The Disney Company has an impeccable family-friendly and kid-friendly reputation, but would it surprise you to know that not too long ago Disney World owned several adult nightclubs?

The area that is now known as Disney Springs was originally called Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village. It was a lot like how Disney Springs is today, with locations for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Eventually, the name changed to the Walt Disney World Shopping and Dining, then the Walt Disney World Village, Downtown Disney, and finally Disney Springs in 2015.

Aerial View of Pleasure Island

Pleasure Island was an area in the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village dedicated to adult nightlife with several different nightclubs. Jessica Rabbit, the overly sexualized character from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, was the unofficial mascot for the area. Pleasure Island was for ages 21 and older only.

The name “Pleasure Island” was a homage to the carnival theme park from the movie Pinocchio. You know, that horrifying place where all the young boys are unwittingly turned into donkeys and sold as slaves if they choose to drink or smoke? Yes, that one!

However, there is more to this name than meets the eye. According to the storyline, Merriweather Pleasure founded the area a few years before abandoning it. He named the area after himself. Imagineers later fixed it up and turned it into a lively nighttime area.

Mannequins Dance Palace 

While Pleasure Island also featured some movie theatres and restaurants, the main attractions were the nightclubs. Each nightclub had its own extensive backstory that linked back to the founder, Merriweather Pleasure. It is a testament to Disney’s dedication to telling a story, even for an adult-only area. Here is a list of some of the most popular nightclubs and their theme.

  • 8TRAX — A 1970s and 1980s themed dance club.
  • Adventurers Club — A 1930s-style British explorers’ club that employed improv actors for entertainment.
  • BET Soundstage — a hip-hop and R&B music club owned by BET.
  • Mannequins Dance Palace — a techno dance style club that featured light shows with music and live performances by human “mannequins.”
  • Motion — A dance club that played the most popular music of the current time period.
  • Fireworks FactoryWildhorse Saloon — A country music dance club and restaurant
  • Pleasure Island Jazz Company — a live jazz dance club.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Beach Club — A dance club which featured live rock bands.
  • Neon Armadillo — A country music nightclub featuring live bands. The backstory of this venue is strange. Apparently, when Imagineers arrived to restore the area, the place was infested with armadillos that were “immortalized in neon.”.
  • Celebrate Tonight — An outdoor dance party featuring DJs and cast members known as the Party Team. This dance club was kid-friendly and operated during the daytime.
  • Comedy Warehouse — a comedy nightclub with more improv actors.
Adventurers Club

Pleasure Island displayed a unique “Happy New Year” fireworks show every night, even though it was not New Year’s Eve. The show was highly beloved by frequent guests and newbies alike. The Happy New Year fireworks show was shut down three years prior to the closure of the entire area. However, on Pleasure Island’s last night before closing permanently, the show returned for one special and final performance.

Unfortunately, Pleasure Island closed on September 27, 2008, and The Landing replaced soon replaced the area. It is believed the nightclubs had to be closed due to layout and construction issues.