Tuesday, December 30, 2008

CityWalk Article in the Orlando Sentinel

For those of you who don't read the Orlando Sentinel, there was an excellent article in the paper yesterday (Monday) describing Universal's quest to get the business of those of us who formerly patronized Pleasure Island. Read the entire article at: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/trave...,4387699.story

I think we all agree that their free pass offer was an excellent way to get our business. That was a brilliant move and it is appreciated. But I make these editorial comments:

1. They need to follow-through on a CityWalk Annual Pass to replace our free passes once they expire at the end of March. The cost should be comparable to what PI charged for their AP. Hard to believe they've never offered one in the past. But no one I know is going to pay $11.95+tax every weekend for CityWalk. Sure PI charged $24 but that was tourist money; all of us locals had AP's for $55/year and we were the bread & butter that supported the place during the non-tourist/non-convention seasons.

2. I've met many former PI patrons out at the CityWalk clubs over the past 3 months but few are consistently there and it's definitely begun to wane. I don't know where everyone has drifted to but CityWalk is not holding on to what they gained. I think this is because:

3. CityWalk has made close to no effort to capture our hearts by even remotely replicating any of the things that made Pleasure Island unique. Hip hop clubs are a dime a dozen in this town and that is basically what the Groove has become over the past few years. Red Coconut Club is interesting but most of the music played is exactly the same as what you hear in the Groove. So in that regard both the Groove and RCC are good replacements for PI's Motion. But the 3 most popular venues at PI....the ones whose closure has stirred the most emotions....are Adventurer's Club, 8TRAX and Mannequins. I don't think AC can be legally replicated but the music of 8TRAX and Mannequins can be yet there has been no effort to do so. Those PI patrons that I know, the many on this blog's e-mail list, were incredibly excited when we learned DJ Doc and DJ Peapod were going to be spinning their music at CW yet it didn't happen. So many have moved on. Yet this business is there for the taking, Universal!

4. CityWalk didn't EARN our business, Disney basically GAVE it away to all takers. Universal was clever enough to divert a lot of it to them but are they clever enough to keep it? I'm having my doubts. BK's Burger Bar may spare me the 2am run to McDonald's on I-Drive but unless the music improves, it may not matter. I know a lot of people who feel the same way.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Club Report: Tiesto at Hard Rock Live

Don't people know that there's a Recession going on? The THOUSANDS that were out at the Universal Orlando Resort last night sure don't know it. The thousand or so clubbers who paid $40-$50/per person to see Tiesto last night sure don't know it either.

The entry line stretched down the stairs and around the sidewalk in front of the Hard Rock Cafe.
The doors opened at 8pm and it took until nearly 10pm before everyone was in. Fortunately the opening DJ (Andy Hughes) did a great job warming things up and then local DJ Jimmy Joslin came on to really get things going. At 11pm he snuck out and the podium light came back on and there was DJ Tiesto, the #1 techno DJ in the world! And he put on yet another 3 hour extravaganza of Trance and Dance including a few songs previously heard at Mannequins.

Besides the group I was with, I only saw 2 other Mannequins patrons out there. But the 1000 or so people in the crowd made it clear that there is pent-up demand for this kind of music and obviously local clubs are overlooking this money-making opportunity. And where are all these people hanging out now on their Saturday nights? It's not at CityWalk. Universal surely get's a piece of the action on ticket sales out at Hard Rock Live so they should take notice that there's a LOT of people wanting to hear Techno music (Dance/House/Trance) in this town!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Club Report: Floyd's at the Hard Rock Casino

Things are desperate enough in Orlando that Mannequins regulars Mark & Beth checked out Floyd's over in Tampa. This club is located in the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, just off I-4 at Orient Road. Admission for guys is a steep $15 after 11pm on Saturdays however women are free. He reports that men are free before 11pm but the bathrooms are outside the club which means you can't get back in without paying. So guys need to either pay or hold it!

The DJ was playing mashups until around 1am at which time it switched to House and Dance.
Special guest DJ Baby Anne came on around 3am. An Orlando native, we know her from her Tuesday night sessions at Red Coconut Club. Mark reports that the dance floor is large as was the crowd. It's upscale with patrons well-dressed although nice jeans are allowed. I will check this place out next Saturday night and report back.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

News You Can Use

Out at DTD Westside construction is underway on the new docks that will be the home of the new tethered balloon ride.

Rumor has it that a lot of the lighting equipment that was in Mannequins is now being used at the new American Idol show in Disney Hollywood Studios. 8TRAX is being stripped right now.

Coming in 2009 to the upper level of Universal's CityWalk: BK Burger Express, Moe's & Panda Express.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CityWalk Annual Pass Reminder

If you have not already converted your Pleasure Island Annual Pass into a CityWalk Annual Pass, this is a reminder that the deadline to do so is 12/31/08. It's not really an Annual Pass; when it first came out just before PI closed, the 3/31/09 expiration gave you over 6 months of free admissions. Now we're down to just over 3 months of free admissions. But since CityWalk's nightly all-club admission price is $11.99 + tax per night, this is still a great FREE bargain.

Originally your PI AP had to be unexpired to take advantage of this deal but I'm aware of a couple people now who took their expired PI AP and was issued the CW AP. So don't miss out! Go to ticket office on the left side of CityWalk as you come in, just beyond the Endangered Species store.

