Dismantling Begins on 26-Year-Old Disney Venue


“Out with the old, in with the new.” That famous phrase seems highly relevant for many Walt Disney World Resort experiences as of late. Now, dismantling has begun on a 26-year-old Disney World Resort venue.

It’s hard to watch change unfold when it comes to Disney favorites. The current demolition of the former Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Resort is underway to make room for a new Polynesian Hotel Tower.

We’ve also seen Disney take down the iconic Tower of Terror billboard sign that greeted Guests near Disney’s Hollywood Studios for years.

ESPN Club (Credit: Disney)

But, not all change is bad. We previously announced a new venue is moving in at Disney’s Boardwalk called The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers. To make way for the new Disney dining experience, something has to go… and the Crescent Lake restaurant, ESPN Club, has made it to the chopping block.

@ScottGustin took to social media to show a photo of the dismantling of ESPN Club, which has taken up residency at Disney’s Boardwalk since 1996. The restaurant never reopened after COVID-19 closures struck in 2020.

Gustin notes, “Crews are now dismantling portions of the ESPN Club at Disney’s Boardwalk. The venue opened in 1996 and permanently closed earlier this year.”

Disney announced the ESPN Club replacement, The Cake Bake Shop, with:

“Waterside strolls will be extra special with storybook sweet treats and dreamy desserts at The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers, a new table service restaurant and bakery that’s sure to delight.”

Expected to open in 2023, this restaurant will offer both savory and dessert menus, along with afternoon tea service, in a whimsical atmosphere that complements the magic of the idyllic charm of Disney’s BoardWalk that Guests know and love.

Credit: Disney

Along with ESPN Club disappearing, the neighboring Ample Hills Creamery never reopened after COVID-19 closures. However, we know that the beloved quick service BoardWalk Bakery will remain but is becoming a new sandwich shop, joining locations like BoardWalk Ice Cream.

And just inside Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort, a refreshment of the lobby, lounge, and Guest rooms is in the works. Plus, a new coffee bar will be added just off the lobby.

While we will miss ESPN Club, we do have fond memories of sports games, Super Bowl dining, and family meals at the relaxing restaurant. We have high hopes however that The Cake Bake Shop will be a good addition to Disney’s Boardwalk.

About Jamie Sylvester

I'm a Disney nerd! A kid at heart who loves the magic and memories of Walt Disney World. I follow all things Disney and enjoy the vacations, day trips, and weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. My goal is to experience as many Disney desserts and cocktails as possible! Married to another Disney nerd and blessed with a daughter and son, we thoroughly enjoy the magic at Disney and are here to help others experience the magic as well.

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