Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blog Mission Statement & Disclaimer

As we begin the second half of 2010, it's time for my twice-annual Blog Mission Statement and Disclaimer:
The original goal of the Save Pleasure Island Blog was to rally support to reverse the decision to close Pleasure Island. There were Save Pleasure Island and Save The Adventurers Club petitions and letter/e-mail campaigns. Unfortunately, all that fell on deaf Mouse ears.

The current mission is to keep you informed about what is happening with the clubs on our beloved island. Factual information is provided when available but most of what is printed on here is rumor-based. Please understand that rumors by their very nature are very unreliable. Even if a rumor was true, it's possible that things change and it never becomes true. Thus, readers should consider the information on this Blog to be fiction and opinion and not rely on any of it in any way.

With PI closing so many people kept asking me where I would be hanging out that this Blog also evolved into reporting on nightclub alternatives and big concerts. Permanent listings in a format based on the PI clubs can be located at sister Blog

This is a non-commercial Blog. I don't make any money off this in any manner including any endorsements I make. Your comments are welcomed and appreciated. Post them in designated comment areas following each entry. You may also send comments, tips, rumors and photos to me via e-mail at kingbobofthenorth at g mail dot com. Thank you!

This Weekend In Techno Town

There is so much going on in Orlando this holiday weekend. Techno fans, Dance fans, 80's Fans, there is no excuse to stay home! CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE

Thursday night, Techno & House fans can dance to DJ David Solano over at Bliss Ultra Lounge. Solano is part of Robbie Rivera's Juicy Music Group; you may have seen him perform at Ultra if you were down there this year! Of course the real fun is 80's Night at The Groove featuring DJ Doc Wells, formerly of 8TRAX. It's one fun song after another with some old 70's Disco tossed in too!

Friday night don't miss the "queen of bass" DJ Baby Anne opening for DJ Kraftykuts at Icon. The increasingly popular DJ Chris b is also on the dance card. This is the third of four Baby Anne concerts in Orlando this summer; she is promoting her new Babylicious CD.

Saturday night, Mannequins fans should not miss DJ Mickey Bono's opening night at Vocal at Lyrica. Lyrica is the club previously known as Cairo and they're bringing in the DJ that previously made Bliss so popular on Saturday nights. This is all vocal House/Dance (music with vocals), not music that puts you to sleep! If you register at, you can get in for just $2. Lot's of drink specials. Over at Vintage is a guy who knows how to play Mannequins music because he used to work there! That's none other than DJ Dominick Morrison. He mixes House with Top 40 and the place is usually jammed. The dance floor is puny though. Admission is typically free before 11pm. Finally, 70's Rock fans might like REO Speedwagon and 80's fans might like Pat Benatar as they are this Saturday's Summer Concert Series act at Universal. The large expected crowd will lead to overflowing crowds at CityWalk clubs too!

Sunday night you need to decide if you can make it out 4 nights in a row! DJ Sander Kleinenberg (NL) is spinning Trance and Deep House at Icon, competing against the ever popular Service Industry Night at House of Blues in Downtown Disney West Side. As it's a holiday weekend, that means resident DJ Sandy is joined by local favorite DJ Magic Mike. But that also usually means less Techno and more Hip Hop.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

PI Update: Here's What's Happening

Here is what is happening, as far as I know. This information comes from a compilation of sources. First of all, a little over two weeks ago it was announced that Celebrate Tonight was being canceled after June 26th. There was a lot of speculation that since the announcement was so abrupt and the ending just one week before a major holiday weekend, that finally the construction walls were going to go up and demolitions were going to begin. There was that big PI meeting last week and the word leaking out of there was centered around an "ultra-lounge" coming. That brought speculation (not reported here) that BET Soundstage & Adventurers Club were coming down, to be replaced with an ultra-lounge.

Well it turns out that is not the case. Construction walls are not going up and demolitions are not about to begin, at least not in July and highly unlikely during the summer tourist season. Instead the Entertainment division has been given the task of experimenting on the Island. You recall my article a few weeks mentioning the hiring of former Mannequins tech Marina. Well she and her team apparently, from what I can tell, have the extremely difficult task of making PI come alive while the Imagineers come up with Plan B. You see, Plan A is dead and TDO admits seeing their errors. Plan A was the original announcement of new restaurants and shops replacing the clubs. I'm sure you recall the infamous Kevin Lansberry interview, available on YouTube.

So it's not that they necessarily have better ideas than Celebrate Tonight but they're sure going to try. Celebrate Tonight was a failure and they didn't want it out there for yet another holiday weekend. So for right now you're going to see various small thing occurring on the Island...and one big thing. The small things include the human statues every half hour plus small musical acts such as the 1-man Dominic and the 3-man PI Pop. There will be other smaller things as well, all designed to see what draws people and gets them to hang around. I personally think the statues are a winner; I don't mean they replace the clubs in any small way but they are pretty cool and will be popular.

The biggest thing coming is the Ultra-Lounge. It will be an outdoor "club" of some sort, located across Celebration Plaza. They are not going to move the booth or the monitors but will work around them. That metal furniture currently on the Plaza will be replaced with ultra-cool lounge furniture designed to withstand the elements. How music fits in or whether there will be a dance floor, I don't know. My sources say it's targeted to adults, not children, so there is hope we're going to get something cool with this. I was given the current working name for the ultra-lounge but I have sworn myself to secrecy on that.

No, this is not going to replace Mannequins or 8TRAX or Adventurers Club. But this is a start in the right direction of returning Pleasure Island to adults. I recommend that we watch these developments with an open mind and let's see where it takes us! As long as the original buildings remain, there is hope. And interestingly, a different source out there says that none of the club buildings are going to come down! But that's a story for another day.

Monday, June 28, 2010

PI Update: Human Statues on the Island

My approach to Pleasure Island was cautious this evening. What would I find? Would the remnants of Celebrate Tonight be obliterated as though it never existed? Would those long-anticipated construction walls finally be in place around Soundstage and Adventurers Club? As I came over the bridge from the West Side, the quick answer to both questions was no. There were no changes.

But then my glance happened towards Adventurers Club and......omg/wtf! People were posing next to a bronze angel! But she was alive! And while stuck in a solid position for minutes at a time, every so often she'd tap an unsuspecting child on the shoulder or steal a pair of sunglasses!

Crowds gathered and even those in a hurry paused. She remained in place from 6:00pm to 6:30pm at which time her handler took her down to the offices below Celebration Plaza via the AC staircase. A few minutes later a different handler brought up a different statute, this time a red musician! Meanwhile Dominic who usually plays outside Wetzel's Pretzels began a set over in front of the old Celebrate Tonight shed.

Want to know what's going on? Check the Blog here tomorrow night. I've got more details!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two Years Ago Today

Exactly two years ago today, late in the day on Friday, June 27th, 2008, Disney announced the big news. Pleasure Island comedy and dance clubs were going to be shut down forever in 3 months. The Orlando Sentinel posted it immediately and had this article in the Saturday newspaper:
Copy and paste:

Club Report: Bliss Ultra Lounge

It was hard to justify staying any longer than I had to at Pleasure Island when I could be downtown having a good time! Bliss Ultra Lounge was packed as DJ Mickey Bono of Beat Thrillerz and played his final night of Dance music at that club. He takes the party over to Lyrica beginning next Saturday and I'll have a separate article about that later this week along with other club action for the 4th of July weekend.

PI Update: The Final Celebration

Went out to the island last night to experience the next-to-last installment (10:30pm) of Celebrate Tonight. There was no secret that CT was coming to an end. They announced it more than once and the television monitors also featured it. They scrolled the names of past and current CT cast members. There was posing for pictures; DJ G-Clef was still on the ground from the 9:30pm show when I arrived. They played one last Chicken Dance. The final song played around midnight was Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me" per Blog reader 71Jason. There was some sadness. More than one PI employee mentioned that this is yet another "closure" on Pleasure Island and with that comes the uncertainty.

The DJ's come out alright in that they get transferred to Stitch's Club 626 Dance Party at the Magic Kingdom and thus remain employed by the Mouse. And of course we often see G-Clef over at CityWalk's Red Coconut Club. The other CM's? Not sure if they received pink slips.

So that concludes Celebrate Tonight. Next up finally: construction walls?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Celebrate Tonight Thru The Ages

These are spectacular never-before-published photos of Celebrate Tonight. The hourly celebration draws to a conclusion this evening live at Celebration Plaza on beautiful Pleasure Island. Will their final song be Rozalla's Everybody's Free (To Feel Good) or will it be The Chicken Dance? Only time will tell.

