Saturday, August 3, 2013

Do You Remember : Pleasure Island?

Pleasure Island is / was  a section of the Walt Disney World Resort within Downtown Disney's shopping, dining, and entertainment district. Pleasure Island officially opened May 1, 1989.  A misconception is that the island completely closed on September 2008, but only the clubs closed.  The island's stores and restaurants remained open.

The site is often mistakenly thought to have been named for 'Pleasure Island' from Pinocchio, where unsupervised children misbehave and are eventually punished by being changed into donkeys that have to work in salt mines. But there was an interesting back-story created by Walt Disney Imagineering, that had nothing at all to do with Pinocchio.

The island's nightclubs were once home to a shipping company owned by adventurous businessman Merriweather Pleasure. A great storm destroyed the business and Mr. Pleasure disappeared with the warehouses remaining behind. Years later, these warehouses were refurbished and converted into nightclubs.

This button is likely from 1992, the first year I visited Walt Disney World.

This shot glass is from that same time. Both feature the Pleasure Island mascot, the Funmeister.

There was much fun to be had a Pleasure Island. Every night was New Year's Eve for instance, with a countdown and fireworks.

Speaking of fireworks, there was a restaurant called Fireworks Factory, with a pyrotechnics theme.  According to the island's fictional backstory, Merriweather Pleasure manufactured fireworks in the building until one of his cigars caused an explosion. The restaurant was decorated with authentic pyrotechnic props.

I also enjoyed the Comedy Warehouse, a nightclub which featured improv comedy. But the best thing about Pleasure Island was The Adventurers Club, which I would visit on multiple evenings during my trips. Stop back soon for a look at this beloved and very much missed spot.

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't a big Pleasure Island fan . . . since I don't drink alcohol, there was no big draw for me to go there. I did go to one of the restaurants once with a friend but all I remember was the noise and how expensive the food was!


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