Do you remember when this new hospital opened its doors and when this entertainment complex closed?
September marks some pretty important moments in Central Florida history as related to the area’s medical and entertainment industries. Here are some milestones you should know about.
Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women Opens
On Sept. 10, 1989, the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women opened in Orlando in partnership with Orlando Health and Arnold and Winnie Palmer on the golf legend’s 60th birthday. At the time, it was the only hospital in the Southeast, and one of six in the nation, dedicated to serving the unique needs of women and children.
In May 2006, the Arnold Palmer facility expanded to include the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in order to meet the growing demand for obstetric, gynecological and children’s services. The two hospitals form the Arnold Palmer Medical Center.
Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children has continuously been recognized as a leader in children’s healthcare — it ranked nationally in five pediatric specialties on U.S. News & World Report’s 2018-2019 Best Children’s Hospitals list, making it the most recognized hospital in Orlando.
Timucua Arts Foundation Hosts Its First Concert
Central Florida filled with music on Sept. 13, 2000, when the Timucua Arts Foundation hosted its first-ever concert. The not-for-profit foundation, which is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, got its start 18 years ago with only 20 to 40 people in attendance, but it has grown into a haven for some of Central Florida’s most prestigious music performances.
Timucua now hosts a year-round concert season with over 70 events each year, many of which are free to the public. The foundation held its 600th concert in 2015 and continues to teach Central Florida residents about the power of music and education.
Disney’s Pleasure Island Shuts Its Doors
In the spring of 1989, Pleasure Island opened in Downtown Disney. Situated between the entertainment complex’s family friendly Marketplace and West Side sections, Pleasure Island featured restaurants and stores but was known for its nightclubs and tradition of celebrating New Year’s Eve every evening.
The Disney story goes that Merriweather Adam Pleasure, a 19th century ship merchant, developed Pleasure Island in his pursuit of adventure and excitement as he navigated the booming leisure yachting business. He eventually turned the operation over to his sons so he could travel the world, but he was lost at sea in 1939. The men practically abandoned the site, so Disney Imagineers stepped in to transform the abandoned lofts and warehouses into the Pleasure Island that it was in its heyday.
While it was a popular nighttime destination that rivaled downtown Orlando’s Church Street Station, Pleasure Island closed to the public on Sept. 27, 2008. On the last night of business for BET SoundStage Club, Mannequins Dance Palace, 8Trax, Adventurers Club, Comedy Warehouse and Motion, Pleasure Island brought back its New Year’s Eve tradition and celebrated the ball drop one last time.