Save Pleasure Island Blog roving reporter Thommy just got back from a cruise aboard the newer ship Disney Dream. The on-board dance club is called Evolution and one of the club nights is called 8TRAX! This is his report. Thanks for this great report, Thommy!
I was extremely excited to take my second trip aboard the Disney Dream. While I love many aspects of Disney Cruise Lines, I've noticed the nightlife has gotten worse over the past several years. But last year DCL brought back their 70's and 80's night by calling it “8TRAX Night,” a clear ode to the now closed night club on Pleasure Island. I was greeted upon entering the Evolution Night Club with a couple cast members in costume:
I proceeded further inside only to find something I didn't expect:
A PACKED dance floor! There wasn't even enough room for me to get out there and do the Electric Slide! The music, put out by guest DJ Ryan, was classic 8TRAX music, but often with another song underneath it. This particular DJ never really seemed to just play a song and in this case it was quite annoying as KC and the Sunshine Band needs no underlying song to make it work.
The party continued for a few minutes when I noticed the entertainment CM's handing out glow necklaces to 5 guys. I knew exactly what was coming next as they were taken off the dance floor shortly after. On the Disney Wonder in 2005, they would do the same thing and then teach a "YMCA" routine to the guys they picked. Sure enough, that's what it was! Not long after, out came the 5 guys in their Village People outfits leading the "YMCA"!
Next up, the Evolution Dancers came out and did a routine. I was disappointed as I thought maybe they would do a retro-themed routine but instead they did a Top 40 number. Right after that, the music switched to Top 40 remixes and stayed that way the rest of the night. What I noticed though was that the crowd was mixed age range during the 8TRAX music and then entirely younger once the transition to Top 40 happened. Disney frequently states “we have something for everyone” on their ships. They're getting there, but have more to do. All in all, it was a LOT of fun, even if it only lasted about 20 minutes all in all. They used to do much more involved theme nights on Disney Wonder and it seems like they are trying to come half way between what they had in March 2011(read: nothing) and what they had in Spring 2005 until Dec 2010 (a full theme night).
Having said that and despite my annoyances with the DJ on 8TRAX night, I have to give a shout out to him because of what he did on the first night after the club had cleared of guests around midnight. Blog roving reporter William and I stayed with the DJ and light show entirely to ourselves and were given one hell of a show for two straight hours! The DJ and light tech have apparently worked together for ten years and are very much in sync. It was one BPM dance hit after another, with 16+ R2's, a color-lighted dance floor and a full inventory of strobes to keep us in awe! Just like the light show at EPCOT on NYE, it really shows what Disney is capable of when they put their mind to it!