What Saved & Killed Pleasure Island
In our last Disney at Play podcast we spoke of Pleasure Island and it’s offerings. We talked about the clubs, the food & beverage, the retail and other entertainment. And we spoke of how it came to be and how it competed against Church Street Station. In this podcast we look at how well this concept was accepted by the public and how initially the nighttime entertainment venue failed to deliver. We talk about Michael Eisner’s own “Funmeister”, Art Leavitt, and how he turned around the club, creating what was a fairly successful venue for the better part of a decade. And then we talk about what factors led to the end of Pleasure Island. Join us in this podcast as we talked about what saved and killed Pleasure island
The following is an outline of our remarks, but you get the entirety when you listen to our podcast. The podcast carries the narrative and is available on Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, and ListenNotes. Please subscribe to the podcast and to this website so you can be notified of upcoming posts and podcasts!
What Saved Pleasure Island
Initially, guests didn’t know what to make of Pleasure Island. And it’s individual club entry was confusing. In Realityland by David Koenig, we talk about the initial challenges in how it was received, especially as it related to pricing. In Michael Eisner’s Work in Progress, we see how Art Leavitt, a furniture store dealer, was selected by Michael to turn around Pleasure Island to make it the party destination. We discuss all this in our podcast.
What Killed Pleasure Island
September 27th, 2008 was the last day of operation for Pleasure Island. What led to its ultimate ending?
- Poor Design. Going from the Walt Disney World Village Marketplace to Disney’s West End was painful–especially at night when the Island closed for business.
- Poor Revenue Generation. Some of the most popular venues were frequented by annual pass holders.
- Church Street Competition Died. A key reason for its creation
- More Options and Offerings. By the 2000’s, Walt Disney World had many additional offerings such as Disney’s Boardwalk and Disney’s West End. Meanwhile, Universal Orlando came out with City Walk. All those offerings were free.
- Leadership Change. Michael Eisner, who was the force behind this, left the company.
- People Grew Up. Baby Boomers got too old. Gen X’ers ended up with families. Millennials party different than those who are Gen X.
- Off Brand. It was never an intellectual property that aligned with Disney’s legendary heritage and brand.
We thank you for visiting and listening to us. We appreciate your patronage and your friendship. To help make these websites and podcasts possible, there are several easy ways you can help:
- In addition to the podcast channel you listen to, please visit DisneyatPlay.com and DisneyatWork.com and subscribe to our website. That way you get notices of new posts and podcasts coming out.
- If you like what we have to offer, please visit iTunes and offer us a favorable rating and even a review. This helps notify others of what we have to offer.
- If you like videos not just of Walt Disney World but of parks throughout the world, visit J. Jeff Kober on YouTube and subscribe there.
- Finally, join the Wayfinder Society. For as little as a dollar a month, this Patreon group not only helps to support this podcast and attending websites, but also gives you access to one of our Disney at Play Interactive Guides.
NOTE! with any Wayfinder membership, you will also get an in-depth look at the Metaverse at Disney and in other world-class organizations. Sign up today!
There are four tiers to our society, two of which are available to all who love Disney and are fans. The second two tiers not only celebrate all things Disney, but focus on best-in-business practices from the happiest and most magical places on earth that can be applied to your own organization. All of them offer unique offerings only available here at Disney at Work and Play. For instance, right now subscribers to the three top tiers can experience a deep dive into Pirates of the Caribbean unlike any other.
And now we’re happy to announce that first Explorer tier is only $1.00 a month. And with that you not only help to support us but will receive access to one of our Disney at Play Discoveries: Pandora World of Avatar: To see a sneak peek at all that’s offered on this truly unique interactive guide, please visit us at the Wayfinder Society. While there you can also get a sneak peek at our Disney at Work Interactive Tour of Disneyland, available to our Navigator and Adventurer levels. We promise you content and experiences you can’t get elsewhere. And your patronage goes to help support these podcasts and posts.