Saturday, February 28, 2009

Is Pleasure Island Going to Reopen?

Well first of all, Pleasure Island never really closed. Technically, it's still there and it's still open. It's just that the night clubs closed. But for all of us, PI did close last September. Is it going to reopen?

There are a few signs out there that give some hope that something is going to happen out on PI.

1. Sources told us that top Disney officials were very upset about the current state of affairs out at PI.
2. There were recent DJ auditions out at Atlantic Dance Hall. Why a sudden need for DJ's?
3. There was that well-sourced rumor reported on this Blog several weeks ago that Motion, Soundstage and Adventurers Club were going to reopen within a year. The source was specific enough to state that Motion was going to be playing 8TRAX music and Soundstage was going to be playing Mannequins music.
4. Those 3 clubs were suddenly made available for private rentals after being basically shuttered since September. There is a large "open to the public" concert event in Motion this weekend.
5. That huge PLEASURE ISLAND sign atop the Mannequins building was recently refurbished. They apparently installed brighter LED bulbs and even strobe lights. This means that not only is the Mannequins building not going to be demolished but also that the Pleasure Island name is going to remain a viable entity.
6. Construction continues on the South/Central American restaurant, food court AND night club!
7. There are survey-takers out on the island again. If you're out there and get stopped, please take a few minutes to let them know how you want PI to reopen the clubs! In fact, make an effort to wander around out there and hope you get stopped.

Keep in mind that my previously reported rumor about the clubs reopening said it could take up to a year. I'm told that many laid-off PI employees are still "on the books" for 1-year from the closure date and that they would have to be paid back wages if they were suddenly employed again. Don't know if this is a sticking point but it could mean that legally PI can't reopen clubs until a year after the closure date which means we won't see clubs reopening for Spring Break nor will we see them reopen until after the closure anniversary date. This kind of fits in with the fact that they are only taking private event bookings until the end of September and that these rentals are ok because they're private events using employees who were not laid off last year.)

But this is all speculation from reading the signals. Only time will tell. Stay tuned! /KingBob

CityWalk Food Court Nears Completion

The new food court at CityWalk can't be more than a few weeks away from opening. It will feature a Burger King Whopper Bar, Moe's Southwest Grill and Panda Express. Located at the top of the CityWalk escalator adjacent the theaters, the newly installed and lit signs are hard to miss. We have to hope the food court remains open late, after the clubs close.

The only negative I see to this place is that it takes up the space I had planned to lease in order to open my own two nightclubs. I was going to name them "7TRAX" and "Dummies". Update: All 3 fast-food restaurants are now open for business and they ARE open until 2am!

Friday, February 27, 2009

80's Night At The Groove

The past couple Saturday nights at The Groove have been close to sardine can conditions. The new 80's Night at The Groove featuring former 8TRAX DJ Doc has not achieved that kind of status as of yet but we are talking about a Thursday night event, not a weekend night. The club held its 4th 80's Night last night and there was a moderate size crowd on hand. I missed last week's session and I understand it was a large crowd. But overall this new night is gaining popularity as people find out about it. The music was pure 8TRAX. Universal needs to publicize this more. They should be pleased though because Thursdays used to be a ghost town in The Groove and that is no longer the case! Update: Heard there was a good sized crowd out this past Thursday night.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ferry Corsten Tonight!

One of the top DJ's in the world, Ferry Corsten, is playing tonight at Roxy Night Club in Orlando. The club is located on Bennett Road at E. Colonial Drive (SR50). Many of his songs used to be played at Mannequins back in the day. Official start time is 8pm although it's likely he'll come on after 10pm. During this particular tour DJ Breakfast has been touring with him however I don't know if he'll be in Orlando with Ferry. Like many of the top techno DJ's, Ferry Corsten hails from the Netherlands. (Rotterdam) Website tickets were $15 and I don't know if tickets at the door are the same or not. Update: I was not able to attend but Thommy reports that there was a pretty large crowd on hand. DJ Breakfast played until around midnight and then Ferry finally came on. He played until nearly 3am. He wrapped the night up with those two hits you used to always hear at Mannequins: Fire and Rock Your Body Rock. (I always called the latter "the Amsterdam song".) With Winter Music Conference and UltraFest coming up next month in Miami, watch this blog for announcements of other big name DJ's coming to Orlando! See the Special Performances section of the Orlando Club options below for the latest list.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Motion is Open This Coming Weekend

When our correspondent Thommy is not out clubbing, he's scouring the internet to bring us the latest information pertaining to Pleasure Island. Here we see that the building formerly called Motion is going to be hosting the Encore! Choir and Orchestra's performance of Tales of the Heart, a muscial cabaret showcasing some of Broadway's favorite love songs. Admission is $15, payable in cash at the door, both Friday night and Saturday night at 8pm.

