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Old 07-17-2012, 10:36 AM   #1
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new blog: Pleasure Island: Dispelling the Myths

http://www.disunplugged.com/2012/07/...ing-the-myths/
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:35 PM   #2
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Interesting blog and podcast segment. I remember PI well and liked it as a 21 year old (it's where I spent my 21st birthday ... in 1994). Maybe it's a sign of my age, but the idea of PI just doesn't interest me as an adult. Well, let me rephrase - the idea of a DANCE CLUB doesn't interest me. I remember that there were several different dance clubs with different themes (the 70's the 80's, etc.). Were they really that busy? Do you think a dance club like that would be busy today? I have the mental image of a Jersey Shore type of scene which I don't really think is the norm for 20 somethings anymore, is it? Even if it is, that is a small portion of Disney's demographic. The vast majority of club goers tend to go out to interesting bars or venues and aren't wanting the *boom boom boom* beat of a dance club. But again, this could be my age talking.

However, if there were diverse clubs there for live music, comedy, karaoke, etc., I think those clubs could do well for a larger percentage of people. City Walk has a karaoke place. The Boardwalk has Jellyrolls, a duelling piano bar (LOVE this place!). And I know that PI had the comedy club and The Adventurer's Club (yay!), which is more along the lines of places they could have kept.

I guess I wish that they had opened up the area for general all-age foot traffic and kept it family friendly by taking away the alcohol on the "streets" and having it only available in the clubs themselves. In addition, they should have kept the more unique types of clubs (Adventurer's Club, comedy) and an outside music venue with a defined separate area cordoned off from the general foot traffic inside of which they could have controlled the alcohol. Of course there is always the intoxicated person stumbling about the pavement but I would bet that most children have seen that in their own town. I think having more defined boundaries for the clubs and venues would lend itself to a more bar-hopping atmosphere without offending families who were just passing through.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:56 PM   #3
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although I can't confirm it personally, 8-trax is said to have been the highest grossing bar per square foot in the U.S. When I worked there in early 2005, I heard our sales goals each night and results from the night before and they were consistently met or exceeded. Today, 8-trax would continue to do well because its music, 70s and 80s, spans generations. I wasn't even born when Thriller came out, but that doesn't stop my love of it and the same can be said for disco.

Although the clubs might not appeal to everyone, it was an option, a much needed option on Disney property and in addition, they were unique clubs. When RRBC opened it had a roller rink and a huge sort of construction crane thing that moved the DJ all over the place to talk to guests on the mic. Mannequins had the 42 ft rotating dance floor, a multi million dollar light show, and was the only dance club on the island to maintain its original format throughout the life of PI. It's Such a shame, because "dance" music has risen to new heights and Mannequins would have capitalized on that.

Regarding BET and Motion, to me those clubs are a dime a dozen. They didn't offer anything unique in format(especially at the time) or offer anything with the theme or effects.

Of course CW and AC were simply victim to their high operating costs due to the actors and seemingly inability to sell enough alcohol to offset those costs. Yet, a private AC booking AFTER the clubs were closed sold tickets at 250(I think, possibly more) per person and sold out. We've seen the popularity of the AC and CW formats as CW was brought back to DHS last year for a Christmas run.

I understand PI isn't for everyone. Neither are a lot of things on property, but my argument is there needs to be some form of legitimate nightlife district on property. From what I've heard, convention business at Disney is down since PI closed because when looking at the costs and whats available, all they can get now is the Boardwalk, with its perpetual wedding dance club and same songs every night piano bar. Yes, I know it's fun, but once a year is plenty when it comes to that place(in my opinion) PI offered a unique and diverse environment that was easy to get to(and from) each night of your vacation.
Every night guests STILL ask the bartenders on PI what time the clubs open. STILL!!! Even after they removed almost every reference left on the clubs, repainted, etc, people still ask. To me that says something.

So to complete the circle, I simply point out that when it was done RIGHT, PI was VERY popular and there was AND IS still plenty of demand. The island itself had a capacity PLUS the clubs. People would wait in line just to get on the island, nonetheless in the clubs! When they built West Side with no viable option around the island, it started the downfall. Eventually management just simply didn't care about the clubs anymore(and it showed) and strangled the goose until it was dead.

They need to build a nightlife entertainment district on property somewhere. Citywalk is thriving while 1/3 of DTD is empty. I've seen Disney pull amazing light shows and sound systems out of storage for the EPCOT NYE parties. They KNOW how to do it right(and it's all sitting in storage!!!) they just need the right people to be in charge and have the REAL bold new vision.
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