Wednesday, March 31, 2010

PI Update

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in the low 80's today so what better place to spend some time than Pleasure Island. Crowds were pretty brisk in both directions as they wandered through looking for something to do.

What luck! I got to attend the 6:30pm edition of Celebrate Tonight. DJ Lon on the ground had a really difficult time getting participants to....participate. He kind of forced the girls (pictured above left) to do the Electric Slide. As the next song began and Lon looked away, they fled! A few volunteers did come forward (pictured above right) for a combo Cupid Shuffle/Twist song. A few people stood around to watch but for this show most people kept walking.

Over on the West Side the new Ridemakerz store opened last week. It's a place for mostly boys to admire real race cars and then make one of their own, customized to their liking. Girls have had Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique so now boys have something. The store is located in the lower level of what used to be the Virgin Megastore. The store is temporary although it could stay open indefinitely if business is good and no one else wants the space. Appears to be a winner!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Reports from Ultra

Close to 100,000 people attended Ultra Music Festival, which wrapped up early Sunday morning in downtown Miami. Here are links to a couple Reviews from the Miami Herald:


Sinclar vs Guetta

DJ Robbie Rivera Interview:

And from YouTube, DJ David Guetta in concert:

Guetta is arguably the world's hottest DJ right now, coming off his two 2009 hits with Akon (Sexy Bitch) and Kelly Rowland (When Love Takes Over). I've made the point on the Blog several times that various music types are merging and certainly Guetta is helping bring Hip Hop and House together. In this video, listen how he blends the Low Low Low song (applebottom jeans) into his medley. This merging and the fact 100,000 people would attend Ultra is evidence of the return of Electronic Dance Music. This may not be the pure EDM you remember but this is what Mannequins was playing a lot of during the final years. Including hip hop remixes in his lineup, DJ Peapod was ahead of the curve. Below, backed with vocals from Fergie, Guetta merges Soul, Hip Hop, a little Rap and House (WOW):

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Club Reports: ADH & CityWalk

Atlantic Dance Hall wasn't all that crowded last night for a Saturday evening during Spring Break. I know a lot of the regulars including ADH DJ's and techs were down at Ultra Fest in Miami. ADH is so huge that unless there are a LOT of people there, it appears emptier than it is. DJ Pat was spinning the hits. These two Mouseketeers visiting from Virginia went to Pleasure Island earlier in the evening, only to learn that the clubs had closed. I'm told by cast members still working on the island that the "what time do the clubs open" question is still heard nightly.

Things were more lively over at Universal CityWalk. The band 3 Doors Down played for Mardi Gras at Universal Studios and a lot of fans stayed-over for the clubs. The Groove was packed as DJ AJ spun mostly hip hop again. OMG, I ran into two 8TRAX girls I had not seen since PI closed!

Latin Quarter was packed as well. DJ Leony (Sirius 36/XM 81 BPM) was back in charge, leading the way with mostly Latin rhythms but also some great Top 40 and House!

Red Coconut Club was absolutely jamming last night and also Thursday night when I was in there. Mostly Top 40 and even the Hip Hop that gets played is of the Top 40 variety. DJ Doc (The Groove 80's Night/8TRAX) was there last night, DJ G-Clef (Celebrate Tonight) led Thursday night.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

PI Closure - 1.5 Year Anniversary

September 27, 2008 to March 27, 2010.
What do those dates mean? It means today is the 1-1/2 year anniversary of the clubs closing on Pleasure Island. One and a half years of nothing! Paradiso 37 is a nice edition. The new patio of Sosa Cigars is nice. The new boat ramp is handy. But there is NOTHING new in any of the buildings that closed one final time to the public on that fateful night. Anyone there on Final Night?


Friday, March 26, 2010


They're going to be filming Ellen television programs this Sunday at Universal CityWalk. As you can see, filming is Sunday and the shows will air on April 1st & 2nd. You can come out and be in the audience. There is also an Ellen merchandise cart!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

PI Update: 8TRAX

Sources say that the downstairs bar inside 8TRAX has been removed. This is the bar directly across from the entrance pictured to your left.

8TRAX is also currently being used to store clothing and other merchandise for the new D-Street/Vinylmation store opening soon in Downtown Disney West Side.

Elsewhere, the new Ridemakerz store opens tomorrow on the West Side featuring 12 life size car models.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gay Days & Disney

The 2010 Gay Days are not far off, taking place this year June 1-7. What is different is that since Pleasure Island clubs are no longer there, not as many events take place on Disney property anymore. In fact, the official hotel this year is over at the Doubletree Hotel on International Drive. Sure, there are still the popular Gay Day events at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. And yes, there is going to be a pool party at Typhoon Lagoon this year. But if you look at the event list you'll see that most of the pool parties, comedy shows and the film festival are all over at the hotel on I-Drive. No disrespect to the DJ's listed to spin, but I've never heard of any of them.

OneMightyWeekend this year appears to have been replaced with OneMightyReunion. Their event actually does take place on Disney property at the Buena Vista Palace June 4-7. So far the listing is just for pool parties at the hotel. I'm not familiar with any of the DJ's on their list either.

