Thursday, June 30, 2011

PI Update: Harley's Replacement On PI Announced!

Apricot Lane Boutique, a franchised store offering trendy fashions for women, is coming to Pleasure Island! According to the WDW Magic website, the store is going into the location that Harley Davidson just vacated in their move to the West Side. Ironically, when Harley moved into that space it replaced a similar boutique called Changing Attitudes. What goes around comes around! Congratulations to DTD management for finally signing a contract with someone. We're all so proud of you.

CW Update: Mini-Golf Construction Update

Great new photos provided to the Blog by reader DJ Mad Man Ray of the new miniature golf course construction taking place at Universal CityWalk. It's already becoming easy to see the elevation differences that will be utilized in the finished product. Ray says that part of the course will actually go under the moving sidewalks up to near the lighted CityWalk sign. That's adjacent Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Thanks, Ray!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

PI Update: More Pathway Detail

Trying to clarify yesterday's story about the new pathway. In this picture taken earlier this month we see that the pathway stretched to the rear corner of Portobello.

Now the pathway has been reduced to a cul-de-sac or stub. The former rear portion has been covered with fresh turf. Of course it has never been paved either; it's just a pathway made of small rocks. Not sure what is going on but everything seems to be on hold. Harley Davidson's move should take place before this coming weekend so maybe, just maybe, will we begin to see some progress again.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

PI Update: Pathway To Nowhere!

Numerous lightning strikes in the area this evening have brought ferry boat and tether balloon service to a halt. But hey, what better place to feel the electricity than beautiful Pleasure Island!
As a followup to last week's story, a close up of the new inset construction wall that was installed in the area where those railings used to wrap around Rock'n'Roll Beach Club.
But here is today's headline news. The pathway that was supposed to lead from the Hub area to the Lily Pad area by cutting through the current service area between Raglan Road and Portobello has been stubbed! The path was supposed to make a right turn and continue through the area blocked by that construction wall pictured above. The blueprints leaked here on the Blog in March showed at least one retail shop going into that service area space as well as another in that green area to the right of the path.
Remember that two dance clubs gave their lives for this pathway!  Apparently it's now on indefinite hold along with the officially announced amphitheater.
Over on the West Side, Harley's new location is quickly taking shape and is supposed to open this summer. The building is painted, signs are up and glass is installed.
Back on the Island, they will be vacating this space located at the Hub. That large metal stair tower brings back memories from two years ago when PI management had that "big duh" moment. No longer needing the PI Live dj booth and the lighting catwalk that connected it to the stair tower pictured above, plans were allegedly made to take it all down. Down went the booth and down went the catwalk. And that's when Harley supposedly told PI, "You're not taking down our signs!"  Demolition came to a halt while PI tried to figure their way out of the situation. Ultimately the unused stair tower had to remain in place to hold up Harley's signs. This likely is part of the reason Harley is moving out. Expect that stair tower to finally get demolished!

Elsewhere on the Island, numerous large planters have been added and help take up empty space and distract pedestrians from all the empty buildings.

Monday, June 27, 2011

PI Update: Remembering The Bombshell Announcement

Three years ago today in 2008, the date June 27th fell on a Friday. And early that evening a bombshell was dropped on the public by Disney. Pleasure Island was being shuttered! Orlando Sentinel's on-line edition carried the news and it was a front page story in Saturday's paper edition.

So here we are 3 years later and let's see what that bold new vision has brought us:
ROCK'n'ROLL BEACH CLUB-demolished in 2011-replaced with grass & mulch
MOTION-demolished in 2011-replaced with grass & mulch
PI LIVE BOOTH-demolished 2009-replaced with nothing
MANNEQUINS-sitting empty
8TRAX-sitting empty
ADVENTURERS CLUB-sitting empty
COMEDY WAREHOUSE-sitting empty

What's new on the Island? The restaurant Paradiso 37 opened after the clubs closed but was already under construction so it had nothing to do with club closings. Curl by Sammy Duval was already open. The West End Ultra Lounge is new but it was a replacement for the embarrasing Celebrate Tonight show which in turn was only created because the Island had become eerily dead at night. The balloon ride? Nope, that's at DTD West Side and also was unrelated to the clubs closings.

People could not believe they were actually going to do it and even today people can't believe they actually did it. Today is three years since the announcement and 2.75 years since the Final Night. You can see what we lost and you can see what we got! Nothing. Even the Funmeister himself is crying today.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Club Reports: Stigma, Touch, Bar 1, Bliss, The Beacham, Suite B

Good to be back in Orlando on a Saturday night after trips to Ocala and Toronto. First stop Stigma.

DJ Kleon Time playing House, Top 40 and some Hip Hop at this Orange Avenue venue.

Very unique place! This is the club with numerous stripper poles for the ladies to work on their moves.

It's also the only club in town where you can dance (or whatever) in a cage. Not pictured, but it's also the only club in town where you can get a tattoo while you party. Beer and wine only though.

I've reported previously on new club Touch over on Church Street. I did not go in this time but wanted to point out their new feature.
They've taken over the "overpass" that passes over Church Street and are calling it Touch Bridge. I've got to check out the entire club again as I've not been since they first opened. I know the term "touch" refers to the screens at each table from which you can order drinks.

Bar 1 is a brand new club that just opened at the corner of Orange & Central.
I passed on paying the $15 cover charge (which included all you can drink) so will also check this place out sometime in the future. The DJ-driven music was of the Top 40 variety. Thus, while the place is new, it does not appear to be very imaginative.
Bliss Ultra Lounge was running a "Music For Life" night instead of the usual "Saturday Night Live".
The music talent included DJ's ATM, 4Head and Cheyenne M.

The club was really jammed for the Progressive House music being played.

They had some go-go girls up in the balcony area. Hadn't seen that in a year or more.

Spotted: DJ Chad Andrew (Senso). Will have an article about the Electronic Music Cruise and Groove Cruise in the near future.

Surprising amount of music with vocals. Fun time and drinks from the dollar menu until midnight!

Always a long line to get into The Beacham (formerly Tabu) on Saturday nights.

DJ Richie Rich (House of Blues) and his MC up on the stage!

The music is Hip Hop, Old School, Top 40 and Top 40 House.

It really is difficult to navigate around in there because it's soooo crowded!

You can always count on Suite B Lounge to deliver electronic dance music any night of the week. You just don't know what kind of EDM you're going to get.
Last night it was the good variety of EDM as DJ's Norbey D, Cygni and Yamil Lugo were on the boards.

Nice-sized crowd on hand in this little club that consistently delivers good times!

Downtown Orlando options continue to grow; it takes both hands to count all the new clubs that have opened in just the past year. I think a lot of it has to do with Amway Center being built in the core; the new performing arts center which is also now under construction near City Hall will add even more vibrancy once it is completed. This is money WDW used to want to keep to themselves.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

DJ Leony: He's Everywhere!

Orlando is full of great DJ's who play Electronic Dance Music and one of them is DJ Leony. Back when radio station WPYO operated under the "95.3Party" banner, he was one of their "Dance mixologists". Currently resident DJ at Latin Quarter, he primarily plays the expected Latin hits but throughout the night "sets" of Top 40 House/Dance are inserted. On the radio though it's 100% Progressive House and Dance. Always a great time! Here's his schedule; it seems you can find DJ Leony everywhere!
FRI  01AM RADIO-XM/SIRIUS 51 - BPM - Passport To Dance
All times Eastern.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Orlando vs Niagara Falls

Were these pictures taken at CityWalk? Were these pictures taken at Downtown Disney? The answer is NO to both! These pics were actually taken in Niagara Falls, this past weekend.

But they do have the Falls!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Electric Daisy Carnival - Las Vegas

Likely the largest electronic dance music event ever begins tomorrow night! Electric Daisy Carnival - Las Vegas is making even Miami's Ultra Music Festival look small. Whereas EDC-Orlando had 4 stages, began at 2pm and ran until midnight on two nights, EDC-Vegas has 6 stages, begins at 8pm and runs until 6am and spans 3 nights! Take the biggest names that played here and add Swedish House Mafia, Robbie Rivera, ATB, David Guetta, Above & Beyond, Paul Oakenfold and on and on and on. It's taking place at the Vegas Motor Speedway, a massive complex, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out! About 250,000 people are expected! WOW! (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CW Update: Miniature Golf Course Construction Underway

Construction of the two new mini-golf courses at Universal's CityWalk complex is now well underway,  according to these pictures provided by loyal Blog reader DJ Mad Man Ray. Located in the former mulch & grass area adjacent the AMC Universal Cineplex 20 complex and the Valet Parking lot, the courses are being themed to the old horror flicks which Universal Pictures was originally famous for. Thanks Ray!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

PI Update: RidemakerZ Moving; Construction Wall Modified

Today is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Throughout Scandinavia there are massive festivals; in the Alps large bonfires are lit on mountaintops. In Canada they're getting ready to celebrate Canada Day. And here in Orlando, what better place to celebrate the first day of summer, than beautiful Pleasure Island!
First of all this story from this morning. Blog roving reporter Thommmy reports that RidemakerZ has filed a Notice of Commencement with Orange County to begin renovations to Marketplace Building #6. This confirms the rumors that they are moving out of their current space in the old Virgin Megastore Building in DTD West Side over to DTD Marketplace. We're now posting a copy of that Notice (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE) above. I was on the Island this evening and sources say they are moving into the Team Mickey building. TM is not closing but apparently RMZ will have their own space within the building.

In the Comments section of this article loyal Blog reader Mike V. reported to us that the construction wall (at the Hub) has been moved back behind the railings. He sent us this picture to post. As you can see, the new wall is now on the opposite side of the railings that were already there that used to wrap around the western end of Rock'nRoll Beach Club. The wall is also lower than the other walls and no longer has the concept art on it that showed the proposed amphitheater. Island sources say that we should start to see some action on the Island after Orlando Harley makes the move from PI over to the West Side. Big thanks to Mike V & Thommy for their reports today!

Monday, June 20, 2011

DJ Martin Solveig: Hello

In the spirit of Wimbleton and the French Open, we present an epic tennis battle between French DJ's Martin Solveig and Bob Sinclar. Canadian electro-pop singer Martina Sorbara provides the cute vocals. Those of you into dance music know this song has been around since late last year and actually made it to #1 on Billboard Magazine's Hot Dance Airplay chart. Suddenly this summer it has jumped to mainstream radio and is in the Top 40 after Trident used it in a chewing gum commercial.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Club Report: Koolhaus (DJ David Guetta/Toronto)

ARTICLE UPDATED Saturday night, downtown Toronto! Visit to the Koolhaus, the concert facility that is part of the world-famous The Guvernment nightclub complex! DJ David Guetta tonight!!
Resident DJ's Manzone & Strong (CDN) opened the evening as people poured in. They played pretty pure Progressive House and most of their music was non-vocal. But they got the crowd bouncing early.
And then DJ's Sultan & Ned Shepard (CDN) came on and really kicked things up a notch!  They switched the music to nearly all vocal House and recognizable top songs that you'd know from radio or dance clubs! They were singing the songs and moving like everyone else. You could tell they were excited to be there.
There was a 15-minute segment by sizzling singer Nadia Ali (USA)  who sang a few well-known dance songs such as iiO's hit from 2001, Rapture. Remember, she was the female half of iiO. Her current hit Call My Name was produced by Sultan & Ned Shepard.
Then the man that everyone paid to see.....DJ David Guetta (F). He played 2+ hours of music that included so many of his top hits from the past couple years.
I think his current song Where Them Girls At got the biggest roar of everything played.

The club was pretty jammed. And yes, even the #2 club in North America has....a shiny disco ball!
Canadian girls are crazy! I was surrounded by dozens of them and my ears are still ringing!
Really cool light wall behind the DJ booth as he played the song he produced for Kelly Rowland, When Love Takes Over. While Guetta had had a number of hits before this such as Just A Little More Love and The World Is Mine, he was really catapulted to the A-List with this 2009 song that fused Hip Hop and Dance elements and for which he won a Grammy. Awesome show and let's hope he makes up for that show he canceled last summer in Orlando because of the Grammy Awards.