So far CityWalk is not selling an Annual Pass. They said they plan to do so. Perhaps as we get closer to the expiration of our free passes, they'll start offering one for sale for the next 12 month period.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What Up?

What up? Not a whole heck of a lot. I've run into a few of you out at CityWalk but it seems that most Mannequins-fans have disappeared. Where are you all hanging out now? Please e-mail me at kingbobofthenorth@gmail and let me know what you're doing!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Club Report: Oakenfold at ICON

WOW, what an event! Oakenfold came on about 12:30am this morning to a packed ICON night club in downtown Orlando. He played until a few minutes before 3am and it was the best live Dance/House set I've ever witnessed. A lot of House DJ's play too much trancy music without vocals but Oakenfold played mostly lyric-based music, many of them familiar to the crowd from XM81/Sirius 36. The music was loud and the bass was thumping! The loudest roar from the crowd came when he played the new Tiesto remix of Silence, one of the songs on my Mannequins 1 CD. From small venue to large venue, tonight Oaky plays at the Miami Dolphins' stadium to 30,000!

Speaking of Tiesto, he's coming to Orlando too! Sunday, December 28th at Hard Rock Live at Universal Orlando. Space on the dance floor is $40. This too is a must-see event.

DJ Peapod Update:

DJ Peapod (Jim Fox) reports he is still among the ranks of the unemployed but is still searching. He tells about the failed deal with CityWalk. Besides the hiphop music that The Groove wanted him to play, the other reason his deal to play there fell through is that they were only offering him a 3-week contract with a requirement that he carry $1M in liability insurance. DJ Doc was able to do it for Red Coconut Club because Doc already had a mobil DJ service with the insurance in place but Jim had no such thing and the cost of getting insurance for just a 3-week stint made no sense. He points out that Doc's contract has already expired and the only chance of repeating there would be after the first of the year. And the plan for Doc to spin 80's between band sets didn't pan out either. They made Doc play hip hop.

As far as Pleasure Island goes, he says that all the clubs (except the building that housed Motion) will be dismantled sometime after the first of the year. Motion will continue to be used as profitible convention/meeting space. (Although my prior rumor report mentions Hoop De Doo could be moving there.)

So that's the latest from Jim. If we can find a club for him to play at, he's available to be our DJ!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rumor: Hoop De Doo Revue to PI?

Latest rumor out there is that the famous Hoop De Doo Revue will be moving from the Wilderness Lodge to the building formerly housing Motion, possibly in the form of a "dinner show experience." I guess it's possible. Not sure if the building still has a kitchen but at one time it was the home to Fireworks Factory, a pyrotechnics-themed restaurant. This rumor comes from CanadianGuy via the Disney Boards.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Paul Oakenfold show moved to ICON

CALLING ALL MANNEQUINS FANS!! Paul Oakenfold, one of the top 10 DJ's in the world, returns to Orlando on Tuesday, November 25th in downtown Orlando. He will be spinning at Love, the working-name for techno concerts at the venue formerly known as Club Paris, located in the Church Street Station complex. This is the Tuesday immediately before Thanksgiving.
BREAKING NEWS: The show has apparently been moved to the club ICON located at 20 E. Central in downtown Orlando. This is according to the Rick Rodriguez website mentioned below. Tickets are now $15 on-line. Oakenfold's website refers to an 8pm start time!

If you're able to take Wednesday off from work, this is a must-see event. Capacity at Love is limited to 1000 and that includes the upstairs balcony; this is likely to be packed. The first 300 tickets are just $10 so BUY NOW at www.rickrodriguezproductions.com and then click on the House Music link and then the "Buy Tickets" link at the bottom of that page. Tickets are electronic.

Friday, November 14, 2008

HOB Thursday Nights

Made my first Hospitality Industry Night visit to House of Blues yesterday evening to check out Dave Cannalte. Nothing of course can compare to Mannequins itself however this night is a good substitute if you like Dance music.

Advertised as a 10:30pm start, Dave did not get spinning until 11pm because of delays caused by a prior concert running late. And then, despite it being a beautiful warm Orlando evening, I estimate the number of patrons at only about 100. I've heard that prior Thursdays have had 150-200 patrons. So where the heck are all the CM's who used to go to Mannequins on Thursday evenings now going if they're not going to HOB?

But the music was great and the dance floor stayed pretty full from about 11:30pm to 1am. It didn't spin and there was at least 5-6 times when I expected the CO2 was going to spray down and that didn't happen either. But the music was Mannequins-style so it gets a big thumbs up since we're not seeing that anywhere else in Oralndo.

My understanding is that Dave Cannalte at HOB is a 2-month trial run. We need more guests out there if this is going to continue. I don't know how many HOB needs to make it profitable to stay open versus staying dark; presumably they've got nothing going on anyways. But I don't think 100 patrons is enough.

BTW, HOB is still running their Service Industry Night on Sundays at 10:30pm and I understand the place is packed wall-to-wall with DJ Sandy spinning the Dance music. So I'm going to put this back on the options list here on the blog!
Update 11/27/08: Hospitality Industry Night on Thursdays with Dave Cannalte has come to a conclusion and is no longer being offered.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More News......All Bad

1. My Disney Catering rep says that she has checked with PI officials twice now and I CANNOT rent out Mannequins on New Year's Eve.

