Sunday, April 26, 2009

Club Report: Pleasure Island

It was a beautiful spring Saturday evening in Orlando so where else to go but visit our favorite clubbing place.....Pleasure Island. It's been awhile since I've been out here so let's take a look at changes.

Pictured above is Paradiso 37, the new Central/South American restaurant and night club that is being built across from the club formerly known as 8TRAX. This will also feature a tequila bar and Streetfoods of the Americas, some sort of fast food/tapas kind of place. The May opening date is now either very late May or early June. This restaurant/club is will be operated by e-Brands. Among the previously received rumors, e-Brands was mentioned as the operator of reopened 8TRAX and Mannequins.

The pathway in front of RRBC to Motion has been blocked by these beautiful planters. This apparently keeps patrons from wandering into more nothingness. The restrooms can still be accessed by walking on the other side of Sosa Cigars.

Over at Celebration Plaza, the Saturday night version of Celebrate Tonight was looking pretty successful. Quite a few people were either participating doing the Cotton-Eyed Joe dance or were watching. The 20-minute celebration cycle (3X per hour) has been scaled back to a 2X per hour cycle which should put a lot less stress on the DJ's and helpers. It also appears that PI Live begins later than it had been. One thing that would make this even better though would be an PA announcement at least every half hour that stated "Ladies & Gentlemen, please ignore all the empty buildings around you!"

Rumor has it that Disney just applied for liquor license renewals for Motion, Soundstage and Adventurers Club. That makes sense; the clubs are available by Disney for private rentals. Just not to me. I asked Barry Jacobson, the Director of Event Management at Walt Disney World why I was being turned down to rent Soundstage for a Mannequins Reunion event. His responses, and I quote: "We reserve the right to say no to any event" and "I don't have to give you a reason." I'm sure Disney stockholders don't care if this is yet another $50-75K in revenue turned away during tough times. Oh well, our Reunion will take place off site. Without copyright infringements.

Pictured below, this tourist was spotted wearing an awesome official Disney t-shirt with a message that all of us agree on! These shirts can be purchased at the Hanes Design A T-Shirt store in Downtown Disney Marketplace......or design your own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Keep Pushing 80's Night

I know, I know. I keep pushing the Thursday night 80's Night at The Groove. It's about our only link to Pleasure Island. We've not been able to get anything like Mannequins going....yet.....but at least we have something very much like 8TRAX. Including DJ Doc who used to spin at 8TRAX. We've got to support this Night if we expect to keep it. The crowds have been awesome but Spring Break is over so it's up to us locals to see this through until the Summer tourist season returns. Take a Friday off sometime and come out on a Thursday night for 80's Night at The Groove. Now if we can just get a few 70's Disco tunes tossed in there!CLICK ON IMAGE TO READ DETAIL.
UPDATE: A surprisingly large crowd last night with lots of good music. There was actually a fairly long line around 11pm. Didn't begin to thin out until midnight.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Club Report: Atlantic Dance

Atlantic Dance is very much like the proverbial box of chocolates because you never know what you're going to get. During an early evening visit this past Friday night (around 11pm) I counted around 100 patrons in there. The dance floor was mostly empty although it did pick up before I departed for The Groove. One of the DJ's who works there told me that one night this past week there was only about 10 customers in there yet the night prior there was over 300! Since the club is not advertised, it's all about how many party people are staying at the adjacent Swan and Dolphin Hotels and to a lesser extent, at Disney's Boardwalk Hotel. Conventioneers generally want to "party" after the meetings are over with and with close to no other options on Disney property, Atlantic Dance can get pretty crowded. For those who have never been, it's a beautiful Art Deco facility playing a Video Dance format of mostly Top 40 and Hip Hop. Open 9am to 2am, the admission fee is always FREE. EXCEPT FOR SPECIAL EVENTS

Friday, April 17, 2009

Theme Park Ranger: Wishes For PI

Orlando Sentinel columnist Dewayne Bevil has a weekly column about the theme parks. Today he gives out his Wish List and be sure to check out the 4th wish on his list:,0,6355979.column

I think that would be me!
Thanks for the best wishes Dewayne!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Different Pleasure Island

This is a commercial for the Pleasure Island Family Theme Park over in the UK. This is not related to "our" (Disney) Pleasure Island in any way. It's fun to watch though!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mannequins Reunion: It Might Still Happen!

I've got a couple possibilities in the works.....this event might just happen! Stay tuned!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

And The Winners Are................

