Friday, September 30, 2011

CW Update: New Music Options

Some new events at CityWalk that keeps making the place better and better! (CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE)

On Saturday nights during October DJ Smooth (Bliss Ultra Lounge, Florida Beat Radio, RadioDanz, Red Coconut Club) will be spinning mostly Top 40 from the CityWalk Plaza Stage from 6pm-10pm. Should draw good crowds as some people depart Islands of Adventure while others head to Halloween Horror Nights. Another DJ will be playing on Friday nights.

Meanwhile a new event inside Red Coconut Club on Tuesday Hospitality Industry nights in October features DJ Tillman (Blue Room Sessions at The Groove, One80 Grey Goose Lounge, Rangetsu) spinning Top 40 and House. With the band not playing on Tuesdays, he will operate from the band stage behind the bar rather than from the high in the sky DJ booth.

Club Reports: Why Not Lounge, Dexter's

Had not made the Seminole County club run since it was cold outside so it was time to see how things are doing. Why Not Lounge has been around since the 70's and is under new management. It's located in the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel (formerly Magnuson Grand, formerly Clarion, formerly Holiday Inn-Altamonte Springs).

DJ Baby pictured above in this file photo is playing Top 40 and Hip Hop from the booth.

But during this early visit last night the place was deader than a doornail. They made the mistake of moving Ladies Night, a Thursday night institution since the 70's, over to Wednesdays when far fewer people can go out and party. They instantly lost nearly everyone. But club manager Travis Thompson tells me that they're doing a Ladies Night now on both Wednesdays and Thursdays and they're slowly drawing back their Thursday night patrons. I returned to Why Not after my visit to Dexter's (see below) and there were a few groups of people dancing.

Dexter's in Lake Mary/Heathrow is becoming an institution in its own right.

DJ Michael Knight owns Thursday nights here and draws a large crowd of people trying to begin their weekend a day early!

And he took us on a musical journey to Mannequins, 8TRAX and Motion last night with sets of House/Dance, 70's Disco, 80's Classics and current Top 40.

The place was crowded although I've seen it more crowded during some visits.

Knight brings in all of his own equipment on Thursdays including the light bridge, fog maker and a shiny disco ball!

The crowd is an upscale mix of locals and business people staying in nearby hotels.

I told the DJ that this was his best set of music I've heard during my various visits and he told me it was because he cut-out the Hip Hop about a month ago. And it sounded great. So much of Top 40 is in the Dance category now and not Hip Hop that this is possible to pull off and not have people complain. Three minutes later though he put on a short segment of Hip Hop classics from the early 00's that jammed the floor, lol. Dexter's on Thursdays; check it out!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This Weekend In Techno Town

Friday night marks the beginning of Congaloosh 2011, the celebration of all things Adventurers Club. In 2009 at the first anniversary of the club's closure the event was held right inside the Adventurers Club which at the time had been made available by Disney for private rentals to include cast members. At the 2010 event the club had been mostly gutted so it was held at DHS, again with cast member participation. This year it appears to me that Disney wants people to forget about AC. That means no cast members  officially taking part, it means stuccoing over the club's sign, it means blocking the stairs with large planters to thawart photography! The good news though is this year's Congaloosh event is FREE and you can take part in some or all of the events. And that begins Friday night with photos on the AC steps at 7:30pm. Full details at:
For those looking for dance music, how about a MFM menage a trois? DJ's Nito, Jennifer Marley and Davie D will be spinning House and Break Beats at Suite B Lounge downtown on Friday as well.
Also on Friday night next door to Suite B is club Vain which will be featuring Canadian DJ's Sultan & Ned Shepard who generally play Top 40 Dance, House and Progressive. Would be awesome if singer Nadia Ali happened to be tagging along however her schedule shows Chicago.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

PI Update: Three Years of Nothing

What better place to mourn the third anniversary of the demise of Pleasure Island comedy and dance clubs than on beautiful Pleasure Island itself!

At Celebration Plaza aka West End Ultra Lounge, extra plastic lounge furniture has been brought in and placed near the bathrooms and Soundstage Club. It helps diffuse the large size of the plaza.

Soundstage's entry area had been blocked for sometime by those small planters with palms in them. Last week humongous planters holding bamboo were also brought in to keep people away.

Adventurers Club's entryway was not blocked whatsoever but that is no longer the case as more huge bamboo planters were brought here too.

Soundstage Club still lives though. This sign remains!

8TRAX continues to live as well. While the groovy paint job has been covered over, the faux 8-Track players at the club's front and rear entrances are still installed! So don't give up the hope!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PI R.I.P. - 3 Years

Today is September 27th and that marks the 3rd anniversary of Disney's largest blunder, the closing of the Pleasure Island dance and comedy clubs in order to replace them with.....nothing. That's not to say progress wasn't made this past year. After all, Motion and Rock'n'Roll Beach Club both got demolished since the 2nd anniversary. In their place we have weeds and mulch. Also since the last anniversary we had the announcement of the conversion of Pleasure Island to Hyperion Wharf, now indefinitely on hold and perhaps outright cancelled. Alas, there is some hope on the horizon. The announcement of Splitsville on the West Side and promise of music and dancing represents the first real possibility that Disney will allow the return of a few more adult-focused entertainment options. Maybe we'll know more about it by the time the 4th anniversary rolls around next September.

