Podcast Episode 65: Pleasure Island – Part 1

Listen to the Episode:

Find Us Here:

Welcome to Episode 65 of the RetroWDW Podcast: “Pleasure Island – Part 1” – We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows from over the years. We have visited multiple parks, resorts, and just about everything else in between. We hope you stick with us through 2021 as we bring you some great content that will bring you back to WDW each month.  Enjoy!

Listener Mail

Right to the mailbag this month! The bag is full and we love that! Every month, you can possibly get on the show, so be sure to write to us at podcast@retrowdw.com. Also, top-tier donors can even join us on a show! Take a look at how you can join us live on an episode.

  1. Dan, The Person of the Century, wrote in about the Swan & Dolphin. He shared an amazing photo with us that you have to see!
  2. Jennifer is up next. She picked our collective brains all about the ‘walkways around the world’. This has been newly updated, but we get into the history of this whole thing. 
  3. Jake wrote us with a random family picture, trying to locate where they were standing at WDW. We love doing this and seeing if we can figure out where you are. Send them our way!
  4. Our friend Randy wrote in about being a performer at WDW. He actually worked the old breakfast show at Fort Wilderness. Randy informs us all about Melvin The Moose. Check out Episode 3 from way back in the archives.
  5. The next email on the list is from Ed who informed us about a Christmas present he received from the Swan/Dolphin group. Take a look!
  6. Erik wrote us regarding the specific scent of the Yacht Club. Like most WDW Resorts, there is a unique smell. Erik says he pinpointed this to Axe Body Spray! Judge for yourself.
  7. Angela wrote us on Instagram about a Figment inflatable. This opened a huge can of worms which we discuss. Here is a link we found related to the discussion.
  8. Todd wants to share a bit from Kevin regarding the FAA, the Dolphin/Swan and some info regarding the height of these buildings.
  9. Finally, Brian wants to bring up our friend BJ Major and all of the recent notes sent our way. Thank you for bringing us back and keeping our back catalog running!

Giveaway Results

Foxx Nolte sent us a copy of her book, Boundless Realm: Deep Exploration Inside Disney’s Haunted Mansion
Our contest winner Isabelle Carlton! How will be sending this your way – congratulations!

Main Topic

This month, we are taking you back to the mid-late 80s. Pleasure Island has quite the history and How will get us started in 1967… Surprised? Then you must be new here. How is planning to take his time and get you into the why of how this all came to be. We have to add, that this episode took an extra week of planning, so apologies for the delay.

Throughout this episode, we dive into the early years of Pleasure Island. If you have ever gone, even towards the end, this episode will really give you a good picture as to how this place looked when first opened. The differences, hours, pricing, and so much more will probably surprise you. Some of the offerings that were there opening day very quickly changed, while others ended up sticking around for the duration.

The aspect of theme restaurants is discussed, as are the different clubs and how they changed. We even get into a bit of a discussion trying to place ourselves at the various buildings that exist currently, relating to what was once there on the island in 1989. This was a unique time for Walt Disney World as many new offerings were coming online, Pleasure Island being one of them. So stick with us on this one as we take you back to the early years. Don’t forget to read all the plaques too….

2021: Year Two of The Film

To make sure you are the first to know when items are released, subscribe to us on YouTube. Be sure to click the notification bell too, that way you are alerted when we post.  Finally, be sure to check out Vimeo if that is your thing, as we will post there as well.

RetroWDW Merchandise

Be sure to get your shirt, iPhone case, tote bag, pillow or coffee mug today: www.retrowdw.com/supportus

Some of Our Latest Designs

Next Month

  • Join us next time for Episode 66, where we take you back on another fun episode about WDW history!
  • We have another movie night coming soon too…  Subscribe on YouTube so you are ready. 
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark Comden
Mark Comden
March 12, 2021 8:05 am

I figured when you guys talked about Dive Bomber restaurant, there used to be the 94 Air Squadron restaurant in North East Philly. It was a World War I themed restaurant complete with fox holes, sandbags and explosions over the loudspeaker – and that was just the drive to the parking lot. A google search shows there are 4 of those restaurants left. (along with pictures).

B.J. Major
March 12, 2021 8:55 pm

Excellent history given on this area, I also thought there was some kind of tie-in to the Pinocchio movie. That being said, it should surprise no one that I am not forgiving to the Disney execs at the time to completely gut the LBV Shopping Village for almost the sole purpose of giving adults a place to drink at night. I can think of at least three places that already existed within the Village that served alcohol (not counting Empress Lilly) plus the Buena Vista Club restaurant right up the street. And, the Village Lounge also offered live jazz performers… Read more »

March 18, 2021 11:24 am
Reply to  B.J. Major

While it is true that Pleasure Island had a significant effect on the LBV Shopping Village when it opened, it was not gutted to build Pleasure Island. Pleasure Island was built on the west side of the Empress Lilly, and the Shopping Village was entirely to the east of the Empress Lilly. The increase in visitors to the area surely added a push to expand the Shopping Village, but that would have happened with or without Pleasure Island. The expansion of resorts on property, coupled with Disney’s desire to keep all those people and their money on property, had to… Read more »

B.J. Major
March 18, 2021 3:34 pm
Reply to  Pharmrcool

Regardless of where Pleasure Island and its successors stood/stand on the property, there can be no doubt that the building of these additional facilities led to the eventual demise of what was the Lake Buena Vista/Walt Disney World Shopping Village as it stood untouched from 1975-through 1988. I still maintain that none of this needed to happen, as the Village was a very well liked area and there was room enough to build such places as Pleasure Island, water park, etc. at a respectable distance from what already was there. For theming reasons alone this should have been apparent to… Read more »

March 25, 2021 10:37 pm

Pls pls on You Tube pls search for Phyllis Hamilton Walt Disneyworld 1975 the quality of the videos that I guess was her husband took I’m telling you pls there is absolutely nothing that comes close – pls take 5 min – 3 min & just see what I mean we’re always fussing about colors, quality, sharpness it has everything it is worth your time I promise / a Loyal WDW ‘groupie’ 1st visit 1976

April 13, 2021 12:20 pm

Just finished this episode (great as usual), now I’m current!!! Took me 6 weeks, but went from 1st show to current show and I can’t wait until the next show pops into my library! Maybe I’ll go back and do it all again to be sure I did not miss anything (and no, I’m not a glutton for punishment – ha). Great work fellas!! btw…Daughter got me 2 t-shirts for Easter (Retro WDW and Roy’s Cabin) can’t wait until June to wear around the parks!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x