Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!

As 2009 comes to a close, I present to you the #1 song in America according to Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 chart. This song furthers my theory that Dance music is merging with Top 40 and Hip Hop. A few months ago I presented Dance singer Cascada's (D) Evacuate the Dance Floor which included Hip Hop elements along with House DJ David Guetta (F) directly including Hip Hop singer Akon in his Sexy Bitch song. Here we have lily white girl Ke$ha (USA) singing Hop Hop directly to #1 with Tik Tok. Earlier in the year she sang with Flo Rida on his #1 hit Right Round. Happy New Year everyone!! Hopefully we'll hear some good PI news in 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Universal Premier Pass

Quite a few Pleasure Island residents migrated over to Universal's CityWalk entertainment complex last year when PI closed down. Universal cleverly offered a FREE 6-month CityWalk Annual Pass to any PI annual pass holder. A lot of PI people took advantage of this offer which provided free admission from the time PI closed until March 31st, 2009. Everyone expected though that CityWalk would follow that up with an Annual Pass offer of its own. A lot of PI people would have bought one plus they would have sold a lot of them to their own regulars. But as March came to an end, CityWalk didn't end up coming out with an AP. As we move into 2010, I'm told there are no plans to offer one this coming year either.

But this brings up a point that regular reader Ken mentioned in a Comment a few months ago: The Universal Premier Pass. If you're a regular at CityWalk, this Pass really needs to be considered because it includes CityWalk. Let's do the math: If you plan to go to CityWalk once every-other week in 2010 and you buy the all-club Party Pass, that's 26 visits @ $11.99 = $311.74 + tax spent. But the Universal Premier Pass is just $289.99 + tax. For slightly LESS money you not only get unlimited visits to CityWalk but you also get unlimited visits to the two theme parks, free valet & regular parking, free Express Passes after 4pm, free bottled water, food and merchandise discounts, AMC movie discounts, 2 for 1 well drinks, a Halloween Horror Nights ticket and a lot more! And the first year is the only time you pay that full price; the renewal option this year is $199.99 + tax.

Do the math with your personal situation. You may find it's a great value. And don't forget that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be arriving soon as well.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

PI Update: Inside the Clubs

The clubs continue to have small amounts of interior lighting which allow you to peer in after night falls. Motion is the easiest to look into and as far as I can tell, the club has not been stripped of equipment but there is no way for me to know for sure. There is still a podium on the stage with a pumpkin sitting on top. (Photo Upper Left) At Comedy Warehouse, it looks like a lot of the junk that was stored in there has been cleared out however the wood seating is still in there just like it always was. No real signs of active renovations. Soundstage has definitely been stripped of equipment down to bare walls. That's more fitting to a building about to be demolished. We know AC has been stripped of most artifacts too. Over at 8TRAX the interior looks the same as it always has; you can easily see the different levels, the fencing, even the old Twister game on the floor. What was most interesting though is I spotted an employee of Paradiso 37 go into the 8TRAX downstairs door with a cart of what looked like junk and then come out with an empty cart. Apparently they are using 8TRAX for storage! No renovations in sight. I did not look inside Mannequins this trip but you can see on the outside that the former upstairs fire escape door area has been smoothed-over compared to my prior posting and this is now ready to be plastered over. (Photo Upper Right)

I just can't stay away from Celebrate Tonight though; the 5:30pm edition tonight included the Electric Slide and some kind of blind baseball game. They have definitely stopped asking people "What are you celebrating?" because that question rarely generated decent answers.

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Years Eve Options

This is basically a repeat of my December 5th article, updated where applicable. Please consider this a basic overview only that should not be relied upon; visit the websites of the different venues for exact details. For EPCOT, see December 19th article.

Will there be any PI club reopenings for NYE this year? gotta be kidding! Heck, there won't even be any fireworks at Downtown Disney this year. Thousands of guests will be wandering around DTD just like they did last year, expecting them but not getting them. Silly guests. But I'm sure Celebrate Tonight will be open.....and it's FREE.

The only remaining Disney-operated dance club at Disney World, Atlantic Dance Hall will be hosting a ticketed video dance party featuring our favorite DJ Tony Z. The $35 admission fee includes party favors and champagne toast. Tickets go on sale Dec 29th at 6:30pm in the ADH lobby and you have to act fast because they sell out quickly. You can't even get near the place on NYE if you don't have one of only 550 tickets being sold this year. Last year they sold around 750 tickets but felt it was too crowded. Price includes a free parking pass. Special VIP seating upstairs with dessert $65. Tickets also Wednesday and Thursday nights until sold out. 8pm-2am.

Universal CityWalk is offering the most extensive (and expensive) NYE celebration. Tickets cost $129.99 although Universal AP holders pay $99.99. That price gets you an all-you-can-eat buffet with various food and carving stations, live performances by The Temptations and The Four Tops plus DJ
entertainment in the CityWalk clubs: DJ Doc Wells (8TRAX) will be spinning in The Groove, DJ G-Clef (Celebrate Tonight) in Red Coconut Club, DJ AJ in Pat O'Briens, DJ King in Rising Star, DJ Leony (Sirius XM BPM) in Latin Quarter, DJ Spice in Bob Marley's and DJ Bo Wilson in Margaritaville. Hours 8pm-2am.

Wall Street Plaza downtown offers Moon Street Bash, one of Orlando's major NYE parties. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. DJ Digital will be on the elevated main stage outside and there are 8 clubs within WSP to hop around to, some with their own DJ's. You usually won't find much techno here which is why you don't see these clubs mentioned much on this Blog. Nonetheless, this is a big event and you should be aware if it. Hours 8pm-3am.

The other big downtown event is the NYE 2010 Street Party at Church Street Bars. Admission ranges from $39-$99 depending on what kind of drinking you'd like to do. (Click on flyer for details.) As this one is the only one to include your drinks, it can be an incredible value! Church Street is blocked off, you get admission to Antigua, Chillers, Big Belly Brewery and Latitudes. There will be a Times Square simulcast and Orlando's now-famous Orange Drop takes place here! DJ Smooth of RadioDanz will be in the booth doing video projections across Church Street! Hours 8pm-3am.

There aren't a lot of pure Dance music options on NYE so even though the dance floor at Vixen downtown is smaller than my spare bedroom, I still have to list this as an option because if DJ Jimmy Joslin is spinnin', there's going to be great Dance in the House. $10 cover makes this a cheap option and you're just around the corner from the midnight Orange Drop. Free CD's, free champagne at midnight. Yowsah! 7pm-3am

Bliss Ultra Lounge is also holding a block party of its own on Church Street in front of their club featuring live band Urban Achievers. You can click on the flyer to your left to view the drink packages that they're offering. Basic admission including champagne toast is just $20. Not sure what's happening inside the club but DJ Mickey Bono won't be spinning that night. Hours 9pm-3am.

Over at Tabu Night Club, hip hop radio station Power 95.3 is sponsoring their NYE party with DJ Slique. Ladies are just $15 while guys pay $20. Because this is likely to be a sell-out, advance tickets are recommended from either the Tabu box office or Champagne toast at midnight is included; all the hip hop you can dance to & drinks from 9-10pm are just $3.50. Hours 9pm-3am.

BB Kings Blues Club is way more than Blues. Their NYE party costs $75 including a 3-course dinner, reserved seating , champagne toast and party favors. Dance to live music from BB King All Star Band. General admission without dinner or seating is $40.
Hard Rock Live is doing another one of their Classic Albums Live on NYE. This year it's the "Best of Woodstock" and includes dinner and the show.
Techno Dance singer Abigail (GB) will be appearing at Parliament House on NYE. P-House knows how to party so watch out! I have fond memories of her hits "You Set Me Free" and "Could It Be Magic".
Have fun, Be Safe, Don't Drink & Drive, Arrive Alive, etc. etc.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

PI Update: Celebrate Tonight

It's been way too long since I visited Celebration Plaza to check out Celebrate Tonight. So I went to the 7:30pm edition this evening and oh what luck....I got to watch (yet again) DJ G-Clef do his 1-Cent, 5-Cent, 10-Cent A Dollar song! There were a lot of people in DTD this evening; parking spaces were scarce. But I watched most just pass by the "celebration". In the past the DJ's had a difficult time gathering victims, er, I mean volunteers for the routines, but this has cleverly morphed in asking passersby if they'd like to be "VIP's". That seems to work better. Following the Dollar song they did a rendition of Survivor which was kind of fun. The stilt-walkers were out in force on this chilly Orlando evening, as were University of Wisconsin Badger fans here for the Champs Sports Bowl.

Club Report: Atlantic Dance Hall

I planned to go watch DJ Mark Sanchez (USA) at Suite B last night but first I needed to swing by ADH to verify New Years Eve details. I never left. Although the crowd never made it past moderate in size, there were just too may PI people there to leave. And that remains the main attraction of Atlantic Dance Hall; you nearly always run into Mannequins, 8TRAX and Motion friends. The music mix absolutely sucked last night; the Saturday night DJ is horrible IMO. I mean, who else would have the dance crowd moving to a Top 40 hit and then leave them hanging with a Swing song! Fortunately NYE will feature DJ Tony Z, someone who knows how to blend music. I'll be repeating NYE details in tomorrow's article.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

This Weekend In Techno Town

With Christmas on a Friday this year, it's a relative short "party weekend." All the usual spots are open tonight. I do wish to point out that Orlando DJ Mark Sanchez will be spinning techno tonight at Suite B Lounge in downtown Orlando. Sanchez is one of the two techno DJ's at EPCOT on New Years Eve. Breaks DJ Eric Berretta is going to be there along with DJ Ashley who I don't know. This begins at 10pm.

And if you're off Monday, don't forget Service Industry Night at House of Blues on Sunday night featuring DJ Sandy. Anyone in any service industry gets in free with paystub or employee ID, including but not limited to theme park employees. Others $8. Doors open 10:27pm.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone has a nice holiday. Thanks for tuning-in to the Save Pleasure Island blog.

Bob Sinclar Coming To Orlando

DJ Bob Sinclar (F) brings his Born in 69 world tour to Orlando on Tuesday, January 5th at Club Firestone Live. This must be a recent addition to the concert register because I saw no mention of this event until yesterday. Some of Sinclar's songs have an Afro-Caribbean flavor to them such as hits World Hold On and Love Generation. He's an acquired taste, IMO. But since some of his songs do get dance club play, I mention it in case you're interested. Update: I heard part of Sinclar's satellite radio show on Saturday night and it was not tropical music in any way. Great set!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PI Update: Pizza Cart Closing / Clubs Coming Down Very Soon!

Save Pleasure Island roving reporters William and Thommy were both on the Island this past evening and heard that Stage Pizza, currently located between Soundstage and Adventurers Club, is closing after New Years Eve. And they also heard that the waterside clubs are coming down shortly after that! Overnight work appeared to be taking place inside the Mannequins and 8TRAX buildings which, according to my previously-reported rumors, are not coming down. These are all just more rumors though!

You know, it occurred to me that this Blog has had over 14,000 hits since the flag counter to the right was added at the end of July. Why do so many people care about something called Pleasure Island? And I do mean care. Hugely disappointed about the clubs closing; hugely interested in what is replacing them. Come on Disney!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Brittany Murphy: Faster Kill Pussycat

Presented as a small tribute to Brittany Murphy who starred with DJ Paul Oakenfold (GB) in this 2006 video. This song made it to #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart. A reminder that Oakenfold visits Orlando on Saturday, February 6th at Club Firestone Live.

Monday, December 21, 2009

PI Update: Comedy Warehouse

To avoid any copyright problems, they're calling it Comedy Where? House. But the message is clearly there.....former CW performers doing familiar comedy to a CW-starved audience. The first session was last night but there will be at least three more...December 27th, January 3rd & January 9th. Tix are $15 for this Parliament House event and help feed starving comedians. Click on image for details.

Lada Gaga Concert Moves to UCF Arena

The upcoming Lady Gaga concert at Hard Rock Live is being moved over to UCF Arena. It's been sold out at HRL since tickets first went on sale. Promoters obviously saw the demand and the opportunity. Three weeks ago resale tickets on StubHub started at $150. Two weeks ago they were at $250. Last week when I checked the cheapest resales were at $350...each! Those who purchased tickets through official channels now have to arrange to swap them for tickets at UCF Arena. Those who want to go but couldn't get tickets can now buy them beginning at 5pm this Wednesday. They will be available at the UCF box office and on Ticketmaster. UCF Arena is much larger and has seating. Thanks to "None" for alerting me about this. Update: Sold Out Again!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

PI Update: Mannequins

Another beautiful weekend in O-town so let's head to Mannequins to see what's happening. One can see where the stairs used to lead to the 2nd Floor doors. Have to assume that ugly scar will be covered over with stucco. The left photo shows one of the towers they couldn't take down because of the Harley signs.

Contrary to rumors last week, the Mannequins signs remain on the building. For how long, we don't know! But I guess as long as the signs remain up, there is always that chance that Mannequins could reopen and the dance floor cranked up!

On the Waterfront side there are new stairs to one of the side doors. Interestingly, the railings feature black paint which is something different than all the other railings on the island which are more of a brown rust color. New stairs are not ordinarily something worth noting, but these stairs are very significant. Why? You don't build new stairs to a building that is going to be demolished. That's why. The band stand has also had some boards replaced which is an indication that it's not coming down either. Do they even use this stage though? Has anyone played up there since Hip Kitty on the closing weekend?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Years Eve: EPCOT

See my December 5th entry below for the major New Years Eve options around Orlando. Not mentioned there, but added by popular demand here, is the EPCOT option. I didn't originally include it because I don't consider it a night club option. And let me start off with the negatives. If you don't have an AP, it's expensive. If you're not there by 5pm, you're probably not getting in because the park will be at capacity. There are so many people that they have to open side gates and let people walk on the outer road behind the pavilions. Waiting times for the rides are 2 hours plus. I've done it, it's not pleasant. But let me tell you the positives. The atmosphere is incredible. You get the NYE edition of Illuminations and the midnight fireworks. But best of all, you get great techno and lighting as only Disney can deliver it. Outside the China pavilion you'll have former Mannequins DJ Dominick Morrison (shown, upper left) (Vintage/Nikki Beach Club) and outside the Italy pavilion you get DJ Mark Sanchez (Suite B). Dominick told me that Sanchez plays a harder House mix where his is more of a Mannequins mix. The videos below describe it better than I can. It's definitely a NYE option!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Meanwhile Around Town

Downtown: I previously reported that DJ QBA from Club Space in Miami is playing Saturday night at Bliss Ultra Lounge. I need to add that you can get in for FREE if you bring a toy donation for Toys For Tots. They're also offering $3 beer, cocktails and shots until midnight. I recently reported on the Aahz Reunion of DJ's Dave Cannalte and Kimball Collins at Tabu on Thanksgiving Eve. Look for another reunion next summer, possibly the evening of July 4th. Finally, one of our favorites, DJ Smooth of and formerly of XM Satellite Radio, may be appearing at some well-known clubs soon. Stay tuned for details once confirmed.

Over at CityWalk, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday that a Fat Tuesday bar is coming soon. The Save PI Blog published that information back on September 29th! The Sentinel also mentioned the opening of the IMAX at AMC Universal and a Japanese eatery. All these new things and that whole food court thing all occurred after PI closed. You can thank Disney for sending so many of their customers over to Universal. The 80's band Switch returns to 80's Night at The Groove sometime during January, according to their website. Stay tuned for the exact date.

Speaking of the Sentinel and moving over to Disney World, theme park ranger Dewayne Bevil reports on the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review at Disney's Fort Wilderness. In the article in today's issue of the Sentinel's Calendar, he mentions that the comedy doesn't measure up to Comedy Warehouse and Adventurers Club! Finally, check out the website Screamscape which covers theme park news around the world. The website mentions the Save Pleasure Island blog in yesterday's news as well as a few other times during the past couple weeks! For Pleasure Island news and rumors, as bleak as it is, always stay tuned to this Blog!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

PI Update: More On Those Restaurants

As a followup to Sunday's article about the new restaurants possibly coming to PI, a different source is reporting that the previously mentioned Hot Dog Hall of Fame is the quick-service restaurant that is going to be going into the previously mentioned lighthouse-shaped restaurant over near where Motion and RRBC now come together. That's the first matching of a possible new restaurant name with a possible location. I'm also hearing that the Ice Bar (official name Water Fire Ice) may be part of Schussler's Winter Wonderland restaurant concept. Rumors!

One of our Save PI roving reporters went out to the island this evening and confirmed that the Mannequins sign is still up and attached to the building. Someone had reported that the sign was down. It's not!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

PI Update: Demolition Completed.....For Now

Updating you with the latest photos from Pleasure Island Theme Park in Lake Buena Vista. On the right above you can see that the former PI Live DJ booth and the lighting catwalk is now entirely gone. The towers (not shown) that hold the Harley Davidson signs remain until they can figure out how to deal with them.

With the DJ booth gone, Sosa Cigars now has a front patio for families to enjoy a fine cigar with their spirits. The left photo also provides a daytime view of RRBC with the sign finally removed. I thought Sosa's patio was going to wrap completely around the building to meet the existing rear patio but it does not. Instead there are stairs and a sidewalk. Right now it's a sidewalk to nowhere but it likely fits in to future changes coming to the island.

Meanwhile outside Mannequins the landing outside the upstairs doors has been removed following the removal of the stairs that had been there. As Mannequins is apparently going to be transformed into a restaurant, there will be many other changes to the look of the building. One thing that won't change are these electric transformers located outside, adjacent Mannequins & 8TRAX. You'll recall the previously reported Blog rumor that the Mannequins/8TRAX building cannot be torn down because the entire power grid for the island is contained behind Mannequins and it would take weeks to restore power if it was removed. Thus, the Mannequins/8TRAX building survives, as does the CW building. But every club building waterside gets demolished! Or so say the rumors.

Monday, December 14, 2009