2. She also checked out the rumor that a couple clubs on Pleasure Island might reopen over the holidays. The answer is that the clubs are "scheduled to be dark". That's showbiz for: CLOSED

3. Visiting out at PI last night, ran into someone that used to work in one of the clubs and who still works out on the Island. He has personally been inside Mannequins and it has been gutted. Electronics and lighting removed. Not a day goes by where they aren't pulling more stuff out of the place! Well no wonder I can't rent the place! Update 11/24/08: Screamscape reports that all clubs have been stripped of their electrical components and props unless they are to be used for a previously-booked private event. Come January, the work crews are moving in!

I was also out at PI this evening and the club formerly known as Motion was open for a private event for College Program members. Apparently this place has not been gutted although I don't know if the sound system is still there or even if all the television monitors are still installed. They wouldn't let me inside.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

PI Alternatives

Most of us have settled into a life without Pleasure Island, as depressing as that may be. You'll find a complete updated list of alternate clubs below however I thought I'd summarize that lengthy list with this one showing the best replacement clubs for those formerly located at PI.

If you liked 8TRAX, what is the best replacement? Antigua (Saturday nights)

If you liked Rock'n'Roll Beach Club, what is the best replacement? Margaritaville (Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights)

If you liked Motion, what is the best replacement? The Groove (Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights)

If you liked BET Soundstage, what is the best replacement? Any damn club in town is playing hip hop & rap! A shout-out to Bob Marley's for reggae!

And if you liked Mannequins, the only thing that comes close is DJ Dave Cannalte's Hospitality Industry Night at House of Blues! (Thursday nights) See: http://www.hob.com/venues/clubvenues/orlando/weekly/hospitality.asp

Monday, October 27, 2008

DJ Peapod Cancels & Other Updates

Latest update is that DJ Peapod (Jim Fox) has decided NOT to play at the Groove. This appears to be true. As previously reported by a well-placed source at CityWalk, Peapod was to play Dance music at the Groove on Wednesdays and Fridays beginning next month. Now we hear this has been cancelled. From what Jim told me previously via e-mail, they wanted him to mix hip hop into his dance mix and he told them he was not a "Motion DJ" and wouldn't do it. Apparently neither side conceeded and the deal is off.

This is unfortunate for all of us! I can understand both sides. The Groove gets packed on both Friday and Saturday nights with its current crappy mish-mosh of music and they fear losing what they already have. Likewise, DJ Peapod is NOT a hip hop DJ and to ask him to include that stuff in the highly popular style he played at Mannequins (quite successfully for years) is unreasonable. There was so much excitement when I posted the announcement about his return to the booth. Now there is sadness.

In other news, Mannequins' Thursday night DJ Dave Cannalte is spinning Thursday nights at the House of Blues. Apparently they've moved their Sunday night Hospitality Night to Thursday nights at HOB and Dave has simply taken his show over there. This will be highly popular with Disney CM's who have free bus transportation available to them. This won't help CityWalk with their attempt at a Thursday night hospitality industry night. Details at:

And as for DJ Doc at Red Coconut, DJ Peapod reports that Doc will be spinning between band sets. On Thursdays he'll be playing 80's and on Saturdays he'll be doing a Motion kind of mix but perhaps with less hip hop. It looks like 70's Disco is not in the cards at this time. DJ Baby Anne continues her downtempo and breaks at Red Coconut on Tuesday nights through year-end.

Thanks to Jim for the updates!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rumor: PI To Reopen For the Holidays?

According to a posting today on the internet site Screamscape, one of that website's sources is saying that Disney might reopen some of the Pleasure Island clubs during the busy holiday season. Another source says that some of the 3rd party operators who had planned to move to PI with their store/restaurant projects are now second-guessing the costly ventures because of the state of the current economy. Update: No one out at PI this past Wednesday could confirm this rumor.

In other news, I contacted Disney last week about booking a 1-night party at Mannequins on New Year's Eve. The initial reaction was that this couldn't be done but after having discussed my plans a bit further, they took my name and number and said they would have someone call me. Why not? If the clubs aren't already reopening for the holidays then why not earn a large amount of revenue that night? I would lease it and sell tickets to pay for it.

Would you come? Don't make your New Year's Eve plans just yet!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

South & Central American Restaurant/Club

The ONLY thing that has been announced so far for Pleasure Island is a South & Central American restaurant that turns into a night club in the later evenings. The concept is similar to The Samba Room on Sand Lake Road and Latin Quarter over at CityWalk. This is definitely going into the building that previously was the home of the Missing Link Sausage Company, a fast-food restaurant. The building was closed and extensively renovated a couple years ago but never reopened. Apparently the renovations were insufficient to meet the needs of this new venue because it is being renovated again; actually gutted.

If you click on the photo with the signs you'll see what they're willing to tell about the place: Waterfront Dining & Street Foods of the Americas. Very interesting. We know there are large windows facing Village Lake. Will there also be outdoor seating along the water? And Street Foods of the Americas? Reminds me of food carts or food stations each serving local specialties al la EPCOT Food & Wine Festival. We''ll be watching closely because this is the ONLY new venue announced so far for PI.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Latest News

BET Soundstage was open last night (Saturday). Perhaps it was a previously booked group but they were letting anyone just passing by in. Update: This was an event booked prior to the announcement of PI closing.

