Saturday, July 31, 2010

DJ Austin Leeds in Orlando Tonight

DJ Austin Leeds joins resident DJ Mickey Bono and guest DJ Chad Andrew tonight at Bliss Ultra Lounge in downtown Orlando. They promise that Leeds will actually be there this time! For the best party in Orlando tonight, this is the place to be. The video below shows a typical Saturday night at Bliss.

Friday, July 30, 2010

PI Update: Latest News & Latest Rumors

Tonight's story is a mixture of the latest happenings on Pleasure Island as well as the latest rumors reported to me by PI sources.

First of all, on July 19th Disney filed a construction permit with Orange County for what is only described as "Bridge #1 Improvements". This is the original bridge to PI from was Disney Village. You'll recall several months ago they removed the PI ticket window that used to stand on the island side of the bridge. Now they're going to "improve" the bridge. I have no details. You'll recall prior rumors have a main pathway from Downtown Disney Marketplace curving through the space currently occupied by Motion (which would be demolished) into the heart of PI. Perhaps the improvements have to do with making this 3-section bridge more open.

Speaking of Motion, there are no new rumors about the place and it continues to receive banquet use. Tables were set up in a banquet format and a sign just inside the door referred to some sort of "cool leader" gathering. Would they really demolish this place for a new sidewalk?

But there are fresh rumors about Rock'n'Roll Beach Club. Supposedly construction walls are going up in October, shortly after the British/European tourist season comes to an end. And supposedly RRBC is coming down first! Remember a year ago I reported on a lighthouse bar/restaurant that was going to go up on the waterfront roughly where RRBC and Motion currently come together? Well that rumor is alive again and supposedly that's what's going into that space.

Comedy Warehouse remains hiding behind those bushes and it too is the subject of a new rumor. If you've ever been inside you know the floor slopes downward towards the rear because the seating was in sort of a theater format. Supposedly they're talking about putting a level floor in there so that the building has two stories. Upstairs would be rented out for retail while downstairs would be used for storage. No news about Adventurers Club except that the AC/Soundstage building is still on the list to be demolished. Perhaps it will fall along with RRBC. But AC fans should not fret. Sources say Adventurers Club will be returning to the new land that is definitely going to be built in Animal Kingdom. The plans have already been drawn and interestingly, the very same company has also already drawn the plans for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion at Islands of Adventure! I have no information though on the more important question: When?

Over at Celebration Plaza, lots going on. The Andre Caram Band was back and drew a really large crowd. They're making him out to be the next Justin Timberlake and he just might be. You all can have him though; just leave his female singing partner for me! Expect them to be one of the regular acts on the new Ultra-Lounge stage. Living statutes were back last night and sources say some new ones will be coming in a couple weeks.

Speaking of Ultra-Lounge, the furniture is in. At least some of it. Made of wicker with nice cushions, they currently have the furniture scattered over by Soundstage, Laffers and by the #3 Bridge. The metal tables and chairs remain too and they even moved the sets that had been outside PI Live Bar up to the Plaza. More wicker coming though.

But construction walls were up at Celebration Plaza as well! Remember the Celebrate Tonight crew hut and those two poles with the television monitors? They had planned to leave them there but that's changed. Disney filed a construction permit with Orange County on July 14th and all of that has been removed. Sources say that there will be a small stage built so that the performers will have a permanent place to perform. The stage will be built much closer to the Comedy Warehouse building and once completed, the furniture will be brought together to form the Ultra-Lounge. Makes sense to draw in the crowd to allow others to pass between the lounge and the construction walls that surely will go around Soundstage/Adventurers Club.

That's all I got. Nothing earth-shattering but it seems that we're seeing some progress. No rumors whatsoever about Mannequins or 8TRAX and nothing about Motion.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

PI Rumors

Hello from beautiful Pleasure Island where I'm checking out the latest rumors. I'll get them posted sometime Friday evening!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some Entertainment Ideas For PI

While they try to figure out what to do with Pleasure Island, Marina and her crew have been inserting various entertainment options on the island in a "street scene" type format. Each visit to the Island finds something new. So far I've witnessed the human statues, a few duo and trio bands, a zither player, a folk singer, a flamenco dancer, an oboe player and I forget what else. To help out, I brought back some ideas I saw while wandering the streets of Montreal last Saturday evening. Feel free to use these; happy to help out!


Twins night.

Washed-up singers & people with big heads.
And don't forget Thommy is willing to do The Thriller Dance every half hour.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Save Pleasure Island...........Now or Never!

