Walt Disney World ~ Twelve-hundred new jobs are coming to Orlando courtesy of Downtown Disney. Disney revealed Thursday that it is converting Pleasure Island into a wharf-themed district with new stores, restaurants and thousands of lights. “We think it’s going to become and exciting place, a vibrant place. That’s really the idea that led us to the emphasis of our lighting design,” said Disney Imagineer Alex Wrighter.
Several nightclubs at Downtown Disney were shut down two years ago and the new project will mean big changes and new jobs. Disney said 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.
The company said 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 boutiques and restaurants and, by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland.
“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,” Bradford said.
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 lakeside park and pedestrian walkways. Disney also said its restaurants 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,” Bradford said. “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, there are numerous other projects, including renovations on current shops, an extension to the Lego Imagination Center, and their AMC movie theater. The projects are expected to create an estimated 600 construction jobs, 500 restaurant, retail and entertainment jobs, and support 100 vendor and supplier jobs.