DJ's will also be returning to the PI Live booth overlooking PI beginning this coming Monday, talking and playing music until 11pm weeknights and midnights on weekends. Apparently Pleasure Island is so dreary at night that pedestrians may be afraid to walk through it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It Was Like Pleasure Island At Sea

Have you ever gone on a cruise? This past weekend I got to experience a special 2-night sailing of the Norwegian Pearl, a relatively new ship by Norwegian Cruise Lines. A 2-night sailing basically results in just 1-day away which was fine. And like the more-typical 3-night cruises out there, it was a PARTY CRUISE. But what made the PARTY so much fun on this cruise was that the music being played was like a trip back to Pleasure Island!

First night in the Spinnaker Lounge: 70's Night Nearly every cruise I've ever been on has a 70's night and this was the same only this time it was more special since 8TRAX is no longer a weekly option. They played all the 70's disco classics, the Entertainment staff was dressed in their finest 70's threads and there was even an obligatory appearance by the Village People! So 8TRAX was on my ship. What about Mannequins?

First night in Bliss Ultra Lounge: Yes, Mannequins! There was no revolving dance floor but they did have nice cushiony sofas and beds and the DJ was spinning techno! And the place was absolutely packed. (Ironically there is a club in downtown O-town with the same name.)

Second night in Spinnaker: On each cruise NCL runs something called the White Hot Party. Little did I realize that this was also techno! I asked the DJ if he was playing techno all night and he replied, "House". House, Techno, Whatever, it was mostly Mannequins music. They were handing out the glow necklaces!

Second night at Bliss: Hip Hop (oh well, can't win them all.)

So I got to visit both 8TRAX and Mannequins during my 2-night cruise. My PI withdrawal symptoms still have not set in because of stuff like this!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sign Changes at PI as of 04 OCT

As reported, there have been some sign changes at PI since the closure. Here we'll compare before and after photos.

First of all let's compare the entry signs. The original one had the PI logo and the club logos. It was a professional looking sign. The new sign looks like crap! Look at all the wrinkles on the paper they slapped up there. People stare and mumble that there's nothing here!

There have been no real changes at Mannequins. The huge metal sign is still attached to the building and the marquee style overhang is still there. The "Mannequins Dance Palace" signs along the two angles of the marquee are no longer there but I think those were just there electronically anyway and they're missing only because someone turned off the switch. Nothing was taken down that I can see.

As previously reported, the 8TRAX signs have been painted over.....poorly, I might add. Black paint was used but you can still easily see what was on there before.

Over at Motion the sign has definitely been removed.

No picture, but there are barricades back up surrounding the building that at one time housed the Missing Link Sausage Company and a few shops. I'm pretty certain that the South American restaurant/night club is going into the waterfront side of that building. That remains the ONLY thing that has been announced for Pleasure Island.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday Night Report

It wasn't quite as crazy as it could have been and it appeared that everyone was on good behavior and I'm not aware of any incidents. Disney Security was very much in plain clothes in addition to the normal variety of uniformed guards. Unlike last weekend, it was very low key.

Adventurer's Club had hundreds in line by the time they opened at 6pm. I believe capacity is 350 so they reached capacity for the first show. Some people did leave as the shows converted however later in the evening no one was leaving because everyone wanted to be part of the final performance. Those still in line outside (and there was still a long line) could not get in and they had to watch the show via outdoor monitors that were added. See: http://www.attractionsmagazine.com/blog/?p=986

All dance clubs reached capacity before midnight. Mannequins was so crowded that just like this past Thursday night, the dance floor broke again. This time it shut down around 9:15pm and clearly that takes a lot of the energy out of the room. That was not enough though to get anyone to leave. The first couple hours of music was retro techno with early Dance hits from the mid to late 90's. Once the floor broke they switched to current Dance hits; don't know if that was the plan all along. Lots of filming going on for the Mannequins Medley that is played each night. Watch it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kkxUOnfXVE

The end was stirring. The DJ booth was full. The girl lighting tech (don't remember her name) was being hugged and she was crying. They played until 2am and the crowd demanded "One More Song"!! Finally DJ Peapod (Jim Fox) came back to the podium and played one more. There was a lot of cheering and applause for the entire cast members that work the booth.

Final Night Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MXGhXPRCYg&feature=related

Final Night Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9FsPf6ycf0&feature=related

One More Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97dMMhygsnQ&feature=related

As all of us know, there is no justifiable reason for Pleasure Island to have been closed down. There are night clubs all over the world, of course, but none have been so heaviliy themed as these and so beloved. I'm not aware of any other venue anywhere that would have people travel thousands of miles to come for the final night. Can you?

It's over! I'll be watching those buildings carefully to see what happens. Unless Mannequins is torn down, I'll be watching and hoping that someone leases it and returns it as a dance club. I will be maintaing this blog to keep you updated on any developments. If you're on my e-mail list you'll get any breaking news of importance.

To all my friends out there, it's been great partying with you!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday Night Report

Whereas Mannequins was the only dance club to reach capacity on Thursday night, all the dance clubs except Mannequins reached capacity on Friday night. That's not to say Mannequins wasn't crowded.....it was packed too. But they were able to use the normal front entry rather than the side stairs. They still have the ropes along the side stairs so we may see that being used tonight.

Both comedy clubs had long lines but you could get in if you didn't mind waiting.

