Tuesday, June 5, 2018

PI Update: What WAS Pleasure Island:

As we approach 10 years from the date Pleasure Island died, I thought it appropriate to explain just what Pleasure Island was.  I get the "what was Pleasure Island" question often from people who didn't live here or were too young to have ever gone.

Back in the 80's, Disney used to watch guests by the hundreds leave property at night to head to downtown Orlando for nightlife. So they decided to do something about it and that something was Pleasure Island. It consisted of 5 highly-themed dance music clubs and 2 adult comedy clubs. A multi-club Pass got you admission to all the venues; it was club-hopping to the max.  Sadly, Disney closed it all down in September, 2008.

Mannequins Dance Palace: Featuring "techno music" (House, Trance & Dance) and one of the world's few revolving dance floors, this club had been operating at PI since the very beginning. It was world famous and it was the crown jewel in Disney's nightclub collection.

8TRAX: Originally featuring just 70's disco music, it evolved to also include early 80's MTV hits. It had been operating successfully since 1994 when it replaced The Cage which played progressive music. When PI opened, the club was called Videopolis East which played new wave.

BET Soundstage Club: A multi-level club featuring Hip Hop music and some old school, this club had been operating since 1998 when it replaced the Neon Armadillo country music club.

Motion: The largest dance floor on PI was home to Top 40 videos which by its very nature is a lot of Hip Hop music and contemporary hits. This club opened in 2001, replacing PI's second attempt at country music called The Wildhorse Saloon. Despite the popularity of country music, neither country venue sold enough drinks to remain in business.

Comedy Warehouse: An improv comedy club featuring no doubt the best comedians in Orlando. The shows developed out of interaction with the audience, meaning every show was different.

Adventurers Club: A 1930's style British/South African explorer's club was comedy presented in a most unique setting and manor that was next to impossible to put into words. 

Rock'n'Roll Beach Club closed in February, 2008 which predated the announcement that all of the clubs were closing by 4 months.  As the name described, it featured live Rock bands inside. Prior to it becoming RRBC, it opened as XZFR Rockin' Rollerdrome, a club that played Rock music while patrons roller-skated around the place as they drank alcoholic beverages. XZFR didn't last long!

And that my friends, was Pleasure IslandRIP.


Anonymous said...

Before Wildhorse Saloon, this area was a BBQ restaurant called Fireworks Factory. It had a unique, un-Disney, like feature, with a 1 way mirror which allowed guys, while they stood at the urinals, to look out at the bar section of the place.

Anonymous said...

You forgot Pleasure Island Jazz Co.

KingBob said...

Fun information about Fireworks Factory.....thanks!

I deliberately left out Pleasure Island Jazz Company since it had closed in 2002, well before the demise of everything else.