A belated farewell to Pleasure Island

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG01510-WDW-DTD-Pleasure-Island-SignBy the time I took this photo, Pleasure Island was closed. One of the few places on Disney property in Orlando Florida where Disney catered to adults instead of children, Pleasure Island was treasured by locals and traveling guests alike. Disney’s announcement of their intention to close this diverse and eclectic collection of nightspots was met with an outcry of shock and grief, especially on the internet. Groups sprang up on Facebook and elsewhere to “Stop Disney From Closing Pleasure Island” and “Save the Adventurer’s Club!”. Alas, it was all in vain; Pleasure Island’s nightly New Year’s Eve celebration occurred for the last time on September 27th, 2008. After that, Pleasure Island was no more.

The last time I walked under this sign to party on Pleasure Island, it was night time and the sign was lit up in neon red. Amongst my cronies that evening, to name just a few, were Dan who owns Lodgeboards.com (“Home Of The Moose” and one of my favorite collections of virtual friends who love Disney), and my good friend and travel agent, Debbie In Paradise. We partook of adult beverages, and laughed through shows at The Adventurer’s Club and Comedy Warehouse. It was October 2007, and we had no idea that the place was going to be shut down within the year. I’m not sure we would have done anything differently, had we known. We had an awesome time, and although the place is gone, the memories of good times remain.

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20 thoughts on “A belated farewell to Pleasure Island”

  1. Well, I didn’t know all that! First I didn’t know they had closed it and also I didn’t know that it was adult entertainment. I guess it must not have been profitable to them.

  2. Awww! That’s sad to know. Ive never been to any Disney theme parks. Hoping that I can visit HK Disneyland next year (crossing my fingers).

  3. I suppose it didn’t promote wholesome family goodness. Plus, most are there with the kids so what do you do with them when you are out partying. I bet it was fun (and now I’ll never know)! 🙁

  4. Gayle, it was very popular with locals and the young people who work for Disney in the College Program, so they would have either been childless or had a local babysitter.

    Dot, you’re probably right – there was probably a strong business reason to shut down Pleasure Island. I’m not sure that the reason was “not profitable”, though.

    Which leads me to Tootie’s question – Disney says they closed Pleasure Island in order to provide “more family entertainment” 🙄 Just what they needed more of! 😀 It has been speculated that nightclubs, loud music, and drinking in the streets wasn’t palatable to visitors with children, but my contention is that no one told them to drag their kids through the streets of Pleasure Island, where nightclubs, loud music and drinking in the streets are known to happen. It’s not like CityWalk at Universal, where in order to exit the parks you are FORCED to drag your family through it all. Pleasure Island was well set aside, and there were alternate routes going around it to get from the Marketplace to the West Side and vice versa. Guests can also take the boat or the bus to get back and forth.

    Eh, it’s a moot point now!

    *~*~*

  5. I think I would have picked a different name for it… sounds like a porn film title. But the closing must have been due to it having a negative impact on revenue. It might have been profitable within its own sphere, but in the context of the overall operation having it there might have put a dent in revenues from other areas of the park.

    Whatever the case, you can bet it was about money and not concern for “family friendliness” (or lack of it). If they were that concerned about having only “wholesome entertainment”, they’d never have opened it in the first place.

    It’s always the bottom line. I’d be curious to know if any “adult themed parks” sprang up to fill the void in other locations and if so, just who the backers were. If it was as profitable as it sounds, I can’t believe they’d abandon the idea.

    Sorry you lost out on it… I’d never heard of the place until just this minute, but it sounds like it was popular enough. And I can imagine that the employees were glad to have a place like it after dealing with other people’s kids all day long.

  6. Sad! Sad! Now that I have kids I wouldnt have gone much but I did have a blast there the times I did go. A friend & I would hit the parks during the day & let loose at night there when we would stay overnight. I think it will calm things at night now.

  7. I’ve never visited any Disney park, they’re not my favorite corporation since they started messing with their employees benefits and then trying to strong arm local politicians to stop housing for the poor near the park

    not to mention all the crap they own that has nothing to do with “family entertainment” – they’re such hypocrites

    I say Mickey and Donald should start a hostile takeover! 😉

    your photos are always wonderful Tink – you show the magical parts of the Disney name

  8. It is hard to believe that Disney closed a major profit center here. You’d think that a new and different adult place would spring up in its place someday. Disney seems to print money, so maybe their thinking is correct…

  9. Great photo. The signs and the posts are so lovely to look at against the blue skies.

    Sad to know they close this place down but at least you have kept many good memories. 🙂

    Happy RT!

  10. This brought back memories from when I was in Orlando. Church Street Station, and Rosie O’ Grady’s. Does that still exist, or is that gone too?

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