Tonight's the night that everyone has been both anticipating and dreading. Comedy clubs open at 6pm with first performances at 6:50pm. Dance clubs open at 8pm. DJ Peapod at Mannequins reports that he's up first as each of the 3 main DJ's at Mannequins play their final sets. It will be interesting to see what each DJ selects for their final song. Outside, Frankie & the West End Boys make their final appearance ever at PI. They were the main band to play on the West End Stage before that was demolished. They still have a PI drink named after them.

Recommend that you arrive early to be sure you get in to whatever club you want to go to. Those on my e-mail list have my phone number and you're free to call me after 4pm and I'll let you know if there are any lines forming at that hour.

This is it..........the END of Pleasure Island has arrived.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday Night Report

Mannequins was packed by 9pm. Club reached capacity around midnight and no one else could go in until people left. Instead of the front door and the elevator they are using the 2nd floor side entry on the Waterfront side. You queue on the side, show your pass separately from getting your armband and then climb up the side stairs to the entry door. I haven't seen them use the side entry in 10 years! Club so crowded that the revolving dance floor stopped. I don't know if the weight of the people broke it or if they just stopped it to prevent it from breaking. We'll see if it's operating tonight.

Live band "Hip Kitty" was playing on the Waterfront Stage adjacent Mannequins. Kitty in Converse Allstars, tall white knee socks with the stripes at the top and short shorts made for a very retro look. Same band tonight; Frankie and the West Enders playing Saturday night.

8TRAX was relatively empty. No delays getting in.


MOTION very crowded inside but the line outside moved very quickly, at least right before midnight when most people already had their armbands.

I did not check on ADVENTURER'S CLUB or COMEDY WAREHOUSE. Supposedly the AC line on Wednesday stretched from the entrance all the way to the Harley Store just before they opened.

It will be worse tonight and chaos on Saturday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

CityWalk to Honor PI Annual Passes!

As reported by the Orlando Sentinel & WKMG channel 6: Universal CityWalk will honor annual passes from Disney's Pleasure Island through March 31, 2009.

Here's how it works:
1) Present your PI pass with valid photo ID at CityWalk guest services before Dec. 31, 2008.
2) In return, you'll receive a CityWalk pass that's good through March 31, 2009. It doesn't matter what the expiration date is of your PI AP as long as it is still valid. Your new CityWalk AP will be valid until the end of March.
3) The pass is valid at Red Coconut Club, Bob Marley's, Pat O'Brien's, Citywalk's Rising Star, the Groove, Latin Quarter and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. That's every club there except Blue Man Group.
4) It excludes VIP admission and special-ticket events like New Year's Eve.
5) The price for this: FREE

Keep in mind that it costs $12 to park at Universal during the day. Normally after 6pm parking is free however the free time begins later in the evening during Halloween Horror Nights. If you pay to park, bring your parking receipt with you and they will refund it.

They don't keep your PI AP. They punch a small heart-shaped punch mark on it so they know you've redeemed it already. You can then still apply for your pro-rated PI AP refund once the island closes. PI Annual Passes that have already expired are not valid.

They will be offering for sale CityWalk Annual Passes but not yet. Price not announced yet however I'm told it will be similarlly priced to what PI charged for their pass.

For more info, call CityWalk Guest Services at 407-224-2690.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mouse Watch: Important Article at Jim Hill Media

The PI crowds were so huge this past weekend that Disney is having to come up with contingency plans for the final weekend. They will be announced Wednesday.

Not sure if Jim Hill was kidding or not but there is talk of people camping out in the parking lot Friday night so that they can get in on Saturday night!

Everyone needs to read his article at: http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jim_hill/default.aspx
Click on the Monday Mouse Watch article.
After you've read it, be sure to click on the orange "Discuss Article" button at the bottom to read commentary.

Remember that the comedy clubs are opening at 6pm and the dance clubs at 8pm. Arriving early is highly recommended!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Updates for Final Weekend

Pleasure Island is adding additional show times and entertainment for the final weekend:

Thurs., Sept. 25 and Fri., Sept. 26:
  • Adventurers Club opens at 6pm with additional Library shows. Shows are continuous.
  • The Comedy Warehouse opens early with an additional show at 6:55pm. Show times are: 6:55pm, 8pm, 9:10pm, 10:25pm, 11:35pm, and 12:45am.
  • Live Band ("Hip Kitty") performing on the Waterfront Stage at Pleasure Island, Four 45-minute sets at 7:30pm, 8:45pm, 10:00pm, and 11:15pm. (A D.J. will also perform, 6pm - 1:30am, alternating with the band.)
  • Dance clubs open one hour earlier at 8pm.
Sat., Sept. 27:
  • Adventurers Club opens at 6pm with additional Library shows. Shows are continuous.
  • The Comedy Warehouse opens early with an additional show at 6:55pm. Show times are: 6:55pm, 8pm, 9:10pm, 10:25pm, 12:05am, and 1:05am.
  • Live Band ("Frankie and the West End Boys") performing on the Waterfront Stage at Pleasure Island, Four 45-minute sets at 7:30pm, 8:45pm, 10pm, and 11:15pm. (A D.J. will also perform, 6pm - 1:30am, alternating with the band.)
  • Dance clubs open one hour earlier at 8pm.
  • All 3 Mannequins DJ's including weekend DJ Peapod will have turns playing their final sets.
  • Midnight fireworks over Village Lake.
Remember, even with a ticket, there is no guaranteed entry so arrive early. There is no guaranteed re-entry; if you leave a club you may not get into the club you're headed to or get back into the club you just came from.

