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Tag Archives: Downtown Disney

May 31

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May 31, 1998 – The Wildhorse Saloon Opens in Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island

Wildhorse Saloon

“Pleasure Island Saloon a Horse of a Different Color” – The Orlando Sentinel

On May 31, 1998, the Wildhorse Saloon opened in Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island area of Downtown Disney. It was very similar to the original Wildhorse Saloon that opened in Nashville, Tennessee in 1994; the Disney club was a 27,000-square-foot club that featured live entertainment by rising country stars, as well as dancers teaching guests how to line dance. It closed in the summer of 2001, and was replaced with a nightclub called Motion.


May 1

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May 1, 1989 – The Adventures Club Opens in Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island Area

Adventurers Club

“Marching along, we’re adventures, singing the song of adventurers, up or down, north, south, east or west, an adventurer’s life is best!”

On May 1, 1989, the Adventurers Club nightclub opened in Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island area. It was one of eight clubs that existed in the area. The story of the club’s theme includes a 1937 New Years Eve party that doubles as an open house, looking for new membership. Guests are invited to be initiated as members, becoming members of the play within the club. The club overall was similar to being part of an interactive theater experience, with several actors playing parts of Adventurers Club members that interact with guests. The club closed on September 27, 2008.

March 22

March 22, 1975 – The Lake Buena Vista Village Opens at Walt Disney World


“…Shopping took on a whole new meaning as the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village…opened.”

On March 22, 1975, the Lake Buena Vista Village area opened at Walt Disney World. The village area was comprised of a few dozen shops around a lagoon, including Toys Fantastique, and The Pottery Chalet. The area has evolved several times, beginning in 1977, when it was renamed Walt Disney World Village and became more focused on being a shopping experience for Walt Disney World guests. In 1984, more attractions and events were added to the area to keep guests of the park on property; in 1986, an area for adults known as Pleasure Island was introduced, and the shopping area was renamed Disney Village Marketplace. In 1995, Pleasure Island was combined with Disney Village Marketplace to become on Downtown Disney area, and was expanded even further with the addition of World of Disney character store and the upgrade of the AMC Theaters. In 2013, it was announced that the area would be expanded again and be renamed as Disney Springs.

December 15

December 15, 1997 – Ghirardelli’s Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop Opens in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney


“The world-famous chocolatier delivers decadent sundaes smothered with hot, house-made fudge as well as chocolate treats and drinks.”

On December 15, 1997, Ghirardelli’s Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop opened in the Downtown Disney area of Walt Disney World. The quick-service store features chocolate by the famous chocolate company, with special San Francisco themed sundaes, including the Golden Gate Banana Split: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice creams topped with pineapple, strawberries, hot fudge, bananas, whipped crème, chopped almonds, and a cherry. A version of this store was opened in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney area on June 7, 2012.

October 14

October 14, 2008 – The Downtown Disney Restaurant T-Rex Opens in Walt Disney World


“A prehistoric family adventure.”

On October 14, 2008, the prehistoric-themed restaurant T-Rex opened in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney Marketplace. The restaurant, designed by the same company that created Rainforest Cafe, features several prehistoric creatures, including a 15-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus Rex, in several themed rooms. A hands-on area called the Paleo Zone is available for kids to dig up fossils and discover various treasures. The restaurant features standard American fare, including Jurassic Chicken Tidbits and Fossil Fish-N-Chips.

August 28

August 28, 1994 – The Art of Disney Store Opens in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney Marketplace


“Invest in art with paintings, limited-edition prints, cels, figurines, and the much-coveted Disney Classic Collection.”

On August 28, 1994, the Art of Disney store opened in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney marketplace. The store features a wide-variety of Disney-themed art and collectables, including such pieces as reprints of official park attraction posters, Vinylmation, fine art paintings of classic characters, and photos of Walt Disney. A second store was opened in Epcot in 2000.

June 19

June 19, 1998 – DisneyQuest Opens in Downtown Disney


“Discover 5 floors of fun including virtual worlds, 3D encounters, and classic video games.”

On June 19, 1998, the interactive indoor attraction DisneyQuest opened in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney West Side. The area features five floors of activities, randing from virtual reality games, to animation instruction, to classic video games. Many of the games feature popular Disney characters, including Aladdin (Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride virtual game) and Buzz Lightyear (Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters). A second DisneyQuest opened in Chicago on June 16, 1999, but closed in 2001 due to low attendance. Although other attempts to take DisneyQuest outside the park were planned, the projects were shelved indefinitely due to the closing of the Chicago location.

June 10

June 10, 1998 – The BET Soundstage Club Opens in Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island


“The best in urban contemporary music and entertainment.”

On June 10, 1998, the BET Soundstage Club opened in Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island Area. As the only nightclub that bore the name of Black Entertainment Television (BET), it replaced the Neon Armadillo Music Saloon, a nightclub that featured a country-western theme. The nightclub featured music by popular R&B, hip-hop, and rap artists, as well as various Caribbean-style appetizers and drinks. The nightclub closed on September 27, 2008.