The ending of CT came rather sudden. Supposedly the event was contracted to run into late Fall but employees only got two weeks notice. There were hints that it was concluding early; I pointed out here in the Blog that CT had been deleted from early-2010 DTD Guidemaps. Two years ago PI employees were given about 90-days notice that the comedy and dance clubs were closing. But two weeks notice was not unprecedented; supposedly Rock'n'Roll Beach Club employees only got about two weeks notice too.

Update: Informed sources report that the Celebrate Tonight DJ's will report to Magic Kingdom's new Stitch's Club 626 Dance Party. Good to hear they're not getting layed off. Also, appears that the two bars (Laffer's Cantina & PI Live Bar) will remain open for the time being. Look for construction/demolition walls to go up very very soon!

Friday, June 25, 2010

PI Update: Big Meeting Today!

As you know, Celebrate Tonight is coming to an end tomorrow night. Sources are reporting that there is a big PI-related meeting taking place today and that construction walls may be going up ASAP after Celebrate Tonight ends. One assumes demolitions will follow. And it may not just be clubs; word is Laffers Cantina and PI Live Bar might be gone as well, or at least temporarily shut down during construction! Hope to have more information from today's meeting asap!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DJ's Kimball Collins & Gareth Emery

The #9 DJ in the world, Gareth Emery, comes to Orlando tomorrow night (Thursday) at Roxy. This guy is on everyone's list as the next big DJ superstar. And to make it even better, local House favorite DJ Kimball Collins opens for him! I don't recall him playing locally since the Aahz Reunion last November. Big night; this will be packed!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

PI Update: 4th of July Fireworks

In case you were wondering, there will be no fireworks for Independence Day at Pleasure Island/Downtown Disney in 2010. Not that you would have expected any.

Monday, June 21, 2010

DJ Leony Down The Shore!

Attention New Jersey Readers: This Saturday night June 26th, DJ Leony from Latin Quarter at Universal CityWalk will be playing down the Shore! But unlike his residency at LQ, Leony will be spinning pure unadulterated House music all session long at the world-famous dance club D'Jais in Belmar. Leony plays House on Sirius/XM's BPM station (Sirius 36/XM 81) every Friday night at midnight ET if you want to listen in. New Jersey has one of the highest number of Save PI Blog readers per the flag counter. So if you're down the shore this weekend, check out DJ Leony at D'Jais!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

PI Update: Bridge Light Off Last Night

"Blah, blah, blah, anything going on at Downtown Disney?" wrote one of our readers. Well to show our good faith that we cover ALL Pleasure Island news and not just important stuff, here's a photo provided by one of our roving reporters showing that the Pleasure Island light over the No. 2 Bridge to PI was off last night. It's mundane info like this you can't get in the Sentinel! From Bangkok to Berlin to Bushnell, Save PI Blog readers always get the latest information!

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

WOW is all I can say to describe the Wizard World of Harry Potter. This view is the normal entrance to WWOHP but was being used as an exit only. And this was as close as I could get to experiencing it. Long lines winding through Islands of Adventure headed towards the entrance they were using. Some day I'll actually make it inside there!

Club Report: The Groove

A rainy night in Orlando last night kept expected crowds down at Universal CityWalk. The showers were expected to pass through but even at midnight there was still some drizzle. Not to say it didn't get crowded. Red Coconut Club with DJ Doc Wells was about as crowded as it gets but The Groove with DJ AJ had nowhere near as many people (pictured above) as they had on Friday night. Even Latin Quarter with DJ Leony had fewer Saturday night patrons than normal. I called it a night fairly early last night; just too much Hip Hop!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Club Report: The Groove

Went out to Universal Orlando Resort last night to check on Harry Potter but the park closed at 10pm so there was no more entry. Well I couldn't waste a trip out there so stopped by The Groove instead. TG didn't open until 11pm last night due to a private booking and it seemed that when the event ended most of the group stayed. The club was wall-to-wall when I entered shortly after 11. DJ AJ was on duty playing mostly Hip Hop mixed with Top 40. It should be just as packed if not more so tonight at Pitbull is playing at Universal as part of their summer concert series!