Friday, October 31, 2014

Club Report: Amway Arena

Spent my Thursday night at Amway Arena for the home opener of the Orlando Magic basketball team against the Washington Wizards.
Orlando trailed nearly the entire game and although they came within 2 points during the 4th Quarter, they could not pull off the win.
Included in the price of certain tickets, the Ultimate Lounge (formerly Mercedes Club) near the Magic locker room gets you a deluxe buffet dinner (prime rib tonight!) and other luxury amenities.  It's off limits to the common folk.
Amway Arena also has an ultra lounge / dance club up near the top.  180 Grey Goose Lounge has a spectacular outdoor deck overlooking the Orlando skyline and features DJ's playing EDM.  I did not visit last night since I had to be up early this morning for work.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Remembering Mannequins

Mannequins Dance Palace, voted one of the top clubs in the United States at one point.
Playing an all-EDM format back in the day when we just called it "techno"!
With a revolving under-lit dance floor that to this day remains unmatched!  Sadly, with this week's announcement that the building is going to become Morimoto Asia Restaurant, it appears that this revolving piece of history will never again appear for us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

PI Update: New Amphitheater Opens Friday

The new live entertainment amphitheater stage opens for the first time this coming Friday evening on beautiful Pleasure Island.  Sources tell Save Pleasure Island Blog that the Andre Caram Band (ft. Drey-C) & Nova Pop will be kicking off the new Island venue.
None of the other new venues around the Waterview Stage will be open yet so construction walls are being carefully reconfigured to allow guests to get here but not get injured in any construction areas.  The new "amp" has been completed for a couple weeks now and the lack of anywhere else in Downtown Disney to put the live entertainment bands has necessitated getting this open.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

PI Update: The Island's Back Side

Mannequins was one of the buildings that bridged both the lower and upper levels of Pleasure Island.  The front here and the south side were on the lower level while the alternative entrance, most often used just as a smokers patio, was on Hill Street across from what is now Paradiso 37.  Will be interesting to see how Morimoto Asia uses this huge, multi-story space.
That south front of Mannequins still has that garage door but also the backstage area which is still painted dark brown.  The cash room was back there, offices and Mannequins kitchen.  The kitchen will have to be greatly expanded to make this into a full service restaurant.  Compare the side of the building as it looks above as Mannequins to what the concept art shows as Morimoto.
Further west, 8TRAX was another building that bridged both levels of the Island and it remains the same, at least on the exterior.  It too is slated to become a restaurant.  Interestingly, the front upstairs section of the former club was demolished and a new building constructed in that space.  So we don't know if the new construction will house shops or whether will be the new foyer for what goes into 8TRAX.  If it's shops, then one would have to access what goes into 8TRAX from the lower level pictured above and not from upstairs.  The Morimoto concept art depicts images of two women on the side of whatever is coming here.  Can't tell though if they're "Latin" women or "Asian" women.
Immediately to the west of 8TRAX was the Curl by Sammy Duval building, formerly Superstar Studios.  It had upper and lower levels but was completely demolished.  In the space is all new construction as shown above.  Here we see the upper level which will hold shops, one of which will be a Sanuk flip-flop store.  But I'm going to guess that what we see here wedged into the lower corner will be the new entrance into what goes into 8TRAX.  Could use a wing place on the Island!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Breaking News: Mannequins To Become Morimoto Asia

Per the Disney Parks Blog today:

The interior of Morimoto Asia, per concept art released by Disney today.

PI Update: The Island By Sea

Welcome to Pleasure Island, where every week new adventures unfold.  The Blog typically offers air views from our exclusive SkyCam but today we traverse the Island via the Downtown Disney Water Taxi service and give you a different perspective.
So here we go.  Nothing new at the BET Soundstage Club.  It remains idle.  Just to the west of it is that separate green building that holds bathrooms. Some concept art shows that remaining while some show it gone.  It's there for now.
Nothing new at Adventurers Club either.  Original plans from more than a year ago describe this as a train-themed "cafeteria" but there have been no rumors since.
Paradiso 37 used to have a wood balcony on this side of the building but that has been removed.  The balcony provided service access to a kitchen at a rear side door which has been covered over too.
Moving east, the new home to The Hangar, described as an aerodrome-themed bar with light food.  It will sit on this wood platform which is suspended on pilings over Village Lake much like Rock'n'Roll Beach Club which used to occupy this spot.
That is followed by Pleasure Island's new outdoor entertainment amphitheater.  Rumors say that this may be opening soon since there are now a dearth of locations for the bands to be performing.
The massive Boathouse complex.
Their website describes 3 bars and live music here.
In the same complex, more venues around the extreme eastern tip of the Island.
And one more view looking back to the west!
And back on the West Side, a water view of the new Food Truck Park area.  Stay tuned to the Blog for more updates from Pleasure Island!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Club Reports: Independent Bar, The Beacham, Suite B Lounge

Saturday night in the city and with a lot of people attending the UCF football game, downtown wasn't particularly crowded.  But as it often does, our Saturday night began at Independent Bar.
Back in the saddle, DJ Indie John.
Not as packed as it can be, the dance floor was certainly not empty!
The Saturday night format is early to mid 80's New Wave.
The crowd here is always quite interesting to watch while enjoying a frosty cold beverage!
Hadn't dropped by The Beacham in awhile, the home to Hip Hop on Friday & Saturday nights!
DJ D-Strong (The Groove) was in the booth when I first arrived.
The dance floor lacked many participants at this point.
But it would quickly get more interesting!
DJ Richie Rich (House of Blues) taking over around midnight.
Richie Rich goes EDM though tonight at the famous House of Blues Service Industry Night in Lake Buena Vista.  Meanwhile, The Beacham goes EDM this coming Wednesday night for Dutch DJ Fedde Le Grand!
Spotted: MC Viva La Koi (104.5 The Beat Radio)
By now the place had gotten pretty crowded!
Ended the night at favorite Suite B Lounge, the downtown home of Breakbeats!
One half of DJ duo Beat Mavericks was in the booth.
Playing the expected Breaks and some Old Skool including a lot of it off vinyl!
Nice-sized crowd in club!
The dance floor stayed populated!
Spotted: Florida's kings of Breakbeats, Scotty Fraser (Funky Flavor) & Glyn S. Morgan (Future Sound of Breaks).
A good time was had by all!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

PI Update: The Boathouse Now Has A Website

The Boathouse Restaurant which is under construction on Pleasure Island now has its own website which can be located here:
Links within the website are not yet operational but the homepage gives a lot of information of interest!
*  Opening Spring 2015
*  Live music
*  3 bars including the over-water Dock Bar
*  Captain-piloted Italian water taxi with 20 min tour of DS landmarks
*  Guided amphicars
*  Menu is served until 2am
*  Raw bar

This supports our prior published rumor that all venues in Disney Springs must remain open until 2am. That does indicate nightlife because there are relatively few looking for dinner that late. 

Concert Report: Electro Chemical Show (Level Night Club)

Made the drive up to Gainesville last night to attend the Electro Chemical Show at Level Night Club downtown.  Back in the day when I lived in Gainesville, this old building was home to Gator Bumpers, a bumper car fun spot.
Arrived to find DJ Leony (USA) in the booth playing House!
The early crowd was a bit spartan but people kept flowing in.
And the peeps were already dancing!
An overall college-age crowd that you'd expect in Gatorland.
Posing:  DJ Leony & DJ Bacardi, both of Red Coconut Club in Orlando.
Getting ready to come on, DJ Victor Latino (USA).
Dance floor increasingly full!
Getting into Big Room sounds!
Latino resides in NYC but used to live in Orlando and had a mix show on the old 95.3Party (WYPO) station!  He plays in Ibiza on Sunday night.
Great set; getting packed!
You can never go wrong with Go Go girls!
Like I said!
Up next, Audien (USA).
People were dancing all over the club!
Nice scenery for hit Circles!
Audien plays at Venue 578 (formerly Firestone Live) on November 20th.
Crowd maxed out during his set.
Shiny disco balls!
In the club's Black Room and getting ready to come on, DJ duo Cazzette (S).
Sebastian Furrer and Alexander Björklund make up the Swedish duo.
Crowd going crazy for their biggest hit "Beam Me Up".
Dance anywhere you could find a spot!
They would go on to play until 2am.
I think Audien's set was better than Cazzette's set though and the crowd crazier during his music.
At Electro Chemical Show in Gainesville last night, a good time was had by all!