With the economy in the tank, apparently no repeat of World Vibe Orlando (which got cancelled last year) or Gay Day Reborn, the last dance club event ever at Motion. (See blog photos last June)

It's not likely that Gay Days will ever completely disassociate itself from Disney but there is a gap that is widening. Pleasure Island was a huge draw to stay at DTD hotels. My recollection of the 2009 advertising for Gay Days is that they still listed the clubs, not realizing they had been closed the prior September. I have my doubts that Celebrate Tonight is going to have the same pulling power.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ultra Music Festival This Coming Weekend

Ultra Music Festival (aka UltraFest) takes place this coming Friday and Saturday in downtown Miami. It's the world's largest techno music festival and every DJ who's anybody will be attending if not performing. DJ Deadmau5 (CDN) is the headliner Saturday night.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Club Report: The Groove

The Groove was crowded last night but it just wasn't packed like we saw two weeks ago when Akon was the guest singer at Universal Studios Mardi Gras celebration. Country singer Miranda Lambert just does not draw as diverse or as partying of a crowd. But all the CityWalk clubs had long lines well beyond midnight. Saturday night resident DJ AJ led the mostly Hip Hop song selection although I did harass him because he actually tossed a few techno songs in there! ! With no competition from Disney, Universal pretty much has the tourist market to itself.

Club Report: Atlantic Dance Hall

Also stopped by Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's Boardwalk Resort on Friday night. There were actually more people in there than these pictures would lead you to believe. But kind of a disappointing-sized crowd considering it's spring break. Since ADH is not advertised except to people staying in Boardwalk/Swan/Dolphin hotels, people just don't know about it and that's a shame. DJ Tony Z played mostly Top 40 videos and at one point, a whole medley of Mannequins hits!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Harry Potter Announcement Coming

Universal Orlando Resort will announce the official grand opening date for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter this coming Thursday. The much-anticipated ride at Islands of Adventure theme park will have a soft opening before that meaning visitors to the park before the official date, likely within the next few weeks, will randomly find the ride open. This ride presents new theme park ride technology never seen before. Supposedly the pre-show as you move through the queues will also be incredible. Wizarding World, Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket and a much-revived CityWalk are all examples of the direction Universal is going to satisfy all ages of customers. not just families with little kids. Not to be outdone, Disney announced Sunday that the new Ridemakerz store in Downtown Disney West Side will open this Thursday. It will occupy part of the former Virgin Megastore location.

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PI Update: Latest Rumors

Island sources say that Rock'n'roll Beach Club and Motion will be the first two clubs to be demolished so that the new walkway direct to DTD Marketplace can be built. Supposedly RRBC would have already come down earlier this year but a subcontractor fell through. Still hearing of a "lighthouse" style restaurant/bar getting built along this pathway. Other rumors reported previously here on the Blog remain in effect; AC & BET buildings will also come down while the Manneqins, 8TRAX and Comedy Warehouse buildings remain standing. One of our Save Pleasure Island roving reporters spotted a large crane at Motion around 2am Friday morning however another source says nothing was being removed; it was just there to pressure wash the building.

It was a beautiful spring evening in Orlando so what better place to spend it than Pleasure Island. And what a great evening to watch the 10:30pm edition of Celebrate Tonight!

DJ Hollywood Bob led the festivities and he did a good job. One cannot measure the joy that has been brought to the island since they closed the clubs and created Celebrate Tonight. Just look at all the smiling faces.

And look at all the empty parking spaces on a Friday night. Not sure how long CT will continue. Supposedly the DJ contract ends in October however the demolition of BET/AC will create the need for construction walls and it seems that would divert pedestrian traffic across the part of Celebration Plaza where CT now takes place. And the latest DTD Guide Map no longer lists CT. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Pictured here taking a camera shot of guests at his patio table, former Mannequins bartender Bobby C was spotted at Kouzzina, the new Cat Cora restaurant at Disney's Boardwalk Resort. When PI closed Bobby transferred to Spoodles which ultimately closed and was remodeled into Kouzzina. It's become a very popular restaurant featuring Greek/Mediterranean/American cuisine. Reservations are needed if you want to get in. Tell them you want Bobby C!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Club Reports: CityWalk (St. Patrick's Day)

Don't recall ever visiting CityWalk on a Wednesday night but it was St. Patrick's Day so I wanted to check it out. The only real acknowledgment of the holiday was at Pat O'Brien's, which was fenced-off for their own paid-admission party. They had a live rock band playing what to me is best described as noise. If anyone attended, was it worth the price?

Red Coconut Club had a decent little crowd dancing to mostly Top 40. This bachelorette was showing off her ass' last few days of freedom.

It wasn't crowded in The Groove but the crowd size waxed and waned throughout the evening. Heard a lot of the same songs in TG as I did up at RCC.

The band Blue Stone Circle was playing a lot of 8TRAX songs over at Margaritaville. The tables were full, the bar was full and even the dance floor had some people on it! PS-The frozen drinks at Fat Tuesday are awesome! Just $7 and you can elect an extra shot of 151 for just $1. The shot comes in its own shooter tube, plopped upside down right into your Squishee.