In early 1994, just after Disney announced the purchase of Gorda Cay, now widely known as Disney’s Castaway Cay, Walt Disney Imagineering started a project called Disney’s Out Island Adventure. This was the name Walt Disney Imagineering gave to the island development project at Gorda Cay years ahead of the launch of the Disney Magic in July 1998.
The following is an image of concept art for Disney’s Out Island Adventure published on the Walt Disney Imagineering website (ARCHIVED) along with the a brief timeline of related events in 1994. The 25 year old concept art, dated November 18, 1994, was prepared for Disney Cruise Lines, Disney Development Company in Orlando, Florida by Edward D. Stone, Jr. and Associates Planners and Landscape Architects – Orlando, Florida. The company is now based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and operating under the name EDSA.
February 1994 – Disney announces the purchase of Gorda Cay, a 1,000-acre uninhabited island in the Bahamas. Imagineers immediately set about turning it into Castaway Cay island to welcome passengers of Disney Cruise Line, which will launch two years later.
May 1994 – Walt Disney Imagineering merges with Disney Development Company, which was formed in the mid-1980s to oversee the design and construction of hotels and Disney administrative buildings. The blended organization is called Walt Disney Imagineering because, says one Disney executive, “The Imagineering name is so powerful and so unique.”WALT DISNEY IMAGINEERING – OUR STORY (ARCHIVED)
History@Disney did an excellent job breaking down the various parts of the concept art in the Twitter thread embedded below.
Here is a screenshot of the History@Disney’s Twitter thread for those that may be reading this article on a network where twitter is blocked.
To add a little more context to the concept art, take a look at the following composite of a Google Satellite map, the 1998 Disney Cruise Line map for Castaway Cay, and the concept art.
The video below offers a bit of an interactive comparison between Disney’s Out Island Adventure Concept art and Disney’s Castaway Cay. Correction, in the dictation I said 1998 instead of 1994 when referring to the concept art.
If we all play our cards right, maybe WDI will publish similar early concept art for Lighthouse Point before the year 2045.
I wish, I wish, Walt Disney Imagineering would publish more treasures relating to the history of Disney Cruise Line. Anyone else?