Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's New On The Island? Nothing.

So what's new on Pleasure Island? Well since my last visit, nothing. I was able to catch last night's 9:30pm presentation of Celebrate Tonight. It was as sorry as ever. I really feel bad for the DJ's who have to attempt to create fun where there is none by asking who has something to celebrate?. "OK, who's got a birthday this summer? Who has a new car? Who just got relief from their hemorrhoids?" Eventually DJ G-Clef was able to gather a dozen victims, er, I mean patrons, and get them to perform the old cruise ship classic, Five Cents, Ten Cents, Fifteen Cents, A Dollar. A small crowd gathered, some ran away when called and most just kept walking.

They are using the monitors to play music videos between Celebrate Tonight sets. CM's hide in the hut and at show time the doors and windows flip open and out they come like a knocked-over mound of fire ants.

Hey, it was good to see John from Mannequins tending bar at Laffers Cantina!

Meanwhile, the tethered balloon ride soared past the closed SoundStage Club. (The balloon ride is actually on the WestSide of DTD, not on PI.)

So if you haven't been out to the island lately, you've now seen what you're missing. Nothing.

Monday, July 27, 2009

So What Happened to Those PI Announcements?

^CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE The original mission of this Blog was to try to save Pleasure Island. We had the on-line petition and provided addresses and e-mail addresses for a letter-writing campaign. It didn't do any good so the goal then shifted to keeping you informed on the latest island news....including rumors. As you know, it appeared imminent that there was going to be some announcements. Actually there were to be two press releases. The source of the rumor was a poster on the WDW Magic forums. This is what he posted:

Many BIG changes at DTD. Look, layout and feel of areas will change completely. Sorry, ad club and BET gone for good. Look for cool F&B options. Staff changes too. AND
Two press releases coming soon.

Based on his posting history and fairly good history of accuracy, we went with this and informed you of same. I speculated that one announcement was going to be about PI, the other was to be about the Beastly Kingdom addition to Disney's Animal Kingdom. Then there was an interview with Jason Surrell over on the Mouse Planet website. He was quoted as saying:

I’m going right into Star Wars Weekends, which begin later this month. I’m writing and directing some shows for that. I’m also working on developing some live entertainment for our new cruise ships, the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy. After that, I’m going right into Christmas shows so things are moving along pretty well. I’m also working with Imagineering on the redevelopment of Pleasure Island.

The original poster returned a few days later to say, among other things:

>Not everything new will be 3rd party. The retheming concept sounds cool too. A much better fit. Relaxing. And changes to AMC as well. Will be more like the new theater in Downtown
Orlando. There may be changes to the parking flow as well, for the better.

>Now keep something in mind w/these changes. Try to forget that we'll miss P.I. as it was in it's prime.
>The good news is that the current plans have some fun and innovative concepts, as well as some big names in the restaurant business overseeing them.

The first press release then happened. There were staff changes as he predicted. DTD VP Kevin Lansberry was moved to Animal Kingdom and a new VP named. He just can't say when the next announcement is coming. Speculation now turns to the D23 Expo in Anaheim in September. Many Disney bigshots will be there and they may want to give attendees some exclusives. So stay tuned.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

70's Music at The Groove?

It happened last night at The Groove. Suddenly, without warning, the DJ put on that 70's disco classic "YMCA". The club was pretty crowded at that point and everyone on the floor went into the YMCA routine. Those on the sidelines stopped whatever they were doing and watched. Mind you last night was not 80's Night, it was a Saturday night. Were they just teasing us? Were they simply testing the waters? A few weeks ago Groove management mentioned to me the possibility of adding some 70's music to the Thursday 80's Night mix. I think this helped show that the demand is there!

Flag Counter

I've added a flag list hit counter to the Blog to track where visitors are coming from. I'm only aware of a few international followers so I went with the State Flags. For newcomers, welcome to the SAVE PLEASURE ISLAND blog.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tiësto Returning to Orlando!!!

The world's #1 DJ Tiësto returns to Florida on Friday, October 16 when he brings his Kaleidoscope World Tour to Orlando! The venue has not yet been announced. Also confirmed is Saturday, October 17th in Miami (venue TBA) and Tampa on Sunday, October 18th to Ritz Ybor in Tampa. (1503 E. 7th, Ybor City) He played last fall to a huge crowd at Hard Rock Live at Universal's CityWalk. Hope he plays there again as it's just the right size. HOB is too small.