This Blog has been around for two years now but this past weekend, the one year anniversary of the Flag Counter being added took place. You know how many visitors have been here this past year? 36,000! Mostly from Florida of course but six other states have generated more than 1,000 hits. But now more than ever, we need to come back together and try one more time to get Disney to realize that Pleasure Island is worth returning to its adult roots.

Pleasure Island as we knew it is not coming back. I'll report on the latest rumors later this week. But within the changes that are coming to the island there is room for a comedy club and there is no reason that one or two adult-oriented dance clubs can't reopen.

I don't know how Tom Skaggs feels about Pleasure Island. But the early read on him is that he's very big-picture oriented and that he's willing to change what ain't right. His office address and email address was posted in the Comments of yesterday's article but I'll repeat both here:

Thomas O. Staggs
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
c/o Team Disney Building
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank CA 91521-4873

The chances are slim and some of you believe impossible. That may be correct. But is it worth a few minutes of your time to write the guy and tell him how you feel? We need every reader to take a few minutes to do this. If you read this Blog it's because you care about Pleasure Island. If you read this Blog it's because you miss Pleasure Island. If you read this Blog it's because you want to return to Pleasure Island. A regular letter would be great but nowadays email is perfectly acceptable. My suggestions:

1) Be polite. Anger is just going kill this campaign. Don't be rude or crude.
2) Tell him why PI was so great and why some of it needs to be returned.
3) Ask him to reconsider the closure and bring some of the old PI back again.
4) Include your real name, mailing address and phone number so that they know you're a real person. Surprisingly, a lot of people get contacted by Disney when they write in.

Every reader please. We need everyone. Pass this around to everyone you know that loved PI. It's now or never!

Monday, July 26, 2010

PI Update: Can This Man Save Us?

© 2010 Walt Disney Company (
If there is any hope, any hope at all, of one or more of the comedy and dance clubs ever reopening on Pleasure Island, that hope may lie in the hands of this man. His name is Thomas O. Staggs and he is the new Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. This past January he swapped jobs with Jay Rasulo with Rasulo taking over Staggs' former position of Chief Financial Officer. When it comes to names behind the PI closing, Rasulo is often mentioned along with Kevin Lansberry, then head of Downtown Disney. Supposedly Staggs is being groomed to run the entire company some day. And apparently, he's not afraid to reverse prior decisions.

I previously commented that you all need to read the article at about possible changes being made to the huge Fantasyland expansion taking place at the Magic Kingdom. According to the article, Rasulo in his former-position announced all those plans without permission of the Disney Board of Directors. While there were some really cool things in the expansion plans, the most persistent criticism of the entire project was that there were too many fairy meet-n-greets and everything was way too little-girl-centric. In other words, nothing for boys! Well now that Staggs is in charge, Jim Hill indicates that changes are afoot and that Staggs has said that Disney needs to take "an all things to all people" approach to the expansion. That means that changes may be made to give the expansion more appeal to boys. I don't think there is any doubt that Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a category-killer when it comes to boys of all ages. Legoland in Fall, 2011 is going to steal another day from Disney for kids of both sexes!

But what's important here is not the girls or the boys or whatever. What is key to me here is that:

1) Staggs obviously sees the big picture. You've got to be all things to all people and you can't ignore any niche. Does anyone know of a major niche now being ignored? The ones with the money? The ones here without kids? The ones here with kids but who would like a night out on their own? The ones both on and off property for a meeting or convention with nothing to do but money to burn? Anyone recognize that niche?
2) Staggs apparently is not afraid to reverse a decision. Even a well-publicized decision. If it's wrong, reverse course and correct it.

Can this man save us? I don't know. But if Jim Hill is correct then he may be the man to ask to reverse course and correct things on Pleasure Island. Tom Staggs....remember that name. (More tomorrow)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Club Reports: Funkytown (Montreal)

Montreal is always listed among the cities that knows how to party. So I could not pass up the chance to check it out for myself. I researched the hundreds of options here and settled on five that I wanted to check out last night. I never made it beyond the third club though. Electric Avenue was 80's all night and was crowded early on. Seven Night Club was advertised as House music but it was all Hip Hop. And then there was FunkyTown!

