Sunday, May 31, 2009

Techno This Thursday at ADH

This Thursday night forget The Groove, forget downtown, forget House of Blues. I spoke to a manager last night at Atlantic Dance Hall and she says this coming Thursday is going to be a Techno Night. They're bringing in DJ Cruise who promises to play lots of Dance music, even if there is no "video" to go along with it. (which is often the case with techno) There will be 2 bars open; the usual front bar adjacent the DJ plus the bar in the far corner. So they ARE expecting a crowd and we do need to show-up in numbers to prove that there is money to be made when Techno is played!!

Admission is FREE. Atlantic Dance is located at Disney's Boardwalk Resort. There is also access via the Swan/Dolphin hotels.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Club Report: CityWalk Thursday Night

There was a good crowd out at The Groove last night for 80's Night. The rain earlier in the evening probably kept the numbers down though; it was by no means crowded and by no means empty. DJ Doc was working at PI Live/Celebrate Tonight so the music was led by weekend DJ AJ. Red Coconut was very crowded! The dance floor was completely jammed for the Cupid Shuffle. Bob Marley's & Pat O'Brians were very slow. Latin Quarter was empty early-on and they had the Magic game up on the big screen. By midnight the club was full.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

AnnaGrace Coming to HOB

Formerly known as Ian Van Dahl and famous for such dance hits as Castles In the Sky, Will I, Reason and Where Are You Now?, AnnaGrace is coming to the House of Blues on Saturday, June 20th. The centerpiece is beautiful Belgian Annamie Coenen. Her recent worldwide hit was "You Make Me Feel" and her new song is "Let the Feelings Go" which is getting airplay on Dance stations.

DJ Jay Mac of radio station XL106.7 will kick things off followed by AnnaGrace. Doors 8pm, Concert 9pm.

Dopey Decision

Another tourist spotted last night (in front of Mannequins) wearing the DOPEY DECISION!!! REOPEN THE CLUBS t-shirt. This one is in a nice shade of red so apparently they come in a variety of colors. (The previously one spotted was grey.) The button asks, What Are You Celebrating? and the response is, "Another Empty Building at DTD".

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do You Know Disney's Best Kept Secret?

Do you know Disney's best kept secret? No, it's not the timeshares they keep trying to peddle. Everyone knows about them. Disney's "best kept secret" is actually what was planned for Pleasure Island before the economy tanked.

Maybe the reason not a single rumor was ever leaked about what was coming to the Island was because in reality, NOTHING was planned. (Besides Paradiso 37, of course) You see whenever anything is going to happen at Disney World, there are ALWAYS rumors. Bus drivers are famous for telling them as are bartenders, bathroom attendants and ride operators. Yet following the PI closure announcement nothing was ever leaked. That's impossible at Disney. So the more I think about it, the more it makes sense that there really wasn't anything planned. Disney simply had some broad ideas of outsourced vendors opening some shops and restaurants but nothing was ever contracted. And because nothing was finalized there were no rumors. And then when the economy did collapse, no one came forward to open anything.

This is the only thing that makes sense. Disney's best kept secret: There were never really any plans for Pleasure Island.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Club Report: House of Blues (Service Industry Night)

After an absence of more than a year, KingBob returned to House of Blues last night to see if Service Industry Night is still as popular as it used to be. Well I can tell you that even though DJ Roger Sanchez was spinning over at Hard Rock Live and even though the Orlando Magic basketball team was competing downtown, that didn't keep HOB from being packed to the rafters too!

The regular Sunday Night disc jockey at HOB is DJ Sandy however on special occasions DJ Magic Mike will play. Last night was such an occasion. Magic Mike knows how to mash songs and he does most of it without the aid of a computer or pre-purchased mashups like we hear everywhere else. That was impressive. Also impressive was the first 45-minutes of mostly techno/dance music. Come 1am though he switched to a 100% hip-hop format which was popular with the crowd but disappointing to me. I understand DJ Sandy sticks with Dance music and only throws in some short Top 40 hip-hop verses from time-to-time.

The other real negative is something that has happened to me at HOB on a regular basis. They schedule concerts very close together such that the prior rock event did not get cleared by the 10:27pm opening time for SIN and thus the SIN crowd had to wait until 11pm to enter. Then, it took forever to get set up and the curtain did not open for Magic Mike until 12:15am! That really is unacceptable. Also, once the music went hip-hop, they had this annoying MC come onto the stage that kept yelling a lot of the lyrics in a fake Black accent even though he was White.

Update: Forgot to mention.....saw quite a few Mannequins, 8TRAX and Motion regulars out Sunday night!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Paradiso 37

©2009 by Thommy
The Paradiso 37 Restaurant continues to take shape on Pleasure Island. The opening date has been pushed back numerous times and is now early June. When all the clubs closed on PI, this was the ONLY thing announced for the bold new vision of Pleasure Island. Our understanding is that it will also feature a tequila bar, a food court called Street Foods of the Americas plus turn into a night club later at night.

It's ironic that the clubs were closed so that PI could become more family friendly. Once Paradiso opens there will be a new night club on the island, a pub, 2 bars, a cigar store and a motorcycle store. Would someone explain to me how this is more family friendly than what we had?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

World Vibe Orlando Cancelled

It's official.....the website says the event has been postponed. I say cancelled. IMO, this event was flawed from the beginning. First, they would only sell tickets if you purchased a hotel package with it. That let out most locals which should have been the prime target market. Second, they were holding it a week before Gay Days. This was not advertised as a gay event but another possible target market got eliminated because people already booked to come the following week can't visit twice. Finally, there was a pretty large list of DJ's coming which had to cost a bundle to arrange and if you don't have the money coming in, you can't hold the event. Too bad.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Greetings From MasterkiddJ

Does everyone remember Oscar from Mannequins? He was always my favorite floor host, thoroughly dedicated to stopping smokers, barefooted female dancers and protein spills!

Since the Mannequins closure he has returned to Puerto Rico and is doing well. He has started an internet radio station specializing in Dance, Top 40 and a little bit of Latin.


Click on the link and enjoy some Mannequins music!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Club Report: Vintage

It was an awesome night of Dance and House music last night at Vintage in downtown Orlando. I had been next door to sister-club Vixen previously but this was a first-time visit to Vintage. The first nice surprise was cover was only $10 and then they only started charging it at 11pm. Prior to that entry was completely free. Saturday-night resident DJ Dominick Morrison kicked off the evening with about two hours of music that for the most part would have been played at Mannequins if Mannequins was still open. Dom was the Monday through Wednesday night resident DJ at Mannequins prior to it closing. Around 11:30pm guest DJ Dave Aude' came on and he played until nearly 2:30am. A lot of his selections had vocals and was thus Mannequins-style music; there were a few House songs that did not have vocals but were still great. He played Shiny Disco Balls! The club stayed full until around 2am and then began to clear. DJ Peapod was on hand and it was great to see him again. Dave Cannalte did not make it as he ended up with his own show up in Gainesville.

Here's what I liked about Vixen: DJ Dominick.....if you liked Mannequins you'll enjoy Vixen on Saturday nights. Good bartenders with good drink pours. Classy club with classy patrons. The later closing time downtown is a plus. There is smoking allowed but the ventilation system was excellent and the smoke never became a bother.

Here's what I did not like about Vixen: The DJ is upstairs in a separate little room and from downstairs you can only view him via a "window" cut into the far wall. Weird. Very small. There is a dance floor but it's not specifically marked and not a lot of people were actually dancing.

Overall I liked it!

OTHER DOWNTOWN REPORTS: Senso (formerly Zinc Bar) is a restaurant early and after 11pm becomes a nightclub. It was packed and like Vintage, House/Dance was being played. Antigua was crowded with it's Top 40, oldies and mashups mix. Independent Bar's dance floor was very crowded as the DJ spun old wave hits.

........meanwhile back on Pleasure Island

The fun that used to exist on Pleasure Island is clearly no longer there! Despite the best efforts of an array of DJ's and cast members, Disney's Celebrate Tonight remains a struggle. One of our roving reporters snapped this pic of some people watching the "celebration". A classic photo of
"This Is How I Spent a Weekend Night of My Disney Vacation?" CLICK ON PHOTO TO VIEW LARGER

Friday, May 15, 2009

What's New on Pleasure Island

Over in DTD West Side, the Virgin Megastore has closed. This closure can't be blamed on Disney since Virgin has closed all their stores nationwide. But it leaves a HUGE empty spot just a hundred yards west of all the other empty buildings (the clubs) and it eliminates one of the major reasons for even going over there!

The wonderful new balloon ride is finding Florida's weather to be quite the obstacle to operations. We're rapidly moving into afternoon thunderstorm season and the accompanying winds. They can't operate if there is lightning anywhere within 10 miles. And even when it's calm on the ground, winds aloft may be too high. And whoa if Orlando is on the path of a hurricane! The balloon is designed to withstand Category 1 winds but anything more would require that the helium be let out and the balloon taken away.

This is the new storage shed for Celebrate Tonight in Celebration Plaza. The DJ's and employees needed a place to store the pins and coloring books they give away to CT participants so now they have installed this. I'm told this is the exact same type of building that makes up the Tiki Hut that is adjacent the Adventurers Club, it's just not decorated the same way. I was also told that Celebrate Tonight is now operating 1x per hour beginning on the half hour and running a 40-minute celebration to approximately 10 minutes past the top of the hour.

No more Pleasure Island tickets or Annual Passes being sold at these ticket booths. They're kind of becoming an eyesore!

Since tickets are no longer going to be sold at those ticket booths, there apparently is no need to connect to the computer server that used to be in the office located upstairs in Mannequins. We're told the wires have been cut.

Speaking of Mannequins, I received 2 separate e-mails from readers this week saying that they heard the revolving dance floor in Mannequins had been sold and removed. Another source says that the "middle" of the building has been gutted; the part that separated Mannequins and 8TRAX into seperate clubs such that it is now one combined space. Interestingly, a few weeks ago during a conversation with a PI manager who was happy to tell me that some of the clubs were available for private rental, made the point of saying ".....except for 8TRAX and Mannequins which are OFF LIMITS." Maybe something is finally happening! Stay tuned.......

Saturday, May 9, 2009

DTD Vice President Kevin Lansberry

One of our readers wrote to inform me that Downtown Disney Vice President Kevin Lansberry is no longer just VP of DTD. Apparently Disney Transportation has been placed under the DTD umbrella as has Wide World of Sports. Lansberry allegedly is the one who made the decision to close all the comedy and dance clubs on Pleasure Island. I wouldn't call this a promotion; with all the recent layoffs, buy-outs and retirements, Disney is consolidating operations and thus the management remaining gets stuck with more things to be responsible for. We're anxious to see if WWS is going to be shut down because it's not family-oriented enough. We're told Guest surveys show that more dining and shopping options are needed.

Another reader wrote to ask whether the character pictured on the DOPEY DECISION - REOPEN THE CLUBS official Disney t-shirt is Kevin Lansberry. I zoomed-in to get a better look (lower photo) and compared it to a picture I clipped off the internet of Mr. Lansberry (upper photo). No, that's not him.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Update

There was a surprisingly large crowd last night at The Groove for 80's Night. I counted about 150 patrons near the peak around 11:30pm and I'm sure if you count all those that came and went earlier, over 250 for the night. Definite memories of 8TRAX. Couldn't stay very long though since I had to work today! :-(

I'll be reporting on the latest from downtown O-Town in the very near future.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Orlando Becomes Center of the Techno Universe

Well we're not Ibiza or South Beach just yet, but beginning Memorial Day Weekend the Orlando area will be the center of the techno music universe as a parade of big name DJ events roll into town. What follows is a brief summary of some of the events. Be sure to visit the listed websites if you want full and accurate details including links to order tickets.

WORLD VIBE ORLANDO (Friday May 22nd - Monday May 25th)
This is a new event for Orlando and it remains to be seen how this can be a financial success given the large number of big name DJ's that are taking part. Originally you had to purchase a hotel package to attend but this is no longer the case. Boris was originally advertised as taking place at Motion on PI but was moved to Rix for unknown reasons. Some of the Events:
FRI MAY 22 DJ BORIS (Pacha NYC) at Rix Lounge, Coronado Springs Resort. 9pm-3am $20
SAT MAY 23 JUICY BEACH PARTY at Typhoon Lagoon featuring DJ Robbie Rivera and Starkillers. 7pm-1am $45
NONSTOP NYC TO MIAMI at Mirage Night Club, Arabian Nights featuring DJ Jonathan Peters and DJ Oscar G. 11pm-7am $35
SUN MAY 24 DELIRIUM at Hard Rock Live/Universal feat. DJ's Roger Sanchez, Armand Pena and DJ Jimmy Joslin $45
UPDATE ON 5/16/09: Someone on has posted that all Orlando Vibe events have been cancelled. The OV website makes no mention of this. Stay tuned!
UPDATE ON 5/17/09: DJ Leony from Latin Quarter reports that DJ Robbie Rivera has confirmed that World Vibe Orlando is cancelled. The official website still makes no mention of the cancellation. The Hard Rock Live site still mentions next Sunday's concert with DJ Roger Sanchez.

GAY DAYS 2009 (Tuesday June 2 - Monday June 8)
Notable is the complete lack of use of Disney facilities since they apparently don't want that sort of thing on Disney property anymore. Days will continue to consist of time spent in the theme parks or pool parties; nights consist of comedy shows, a film fest and more parties. The only DJ I recognize (from Sirius/XM) is listed below but there are many more so visit the website.
SAT JUN 6 DJ Joe Bermudez at Hotel Royal Plaza poolside 6pm-10pm $10

ONE MIGHTY WEEKEND (Thursday June 4 - Monday June 8)
Always a part of Gay Days' final weekend, this one is also notable for not having any of the parties take place on Disney property, except for the pool parties. There are a lot of events but I'm only listing those that I think are notable:
THU JUN 4 DJ EDDIE BAEZ at House of Blues. Opening Party. 8pm-2:30am
SAT JUN 6 ONE MIGHTY PARTY/CITY AFTER DARK at Gaylord Palms Hotel 8pm-2:30am
SUN JUN 7 MAGIC JOURNEYS at Mirage Night Club at Arabian Nights featuring DJ Offer Nissim 1am-8am

Club Report: The Guvernment (Toronto)

If you're ever in the GTA, make sure you stay in the ETD.
If you're ever in the Greater Toronto Area, make sure to book a hotel in the Entertainment District. This is the near west side of downtown Toronto where all the clubs are located. Things just didn't work out for me during my Thursday night visit to Toronto though. I had hoped to visit The Guvernment, the massive nightclub complex featuring House in the main room. This is consistently voted one of the world's top Dance clubs. Unfortunately it was still winter up there and they are not open on Thursdays just yet. Many venues are still Friday-Saturday only. It was also a cold, rainy night which did not lend itself to club searching. And I wasn't going to drive out to Body English in suburban Mississauga, not with Ontario's new .04 to .08 alcohol-driving standards. So it was a good night to stay in and watch the CBC, CTV, The Sports Network (Canada's ESPN) and The Weather Network (Canada's Weather Channel). Some other time!
Back in Orlando, we're back to that slow period where the Spring Break and Easter tourists are gone and the summer tourists are a month away. At The Groove, I'm told 80's Night was dead and Friday night so empty that they didn't even open the uppper level. Last night did get crowded later in the evening and DJ AJ played quite a few older and current Dance hits both before 11pm and after 1am. Latin Quarter was nowhere as crowded as it often gets on Saturdays however DJ Leony played a House set around 11:30pm. The Black Eyed Peas' new electro-hop dance hit Boom Boom Pow (featuring Fergie) was played at both clubs. PICTURED: CN Tower & a restaurant I thought had a cool name.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

KingBob Gets Published!

Recently the Theme Park Ranger column in the Orlando Sentinel published columnist Dewayne Bevil's wish list for theme park improvements that would cost little to implement. He asked readers to send in their ideas. His column in yesterday's Sentinel listed a number of ideas that people sent in....including mine about......of course.....Pleasure Island!CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE