Will ANYTHING ever happen to Discovery Island?

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
Many of you don’t understand what Disney signature experiences actually is.
I think people are confusing the "outside the parks" experiences:

With the "inside the parks" upcharge services:

Which includes:
 

GladToBeHear

Well-Known Member
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I've always thought FW should absorb it and use it for glamping sites. I think it would be modestly easy to maintain.
 

rmwebs

Well-Known Member
Nothing will ever happen with it because the same fundimental flaws still exist.

- Too small for a meaningful high volume attraction
- Too much of a pain to get large volumes of people to/from
- Too expensive to maintain
- Serves absolutely no purpose that couldn't be done elsewhere without the hastle and cost.

Also the only reason River Country was demolished was to make way for Reflections. If that wasn't being built it'd still be sitting there abandoned.
 

Rhinocerous

Premium Member
As an early PC point and click enthusiast, I find this to be intriguing.,...

Books with lost messages of Walt in video form...
Sherman brothers piano powered rocket....
Goofy underground railroad to get back to the mainland....
This could work....
And at the end of the experience, the consensus will be "what just happened? Is that it?"
 

tl77

Well-Known Member
A PotC island would be cool.

But if I'm being serious, only thing I can realistically see going there is a new hotel.
They had a lot of pirate themed stuff planned back when it was Treasure Island, but I think a lot of it got turned into Caribbean Plaza instead.

The problem with Discovery Island is that it's just a logistical nightmare to try and operate anything at all out on an island. That's the same problem they have with Tom Sawyer Island, it's real practical to move people/supplies/food off and on the island... If it was a hotel, how do they get trash and laundry service on and off there? or the guests, you could take a boat to MK, but then how do you get to the other stuff on property? Coming up with an "island theme" is easy, it's all the "behind the scenes" operational stuff that's the hard part

The "Bird Sanctuary" concept of Discovery Island was great in the early years... when there were just a few hotels and the Magic Kingdom Park, the "secondary attraction" of Discovery Island was a nice bonus for us guests and low maintenance for them to run... Today something like a theater show might work there, like a Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, Luau Cove, or Cirque du Soleil type of thing? ...or another mini golf course... but whatever it is, it'd need to be something simple
 

Rhinocerous

Premium Member
Honestly, if they want to make money with it, they should make it into some kind of corporate retreat/team-building site. They could have paintball, obstacle courses, escape rooms, all that good stuff. Given the business Disney already does hosting conferences, it would dovetail nicely. (And could they do that cheaper, elsewhere on property? Of course. But the Survivor-esque island is something that most other places that do this can't offer.)

Does this benefit the average guest? It does not. But it would be something, at least.
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
I suggest Giving it to Tony Baxter even though hes retired, and he can do as he wishes with it! if not give it to Joe Rhode!
 

WDW Pro

Well-Known Member
I'm not aware of any immediate plans, and it will be expensive investment whenever it does occur.
 

ParkerLoLs

Well-Known Member
It has nothing to do with offerings for the super rich. It’s simply the title they chose when they combined all of the none park elements under a single leadership umbrella. DCL, ABD, DVC, and Aulani. Obviously they aren’t cheap but neither is WDW. It’s not intended to be the rich demographic portfolio just the grouping of things that didn’t fit elsewhere.
Oh no, wealthy trigger. Send donations.
 

tl77

Well-Known Member
Discovery Island was a "half day" experience at best, and is roughly the same size as one of the lands in the Magic Kingdom, you could maybe fit Adventureland on Discovery Island but that's about it. It was also very low tech, it had a few bathrooms on it but not a lot in terms of utilities like electricity ect...

I think the best thing they could possibly do with the Island is turn it into a mini kiddie park, a kind of half day mini 5th Gate for people with small children... you know? a place where the parents and kids could ride rides together? ...they could do things like the Fanstayland boat ride and Casey Jr train at Disneyland, the Alice hedge maze and Skull Rock area at DLP. Rides the size of the Bug's Land rides at DCA, a spinner ride, maybe a coaster the size of Barnstormer... and they could have things like meet and greets, face painting, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique/Pirates League ...they have room for a few small scale, low tech attractions on Discovery Island, a least a half a days worth and you could always take a boat over to the Magic Kingdom from there.

If there was some type of Theater Show or Dinner Theater Show as the main attraction, then your show ticket could be your admission to the island. They could control crowds that way by having 4 or 5 shows a day, maybe every 2 hours? so at 10am "group 1 enters", at 12pm "group 2" enters... like a cross between a Dining Reservation and the boarding passes at Rise of the Resistance... and if it was a Dinner Show, and you were required to order your meals in advance, they could prepare and deliver each group's meals every 2 hours... they couldn't really stock something like a "quick serve restaurant" on the Island and have it constantly operating... that's why Aunt Polly's on Tom Sawyer Island only ever sold Peanut Butter Sandwiches

But that would be my vote for "what to do with Discovery Island" I know our kids would have loved it when they were little, and you wouldn't need to drag a stroller to the little island, plus it could help ease the "stroller traffic" and the need for Princess meet and greets in the Magic Kingdom
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
Discovery Island was a "half day" experience at best, and is roughly the same size as one of the lands in the Magic Kingdom, you could maybe fit Adventureland on Discovery Island but that's about it. It was also very low tech, it had a few bathrooms on it but not a lot in terms of utilities like electricity ect...
That's very generous. I remember it taking maybe an hour or two to explore, and that was at a fairly slow pace.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
How long did it take between closing River County until it was eventually demolished? It would be surprising if it took less time than that to re-imagine Discovery Island!
River Country closed in 2001, abandoned in 2005, demolished in 2019.

Discovery Island closed in 1999, abandoned in 1999, been rotting since.
There is a reason for this.

If they were to demolish before any plans were in place to rebuild the property, any construction that would happen in the future would be legally classified as new construction. If they leave the property alone until they are ready to build and can save a very minor portion of what is there the construction is classified as a remodel.

In a commercial setting, the difference between new construction and a remodel can easily be 6 figures in permitting and impact fees.
 

stratman50th

Well-Known Member
There is huge tracts of available land on property that can be developed that wouldn't be a logistical nightmare. I think the island should be allowed to revert back to nature. Also, as someone who enjoys staying at the Fort, having to haul all your crap over to the island would be a pain and would add nothing as a "glamping experience". Just my opinion, but there isn't a reason to force something onto an abandoned island just because it's there.
EDIT: As someone who has used River Country I can promise you that Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach have it beat in all areas. The tie in is that Discovery Island could easily be created someplace else and be bigger, better, and most important, easier to operate.
 

CastAStone

Voice of Aladdin’s Magic Carpet
Premium Member
There is huge tracts of available land on property that can be developed that wouldn't be a logistical nightmare. I think the island should be allowed to revert back to nature. Also, as someone who enjoys staying at the Fort, having to haul all your crap over to the island would be a pain and would add nothing as a "glamping experience". Just my opinion, but there isn't a reason to force something onto an abandoned island just because it's there.
EDIT: As someone who has used River Country I can promise you that Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach have it beat in all areas. The tie in is that Discovery Island could easily be created someplace else and be bigger, better, and most important, easier to operate.
The two things I miss about river country:
  • Slides that randomly end 2 feet above the water
  • Goofy in his swimmin getup
 
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