Ticket lines are expected to be long. Remember there is a ticket kiosk in Downtown Disney West Side near the PI bridge that usually has shorter lines. Also, there are electronic ticket machines outside the upstairs 8TRAX entrance. If you're coming Friday, buy two tickets to use that night and Saturday night. You can also buy all-club tickets from the dozens of ticket brokers along I-Drive and elsewhere in the Attractions corridor, usually for less than the official price.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Capacity Crowds at Adventurers Club

Interesting article posted earlier today at Jim Hill Media about the capacity crowds that have been congregating at The Adventurers Club. Here's the link to it:


The crowds are not limited to AC. This past weekend I saw the longest lines I've ever seen for Comedy Warehouse. The entry line for 8TRAX wrapped around the building and a bit up the stairs....first time in years I've seen that. 8TRAX actually reached capacity and the re-entry door was closed for awhile. The lines weren't too bad at the other dance clubs but inside the dance floors were full of drinking patrons. I've yet to meet a single person that says closing PI makes sense. Quite to the contrary, everyone says it makes no sense.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Is IP Going To Replace PI?

Here's an interesting rumor I picked up on yesterday. Two independent sources mentioned a new nightclub development being built in the Kissimmee area.

One source specifically called the development Island of Pleasure and that it was being built on US 192 in Kissimmee. The other source had not heard that name but said the place was being built at the far south edge of Disney property (which would be Osceola County) to be run by Disney as a replacement for Pleasure Island. She stated that this was not the budget hotel/restaurant complex being built out at the junction of TOLL 429 (Western Beltway) at Western Way/Hartzog Road.

Is this for real? Is Disney really building a new Pleasure Island to be called Island of Pleasure? Wouldn't that be awesome if true? Stay tuned as I dig into this story.

Update: I have not found any confirmation about these two rumors from any other sources.

Annual Pass Refunds

A reminder to those of you with Pleasure Island Annual Passes that you're entitled to a refund for the unused time remaining on it. The amount of your refund will be pro-rated based on the number of days remaining on the pass from the PI closure date to the expiration of your pass. Obviously don't request your refund until after PI closes if you're still planning to use the pass.

Refunds will not be processed at PI ticket windows. Go to any Guest Relations counter anywhere in Walt Disney World. The ones closest to PI are in Downtown Disney Marketplace adjacent Team Mickey and in a kiosk near the Pleasure Island bridge over in Downtown Disney West Side.

Update on 9/28/08: Refund took about 5 minutes to process and they will put the credit on whatever card you desire. I guess a cash refund was also an option. They return the card to you when they're finished so you can then take it to Universal for the free CityWalk Party Pass.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More Final Night Information

The following was picked up from the Screamscape website:

Downtown Disney & Pleasure Island News - (9/12/08) Screamscape sources have sent in some information about what we might see during Pleasure Island’s last nights. First off the Fireworks will return to PI for a special finale show on the 27th, though we’ve heard there is also a slight chance it could also happen on the 26th. We will see performances by Frankie and the West End Boys and Hip Kitty, some off-season special shows in the Adventure’s Club (Halloween & Christmas themed) plus we’ve heard that the AC’s night will end with a very special show where the story may give away a reason as to why the club is closing. I’ve also heard that there may be some kind of special show over at the Comedy Warehouse as well. Meanwhile look for lots of extra characters in the streets and special souvenir merchandise.
After that… turn off the lights on the way out because the party is over… unless you are a member of one of a few special private groups who have already booked the various venues (yes, Adventure’s Club too) for special private functions. Apparently the special event types still have some events scheduled for these locations through to Jan, 1st 2009. After that… crews will move in to start removing anything of value and prepare the site buildings for new owners or for demolition.
As for the buildings… we’ve heard that suits have been spotted walking the island with rolled blueprints lately, looking over the current BET, Adventure Club, Beach Club and Motion buildings. As for the buildings on the other side of the street (8-Trax, Mannequins) we’ve heard that there may be no set plans for those sights yet, which could possibly mean they could have a date with a wrecking ball in order to build up something entirely new.

Yes, that could mean Mannequins and 8TRAX are going to be torn down but it could also mean that they might come back in the future as the great night clubs that they are! I can dream.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Final Night Information

Have not heard any official announcements yet regarding the final night(s) at Pleasure Island. I am personally aware of people flying in from all over the country for Final Night and in one case someone flying in from Europe. Here is what I've heard:

1. No free entry for cast members.
2. Fireworks at midnight - Yes
3. Live Band - Yes - I don't know that it's going to be Frankie & The West End Boys but I have heard there will be a live band on the Dockside stage besides Mannequins.
4. No guaranteed entry or re-entry. With all the locals that have annual passes plus the unlimited number of tickets that are floating around out there that could be redeemed that night, clubs are going to reach capacity early. If you're coming out, COME EARLY, pick a club and stay there. If you arrive later you may not get into any club; if you leave a club you may not get back in. This past weekend the "No Guaranteed Re-entry" signs were posted at Adventurer's Club and I expect they will be posted everywhere on Final Night.
5. In answer to questions asked of me, I have not heard that RRBC is being reopened that night; I have not heard that there are going to be extended hours.

