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What should be done with Disney's Discovery Island

Walt Disney World: what should be done with the Island where the closed Discovery Island sits

From hannah caller
Posted April 28, 2010 at 7:40 AM
Disney's forgotten about attraction Discovery island has been recently visited by one Mr Shane Perez and his friend, it is shocking to see this once quaint and quiet attraction as it looks today, long gone are the tropical birds and giant tortoises, the beach area which once had lovely white sand now looks more like a forest and the buildings could do with a lot of repair.

Disney made no effort to do any clearing of this island, some of the stuff left behind is quite sad, like old Cast member photos and a plaque of Cast members just thrown on top of a pile of other junk.

Disney are always raising awareness of recyling, conservation and being kind to our Earth but they have done nothing with all the unused buildings and there are still even lights on in the animal units!

there are a lot of possibilities for this piece of land, a themed restaurant, Lost Island, accomodation, they could turn it into something amazing, what do you think?


This is the Blog that documents Shanes night time adventure (sorry its not a link i dont know how to do it :0/)
http://shaneperez.blogspot.com/2009/12/discovery-island.html


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Phil B.
Posted April 28, 2010 at 8:42 AM
There definitely is wasted potential with Discovery Island lying dormant. At a third of the size of Discovery Cove, I don't think you could get another real gate out of the property, but there certainly could exist some form of boutique, up sell experience offered here for adults, and Disney is letting its potential profits slip away.

Perhaps not a boutique park, but an adult boutique resort and spa complex would work. Build up and extend the shorelines, creating some coves and inlet type areas and manicure the beaches so they are pristine. Build several ports of call around the perimeter of the island, insuring guest are spread out through the island as opposed to bunched up on one side initially. Build a beach bar for each beach section, offering various frozen drinks, as well as some simple food options. Include waiter service to bring drinks to you while lounging on the white sand beaches. Offer amenities like open air massages on the beach, free mouse boat rentals (of course included in the cost of admission) and discounts on para-sailing. Create expedition trails and bring back some of the animals. An aviary is a lot of fun and provides great opportunity for interaction with animals. Perhaps an extended pen of some type could be constructed off one of the islands shore areas, and then Disney could offer their own Dolphin experience in the wide open air like Discovery Cove does, as opposed to the one done in EPCOT.

At the center of the island, build a resort hotel that seamlessly integrates into the island. Think Ewok village meets Swiss Family Robinson, without all the mosquito nets needed. This facility should also include an open air restaurant, as well as a more traditional upscale dining experience for those that will be staying on the island at the hotel. Of couse an insanely themed, and gorgeous pool, complete with winding rivers, waterfalls and a grotto at some point should all be incorporated. Perhaps even a zero entry, snorkeling experience with tropical fish. A restaurant built on one end of the island, with a long dining area that extends over the water, with a gazebo area featuring live island music while you dine would also be a nice idea.

People staying on property get all the perks of course included with there room fees aside from food and alcohol. Daily visitors leave say by 10pm, paying a one day charge for all the pampering and relaxation. Both guests staying on site, and one day only admission are offered various rate packages for various levels of inclusion to amenities, food and drinks.

It shares several concepts with Discovery Cove I know, but to be honest, I have been to DC, and if Disney offered something like this, I would be inclined to spend a day there to get away from all the strollers and lines and have a nice relaxing day of adult fun. It would keep me on property for another day, instead of venturing over to Sea World. Plus I think it makes a nice couples retreat for a day or a long weekend, especially if celebrating something like an anniversary. The price wouldn’t be for everybody, but it would get Disney turning a profit on a dead piece of land I think.

From Don Neal
Posted April 28, 2010 at 9:41 AM
Hi Hannah,

I read that blog last week as well. I found it very interesting. I think there is definitely an opportunity for something to be done with it. Just not sure where it fits in the overall plans for Disney. With possible plans for a fifth gate, refurbishment of some of it's existing resorts, and the launch of HP over at Universal, I am sure they have their hands full. But assuming they were interested in doing something with it, here are a few of my ideas...

1) Turn the island into a adults/couples only resort. The secluded island would be a great place to offer honeymooners and others visit Disney but with the guarantee of relaxing, dining, and moving about the resort without children or families being around.

2) Turn it into a Lost World type resort for everyone that is mysterious and themed with dinosaurs and other such beasts from the classic movies about the world.

3) Turn it into a Disney Conservation area that they can publicize and make a big deal about. Partner with local universities and schools doing field trips, work, etc. However, there may be better parts of the Disney property for such a place.

4) A new water park (may not be large enough to support this). Would be ironic with the old River Country sitting empty just across the way.

5) An exclusive lodge that can hold large families, support a family reunion, or a high profile customer and their entourage. Full staff, food, and taxi services.

From Jason Jackson
Posted April 28, 2010 at 10:01 AM
How about Disney's first clothing optional resort for Adults?

From TH Creative
Posted April 28, 2010 at 2:16 PM
Jim Hill Media (2008)

"just recently -- WDW Entertainment supposedly considered a new concept for Treasure / Discovery Island. One that comes full circle (sort of) to what Christy experienced in the early 1970s. In that WDW visitors would once again take a boat out to that island, where they'd then have a pirate-themed adventure which would involve a food component.

Only this time around, the rogue that resort guests would be dealing with wouldn't be Peter Ustinov's Blackbeard and/or "Treasure Island" 's Long John Silver. But -- rather -- Captain Jack Sparrow of "Pirates of the Caribbean" fame.

Mind you, we're talking about a project that's allegedly only in the discussion phase at this point. More to the point, this would be a very exclusive experience. One that would (in theory) have such a high price point that WDW Entertainment (in conjunction with Food & Beverage) is reportedly only considering offering this Discovery Island outing to corporate groups. To be specific, companies that are willing to pay big bucks for something truly special the next time they hold a convention on property.

From J. Dana
Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:35 PM
Disney Institute (yes, it still exists -- not as a resort but as training seminars for companies) actually drew up plans to develop a shipwreck-themed ropes course on the island a few years back. It didn't get any traction, though.

I think it should definitely be a high-end resort/open restaurant...where honeymooning couples can stay aboard houseboats docked all around the shore -- with an adults-only spa in the middle. Disney should take what works on their cruise ships and bring it back to land. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

From Rob P
Posted May 4, 2010 at 3:15 AM
I hope that the over simplified equation of Island = pirates isn't one that springs to the minds of the imagineers.
It seems that no opportunity to overkill the Jack Sparrow franchise is expected to be overlooked but if they were to be a little more imaginative then this area could be really great.
Don mentioned that the old River Country area ( or parts of ) are still there too so why not consolidate this and create something new and exciting.

I'm not sure that transforming it from nature reserve to naturist haunt is a particularly sound idea. I think that it should be used for something that will appeal to a wider audience.

What better place than an island to house the much mooted Evil characters attraction. You could have them all there , in person, wandering around interacting with with the prisoners.....I mean.....guests.
Perhaps their very own mini-castle with a drawbridge, dungeons and a central Keep ( housing a shop obviously ).

A short dark ride too could tour all of the unpleasantness the evil ones have to offer.

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