Vibe Electronic Music Festival Coming Soon

Mark you calendars for Saturday, August 22nd as a large electronic dance music festival is coming to Central Florida. This monster will begin at 1pm and run until 5am the next morning! As you can see from the advert above (click to enlarge), performers include DJ Icey, DJ Baby Anne, DJ Dan, DJ Christopher Lawrence, DJ Mark Sanchez, DJ Richard Humpty Vission and electronic music group Rabbit In The Moon! House, Trance, Techno all the way! Besides Icey and Baby Anne, other Orlando DJ's on the list include Carlos Mendoza, Chad Andrew and Jefferson Funk. I've not yet seen a line-up of start times for the various DJ's.

Presale tickets are just $20 on-line and then $25 once those run out and $30 day of show. This is being held at the Coca-Cola Pavillion in Ormond Beach. This is a large outdoor but awning-covered facility next to Harley Davidson right at the junction of I-95 and US 1.

Disclaimer: I don't know if there is any connection between the organizers of this event and the World Vibe Orlando event a couple months ago which was cancelled at the last minute.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Orlando Club List.........Has Moved!

As new articles are added to this Blog, Orlando Club List kept dropping lower and lower until it was almost invisible. So it has been moved to its own Blog: http://orlandoclublist.blogspot.com
The content of the Save Pleasure Island won't change; this club list will merely be in a separate location by itself, for your safety and convenience.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Observation Deck Opens

Located near the West Side theater complex, a new observation deck has opened so that Downtown Disney patrons can view all the empty comedy and dance clubs on Pleasure Island. The $8 admission fee includes the elevator ride up and down. The price is more economical than the balloon ride. Departing Downtown Disney Vice President Kevin Lansberry was overheard saying he wanted guests to be able to view his legacy.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Club Report: Bliss Ultra Lounge

Saturday nights at Bliss are always advertised as House music nights and last night was no different. What was different was that resident DJ Mickey Bono had the night off and instead DJ Willie Morales was in the House. The place was packed, the dance floor was packed, the VIP areas were packed; it was incredible! Morales is one of the up-and-coming DJ's in Robbie Rivera's Juicy Music venture. The music was pure House, mostly without vocals. But his selections were top notch and he mixed them well. I need to get back to Bliss when Mickey Bono is spinning though.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pleasure Island Announcement Soon?

Save Pleasure Island previously reported that there might be some kind of announcement during July about the future of PI. Nothing so far and just 2 weeks remain. However, sources continue to indicate that something might be announced very soon, perhaps as soon as the beginning of this week.

For those of us that are fans of the comedy and dance clubs (and if you're reading this Blog, that's 100% of us), the tidbits of chatter out there indicate the news won't be good. Apparently there will be two press announcements; the entire look, layout and feel of PI will be changing. Some cool new food and beverage options will be coming. One source says Adventurers Club and Motion are coming down (previously reported here) while another says Adventurers Club and Soundstage buildings are coming down.

At this point even bad news won't faze most of us; we're pretty much resigned to the fact that there won't be anything for us on PI. But we all do want closure; we want to hear about these great things that are replacing our old homes; we want to know what's going to happen to those buildings. Maybe then we can permanently move on. But until there is an announcement, we're holding on to hope that somehow Disney will find a place for us in their future. I do want to point out to play close attention to whether the announcements mention the 8TRAX/Mannequins building. The revolving rumors about PI always leave that building out.

If there are announcements they will be posted here and anyone on my e-mail list will get a BREAKING NEWS e-mail. Stay tuned.
Sunday Update: Apparently there are supposed to be 2 press releases coming; one about the future of Pleasure Island and one about a new Beastly Kingdom section to be built at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. This will feature a new ride called Journey to the Centre of the Earth based on a ride of the same name at Tokyo's DisneySea. Remember, this is a rumor.

Monday Update: Another poster says Motion is coming down to allow for a direct walkway from DTD Marketplace across the Island to West Side. I'm skeptical. Motion is supposedly the only building without a water leak and supposedly it has a kitchen from back when it was the Fireworks Factory. So does it make sense to tear down the one building that could be turned into a restaurant the easiest? Again, just another rumor.

Tuesday Update: The original poster of the detailed rumor we're referring to here also mentioned that Personnel changes were going to happen. Last night Disney announced that our beloved Kevin Lansberry was being moved from VP of Downtown Disney over to become VP of Animal Kingdom. Many blame Lansberry for the demise of Pleasure Island clubs. We don't know how true that is; the decision could have been made much higher up and he had to support it. But there is little proof that he was a supporter of Pleasure Island's comedy and dance clubs!

