Disney World that is not owned by the giant resort.

 

Although the Four Seasons will include approximately 37,750 square feet of meeting and event space, the Disney World hotel is likely to cater to a higher mix of leisure travelers than the typical Four Seasons. The company currently operates 85 hotels, with roughly two-thirds in cities and the other third in resort destinations.

 

Woroch said he expects a roughly 50-50 split between leisure and business travelers at the Orlando location.

 

jrgarcia@tribune.com or 407-420-5414

 

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

Official Press Release

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Set to Open in 2014

 

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Finalises USD 360 Million Development Deal in Orlando, Florida With Silverstein Properties and Dune Real Estate Partners

 

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 13, 2011) -

 

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has entered into a joint venture with Silverstein Properties and Dune Real Estate Partners to develop a 444-room luxury resort at the Walt Disney World Resort.Construction is set to begin on what will be the largest Four Seasons resort in the world this December, with a target opening date in 2014.

 

"Four Seasons had the unique opportunity to purchase a fantastic site at the Walt Disney World Resort," says Kathleen Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "Then, we partnered with Silverstein and Dune, some of the world's most astute players in real estate to develop the project, which enabled financial commitments to be secured and the project to move forward. We are also delighted to work with The Walt Disney Company, which shares our vision for a family vacation experience unlike any other."

 

Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the world's leading luxury hotel brand, acquired the land from Disney in August 2008, and will retain a 30 percent ownership interest in the project in addition to operating the resort.

 

Four Seasons has been working closely with New York-based Silverstein Properties, one of the nation's most respected real estate development, ownership and management organisations, since July 2009. Silverstein advanced the design and master plan for the new resort in consultation with Four Seasons, including acquiring necessary approvals, assembling and directing architectural and engineering teams, and negotiating the construction contract with Turner Construction. This effort enabled financing to be secured.

 

"We are very pleased to be working with Four Seasons on this exciting project," says Larry Silverstein, president and CEO, Silverstein Properties, which will continue to oversee resort development and construction. "It's a great design in a great location, and we've assembled a great team who are going to make this resort a reality in a few short years."

 

New York-based Dune Real Estate Partners, a highly regarded real estate private equity fund led by Daniel Neidich, is the majority investor.

"The opportunity to partner with Silverstein and Four Seasons, both distinguished leaders in their respective fields, has given us the confidence to make a significant investment in a new development," says Neidich. "This is an irreplaceable asset - a rare opportunity in a remarkable location, with a prestigious brand that we believe will provide attractive returns to our investors for many years to come."

 

Mexico City-based Grupo Financiero Inbursa has agreed to provide USD 190 million in construction financing for the project. Grupo Financiero Inbursa is one of the largest banks in Mexico, and this is their second large construction loan in the US.

 

"Four Seasons continues to seek out innovative partnerships with like-minded individuals and organisations who share our vision," says Scott Woroch, executive vice president, worldwide development, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "Despite the difficult financing environment brought on by the global economic downturn in the last few years, the development concept we created with our partners for this unique site attracted debt and equity sponsorship, and is now moving forward."

 

About Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

The development will include a 444-room Four Seasons resort plus up to 40 Four Seasons Residence Club units and up to 90 Four Seasons Private Residences. Within the resort will be several dining venues including a rooftop restaurant with Magic Kingdom views; a 14,000 square foot (1,300 square metre) spa with 18 treatment rooms; a fitness centre; three pools and a "lazy river"; sports facilities including tennis courts, basketball court and climbing wall; two recreational centres for children, teens and families; and approximately 37,750 square feet (3,500 square metres) of meeting and event space plus a business centre. The development will encompass the existing Tom Fazio-designed Osprey Ridge 18-hole championship golf course, which will be renovated and subsequently managed by Four Seasons. Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resortis an enclave located within the Golden Oak residential community, created and master-planned by Disney.

 

About Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. From elegant surroundings of the finest quality, to caring, highly personalised 24-hour service, Four Seasons embodies a true home away from home for those who know and appreciate the best. The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is personified in its employees – people who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service. Founded in 1960 by its Chairman Isadore Sharp, Four Seasons has followed a targeted course of expansion, opening hotels and residences in major city centres and desirable resort destinations around the world. Currently with 85 properties in 35 countries, and more than 50 projects under development, Four Seasons continues to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements, making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding.

 

About Silverstein Properties

Silverstein Properties, Inc. (SPI) is a privately-held, full-service real estate development, investment and management firm based in New York. Founded in 1957 by President and CEO Larry Silverstein, the company develops and acquires office, residential, hotel and retail properties. On behalf of principals, investors and financial partners, SPI has developed, owned and managed more than 35 million square feet (3.2 million square metres) of commercial, residential and retail space.

SPI has USD 10 billion worth of development activities underway, including rebuilding the commercial office space at the World Trade Center, one of the largest public-private developments ever undertaken. The company recently developed and opened Silver Towers, the largest residential rental development in New York. The company has been recognised as one of the "Best Places to Work in New York City" by Crain's New York Business for the past three years.

 

About Dune Real Estate Partners

Dune Real Estate Partners LP manages the Dune Real Estate Funds, which were launched in 2005 to make opportunistic investments in a broad range of real estate-related assets, portfolios, joint ventures and operating companies worldwide. The funds have more than USD 1.5 billion under management and generally target distressed opportunities, underperforming and undervalued assets and portfolios, and value creation opportunities. The principals of Dune Real Estate Partners have an average of more than 24 years of real estate experience and together provide differentiated broad-based global relationships and investment expertise.

 

About Grupo Financiero Inbursa

Grupo Financiero Inbursa was established in 1965 in Mexico, and is active in banking services, pension and investment fund management, operating as a brokerage house, debt and equity issuance, a wide variety of insurance products, financial and pure leasing services, and equity investments.

For the latest news, please visit press.fourseasons.com

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  • 4 weeks later...

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/the-daily-disney/os-disney-art-of-animation-update-20111010,0,701344.story

 

The first of four phases in Walt Disney World's newest hotel will open May 31, the company said Monday.

 

The giant resort began taking reservations in Disney's Art of Animation Resort earlier this year, though company officials say it is too early to glean anything from the pace of bookings.

 

"But, certainly, there is a passion that's out there," said Kevin Myers, vice president of resort operations for Disney World.

 

The first phase of the hotel to open will be a Finding Nemo-themed wing of family suites that will include a pool that, at roughly 12,000 square feet, will be the largest swimming pool at any of Disney World's two dozen hotels and time-share resorts.

 

The Nemo suites will be followed by Cars-themed suites at the end of July, Lion King-themed suites at the end of September and, lastly, a wing of Little Mermaid-themed, conventional hotel rooms by the end of 2012.

 

Altogether, Disney's Art of Animation Resort will have 1,120 "family suites" — three-room units that are cheaper than traditional, high-end hotel suites — and 864 standard rooms. It will be priced as a "value" hotel, the cheapest of Disney's three hotel categories.

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