According to a permit filed with Orange county, Disney will be re-commencing work on its Pleasure Island clubs. The document, noted by the Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia is a standard, generalized government document. A Notice of Commencement form, it announces that “improvements will be made to certain retail property” and specifically cites Mannequins, BET Soundstage, Adventurer’s Club, and the Comedy Warehouse. The forms specify the intent is to “provide labor, materials and/or equipment for construction,” a broad description that provides little insight into the nature of the upcoming project.
What the filed permits do reveal, however, is that Disney does not intend to eliminate the buildings. The Notice of Commencement is specifically used for the construction, improvement of or alteration of buildings. Those structures may be dramatically changed and renovated, but their basic structures will remain.
The filing of the notice is unexpected so soon after the July 12 official announcement that Disney was pausing in its changes to Pleasure Island to “refine our master plan,” an announcement that fuelled speculation about the abandonment of the previously announced Hyperion Wharf project, a project name that was not even mentioned in the July 12 statement.
Although the lack of specificity in the permits leaves the nature of the renovations in Pleasure Island a tantalizing mystery, the documents do imply that Disney does intend to move forward on reviving the 1.5 mile dead space in the center of its Downtown Disney complex. Fans of the area eagerly await more information about the nature of the changes, hoping that Disney’s promise that “any delay will be worth the wait once we’re able to share details about the exciting work we’ve been doing” will be kept with entertainment and unique Disney offerings rather than a mere expansion of third party vendor retail space.