Pleasure Island closed in September of 2008. For years it was Disney’s nighttime hotspot. With numerous clubs and adult themed attractions it filled a hole that helped to round out Disney’s entertainment options.
A lot of people were upset when Pleasure Island closed and a seemingly equal number of people could have cared less. From what I’ve seen most people were not upset that Pleasure Island closed but more the fact that the Adventures Club closed.
I wasn’t really sad to see Pleasure Island close but I was a little surprised. By closing it Disney left a big void in their world. What is there to do late nights at Disney World? To be honest I don’t care all that much. I almost never last past 10pm when I’m at Disney World. I’m just too tired from hitting the parks all day.
Another thing I found interesting was what Disney said they were going to do with the area. Add more shopping and dining. Who is that aimed at? I know it’s not me. I do my shopping and dining at the parks and resorts. I can’t even remember the last time I went to Downtown Disney. Disney really needs to put something in that area to draw the people who are casual shoppers. If you were able to draw me there the odds are good that I’d eat and shop there.
That leads to the million dollar question (pun not intended): how much money do you spend on building something that is going to attract a wide range of people? It’s a big risk – reward question. You want to spend enough that you draw people so they’ll buy stuff but not so much that you could never break even.
What can you do on a dime? Raid the closet:
1 – Lucky, Wall-E, and the Mobile Muppet Lab: To my knowledge all three of these have been shelved. They are automated, interactive characters that are gather dust somewhere. Why not get a few more miles out of them?
2 – A few of rare and retired characters: Characters are always a draw. Retired and rare characters could be an even bigger draw. I mean really dig deep. Pull out the ones that people can’t even remember. Do you know where you put them? Next to the store selling the Disney DVDs they appeared in.
3 – A splash of fireworks: Fireworks never hurt. They cost but they don’t hurt unless someone does an oopps.
4 - Dream Squad Part II – They don’t need to be giving away expensive prizes. It can just be little things but that’s enough to draw a large amount of people.
The most important thing to remember is to keep things unpredictable. When you do that people can’t help but think they are going to miss something if they are not there. That’s when you’ll really see the money roll in.
Space Mountain – The Original
Space Mountain has always had a rabid following. There is even an unofficial marathon for Space Mountain that takes place every morning when the Magic Kingdom opens. There are a number of reasons why Space Mountain is so popular. All of them attest to the genius that when into the planning and design of it.
The Building: The building itself has become a Disney icon. It has a unique, eye catching design. It’s a popular photo spot. However most people don’t know that some of the best photos of Space Mountain are taken from high up in the Contemporary tower.
The Queue: By today’s standards the queue isn’t all that impressive but when you consider when it was built, it’s great. What’s better than spending the entire queue in a cool dry place with neat lighting and a futuristic feel?
The Darkness: Disney found out that if you put a really lame roller coaster in the dark people will think it’s the best thing ever. The Dark also allowed for some cool stuff to be played on the walls. Someone once told me that many of the “meteors” you see are actually chocolate chip cookies. I don’t know if that’s true or not, I just know it works.
The Exit: I believe the exit is overlooked. The moving walkway and the exhibits are a nice break from the average exit.
People might not like the fact that referred to the actual ride as being “lame.” Well too bad. It is kind of lame and unless you’ve ridden Space Mountain with the lights on, you can’t really argue that. I’ve ridden Space Mountain with the lights on. You come to realize that all Space Mountain is, is a giant indoor erector set. Some people would call it a “wild mouse” style roller coaster. It’s the kind of roller coaster you’d see at a traveling fair. You know they type. The one that has a few of the joints held together by duct tape and twine. You know…the one that you won’t let your kids ride because it looks like a death trap. That’s what you’re riding every time you ride Space Mountain but it is still fun!