Back in my February 10th Blog post you were invited to vote in the 2009 International Dance Music Awards taking place at Winter Music Conference in Miami. WMC recently concluded and here is a listing of some of the Award winners:

Best Pop Dance Track: Just Dance......Lady Gaga
Best House Track: Infinity 2008....Guru Josh Project
Best Progressive House/Trance Track: In And Out of Love...Armin van Buuren
Best Latin/Reggaeton Track: Calabria 2008....Eaur
Best Rap/Hip Hop Track: Love Lockdown....Kayne West
Best R&B Song: Disturbia.....Rihanna
Best Break-Through DJ: Deadmau5
Best American DJ: Markus Schulz
Best European DJ: Armin van Buuren
Best Global DJ: Tiƫsto
Best Global Radio Station: BBC Radio 1
Best U.S. Radio Station: KNGY 92.7 San Francisco
Best Global Dance Club: Amnesia (Ibiza)
Best U.S. Dance Club: Pacha (NYC)

Many of these songs and artists should be familiar to Mannequins' fans. DJ Peapod was playing Lady Gaga's Just Dance a month before she was being played on the mainline radio stations and likewise the Kaskade/Deadmau5 collaboration Move For Me. The Disturbia dance remix was a mainstay there. Those of you who have been going to CityWalk would recognize Calabria 2008 even if you don't know it by name; it's played constantly at The Groove, Latin Quarter AND Red Coconut Club and sometimes you can hear it played the same night in all three clubs!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Celebrate Tonight!

PI Live has completed its move from the Hub over to Celebration Plaza, the new name of the large expanse of brick pavers between Comedy Warehouse and Soundstage adjacent the WestSide Bridge. Relying on Walt Disney World's "Celebrate Today" theme for 2009, Pleasure Island has "Celebrate Tonight" to help get people in the mood. The Comedy Warehouse sign has (finally) been removed from the part of the building facing Celebration Plaza but curiously it remains on the side of the building facing 8TRAX and Curl. A video monitor/speaker stand has been installed which looks like it could be the future home of a small stage area; not sure. Dueling DJ's will be out evenings interacting with the crowd. There will be some kind of adult "dance party" there, so we're told. It' s supposed to be similar to the one they do for kids over at DTD Marketplace. Why are they doing this? One of the GSM's out there says the PI transition is taking longer than anticipated and guests are complaining about the empty space. So come on out to the island and celebrate!

Monday Update: I got to experience the first half hour of tonight's PI Live entertainment at Celebration Plaza. Besides the guy in the booth they also had one DJ on the ground that I was told used to work at RRBC before they closed. They also had a stilt walker and 3-4 other employees out there to interact with the crowd. Some passers-by actually did stop and stand around to see what was going on. Some others clearly did not stop in order to avoid being grabbed for some kind of interaction with the DJ. Still, it's better than the alternative which was pretty much nothing. The fun begins at 5pm and I'm not sure how long it runs. They're going to have to come up with lots of ideas though to keep it lively. For instance, tonight's first interactive question to the crowd had to do with family reunions and who here was traveling with the most family members? They're going to have to get a lot more interesting than that.

Friday Update: I stood around and watched a half hour or so of tonight's celebration. The problem is that the people passing by are not expecting anything and they display close to no enthusiasm while the PI Live ground crew displays plenty of their own. It seems to be a struggle for the DJ on the ground to keep the enthusiasm going in the face of mostly disinterested passersby. Tonight's question was "Have you celebrated anything during the past week, month, 6 months?" One response was a guy who had just gotten off from being grounded, we had one girl who just got her drivers license, one couple having a first anniversary, etc. I forget what else, they either don't let the person respond into the microphone or the people don't speak loud enough. After they had gathered about 20 people celebrating something, they all danced to the Electric Slide. A few people watched; most people kept walking.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Club Report: The Groove 80's Night

I can't help but mention once again 80's Night at The Groove. Last night was the 2-month anniversary of this "new" night and the crowds keep growing larger and larger. I know Universal has been doing some radio advertising and it must be working because the club was absolutely packed last night. Upstairs is usually closed on Thursdays but even it was open for a private party. You know how crowded it gets on Saturdays? Well it was not quite that many but it was close. There was even a large group of girls dressed in early 80's garb of day-glo colors, leggings, plastic bangles and highly-teased hair!

Former 8TRAX DJ Doc is usually at the helm spinning those 80's classics but with him away for spring break, the usual weekend DJ AJ led the festivities. It was awesome! If you liked 8TRAX you need to come out for a Thursday night at The Groove. Doors open at 9pm, admission is free before 10pm and only $6.99+tax after 10pm. Update: Free admission all night with hospitality industry ID or paystub. PICTURED: Former 8TRAX regular Superman