Monday, September 26, 2011

CW Update: Mini-Golf Construction Continues

Progress update on the new miniature golf courses under construction at Universal CityWalk.

Some of the pathway stairs have already been installed which shows that the courses will operate at multiple levels. There will be two 18-hole courses which will travel under the bridge used by the moving sidewalks from the parking garages.
Wondering how they're going to market this. At Walt Disney World the mini-golf courses have their own free parking lots; at CityWalk patrons have to use the garages which charge $15 during the day and $3 after 6pm. Don't know too many people who are willing to pay to park to play mini-golf when so many options at Disney and I-Drive offer free parking. But other than guests staying at the Universal resorts and annual pass holders, these courses are going to sit rather idle during the bulk of the day unless they plan other parking arrangements.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Club Reports: Vixen Lounge, Independent Bar

Vixen Lounge downtown was the site of an impromptu "Mannequins Reunion" last night as we approach the third anniversary of the club's demise.

DJ Greedy was pumping out a great mix of Top 40 Dance, House & Florida Breaks to the jammed venue.

There was at least a dozen of us former Mannequins patrons in attendance.

The dance floor in Vixen is directly in front of the DJ booth and is on the tiny side. But it was being used for the purpose intended.

Spotted: ill DJ Chris B (Icon, Electric Daisy Carnival, Club V).

Independent Bar on a Saturday night!

DJ Indie John at the controls playing 80's New Wave/early MTV-hits.

The club was crowded but not as packed as some Saturday nights.

It was actually possible to walk around in the place without knocking over many drinks!

And under the shiny disco balls, a good time was had by all!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

EPCOT: Eat To The Beat

The Eat to the Beat Concert Series begins anew at EPCOT next weekend. Here is this year's line-up:
09/30-10/02 TAYLOR DAYNE
10/03-10/05 .38 SPECIAL
10/06-10/07 JON SECADA
10/08-10/09 ROGER HODGSON (of Supertramp)
10/10-10/12 BILLY OCEAN
10/13-10/16 STARSHIP
10/17/10/19 SUGAR RAY
10/20-10/21 THE ORCHESTRA (feat. former ELO members)
10/22-10/23 HOWARD JONES
10/24-10/26 BOYZ II MEN
10/27-10/28 GIN BLOSSOMS
10/29-10/30 SISTER HAZEL
10/31-11/01 HANSON
11/04-11/06 NIGHT RANGER
11/07-11/08 AIR SUPPLY
11/09-11/10 RICHARD MARX

Friday, September 23, 2011

Club V Playing Hardball

There seems to be little doubt Club V is serious about it's night club aboard Victory Casino Cruises at Port Canaveral. The dance club has expanded to Thursday nights in addition to Fridays and Saturdays, all featuring resident DJ Big Norm. And monthly they're bringing in the big guns; earlier this month DJ Icey led the lineup! The October 8th sailing will feature DJ X and Sharaz while the November 12th sailing has DJ Baby Anne and DJ Trashy! Sailings depart at 7pm and things crank up shortly thereafter; the ship returns at 12:30am with the club staying open dockside until 2am. Admission is $10 which includes the cruise, nightclub admission, parking and port charges. Advance purchase on big name sailings is highly recommended!

Club Reports: Paradiso 37, Planet Hollywood, Atlantic Dance Hall

Thursday night out; why not spend it at beautiful Pleasure Island! I've dined at Paradiso 37 several times since they opened but first time I've come out for the music.

On Thursday through Saturday nights DJ Tony Z (Atlantic Dance Hall, Planet Hollywood) is playing Top 40 and Club/Dance music which is beginning to draw crowds after 10:30pm, particularly DTD employees looking for a late night drink or two. The music is nothing like ADH where divergent requests must get played. 

Around the corner in the Waterfront lagoon is Planet Hollywood, another restaurant with music.

Always great running into DJ Talie (Motion, PI Live, Atlantic Dance Hall, Celebrate Tonight, Stitch's Club 626 Dance Party)! She was playing Top 40 for the diners.

Then over to Atlantic Dance Hall to check out their Thursday activity. You never know what you're going to find here.

DJ Tony B (The Groove, Motion, Rock'n'Roll Beach Club, PI Live) was on the boards cranking out Top 40, Dance and Hip Hop.
And omg, ADH was really crowded! On a Thursday.

The floor stayed crowded until midnight when it really thinned out.

A large contingent was dressed in white-on-white which I found out was from a dental convention taking place on-property. ADH is located at Disney's Boardwalk Resort and like I said, you never know what  you're going to get here!