Saturday, August 31, 2013

No Dragon*Con This Year :-(

Dragon*Con 2012:
Dragon*Con 2011:

Club Reports: Margaritaville, The Groove

Spending Friday night of Labor Day weekend out at Universal CityWalk and beginning with Margaritaville. Admission is included with a CityWalk Party Pass but it's been years since I've seen anyone here checking for one so you can basically just come in for free!
And if you're a fan of Classic Rock this is the place to come as resident band Blue Stone Circle plays 70's & 80's music!
A handful of partiers dancing to a Huey Lewis and The News song.
Enough of that.  Over to The Groove!
Friday night resident DJ ET (102JAMZ) on the main stage playing close to 100% Hip Hop.
At least a lot of it was early '00's Hip Hop.
  Decent-sized  group on hand but not crowded.  As I rarely visit on Fridays, don't know if this is typical or not.
Fun on the floor!  Tampa's DJ Mondo is back tonight at The Groove!
You can never go wrong with Go Go girls!
Signs are up advertising for tomorrow night's Labor Day Celebration featuring DJ Baby Anne (USA)!
The stage on CityWalk's outdoor "lily pad" is already in place. The dance floor is below the stage in the area in front of Galaxy Bar. If the weather cooperates, DJ ET will open here followed by Baby Anne.  That should prove interesting as their styles couldn't be more diverse.  DJ M-Squared will be spinning inside The Groove.  All this for just $10!  This is a Do Not Miss event tomorrow night!

PI Update: Bypass Bridge Taking Shape

With the wall that used to surround Celebration Plaza removed, a new view has been created of the entryway to beautiful Pleasure Island.  More pictures taken yesterday afternoon from Save Pleasure Island Blog roving reporter Thommy.
We originally speculated that the new supposedly temporary No. 5 Bridge from the West Side to Pleasure Island was going to connect adjacent to BET Soundstage and an existing boardwalk.
And we originally speculated that they put a wall on the bridge so that passersby could not view the on-going construction.
But neither is the case.  That's just one of their regular demolition walls and it's going to block views from the new bridge of demolition at Soundstage.
And construction is far enough along now that we can see the new bridge wrapping around the north shore of the Island rather than connecting.
The bridge (or is it better called a causeway?) will then go past Adventurers Club and Paradiso 37.  It is wide enough to carry a high volume of pedestrians and strollers.
And it appears it can then connect over here to the Pleasure Island Water Taxi dock where people can then come back onto the Island.  The construction quality certainly looks more permanent than temporary but it is well-known that even temporary at Disney can span decades. But it would also seem unlikely that tenants who will locate in waterfront locations would want their views blocked by the bridge.  Time will tell.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Breaking News: Curl Gone, 8TRAX Coming Down!

One never knows what one is going to find when one crosses that bridge!

Save Pleasure Island Blog roving reporter Thommy on  Pleasure Island this afternoon taking a picture of this narrow passageway between Paradiso 37 and Curl when he realized the Curl (formerly Superstar Studios) building wasn't there!
And 8TRAX was being crunched!

Demolition at the side!
Demolition at the front!
Zooming in on the action!
He reports that the entire single-story front section of the club that stuck out from the multi-story main section of the club is gone and appears to have been demolished first.  This is the area that  housed the main bar. You can see one of the psychedelic walls in this shot. 
Thommy speaks with great sadness of losing 8TRAX.  He says he used to work there, it's where he learned the Thriller dance and where he decided to become a DJ back in his hometown.  We are all sad about using 8TRAX.  It was a club where all ages, races, genders, religions, etc. shared the dance floor and everyone knew the words to all the 70's & 80's songs!
It's all being taken down with a backhoe.
Click to enlarge this picture and you can see the Lombard Promenade hill is there but the promenade itself, the winding sidewalks reminiscent of San Francisco's Lombard Street, are gone. Now excuse me while Thommy and I go have a cry!

PI Update: Stairway To Heaven

Mannequins' "stairway to heaven".  Located on the side of the club, it took patrons arriving for the first time on crowded nights up to the second floor.  It's last use was on the Thursday night of the final weekend, Castmember Night, when long lines outside were funneled through queues to the base of the stairs.
Views from the upstairs railing down to the dance floor often brought you face-to-face with some of the props that were lowered from the rafters.
The famous revolving dance floor.  While the club's overhead lighting did shine down, unique to this dance floor was lighting from below the floor that shined upward through translucent panels as the moving floor passed over them!
A clearer view of the lighted revolving floor.  No wonder it was one of the nation's top dance clubs.  And that floor is still in there, hopefully to be used again!  Only the best from Disney Imagineers!  Big thanks to DJMadManRay for the four pictures posted above.
Standing still along the edge versus those passing by.  If you were looking for someone, you just had to wait a minute or so for all the dancers to circle by!
And a good time was had by all!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Techno at Sporting Events

After an eternity of waiting, the 2013-2014 college football season kicks-off tonight and this weekend.  It reminded me that there is so much techno music associated with sports, especially American football where numerous stoppages of play create the opportunity for stadiums to insert music into the lull. For those of you attending games this season, be on the lookout for songs like these:

A huge at sporting events around the world since 1990, who can forget Hip House classic "Everybody Dance Now" by C+C Music Factory (USA).

The year 1991 brought 2 Unlimited's (B) hit "Get Ready For This" to the sports scene!

At football stadiums across the country, the 1999 Techno hit "Kernkraft 400" by Zombie Nation (D) gets the crowd rocking.  This video is from here in Orlando at a University of Central Florida game!

Now this scene at a University of South Carolina home game is absolutely incredible as the fans are whipped into a frenzy from 1999 Trance hit "Sandstorm" from Darude (FIN).

All of the songs so far are from the 90's but new songs get added too.  Martin Solveig's (F) "Ready To Go" has gained favor and of course Baauer's (USA) "Harlem Shake" is now played everywhere.  GO UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA GATORS, GO UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA KNIGHTS AND GO UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This Weekend In Techno Town

DJ Mark Knight (GB) returns to Orlando for the first time since 2011 with a show at Tier Nightclub!
"Ignition Thursdays" at Firestone Live continues to bring in the names!  This time it's Dubstep DJ Jon Gooch doing business as Feed Me (GB)!
"Redrum Fridays" at Thee Grotto is a big hit and this weekend they have guest DJ Znuh (USA) playing Goth & Industrial along with resident DJ Rob (I-Bar)!
(FREE until midnight )
The biggest event of the weekend is the "Club Firestone Reunion", taking place at Firestone Live featuring DJ Icey (USA) at 12:30am!  Click on flyer for full list of DJ's in all the rooms, all spinning 90's club hits!($35)
Tampa's DJ Mondo (USA) has been packing them in at The Groove this summer and this is his last scheduled visit so don't miss his great House / Dance / Top 40 sets!  CityWalk.
Dubstup DJ duo Zeds Dead (CDN) are back in Orlando this Saturday night, performing at Roxy Nightclub!
It's a holiday weekend, we know the revolving dance floor is still there, we know the mannequins are still hanging, we know the side door is open!  And DJ KingBob is bringing his CD player.  Saturday night at Mannequins!
(Psych! Not really!)
The Sunday night of Labor Day weekend always means EDM at The Groove and this year it's their best ever as they have DJ Baby Anne (USA) on the decks!  Special ticketed event; passes not valid.  Inside and outside the club. Don't miss!  CityWalk. Parking free for Florida residents at 6pm, free for all at 10pm.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

PI Update: Mannequins Construction Permit

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE  Walt Disney Imagineering has filed a Notice of Commencement with Orange County titled "Package 1C - Construction New Building" at 1600 E. Buena Vista Drive in Lake Buena Vista.  According to our previous article that listed many Downtown Disney addresses, that's the address for Mannequins! There were no plans, maps or drawings attached to the permit.  It is unclear what "new building construction" this refers to since they've not previously filed for a demolition permit and the previously placed demolition walls don't completely surround the Mannequins building either. Also, Curl and 8TRAX remain standing at this juncture.  We'll be watching; in the recent past when Disney has filed permits, action has begun shortly thereafter.

Monday, August 26, 2013

PI Update: Petition To Save Fuego

It may be too late, but one of our readers posted a link to a newly created Facebook page trying to get petition signatures to save the Fuego by Sosa Cigars bar on Pleasure Island.  Last April Save Pleasure Island was the first to announce that Fuego was closing when their lease expired, supposedly this month. The reader posted her Comment in that article but unfortunately few would see it there because it's so many pages back.  Instead, we're bringing her information forward and you can find the link here.

PI Update: Remembering Celebrate Tonight

Since we've been chatting about Pleasure Island post-closure of the clubs, thought we'd look at some photos from that period too.  As mentioned, PI became a dead zone after the clubs closed in September, 2008.  It was off-season so there were already fewer people around to begin with.  And for pedestrians headed from the Marketplace to the West Side, there was nothing once they walked past Raglan RoadParadiso 37 (above) was still under construction, everything was closed and at night it was downright
The PI Live DJ booth was quickly redeployed to bring some music to the area; for awhile they even deployed some magicians to work the area to get people to stop.
Walt Disney World's theme for 2009 was "Celebrate Today".
And at Pleasure Island in April of that year, that beget "Celebrate Tonight"!
Initially the ground crew's job was to ask passersby "What are you celebrating?" Too many people simply kept walking, not wanting to get involved with a DJ holding a microphone.  But there were also games offered.  Most popular though were the line dances such as the "Cupid Shuffle" above.
When the weather was pleasant they were able to attract crowds.  But in the hot summer of 2009 and the cold days of winter 2009/2010 there were days when the "crowd" sometimes consisted of a handful of pre-teens at best.  In February, 2010 we noticed that CT was no longer listed in the Downtown Disney Guidemap and mentioned it here.  
It took a a few months until they officially announced it but in June, 2010 Celebrate Tonight held its final shows.
The final crew included DJ G-Clef (second from the right) who we see occasional at CityWalk.
To keep the Island lively, CT was replaced with their unnamed "ultra lounge" concept which consisted of musical acts such at the Andre Caram Band ft. Drey-C (above).  Initially in July, 2010 they worked off the bricks but ultimately they brought in the raised platform Purple and Green Stages. With this area now demolished for Disney Springs construction, the Island is now a narrow corridor of demolition walls.  We hope whatever comes was worth the 5-8 year wait.