This does not appear to be a dancing kind of event but it does appear to be the first event of any kind at PI since they offered to rent out Motion, Soundstage and Adventurers Club. Very interesting. Meanwhile, I continue my efforts to rent out the clubs for our Mannquins reunion. Just to play it safe, don't make any plans for the first Saturday night in May! I've got a DJ lined up who's ready to spin. I just need to come to terms with Mickey.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

WOW.....Techno At The Groove

DJ AJ told me a couple months ago that he doesn't like to play any techno at The Groove because it clears the dance floor. Well I don't know what possessed him last night but he was spinning lots and lots of Dance music intermixed with the normal Top 40 hits! And not only did the dance floor not clear, it got even more crowded!

Ne-Yo was last night's guest star singing for the Mardi Gras celebration over at Universal. As that came to an end around 10pm many of the patrons came over to CityWalk. The lines were long at all the clubs but fortunately club reentry was considerably quicker. And as literally thousands of customers swarmed around the CityWalk complex last night, one could not help but think about how about a thousand of these people would be over at Pleasure Island giving Disney their dollars, if only it was open.

Speaking of PI, I saw the largest number of Mannequins people in the Groove last night that I've seen since the PI closure. And instead of hearing one hip hop song after another as is often the case, it was a great mix of current Top 40 along with an incredible amount of techno. Any fan of Mannequins had to have enjoyed last night. So hats off to DJ AJ for the awesome performance!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Regime Change at DTD?

We're told that Barry Carlson, General Manager of Downtown Disney, has announced his retirement effective March 13th. I'm not sure what role he played in the closing down of the PI clubs but he likely blessed the decision.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

And Now The Latest News

A DJ friend of mine reports that Disney held DJ auditions at Altantic Dance about a week ago. Apparently there is an upcoming need for DJ's out at Disney World. Hmmm. Now why would there be a sudden need for disc jockeys? One might speculate that perhaps Pleasure Island could be reopening soon?

And rumors do continue in that regard, as reported earlier in the Blog. Rumor has it that some clubs might reopen in time for Spring Break weeks, which usually begin the second week in March. Of course we had the rumors about clubs reopening over the Christmas/New Year's holidays too and nothing happened. And they wouldn't let me rent out Mannequins or Motion.

Speaking of Atlantic Dance, I was out at AD this past Wednesday evening because rumor had it that many of the past winners of American Idol might be out there that night. All 7 prior winners were in town to attend the grand opening of the new American Idol Experience attraction out at Disney Hollywood Studios. But none of them came to AD that night! Kelly Clarkson, where were you? :-(

Looks like the new food court at CityWalk is moving along nicely. It's going to be upstairs right near the CityWalk escalators and will include the Burger King Whopper Bar, Panda Express and Moe's. I hope they stay open after the clubs close!

CityWalk clubs were packed last night (Saturday) and it was difficult to move in any of them! I also hear that DJ Doc (from 8TRAX) had the Groove pretty full this past Thursday night for the new 80's Night. You'll recall the first Thursday had heavy rains and the second Thursday had extremely cold temps in town. But the weather was perfect this past Thursday and there was a full club. This is important because Thursday has been a dud in recent years and Doc is bringing people in. He also had the dance floor packed last night at RCC after the band finished.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Is The End Near?

That huge white "Pleasure Island" sign atop the Mannequins building has been unlit the past few nights. What does it mean? Are they just changing the bulbs or is the sign and the building about to come down? Stay tuned.............Update 2/22/09: Thommy reports that the sign is lit up again! Yea!! Hey, and I noticed in the latest Downtown Disney Guidemap that even though all the PI club names have been eliminated, a little tiny Soundstage logo remains over the BET building on the map. Hmmm.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Vote For World's Best DJ's

Wish you could vote for the Grammy's or Oscar's? Well you can't but you CAN vote for the world's top DJ's as well as the top Dance songs of 2008. Voting is now taking place for the International Dance Music Awards. The winners will be awarded at Winter Music Conference in Miami this March. And immediatelly following WMC is Ultrafest, one of the top Electronic Dance Music festivals in the world attended by EVERY big name DJ.

To view the ballot and vote, go to: You wil have to give your e-mail address because when you're finished voting, an e-mail will be sent to you which you have to confirm in order for your vote to count. And next year you will get a chance to vote for whatever nominees you wish for the IDMA awards.

New Techno Night at Antigua

Antigua has a new Electro/House night on Thursday nights. Will try to check it out the next time I'm off on a Friday but if any of you get a chance, please tell us about it. Big name DJ Jimmy Joslin is playing at Vixen just around the corner but at least Antigua has a decent dance floor. Thanks again to roving reporter Thommy for alerting us!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Breaking News: Some PI Clubs to Reopen For Private Parties

GREAT NEWS! I have spoken to my Disney catering rep this afternoon and can now confirm that some of the closed clubs are available for renting. First the bad news: Our two favorite clubs, Mannequins and 8TRAX, are not available for rental. There is no reason given. The good news is that Motion and Soundstage* are available for rent, as is the Adventurers Club! *- the contract with Black Entertainment Television expired and BET Soundstage is now simply Soundstage.

More bad news though. The prices they are quoting are extremely expensive. I will be doing the math but they charge a venue fee, a really expensive DJ fee and then a minimum on food and beverages. I can tell you that the breakeven point if every ticket was sold to reach capacity would be around $35 per person. I think Mannequins fans would pay that just to get one more night to revolve on the dance floor but I don't think that many people would pay that to spend another night in Motion or Soundstage. But give me some time to do that math and logistics and we'll see if this can be done.

