Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Club Reports: Dancing Palace, Panorama Bar, Fun Club, Club 7even, Viking Crown Lounge

Got to experience clubs on three cruise ships this past couple weeks. First ship was the Silja Festival (operated by Tallink) on a 2-night cruise from Stockholm to Riga, Latvia and back. Two clubs on board including the Dancing Palace.
The early club Dancing Palace featured a live show-band playing mostly 60's American (and apparently European) classic songs that we've not heard at home in decades. The dance floor got pretty full and the crowd was enjoying it. Americans on this ship were scarce to be sure as I'm pretty sure everyone was either Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian mixed with a few Swedes.
The band took turns between live dance sets by a dance troup, shown here doing a Lady Gaga number!
The ship's disco is called the Panorama Bar.
DJ Vlad (LV) was playing all Top 40 Dance and then went into a set of Classic Dance music from the 90's and early 00's.
Great lighting and smoke. The dance floor really ebbed and flowed and from song to song could go from full to nearly empty. Good time in here.

By the way, Riga is a great city and far exceeded my expectations.
The second cruise was a genuine party ship. The Viking Cinderella operated by Viking Line is a huge ship holding around 2,500 people that operates 1-night party cruises out of Stockholm to Mariehamn in the Aland Islands. Leaving at 6pm daily and returning before 4pm the following day, the late return allows (mainly) Swedes to party all night and then sleep before returning home. The ship was fully booked and I was told it was a payday weekend so was even more crazy. The stop in Aland which apparently outside the EU allows the ship to offer duty free and there is literally a supermarket on board filled to the rafters with alcohol and cigarettes still-expensive by our standards but dirt cheap for the Swedes. 
The early club on board is called the Fun Club and it has two side-by-side bands taking turns doing sets.

The club and dance floor was mobbed with partiers enjoying the songs sung by two hot blonde Swedish vocalists which ranged from 70's classic rock songs to current Lady Gaga. Quite interesting watching drunk Swedish guys hitting on their drunk female counterparts.
Very large venue with a jammed 3-floor format all under the shiny disco ball.

Let me tell you; this ship is all about getting drunk and hooking up! Americans on board are a novelty.
Then it was on to CLUB7EVEN, the ship's cave-like disco.
It too was jammed as DJ Peo Wahlin (S) pumped out current and recent Top 40 Dance along with House, Trance and Classic Dance. The DJ was really into the music he was playing!
The lighting was not as impressive as the Festival but the low ceiling and rather narrow configuration made for a complete white-out whenever the fog machine was pumping!
Have to highly recommend this ship for an incredible experience!
The Viking Crown Lounge is a staple on all Royal Caribbean ships including Vision of the Seas. However, on most RCI ships the lounge is just a lounge but on Vision-class ships it also serves as the ship's disco. This was a 4-night sailing to Tallinn, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia.
First visit found the dance floor rather deserted as I listened to an unexpected 45-minute set of Latin music.
DJ Patrick Jerry (DK) worked from a second floor perch overlooking the club.
However, the elevator opened up and out poured a huge group that went right onto the dance floor and he switched it over to Top 40 / Dance! For the next several hours the floor stayed full as he stayed with the popular music format.
They did a 70's night on the sailing's final night and none other than the Village People happened to be on board to perform some of their classic songs!
The 70's Night event began in the ship's atrium but then moved up to the Viking Crown Lounge where a large contingent of fans followed.
After surprise guest's Abba did a couple songs, the DJ stuck with 70's classics mixed with a few 80's for the next couple hours and the place stayed full. No Hip Hop on three ships in a row! Bon Voyage indeed!!

PI Update: Adventurers Club Sign Removed!

Save Pleasure Island Blog roving reporter William reports that the Adventurers Club sign that was directly above the entry walkway has been removed! Unfortunately download prohibitions on this cruise ship will prevent me from posting the picture he provided.

This is a real puzzler in that the most recent rumor has AC returning so why take the sign off? On the other hand, the prior rumor had clubs returning with different formats, although they could be similar. So perhaps the AC is returning but with a new name and/or a new format!  Once again, stay tuned!!

Upcoming EDM Concert Calendar

Here's an updated listing of EDM events taking place around Orlando in the near future. After a fairly slow summer which followed the Electric Daisy Carnival over Memorial Day weekend, the schedule is beginning to fill up again.



Sunday, August 28, 2011

PI Update: Will Our Dream Come True?

For over two years Blog readers kept the faith that their beloved Island would return in some form. The seemingly disasterous announcement last Fall about Hyperion Wharf was good in that Disney finally announced something about the Island but was overall really bad news because all sources were reporting that HW included restaurants and shops but no clubs. At that point the best we could hope for was a restaurant or two that offered adult dance entertainment in some form later in the evening. Rock'n'Roll Beach Club and club Motion came down and the new pathway construction began. But then suddenly everything came to a stop!

The Blog reported in April from a credible source that Hyperion Wharf was put on hold indefinitely and there would be no more demolitions. The source also stated specifically that PI management had toured all the old club buildings to determine the condition because they had a new plan; third parties could reopen the old clubs as clubs if that's what they wanted. The clubs would have to be different from what was there previously. But they could be similar. Apparently there are third party operators who are interested in clubs for Pleasure Island where seemingly few to none were interested in more restaurants.

Subsequently we published the Construction Permits for the existing club buildings and things are happening. Were the permits merely to take existing signs with the old names down? It's possible but they've had three years to accomplish that when suddenly they're all coming down...now...subsequent to our highly-sourced rumor about reopenings with different club names. We have Tom Staggs posting on the Disney Parks Blog a few days about several incredible new projects coming including to Downtown Disney.

Unfortunately the computers on board this ship won't allow me to download the latest PI pics so they will have to wait. But right now as we approach the 3rd Anniversay of the closing of Pleasure Island we appear to be on the cusp of the best news ever. So we have reason to continue to hang in there!

Friday, August 26, 2011

One Cruise Down, Two To Go

Greetings from Stockholm! No worries about Irene here as I·m cruising in the Baltic. Just off the ship Silja Festival and a 2-nite cruise to Riga, Latvia. If I can get internet access on the next ship then I will post club pictures including updated club pictures from beautiful Pleasure Island, thanks to the Blogs roving reporters.

As has been reported in the comments, the Soundstage sign has been removed off the front of that building, one of the two remaining Comedy Warehouse signs has been removed and the neon has been taken off the Mannequins marqee. I personally think the entire marquee is not coming down but only the Mouse knows and he aint talking. And as you may already know, Tom Staggs posted on the Disney Parks Blog that there will be announcements about Downtown Disney in the weeks and months ahead! Things are happening and I have a lot of hope the the news will be better than Hyperion Wharf!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nadia Ali With DJ's Leony, Sultan & Ned Shepard

My favorite Dance music singer by far is Nadia Ali. So when I heard that DJ Leony (Latin Quarter, Sirius/XM BPM, RadioDanz.com, Club 23) got to hang with her at the recent DJ Expo in Atlantic City, I absolutely had to post this picture!

I got to see Nadia perform in Toronto a couple months ago when she opened for DJ David Guetta. Singing and dancing with her long dark hair, black leather outfit and 5" tall Louboutin's, she looked stunning! In the picture above she teamed up with DJ's Sultan & Ned Shepard as they played instruments to iiO's Rapture. Nadia was one half of iiO.

The trio have performed together this year after producing Nadia's Call My Name performed here, which went to Number 5 on the U.S. Dance chart.
EDITORS NOTE: I will be taking a couple cruises this week and hope to be able to post ship dance club reviews, depending on internet availability. Our roving reporters are on the ground to cover PI and updates will be posted here on the Blog.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Club Reports: Vintage, Vixen, Central Station, Suite B Lounge, Independent Bar

A beautiful Saturday night to wander around downtown Orlando! First stop Vintage Lounge.

On the boards DJ Dominick Morrison (Mannequins, Vixen, Sky 60) spinning mostly Top 40 dance music, predominantly with videos. Dominick confirms he will be back at EPCOT on New Years Eve spinning more Top 40 Dance from under the smoke-belching dragon at China! DJ Mark Sanchez has been confirmed again for EPCOT Italy on NYE.

One of a couple of large groups of dancers inside Vintage last night.
As I watched just a flood of people kept coming into the club. Had to be the largest crowed I've experienced in there. Great music, good sound system, lots to look at!

I then slid next door to neighbor Vixen Lounge. Wish they would find a way to allow a person carrying a drink to go back and forth between the two.

Over here it was guest DJ Dave Cannalte (Mannequins, Aahz) putting out Progressive House!

Vixen is deep but narrow and it was as crowded as I've seen it too! No one was really dancing during my visit with the small dance floor near the DJ booth simply used for standing around and talking.

Added to our "another one bites the dust" category this week is Central Station Bar. While not a dance club, it seemed to be always jammed with patrons both inside and out on the sidewalk tables. I guess not enough patrons though.

Looking for Electronic Dance Music, you can always count on Suite B Lounge.

An assortment of DJ's this evening including J13/Jason Carr, Ambition & Sisco.

The place wasn't exactly crowded but there were pockets of people throughout. The House/Dance mix was cranked up loud and there was a lot of energy in the room!

Spotted: DJ Intrikit. She had played earlier on but I unfortunately did not get to hear her :-(
I think the Endent Bar name must be a permanent thing now!

DJ Indie John overseeing the action from his booth high above the dance floor.

And another jammed Saturday night crowd.

Saturday night means early to mid-80's New Wave/Old Wave.

And a good time was had by all. Love that silver metallic!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

PI Update: And Then There Were None

The remaining letters from the marquee in front of Mannequins were removed overnight. So now we just have a Dance Palace! SPI Blog roving reporter William also says that black material has been placed on bottom windows of the 8TRAX stair tower facing the Waterfront. You used to be able to peer into the dark club and see the junk piled up in the faint interior lighting. But now it's blocked!

Club Report: Atlantic Dance Hall

Atlantic Dance Hall on a Friday night during tourist season. Ought to be packed with Disney guests but the place does not get advertised so unless you're staying at one of the nearby hotels, you just don't know about it!
DJ Tony Z (Planet Hollywood, Paradiso 37) at the helm playing nearly an all-request music format.

He played two EDM segments; an early dance classics medley (Darude's Sandstorm, etc) and later a string of more current Dance hits (LMFAO, Afrojack, Laidback Luke, etc) Dancers were bouncing! He also played a couple early 80's Old Wave hits that got the dance floor so full that he ended up playing a set of five 80's songs in a row. I felt like was in I-Bar!!

Atlantic Dance Hall is so huge that it rarely looks crowded.

But it had its moments!

Free admission attracts a lot of Disney CM's at times.

Dawn! (8TRAX, Motion, Mannequins)

Atlantic Dance Hall is located at Disney's Boardwalk Resort and is open nightly except Sunday/Monday. With PI clubs closed, it remains the only dance club on Disney property actually operated by Disney.