The web site Park Rumors is reporting that Disney is attempting to re-theme Downtown Disney again…this time going with Disney Springs.
I don’t know the source of the rumor, so I don’t know how much confidence I have in it, but Disney has been trying and trying to revitalize DTD ever since closing the clubs…most recently with the abandoned “Hyperion Wharf” project.
At least once basis for the rumor is filing of Phase I plans for the “BVD Corridor Stormwater Project”, which apparently refers to the existing Downtown Disney area. From there, the article refers to later phases that include putting in a 5-story garage, taking the existing more central parking lots and expanding the area into the “The Gateway” and “The Town Center”, which would now give a more contiguous shopping district between Marketplace and West Side. The current Marketplace would be renamed “The Village Marketplace”, touching on the area’s original name. West Side would remain unchanged, and Pleasure Island would become “The Landing”.
With the Town Center in place, the island-that-was-Pleasure-Island is no longer a necessary pathway, which brings up some interesting possibilities. PI became ungated in part to improve flow between Marketplace and West Side, which prior to that was via a small sidewalk along the parking area – the two areas were pretty separate and distinct. Then when PI was ungated, the clubs suffered and eventually were closed and have remained so since, although a couple were demolished and not replaced. Many fans hope for the reopening of the remaining clubs some day, and this could possibly offer the opportunity, but having a separate but more “family friendly” path. However, I don’t expect that “The Landing” will become gated again – there are now restaurants and retail located there.
Also interesting – they show the Planet Hollywood location as becoming “The Observatory”, but I am unaware of the Planet Hollywood planning on closing.
But even if Disney confirms this rumor, I’ll believe it when they actually complete it.