No word yet on any clubs actually reopening which was the main part of the previously published rumor. But that rumor came with a 1 year time line so anything is possible. BUT WE SHOULD ALL CELEBRATE ANYWAY.......SOME PI CLUBS ARE REOPENING for private events. This is a great first step. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Breaking News: PI to Reopen Some Clubs?

UPDATE: This thread has been moved back to the top because of breaking news! See the entry in red at the bottom!
OK gang, here's the latest PI rumors I picked up on yesterday from a reliable source. And while I say reliable, please be cautioned that these are just rumors and have no more credibility than all the other ones we've had on here about PI:

1. Disney management is very upset about what has become of PI. There is little doubt that there were indeed plans for the island but they have mostly fallen through because of the economy situation. OK, here we go:

Within one year:
2. The building that formerly housed Motion will reopen as an 8TRAX type of club playing 70's, 80's & 90's music.

3. The building that formerly housed the BET Soundstage will reopen as a Mannequins style club. (I guess this refers to the music because the revolving floor won't fit in here.)

4. Adventurers Club will reopen in its current location. However, the cost of labor here remains an issue since it is labor-intensive with limited bar income.

5. No word on the building that currently houses Mannequins and 8TRAX plus the Curl and Harley Davidson stores. No mention of the RRBC or CW buildings either.

6. And we already know that the building that housed the former Missing Link Sausage Company fast food restaurant and is currently under extensive renovations again will open this Spring as a South/Central American restaurant. In addition to a sit-down restaurant, this new venue will feature the Streetfoods of the Americans food court, a tequila bar and a late-evening dance venue, all overlooking Village Lake.

Again I must emphasize that except for #6 above, the rumors are unsubstantiated. For instance, if they are unhappy with the condition out there, why take a up to a year to reopen things? But this is what I've heard so I'm reporting it direct to you SAVE PI readers.

The website Screamscape is reporting the following today: Downtown Disney & Pleasure Island News - (2/2/09) I’ve heard a rumor this weekend that Disney may have reopened bookings for some of the old Pleasure Island nightclub locations as well as the Adventure’s Club. If the rumor is true, staff were informed that they may be taking new bookings for special events through to October 1st, 2009 now, the end of Disney’s fiscal year. There are whispers starting to work their way up about possibly doing something to breathe new lift into the area sooner than later, perhaps reopening the Adventure Club and a Club or two for the spring break crowds. Anyone know more?

I have a previously booked phone conference scheduled for this coming Thursday with my Disney catering rep. Based on Friday's rumors I was going to try to book Motion again. Now I'll have a LOT more to ask about. Stay tuned to this blog this Thursday night for an update! WOW!

And yet another update from Screamscape today (Tuesday):
Downtown Disney & Pleasure Island News - (2/3/09) We’ve heard from a couple of people today confirming that Disney has reopened private bookings for the Adventure’s Club and maybe other venues through to the end of the fiscal year. One source was walking through PI the other evening when they spotted a few suits getting a tour of the site, standing outside one of the clubs for a time talking when suddenly the outside lights of the club all came back on. It certainly looks like Disney is looking over their options to bring the area back to life in some form.

This looks promising! If they're going to take private bookings then I smell a Reunion coming. I will be finding out what venues are available for booking; I suspect just Soundstage and Motion but who knows! It just has to be affordable so that I can sell tickets to cover the cost of renting it. One good thing is that when I rented 8TRAX for an event a few years ago we had to do it from 6pm to 9pm so that they could open on time. But if they aren't opening to the public anyway, later time slots should be bookable. We shall see! Stay tuned!

FERRY! FERRY! Coming to Orlando!

Just of the Top 10 DJ's in the world....FERRY coming to Orlando! He will be spinning his trance and dance songs on Tuesday, February 24th at Tabu Night Club. Time and price pending. Update: Ferry's website now lists this event for Roxy Nightclub rather than at Tabu. The Roxy website does as well. 8pm start time. Roxy is located on Bennett Road at SR50 / East Colonial Drive.

I had the opportunity to see him play last May in New York at Pacha and it was incredible. This is Ferry's first visit to Orlando in three years when he played a last minute engagement at the all too small Zinc Bar. Some of his recent dance hits include Rock Your Body Rock, Fire, Watch Out and Beautiful. Of course he doesn't just spin his own productions!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Update: Free CityWalk Pass

These passes were printed in Orlando Weekly a few weeks ago. Each coupon is valid for 4 free CityWalk Party Passes (All Clubs). That's over $50 worth of admissions.....FREE. Universal wants your business! When redeeming, all people who are going to use the pass must be present at CityWalk Guest Services. Coupon is valid through March 31, 2009.

If you did not get one of these, I've got several. Simply send your check for $1.00 to cover postage, envelope and handling to SUPERTRAVEL PO Box 161374 Altamonte Springs FL 32716 Make check payable to Supertravel. Limit one. Allow 1 week for delivery.