If you have other information of interest, please post by clicking on Comments. I'll share other information as it is announced.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pleasure Island IS Closing

The information card shown here is now included in hotel brochure racks around Orlando along with the usual theme park and attraction brochures. You can click on the image to read it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The End Is Near II

Disney Transportation bus drivers have been informed that the Pleasure Island bus stop is closing effective with the closure of PI. Bus service will migrate to the West Side bus stop at the far end of the Downtown Disney West Side parking lot. This is also an existing Lynx bus stop. (Service will remain at the Downtown Disney Marketplace bus stop.)

Is this the final nail in the coffin? It's certainly one of them.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The End Is Near :(

I hate to say it.....but I'm afraid the end of Pleasure Island is near. There has been no new good news. There have been no new rumors. And then take a look at this posting by poster Tuckenie over at the Jim Hill Media website: (Copy and paste the link below; then scroll down)


I spoke to the club manager of Mannequins last week and she isn't high enough in the company to have seen the presentation mentioned. If I happen to see her manager walking around PI tonight I'll ask him about it. But if this poster is telling the truth (and there is no reason not to believe him), then PI as we know it is finished and we cannot save it.

I will follow up with the owners of Destiny and see what is going on over there. I can inquire with Universal management to see about getting more techno played at The Groove like they used to do a few years ago. I'll keep everyone informed through this website.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

About This Blog

This blog is dedicated to the story of Pleasure Island, it's proposed closing and the fight to save it. PLEASE READ ARTICLES FROM THE BOTTOM UP. (Articles begin on the second page.) This blog will be updated on a regular basis when there is news to report. Your help is needed to try to save PI! Please keep in mind that everything on here is the opinion of the moderator and is not presented as fact. If you'd like to receive e-mail alerts, send your e-mail address to: kingbobofthenorth@gmail.com

Friday, August 8, 2008

CityWalk Makes Play For PI Regulars

Home delivery copies of today's Orlando Sentinel (Friday, August 8) included a sticker/pass redeemable for a Universal CityWalk Party Pass. Valid for Florida residents only, the Pass gets you into all of the clubs at CityWalk for one night and has a value around $12. It is valid until 12/31/08.

Unfortunately the Sentinel editions at newsstands that I checked did not include the sticker since I would have bought at least 10 more. Apparently this was for home delivery editions only......LOCALS.

Clearly this is the first salvo by Universal to get locals to make CityWalk their new "partying" location once Pleasure Island closes. There is a lot of speculation about where current PI regulars are going to go and it looks like Universal wants us.

Bravo to Universal for recognizing that if Disney is going to give up hundreds and hundreds of local customers for free, they're happy to take them! And what better way to introduce or re-introduce locals to CityWalk than by giving them a free ticket!

Another coupon in Orlando Sentinel's Friday, August 15th edition.
Another coupon in Orlando Sentinel's Friday, September 5th edition.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Is Disney Reconsidering?

On Thursday evening a contributor named Cheshire Figment posted the following message on Disboards:

When I was in California a few weeks ago I heard (from reliable sources) that upper level people in Disney Corporate were concerned about the number of complaints referring to the notification that the PI clubs are closing.

Also, I have been dealing with a hotel on Hotel Plaza Blvd for an upcoming convention and I was told by my Sales Manager there that the on-site Disney Rep had officially asked the Director of Sales if they have lost groups and/or rooms because of the PI closing, and needed a count with detailed information. The SM told me that had lost a few conventions because of it. Also, it appears that it is being asked of all the non-Disney resorts on property.

If true, this brings hope to all of us. Those letters and e-mails are making an impact. More important, apparently Disney may now be recognizing that there is an impact beyond just revenue at Pleasure Island. Disney World and Orlando compete with other cities for meetings and conventions. Conventioneers want evening activities. Las Vegas is always #1 because of the tremendous amount of things to do when the meetings are over. When you take away Pleasure Island, what else is there? Most conventions take place at the Orange County Convention Center or in hotel meeting space in the Attractions corridor. Without Pleasure Island being there, Disney has ZERO to offer for those looking for evening activities. So it appears that some of these meetings are being lost to other cities. When that happens, there are fewer hotel rooms sold, fewer airline tickets sold, fewer restaurant meals sold, fewer theme park tickets sold AND of course no alcohol revenue at Disney clubs. Perhaps the latter was taken into account, but not everything else. The ramifications are huge!

If Disney is really reconsidering closing everything, August is critical! Please....if you've not already sent an e-mail (or better yet, a real letter via the real mail), please do so now. Be polite but tell them how important Pleasure Island is to you and to the local economy. The addresses are in the posting below. Thank you!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sign The SAVE PLEASURE ISLAND On-Line Petition

Over 400 people have already signed the SAVE PLEASURE ISLAND petition. Please sign the petition a.s.a.p. and tell your friends about it. It would be great to get this signed by over 500 people by the time the originator of the petition will print it and present it to Disney officials.


What Can I Do To Try To Save Pleasure Island?

It's not too late to for YOU to try to help save Pleasure Island! Sources say that Disney management has already been surprised by the outpouring of sentiment about the closing. Please take a few moments to send letters and/or e-mails to top Disney officials. TELL THEM TO SAVE MANNEQUINS & 8TRAX as well as any other PI attractions that interest you.

