PHOTO: Planet Hollywood unveils redesign for Disney Springs
Planet Hollywood is transforming its iconic globe at Downtown Disney into what the company is calling a turn-of-the-20th-century observatory.
The Orlando-based company unveiled plans Thursday for a redesigned restaurant at the Disney shopping and entertainment complex. The goal is to bring it in line with the Disney Springs design under construction there.
The Planet Hollywood project should finish sometime in 2016. The globe will become surrounded by a brick exterior and an expanded outdoor terrace and bar.
Although some Pleasure Island signage remains in place, the wording above the old Mannequins building has been replaced with "Springs Bottling Co."
"Disney is turning it into a turn-of-the-century Central Florida mining town, and the observatory was a feature at the time," said Planet Hollywood International founder and chairman Robert Earl. "We've gone back to that look for Planet Hollywood."
The name will change to Planet Hollywood Observatory as well.
The restaurant chain also is working on a revamped menu, but those changes are still in the works, Earl said.
Planet Hollywood at Downtown Disney is now a collection of themes meant to represent a diverse lineup of Hollywood flicks. There is a castle gate on the lower floor, floating cars and airplanes and a futuristic look in areas with television screens.
The restaurant and lounge will continue to feature Hollywood props and costumes, but the interior will be changed to feature a high-tech planetarium with stars and constellations on the ceiling, Earl said.
"It's going to be 'dine amongst the stars,'" Earl said.
The projectors and video screens also will be able to play Hollywood movie features to continue the restaurant's original premise.
Outside, the neon Planet Hollywood sign on a pole will be turned into a water tower.
Disney contractors have already removed the lake that fronted Planet Hollywood. The restaurant will be located at the beginning of a series of springs that winds through the development.
Other new restaurants at the center are taking similar looks. For example, Morimoto Asia is designed to look like an old bottling factory.
Disney officials have said the architecture, costumes and other motifs will fit an early-20th-century look.
Earl said he plans to bring celebrity chefs to work on menu changes, but hopes to keep the prices about the same. The average check there is about $20 a person, he said.
"I'm going to focus heavily on the food," Earl said. "We're going to have some worthy opposition, some that has been announced and some that hasn't."
I was hoping this would go and something cool would be in its place.
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