Tuesday, November 28, 2017

PI Update: Remembering Celebrate Tonight

This past weekend's Blog article spoke of a couple of musical entertainment acts that still take place in Disney Springs, many years after the nightclubs closed. Shortly after the clubs were closed and before those musical entertainment acts were established, there was a different filler of nighttime entertainment on Pleasure Island and it was based on Disney's "Celebrate Today" advertising theme of 2009.
It was called "Celebrate Tonight".  The night of September 28, 2008 was an unusual night on beautiful Pleasure Island. It was the first night that there were no clubs open, it was off-season and thus it was mostly empty. Those traversing the Island reported an eerie feeling. Crickets could be heard chirping. An unanticipated development of the club-closings had immediately surfaced; the silence was scary! Something had to be done.
Beginning in April of 2009, Celebrate Tonight actually began in the afternoon and carried into the night.  It initially began with just these kiosks placed in West End Plaza between Comedy Warehouse and BET Soundstage Club.
A few months later a hut would join the operation. West End Plaza would become Celebration Plaza.
DJ's and dance staff were hired. Initially the process involved stopping passers-by and asking them, on microphone, "What are you celebrating?" Invariably most people weren't celebrating anything and the conversations often went nowhere. Some people literally ran when approached! It was excruciatingly painful to watch. The Blog asked one of the GSM's out there about Celebrate Tonight and his response was the PI transition was taking longer than anticipated and guests were complaining about the empty space. LOL.
During the 14 months of Celebrate Tonight's existence, the spiel evolved into games, music and line dances. There could be decent crowds in-season and on peak nights but my experience was that passers-by pretty much just passed-by!
There were stilt-walkers!
Celebrate Tonight took place on cold days in winter as well as the hot sweltering days in summer. There were cancellations only for rain (and once for snow!).  The staff did all they could to make it a success, such as DJ Willie (USA) pictured above.
But it was a flawed idea and Disney mercifully ended the nightly event in June, 2010. On the closing night, DJ G-Clef (USA) above hosted the evening as time ran out.
And unlike when Pleasure Island itself closed, there were no huge crowds; there was no Save Celebrate Tonight Blog, there was no mourning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ugh I remember well that nightmare.
Talk about totally terrible..

You had DJ's and actor's who jobs had been ripped out from them.
Then there asked to come back to a "dead" island and try to salvage what was left..

All cause bean counters kept freaking out.