This place is 8TRAX and then some. A mix of ages where everyone knows the words. Hadn't heard a lot of these songs since the club on Pleasure Island closed. But what really made this place you can see....was the lighted dance floor. Now that's Disco! Even 8TRAX didn't have that. But even better, after playing about ten songs or so from the 70's, the DJ would play three or four classic Dance songs from the early 00's. Think radio station 95.3 Party when it played the hot Dance format. Awesome club from which I never left. If I ever open my own dance club it's going to have one of these floors!
My only complaint and I've noticed this at clubs throughout Canada. When they pour drinks, they use some kind of limiter/governor that the drink gets poured through. This limits the bartender to exactly one shot and thus lousy drinks. Another interesting fact: the drinking age in Quebec is 18.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Club Report: Atlantic Dance Hall

Quick visit Friday night to Atlantic Dance Hall to see a bunch of Mannequins friends. DJ Tony Z was on duty which meant it was going to be a fun night with his mostly Top 40 format. Large group in the club kept the dance floor pretty full. ADH remains the only Disney-run dance club in the World. Admission is free!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Club Reports: CityWalk

When I have to work on Fridays I only get to enjoy 80's Night at The Groove until midnight. Last night I didn't get to enjoy it at all because the club was rented for a private event. You know all those teens from Brazil you've seen running around Disney World? Well they've been at Universal too and last night they had The Groove rented out until 12. Pictured outside are DJ Doc and manager Ian waiting their turn to get inside and get things going.

The Red Coconut had a moderate crowd but I'm sure it picked up later because a lot of people were coming in as I departed. Latin Quarter was crowded from early-on and I hear it got really crowded after twelve.

DJ King led another line dance session on the main stage. Harry Potter continues to draw masses and masses of people to the new attraction. I saw lots of people carrying those darn wands!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

PI Update: Motion Banquet Use

Well it was only Tuesday night and I was bored, so I figured what better place to be bored than beautiful Pleasure Island.

As you can see from these fresh photos, Motion is definitely still available for use as a banquet facility. The tables and chairs are all set up and there are also some "greeter" tables up near the front. Last month we saw Motion set-up in a Dance Club format with the famous DJ booth making an appearance.

Elsewhere, nothing new on the Island. I got confirmation that there is a third "living statue" but unfortunately he was not out tonight. One person told me he was a guardian angel, the other referred to him as a superhero. At Celebration Plaza there was a trio from Venice, Italy playing classic music with oboe and violins. Not my cup of tea but they had quite a few people watching. Save PI Blog roving reporter Tommy reports that a different band trio last night actually had people dancing out there! Sounds promising for the ultra-lounge. Meanwhile, roving reporter William reports some fresh paint work on Mannequins but I didn't notice anything.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Eat To The Beat At EPCOT

Disney announced their pretty impressive lineup of upcoming Fall evening concerts. Admission to EPCOT is required. The concerts take place everyday at the American Gardens Theater in World Showcase with 3 one-hour sets per night at 5:15pm, 6:30pm and 7:45pm. Here's the schedule:
18-19 EXPOSE'
20-21 38 SPECIAL
08-09 HANSON

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Save Pleasure Island Editorial

When are heads finally going to roll at Pleasure Island? We are rapidly approaching the 2-year anniversary of the PI clubs closing yet we see no action being taken to create any new vision for our Island. As I circulated around crazy crowded Universal CityWalk last night, I remained in disbelief that Disney gave away this huge adult customer base to their major competitor!

I know they had a plan and it fell through because of the economy. I know their plan was supposed to generate more net income than the clubs did. I get that. But their failure to take any significant action to remedy the financial bleeding taking place cannot be excused. Living statues and small bands are cute but they hardly make up for what Pleasure Island used to represent. I'm looking forward to the so-called outdoor ultra-lounge but why in the world do you put your Guests out in the humidity and rain when vacant air-conditioned buildings stand right behind?

Packed among the masses last night, I commented to CityWalk general manager Jim Henson that they were really raking it in with PI closed. He just gave me a shit-eating grin. Disney's best kept secret? It ain't timeshares. It's when the hell are they going to take some real action out there!

Club Reports: The Groove & Red Coconut Club

It had been awhile since I was out at CityWalk on a Saturday night. I'd forgotten just how packed it gets on a summer weekend evening. And the final night of the summer concert series brought out even more people. DJ AJ at The Groove had a jammed dance floor to work with, playing his usual mix of Top 40 & Hip Hop. He played Alexis Jordan's Happiness for me! Thanx, AJ.

Over at Red Coconut Club the girls were tall and with their heels even taller as DJ Doc Wells (8TRAX, 80's Night at The Groove) played a similar Top 40 & Hip Hop mix between band sets and after the band ended. Dresses ruled the night! Regina, who used to be a club supervisor over at Atlantic Dance Hall spotted me on the dance floor and updated me on her life. Great to see her!

Meanwhile outdoors, a couple witches were spotted leaving Wizarding World of Harry Potter while a hard rock band played to a large crowd on the CityWalk Stage. Universal has no problem offering free entertainment to those passing through. Celebrate the night!
REMINDER: Free CityWalk Party Pass coupons are available at: