Monday, August 31, 2009

Concert Report: Britney Spears

OK, I admit it....I was there! Yes, it was a predominately female audience, yes it was all lip-synched, yes it was cheesy. But KingBob was not going to miss Britney Spear's Tuesday night appearance in Orlando at Amway Arena, using connections to get me moved from the cheap seats up in the nose bleed section down onto the floor near the stage. Jordin "No Air" Sparks was the opening act and she actually sang. But Britney was no disappointment, performing for more than 90-minutes to a mostly full stadium and doing most of her hits including the major ones off the Circus album. She saved Womanizer for the encore. Little sister Jamie Lynn was on the side floor along with her daughter and Britney had her 2 kids there as well but security would not let me snap photos in that direction. It's a good show and worth seeing if you enjoy her Top 40 hits.

Will Disney's Purchase of Marvel Impact PI?

The quick answer is NO. Supposedly Universal has exclusive theme park rights to the Marvel characters locked-up in contract for east of the Mississippi River. So it's doubtful that PI could somehow be rethemed as a Marvel Superhero Island which Islands of Adventure already has. But lots of discussion to be had on the meaning of Disney owning Marvel. $4B....incredible. Clearly Disney is worried about the impact of Harry Potter over at IOA!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Club Reports: Atlantic Dance & The Groove

It's been awhile since we've reported on Atlantic Dance Hall out at Disney's Boardwalk Resort. When it comes to patrons this place is always feast or famine but last night around 10pm there was at least 150 people in here and the night was still young. DJ Pat was the jockey of the night, playing mostly Top 40 videos and some 70's/80's classics. Disney operates ADH for the benefit of the Swan & Dolphin hotels but there is absolutely no promotion of the place except perhaps in the hotels themselves which are within stumbling distance. Open nightly except Sunday/Monday.

Meanwhile over at CityWalk the Latin Quarter was surprisingly uncrowded last night, perhaps being impacted by the new Cuba Libre club over at Pointe Orlando. Such was not the case at The Groove which was pretty packed. The newer DJ King was on duty playing the standard Groove video dance mix of Top 40 & 80's Classics. The stunning bartendress Katie was pouring upstairs while the confetti was pouring downstairs. There was about a half dozen Mannequins people in the club on this beautiful but sticky Orlando evening.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jimmy Joslin This Sunday at HOB SIN

I seriously doubt that this guy is going to play hip hop! It should be House/Dance all-the-way as DJ Jimmy Joslin joins regular DJ Sandy for Sunday night's edition of Service Industry Night at the House of Blues. Anyone with a service industry ID or paystub gets in free and keep in mind that service industry is more broadly defined than hospitality industry! Doors open at 10:27pm. Joslin will also open for DJ Tiesto October 16th at UCF Arena.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Club Report: Seminole Hard Rock Casino Nightclubs (Hollywood)

With a tentative "compact" now in place between the Seminole Indian tribe & the State of Florida, the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida offers most styles of gambling. And back behind the casino is an outdoor area very much like CityWalk offering shops, restaurants and night clubs. Following a Fort Lauderdale visit Wednesday I thought this would be the ideal place to hang out on Wednesday night. I was only partly right though....none of the dance clubs were open on Wednesday night! But let me tell you what's out here because at one time or another they all offer techno depending on the "Night" and the DJ.

Passion is the largest & most modern-decor club here with 2 floors and impressive lights and sound system. Meanwhile Opium is a transplant direct from South Beach where it closed the club and reopened here in the location where Spirits used to operate. The Asian-French decor means they can charge expensive prices because they're exclusive.

The other two clubs are Pangaea and Gryphon. The latter brings in big name DJ's, for instance Kaskade is appearing in early September. Meanwhile Pangaea more follows the ultra-lounge model rather than the large dance club model. It has African safari decor and you might spot celebrities here.

So all the clubs are closed but I hear House music off in the distance. I follow my ears to a back entrance behind Passion. The door is open, a bouncer inspects my ID and up the stairs I go only to discover a party going on. DJ Zak is at the helm pumping out techno with some Top 40. It's moderately crowded and people are dancing in different locations. I order a drink and try to pay.....but it's free! What the f---?

Opium and Gryphon are Friday-Saturday 0nly; Passion and Pangaea are Thursday through Saturday. There is a dueling pianos place nearby. There's also an Irish pub called Murphy's Law. I'm not so sure it's very authentic Irish though. The waitresses looked great in their green plaid mini-dresses, however the band was playing Sweet Home Alabama! Is that in southern Ireland?

Beware The Cyclical Rumor

We're having people post here and on various internet Boards that CM's are telling them that some PI clubs are reopening. I sure hope it's true and that new information is being posted but always keep in mind that rumors spread and then they can come back to you from the other direction. While it may seem that you're getting confirmation, in reality you're just getting the same rumor repeated. Yes, someone told me that she had heard a couple clubs were reopening. I posted that to keep you informed. Now suddenly everyone is hearing it. A lot of people apparently read this Blog. So you might be hearing and seeing people merely repeat what was on here while nothing is reopening. I don't know. Beware.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

State Flag Visitor Count >

I had no idea so many people read this Blog. I added the Flag Counter to the right the evening of July 26th and in just 4 weeks 1,728 visitors have come for the first time. Supposedly it does not double-count you unless you use multiple computers. You all have tuned in from 43 states and multiple countries. We all share a love for Pleasure Island.....and we want it back! Thank you.

Club Report: Bliss Ultra Lounge

Oh my gosh, if any club in Orlando is going to make me forget Mannequins, this is the one. Saturday night is 100% House/Dance featuring DJ Mickey Bono of K5 and Beat Thrillerz. The club was thoroughly jammed including the dance floor and while the floor does not revolve, drink enough and it will seem to spin! The music was absolutely awesome. If we can't have a formal Mannequins reunion maybe we can all just meet here one Saturday night informally. Mannequins fans will not be dissapointed. Typical cover is $5. You can also hear DJ Mickey Bono spin on Wednesday nights at Circa 1926 in Winter Park and on the internet at

Club Report: Antigua

Just over the tracks from Bliss (watch out for that 10:15pm CSX Fast-Freight!) is Antigua. This place also gets packed beyond belief on Saturday nights. Prepare to be yanked onto the dance floor, groped, fondled and grinded upon. And that's if you're a guy....the girls are crazy in here. Free drinks for ladies and 2 for 1 for guys probably has something to do with it. The music: close to 100% mashups of Top 40, 70's, 80's, Dance, everything! Some songs last 15 seconds and some get played longer by DJ Nova. Some of the mashups are "store bought"; I've heard the exact same arrangements at The Groove. Typical cover was $5 but $10 was being charged last night so I don't know if that's a permanent increase or not.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Will This Building Reopen As A New Club? (Updated Monday)

A few months ago this Blog reported that a high-ranking Disney Entertainment official had ordered Mannequins and 8TRAX to be "made show ready". Nothing ever happened. Awhile later some of the clubs were made available for private rentals but not the Mannequins/8TRAX building which was, as a PI employee told me, "off limits". Recently we reported on a slew of rumors about Soundstage, Adventurers Club, Rock'n'Roll Beach Club and Motion being torn down soon. During that spate of rumors no mention was made of the Mannequins/8TRAX building. Then an anonymous person in the Comments section of the August 15th entry posted that the Mannequins/8TRAX building was staying. So today I was out on the island snooping around and I asked a managerial level employee what the latest PI rumors were? She said that she had just heard about a week ago that 2 clubs were going to be opening on the island. Hmmm. As long as there are rumors, there is hope.
Hopefully we'll hear something announced at the D23 Convention next month in Anaheim!
Sunday Update: Fresh rumors on the Island about Mannequins and 8TRAX reopening, possibly as soon as October. Latest gossip has AC reopening as well which of course is contrary to last week's rumor about all the waterfront club buildings being demolished. Stay tuned to this Blog for all the latest rumors!
Monday Update: Lots of denials out there that any PI clubs are going to reopen. In particular, Adventurers Club artifacts are to be shipped to HKDL come this October so no way is it going to reopen. But supposedly the first piece of construction to take place....this Fall....will be the removal of the former PI Live booth atop the Fuego Cigar Bar, to be replaced with an upstairs outdoor patio for smoking and drinking. No further word on the Mannequins/8TRAX building.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No Mannequins Reunion

I regret to inform everyone but it's not going to be possible to hold a Mannequins Reunion event during September. While I was able to secure a great venue to hold it in, DJ Peapod is not going to be available for it. He is doing some serious job-hunting that is going to take him out-of-town and he's not able to commit to specific dates of being back in Orlando. I also like Mannequins' Thursday night DJ Dave Cannalte but I'm not confident I could sell 300 tickets which is what it would have taken to break-even with Peapod. This was not a profit-making event for me but I didn't want to lose $thousands either. The stars just did not align for this great Dance music event to happen. :-(

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Vibe Electronic Music Festival This Weekend

A reminder that the Vibe Electronic Music Festival takes place this coming Saturday-Sunday at the Coca-Cola Pavilion in Ormond Beach. This is an outdoor (but covered) facility located just off I-95 at the US 1 exit. It begins at 1pm and apparently runs through the night all the way into Sunday. Full details including bios at:
Orlando-based DJ's spinning include DJ Icey, Baby Anne, Chad Andrew, Flurk and Jefferson Funk while other DJ's that I recognize include DJ Dan, Richard Humpty Vission and Mark Sanchez. Update: I don't know anyone that went to this and I've not heard any news. The website thanks everyone for coming "to this amazing event" and invites viewers to return for images to be posted soon.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Groove Report

Big crowd on hand Thursday night for 80's Night at The Groove. DJ Doc had the night off and weekend DJ AJ filled-in and did a great job. If you haven't been out yet, you should give it a try! It's very close to the 8TRAX experience.
Two 80's Nights in one weekend? Yes, the entire first couple hours of AJ's Saturday night set was close to all-80's as the club filled up. There did seem to be a burst of relief from the crowd though when he finally played a current Top 40 hit near 11pm, lol. As usual, a packed house by midnight.
I asked club management whether there were plans for any new clubs out at CityWalk and the answer was no. A couple new restaurants may be coming but no new clubs.
Meanwhile over at Universal Studios, Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket had a soft opening Saturday and park guests could ride it. At one point the waiting line was over 4 hours!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Motion & RRBC To Come Down?

Latest internet information (rumor) out there is that Motion and Rock'n'roll Beach Club are both going to be demolished, possibly as soon as next month. The RRBC site will allegedly be replaced with a structure that looks like a lighthouse (hey, that's original!) and will contain a fast food burger restaurant and a bar in the base. Most of the rest of the RRBC space will be outdoor lakefront seating for the new venues. The former PI Live booth atop the Fuego cigar bar will also be coming down although Fuego itself would remain.

WOW.....Top DJ's Coming to Orlando Soon!

As previously reported on this Blog, it is now confirmed that the world's #1 DJ Tiesto is coming to Orlando on Friday, October 16! He brings his Kaleidoscope world tour to the UCF Arena on the University of Central Florida campus. Tickets now available at Ticketmaster and If you can't see him in Orlando on Friday night, he'll be in Miami on Saturday night and Tampa on Sunday night.
Shooting out of obscurity following his recent work with DJ Kaskade on the House hit Move For Me, DJ Deadmau5 will be spinning at House of Blues in Downtown Disney West Side on Thursday, November 12th. You'll want to schedule your Friday off from work to attend this one! Tickets available at HOB Ticket Office, Ticketmaster and
OK, your November and October entertainment budgets are now accounted for....what about September? I am awaiting confirmation of DJ Peapod's availability for a Mannequins reunion. If he confirms, the event will be one week earlier than previously reported so as to avoid conflict with Halloween Horror Nights and the Kungaloosh party at Adventurers Club. WE WANT PEAPOD! WE WANT PEAPOD! Stay tuned........

Friday, August 14, 2009

Club Report: Vixen

Had the opportunity to finally check out Thursday night at Vixen in downtown Orlando featuring locally famous DJ Jimmy Joslin. The club though is just too small for someone like Joslin, in my opinion. His booth is right beside the front door and you have to walk across the small dance floor to get into the club. Admittedly I was in Vixen before 11pm so only a handful of patrons were on hand. The club is even tinier than sister-club Vintage next door but at least you can see the DJ. You'll recall at Vintage the DJ is upstairs and you can only see him through a window in the wall. Joslin was playing Dance music although it was not cranked up while I was in there.

Jimmy Joslin will be opening for DJ Tiesto when he performs October 16th at UCF Arena. You can also see him on Friday and Saturday nights at Colliseum in downtown Daytona Beach plus he'll be joining DJ Sandy for Service Industry Night on Sunday, August 30th at HOB.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No Half Price CityWalk Tickets at AAA

Back on June 29th this Blog reported that AAA members could purchase CityWalk Party Passes for just $5.95 (half price) at AAA offices. I had just purchased 10 of them! Well I returned recently to replenish my supply and the woman at the ticket counter said they couldn't do it. She said that they can only sell the Passes in conjunction with the purchase of Universal Orlando Resort theme park tickets. I pointed out that the advertising in the AAA Going Places magazine made no mention of such a contingency. She said that was a printing oversight. So now you're aware too!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What Killed Pleasure Island?

One of the other threads started to turn into a "What Killed Mannequins" discussion so I thought I would begin an entire new thread about what led to the decision to close Pleasure Island as an adult clubbing locale.

In my opinion, Mannequins and all of Pleasure Island was "killed" by a lack of promotion coupled with a continuing series of blunders. I remember the days not that long ago when arriving late meant you had to park far beyond Planet Hollywood. But they quit advertising the place so people quit coming. It's not like some new, better competitor came along. Tourists, the mainstay of the place, forgot about it because it wasn't promoted. "Carpe P.M." was the last advertising campaign and that was around 2001-2003! The 20% off-coupons brought in the business.

Then came the ill-advised blunders. There was this grand plan to put outsourced shops on the island but they couldn't do that if the island was closed to most potential customers. So the turnstiles were removed and club tickets were checked at club doors. The island was then open to everyone. But the exclusivity of the island disappeared and the panache associated with it. Teens began to congregate and there were complaints from passersby who were not PI customers anyway. Midnight fireworks ended. The band stages and the bands were eliminated. Parental complaints of actually allowing their poor child to witness someone drinking an alcoholic beverage increased since those just passing through could actually run into club patrons with drinks in hand. Oh the horror of it all. The Missing Link building was renovated but nothing ever reopened in it so that looked like a dead zone. There was no innovations to improve anything. It was apparent that the plan was to let the island sink into obscurity so that they could justify closing it. I think that the island remained profitable in the end however since Disney is ALL about the money, it was thought they could have greater profits closing the clubs and reusing the land for other things. So here we are 1 yr later with empty buildings and a vast wasteland. That's my theory......yours?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

PI Rumors Continue

Photo Contributed by Reader

Internet rumors continue about Motion coming down in order to create a direct pathway from DTD Marketplace to DTD West Side. Rumors continue that all the artifacts in Adventurers Club will get shipped in October to Hong Kong Disneyland, shortly after the September 26th (sold out) Kungaloosh Party. Rumors continue about Harley Davidson vacating its place in the Mannequins building and moving to the closed Starabilias location. Another person reports actually being inside Mannequins recently and the dance floor was still there although everything else has been gutted. I recently peered in the stairwell windows at 8TRAX and nothing has changed inside there. It's likely the lights and electronic systems are gone but other than some cleanup, it looks like it could reopen as a disco this evening!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Club Reports: South Beach / Miami

It was great to be back in the tropical pulse of Miami again last night which presented a great opportunity to check out the local clubs. Some of the long-standing clubs are gone while some have survived. But my overall observation is that you can find plenty of techno/dance music on Saturday nights but on other nights you're going to be disappointed. There are some clubs on the Miami mainland but most of the action remains on South Beach.....either on Ocean Drive or on Washington Avenue.

Ocean Drive remains one sidewalk cafe/restaurant after another and they seem to be doing good business. Perhaps the funnest place on O.D. remains Mango's. A cool mix of Top 40, Disco, 80's and Latin Pop, the employees love to dance up on the bar and there is always eye candy no matter what your persuasion. (Pictured are staff members doing MJ's Thriller dance.)

Also on O.D. is the venerable Clevelander Hotel, where it must be impossible to sleep with the noise. No one was dancing to the 80's music being played by the band by the pool. But the nearby bars were full.

Over on Washington Avenue, Mansion is a historic club but no techno here on Thursdays....hip hop all the way. But damn...I only missed Deadmau5 by two nights!

Two of the most famous techno venues remain in business. Sadly, Cameo (Washington Avenue) was closed for renovations until September and ClubSpace (downtown Miami) is currently Friday-Saturday nights only. Both host big name visiting DJ's and while ClubSpace in particular has a bevy of big name resident DJ's.

So if you want to check out the dance music scene of Miami-Dade County and it's not Winter Music Conference week, make sure you include a Saturday night in your visit!