Friday Update: Well the week has come to a conclusion and the only announcement this week by Disney was the one mentioned above pertaining to Kevin Lansberry. Nothing about Beastly Kingdom, nothing about Pleasure Island. There are a LOT of people waiting for announcements. I'll continue to post the latest rumors!

Friday, July 17, 2009

When Are These Places Open?

Long before CityWalk's food court opened earlier this year, there were 3 fast food windows upstairs near the clubs. They are still there but I've yet to figure out any rhyme or reason as to when they're open. Big Kahuna Pizza seems to open up more often than either Nathan's Famous or Latin Express but one Saturday night I'll find Nathan's open and the next Saturday it's closed. Last night all 3 were closed. Do they just roll dice to decide whether to open or not? Does anyone know?

Club Update: Beautiful night last night in Orlando but the clubs never got packed like they have some recent Thursday nights. Latin Quarter started off very slow considering it was Ladies Night but it did get pretty crowded after 12. 80's Night at The Groove was very slow overall well into the evening; around midnight it too was doing ok but nothing like some of the recent weeks. You could pretty much just walk into the Red Coconut all night.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tori Amos In Concert

Does anyone remember the Tori Amos platform shoe by Steve Madden? Does anyone remember Tori Amos?
Well known for her thought-provoking and sometimes controversial lyrics, she actually recorded some techno/house-beat music back during her more popular years. She's an acquired taste.
Tori Amos will be playing at the Bob Carr Center in downtown Orlando on Tuesday, July 28th.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

DJ Leony At Tabu

Tabu Night Club had limited success with it's Tuesday Global House Nights but now they're going to give Latin Night a try. What's even better is that DJ Leony from Sirius/XM Satellite Radio station BPM, local radio station Mega 98.7 (WNUE) and CityWalk's Latin Quarter is the DJ!! The bad news is that this is on Tuesday nights which definitely limits the potential audience. If anyone gets a chance to check this out, please post in the comments.

En Tabú
Mega Martes de Mujeres en Tabú Meganights... damas entran gratis toda la noche y beben gratis hasta las 12mn. Con la animación en vivo de Franchy y las mejores mezclas de Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Rock en Español, Latin House de DJ Leony. Tabú Orange Ave. Downtown Orlando.

Adventurers Club & Motion To Be Torn Down?

Someone purporting to have inside information reports on the WDWMagic forum that Motion and Adventurers Club are going to be torn down beginning in October. You can read his entire posting (scroll down to Post #702) under the name of Pleasure Island founder Meriweather Adam Pleasure at:

I'm skeptical that this is anything more than just the next rumor, no better (or worse) than all the other ones heard and posted on this Blog. Remember I posted rumors earlier that AC and Motion were going to reopen. If anything was coming down, the Rock'n'Roll Beach Club's building was next. What's also interesting is once again there is no mention of the Mannequins/8TRAX building, the only place not available for private rentals and the only place I was told was "off limits" for anything!

I've sent requests out to some of my sources to see if there is any other information about this rumor. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ibiza Rules!

Is anyone going to Ibiza this summer? While South Beach is the American home of electronic dance music, you'll hear a lot more techno in Europe than you ever will here and during the summer the island of Ibiza is the mecca. Located off the coast of Spain, every big name DJ in the world plays there, either as a weekly resident of one of the clubs listed above or just for a single session. Prices are not cheap; a single club entry can cost €30-50! Drinks run €10 at least. If you're going or if you've ever been, we'd love to hear about it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Club Reports: Downtown Gainesville

It's been many years since downtown Gainesville was a place I used to party in but a trial this week brought me back to Gatorland so I thought I'd check out the local scene. Football season is just around the corner and maybe some of you will be up there. I can definitely tell you that if you're over age 26 or so you're going to feel really old going to most of Gainesville's clubs.

Club life in Gainesville is still mostly downtown, an area of old buildings and mostly closed store fronts. There are some new condos that have been built and there are a lot of restaurants and clubs. There is a new courthouse and a mid-rise Hampton Inn on the way. Even American Apparel has a new store downtown.

