Monday, December 19, 2011

PI Update: From The SkyCam

It's been awhile since we deployed the official Save Pleasure Island Blog SkyCam so let's take to the air and visit our beautiful Island!  Looking down onto the West End Plaza, we get a great view of Laffers Cantina and Comedy Warehouse buildings. I've been invited inside CW and it is basically untouched; the foyer is being used to provide electrical plug-in's for the entertainers playing on the two stages. They could have this place up-and-running with just a few weeks notice. Pics here.
Soundstage Club (formerly BET Soundstage Club) was gutted of sound and electrical equipment and was slated to be demolished per plans obtained by the Blog earlier this year. (Click Here) But with the Hyperion Wharf concept on hold or canceled, the building remains idle. We're told that those vendors interested in possibly opening something in there would rather pay lower rent on existing space than higher rent on new construction. But the question is when?
Adventurers Club was also gutted although last we heard a couple artifacts were still mounted. Technically the same building as Soundstage next door, this too was slated for demolition but that is on hold.
The Curl by Sammy Duval store lies side-by-side with awesome 8TRAX. The latter was gutted of sound and electronics but otherwise remains intact.  It was never slated for demolition.
Here's Mannequins Dance Palace. The massive 3-story structure is really too huge to support anything but a dance club. We're told the revolving dance floor is still inside. There's really no reason that a Top 40/Dance venue couldn't reopen in here to serve the Disney-guest market. It would be incredible!  The building was not on the demolition list either since the power grid to the entire Island is based here.
This past year began with clubs Motion and Rock'n'Roll Beach Club being demolished, replaced with Seed & Mulch which turned into Grass & Mulch.  Plans for an outdoor amphitheater near the bottom of this photo were either shelved or postponed and the quite visible pathway which was to make the turn into the current service area between Portobello and Raglan Road never happened either.
Other than the Hyperion Wharf  plan being quashed, the only real good news this year was the announcement of Splitsville coming to the former Virgin Megastore space on the West Side.  Many are hoping that the evening entertainment line-up will include dance music. Early Splitsville advertising makes that appear quite promising! If you're in Orlando for the holidays, be sure to pay a visit to beautiful Pleasure Island!


Anonymous said...

It seems that Mannequines and
8Trax hopefully be fixed up so they can be nightclubs again.
So everybody can enjoy them, and hope they can do the same for C.W. and A.C. .
So come on guys light up P.I. and make it a Happy New Year for the adults.

Jeff - Gainesville said...

Nice photos! What is up with the area behind and below the former BET Club? Was that space ever used? Looks like there is a lot of room that could be used for something.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't been to the West End Plaza in a while; apparently, they removed/moved much of the "ultralounge" outdoor setting and replaced it with tables.

KingBob said...

You can't see it in the photos but several of the "sofas" were moved to the entrance area of the BET Soundstage building. There are still a couple sofas remaining in the original area and you can see them on both sides of the umbrella tables where they face the stages.

During my years at PI, the the patio area outside the lower level of BET Soundstage was not used for anything other than smokers could go out there. Whether the area was ever used for anything else previous to that, I don't know.

Ken said...

With regards to the BET Soundstage patio area, on an irregular basis,during the final 2 years, the area would feature a DJ and a portable bar.

71 said...

Nice shots, Bob.

Again, if stockholders don't want any more major developments in the parks (apparently Wall St. realizes Avatar Land is a bomb waiting to go off as well), why not spend just a little money to reopen PI. It would make headlines in the Sentinel, be the lead story on the local 11:00 news, and dominate the Disney "blogosphere" for weeks. Nothing but positive PR, especially if you throw Adventurers Club in the mix for the hard-core Disney fanbois.

Best part is, it can be done on the cheap. Tens of thousands, not millions. And TDO would make it's money back within a couple months. Al Weiss is gone, blame this whole fiasco on him, and take the credit for this idea.

Anonymous said...

Although I have not personally heard any "buzz" about the former club buildings, apparantly there is some "buzz" out there that says something IS going to happen. Don't have a timetable either but I must say that I was out of my mind with joy that this could be imminant. Maybe that New Years announcement you posted????? Let's Hope and Pray. What a fabulous way to start 2012!!! Happy Holidays to all my fellow PI fans, hope to see you all again soon on The Island.

KingBob said...

Thanks for the info, Ken.

71, your idea is solid and not far from the rumor the Blog published way too many months ago. Comedy and a couple dance clubs have a place in a re-imagined Pleasure Island. And not only could it be done on the cheap and bring the return of profits to the Island, an active Island would encourage many other business interests to invest which was the idea to begin with! There is no interest in investing in the current dead zone.

Anon at 2:08pm, we are hoping with you. This Blog is approaching 285,000 hits as I type this. Why are SO MANY people interested in what's happening on Pleasure Island? Because it was THAT good.