Mr. Robert Iger
Chief Executive Officer
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-4873

Mr. James A. Rasulo
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-4873

Meg Crofton
The Walt Disney World Resort
PO Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Kevin Lansberry, Vice President of Operations Downtown Disney
PO Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32820

Al Weiss
Worldwide Operations
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
PO Box 10000
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Real letters are more effective than e-mails but e-mails are better than doing nothing, so please join the Fight to Save PI!

One View on Why PI Is Closing

The website Mouse Extra has covered the story of the closing of Pleasure Island. In the comments section of the June 26th article a reader named Jessica Rabbit posted a story about Disney doing many things that led to PI's demise. This is opinion however many of the things she states do match up with actual occurrences and thus I present it for you to consider. Click on this link and then scroll down to the Jessica Rabbit letter:


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Beginning of the End

Opinion: When Pleasure Island was built it was adjacent the Disney Village shopping area but otherwise not in the way of anything. Problems only began when the whole concept of Downtown Disney was created, with Disney Village becoming the Downtown Disney Marketplace and the new Downtown Disney West Side being built west of PI.

Marketplace by its very nature has a large selection of stores and restaurants, with many of the shops filled with Disney character merchandise. The West Side has never had much to entice the majority of Disney visitors with their children. Shoppers at Marketplace had a long trek to go to the West Side. They had to follow the long sidewalk adjacent the Downtown Disney parking lots and then either go in front of or behind the Planet Hollywood icon restaurant. But either path required a deviation around Pleasure Island. Not that many made the long trek but in my opinion this was more to do with the shop selection at West Side rather than distance.

Disney decided they needed to shorten the distance and the way to do that was to "open the island". In the past Pleasure Island was closed during the day and at night it was gated and only those with admission tickets could enter. Those with admission tickets were treated to midnight fireworks and confetti each evening as well as outdoor stages with live bands and shows. There was an air of exclusivity. So the gates were taken away and only those entering the clubs needed a ticket. This led to roving bands of teens hanging around which upset guests. The band stages were removed to eliminate the attractiveness to teens but it also eliminated most live band performances. The exclusivity of Pleasure Island went away.

What Is Coming to Pleasure Island?

This article gives artist sketches of what supposedly is coming. Some of the things shown were actually announced months ago and not all of these pertain to PI but to Downtown Disney Marketplace.


What is completely ironic about these new ventures is that none of them apparently go into space currently housing a PI dance club or comedy club. So there seems to be no reason to close any of them at this juncture, based on what has been announced!

The Party Is Over at Pleasure Island

On Friday, June 27th the news broke that PI was being closed entirely, except for the few shops. The press announcement was late enough in the day that we have to think Disney didn't want a lot of bad press. But the Disboards website broke the news and the Orlando Sentinel.com posted within minutes. There was a front page article in the Sentinel on Saturday morning:


The Rumors

Rumors that some of Pleasure Island was going to close had been circulating since early this year, if not earlier. The lack of anything new going into the building which formerly housed the Missing Link fast food restaurant (despite a complete gutting and renovations two years ago) followed by this year's closure of the Rock'n'Roll Beach Club kept the rumors churning.

One never knows how credible rumors are but those that seemed most credible had BET closing to become The Adventurers Club Restaurant and Motion closing to become meeting/banquet space. Those same rumors kept 8TRAX and Mannequins open in some form; both were in the same building and shared electrical and HVAC systems. As the most highly-themed dance clubs, it made sense that these would remain even if they were leased out to a third party to operate.

The announcement thus shocked everyone......patrons AND PI employees!

Monday, July 14, 2008


For the past 19 years, Pleasure Island (PI) has been the adult playground for guests at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando. Located at Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, the island has always consisted of various nightclubs along with a limited number of shops and food outlets. When it came to an evening destination for adults traveling without their kids or convention/meeting attendees, Pleasure Island was the leading destination in metropolitan Orlando.

Currently Pleasure Island consists of 4 music/dance clubs plus 2 comedy clubs:

Mannequins: Featuring techno music and one of the world's few revolving dance floors, this club has been operating at PI since the very beginning.

8TRAX: Originally featuring just 70's disco music it has evolved to also include early 80's MTV hits. It has been operating successfully since 1994 when it replaced The Cage which played progressive music. When PI opened, the club was called Videopolis East which played new wave.

BET Soundstage Club: A multi-level club featuring hip hop music and some old school, this club has been operating since 1998 when it replaced the Neon Armadillo country music club.

Motion: The largest dance floor in PI is home to Top 40 videos which by its very nature is a lot of hip hop music and contemporary hits. This club opened in 2001, replacing PI's second attempt at country music called The Wildhorse Saloon. Despite the popularity of country music, neither country venue sold enough drinks to remain in business.

Comedy Warehouse: An improv comedy club featuring no doubt the best comedians in Orlando.

Adventurer's Club: A 1930's style British/South African explorer's club is comedy presented in a most unique setting and manor that I cannot even put into words.

Another music club, Rock'n'Roll Beach Club closed in February, 2008 and the Pleasure Island Jazz Company closed in 2002.

Pleasure Island as a whole opened on May 1, 1989 and is scheduled to close after the evening of September 27, 2008.