The top club from back-in-the-day, Simon's, is no longer there. Housed in an old Main Street theater and entered through an alley in the back, the place looks like it's now called Plasma. Simon's was the place for techno and house and he would bring in DJ's from all over. When most cities in Florida banned "raves", Gainesville still allowed them (until they caught on) and Simon's was the place. Animal House is no longer there either. This was the place for dwarf tossing before that too got banned! But the gay club University Club (UC) is still in business as are Lillian's Music Store, Fat Tuesday and Durty Nellies.

What used to be cities best Top 40 club, Central City is still in it's University Avenue location but is now called :08 and is country. A long line of stylish girls in Abercrombie short shorts and cowbow boots stretched around the corner. Rüe Bar is where Gruv used to be. Other new places include the trendy looking Sharab Lounge on S. Main (dance floor upstairs) and Spannk on SW 1st Street featuring 80's/90's on Thursdays and House on Friday/Saturdays.

Old folks might stick with Lillian's, Dragonfly, Copper Monkey or the bar inside Harry's. As for the trial.....we won! Sweet time in the old city. GO GATORS!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dance Music Makes Gains at CityWalk

It was a weird night at CityWalk last night. The top deck of the parking garage was jammed with people wanting to watch the 10:30pm fireworks show over at Universal Studios. Bob Marley's had an unusually long line while Red Coconut had an unusually short line. Pat O'Brien's had no line. Over at The Groove DJ AJ spun mostly 80's (and not just Michael Jackson) during the first hour before switching over to his more normal Top 40 mix. DJ Leony at Latin Quarter said he was in a crazy mood and played a lot more techno then he normally does. Back at The Groove most of the last half hour was Dance. The hip hop crowd didn't know what to do! It was awesome!

Had the opportunity to chat with management about 80's Night at The Groove and how popular it's become. They agreed. I suggested allowing a little bit of late 70's Disco in the mix and they said they're actually considering that plus a little bit of early 90's too. If they start this and word gets out, look for even more crowded Thursday nights!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Radio Danz

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! I've got to tell you about this fantastic internet dance station I discovered recently. Unlike many internet "techno" stations, this one is 100% pure Dance. Meaning it's that kind of music you would hear at Mannequins were Mannequins still open. Music by big name DJ's plus faster beat-per-minute remixes of Top 40 and hip-hop songs. It's very much like XM81/Sirius 36 BPM but without as much repetition.

The connection to XM doesn't end there though. DJ Armando who used to have the 5pm and 8pm ET shifts at XM81 before he got moved in the Sirius merger, is on Radio Danz at those times with his Addiction show! He has an incredible ear for what's going to become a hit and plays them before you hear them elsewhere. DJ Maxwell House, who was the original Program Director at XM81 when it was first launched is also on Radio Danz with the Danz 20 Countdown.....every Friday night at 6pm ET (repeated Sunday night at 8pm ET). There is also an Orlando connection: Bliss Ultra Lounge's Saturday night DJ Mickey Bono spins on Radio Danz on Friday nights at 9pm ET. He is followed at 10pm by DJ Smooth, also of XM and Orlando.

So if you're on your computer right now reading this, open a new tab and go to http://www.radiodanz.com and give it a try! This station is absolutely awesome....where's that revolving dance floor!

Friday, July 3, 2009

How Much Is That Mannequin In The Window?

This is the proud new owner of the mannequin that was recently offered for sale down at Disney Property Control. Her name is Manny and I understand she was one of the mannequins that dropped down from the ceiling upside down (with glowing eyes) during the Mannequins Medley/Mannequins Lightshow. Congratulations.....and I hope to see her out clubbing soon!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

AC to HKDL & Legoland to Orlando

The internet was abuzz last night with news that Legoland is considering building a new theme park in the Orlando area. According to WESH-TV Channel 2, negotiations for the land that formerly housed the Splendid China park have fallen through but they're still looking at parcels in Kissimmee and near Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven. This would be the 2nd Legoland in the U.S.; the other is in Carlsbad, California. Elsewhere, the original Legoland is in Denmark and there are others in England and Germany. IMO, Winter Haven would be a huge mistake. But put it near Disney and it would do well. Kids love their Legos!

The other news earlier today concerned the expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland. Included is an Adventurers Club Restaurant filled with artifacts from around the world and a gift shop. While skeptics on internet sites say that this is the end "our" Adventurers Club, I'm thinking this could be a prototype of what could come to Pleasure Island. It certainly shows that Disney has an idea of how the AC can generate income and presumably profits. And our AC is nearly ready to go; they just need to build an AC restaurant into what is now Soundstage.