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Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

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  • Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

    There has been a lot of change throughout the life of Pleasure Island, which at times has featured nightly New Year's Eve celebrations, West End Stage shows, roller skating, line dancing and jazz rather than Irish jigs.
    But through it all, that big wheel of a dance floor has kept on turning at Mannequins Dance Palace since P.I. opened in 1989. It's simple, but it's something folks don't see every day: a 40-foot diameter Lazy Susan, set to a dance beat.
    It's also a crowd-pleaser. The ratio of dancers to nondancers may be higher at Mannequins because merely standing and surfing the floor passes for dancing. It's not surprising in theme-park country that the ground can constitute a ride, an a-go-go-go-round, if you will.
    Here's the setup. Below the foot of the stage is the rotating dance floor -- it can shift from clockwise to counterclockwise and back in the same evening. (It's controlled by a sound and light technician, Disney says.) The wheel is separated from the spectators area and bars by a guardrail with stools. There are four entrances to the turntable that are about 7 feet wide, and therein lies occasional hilarity: mounting and dismounting.
    Not that the floor is moving that fast -- just a lot faster than your living room. A Theme Park Ranger time test shows that a full rotation takes about 60 seconds, so that would be in the neighborhood of 1.5 mph.
    Still, you're likely to encounter a conventioneer or other P.I. newbie stumbling onto the surface, perilously close to losing balance or adult beverage. Another unusual sight is women gathering in a circle, surrounding their purses and shopping bags on the floor, dancing in a somewhat tribal fashion. Fancier dancers can choreograph leaps from the dance floor to the stationary floor and back with flair.
    Back in the day, there were professional dancers on the stage, and the movement of the dance floor was meant to make the place interactive.
    Christopher Carradine, a Disney exec who headed the Pleasure Island development team, discussed the design with the Sentinel when the nightclub complex opened.
    "You have live dancers in a proscenium setting, claiming the dance floor as a thrust stage," Carradine said at the time. "We thought the dance floor would be a tertiary attraction, and what we found out is what I suspected all along: It's one of the primary means by which we literally rotate the social situation and turn it in on itself. . . . It's always in a state of flux, which is what the magic of theater is."
    A social situation, it is. A friend who used to man the sidelines devised a nickname for the floor, which handily and constantly rotates the view of the dancing populace. He called it "the wheel of meat." I'm just saying.

    Source: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/trave...,926974.column

  • #2
    Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

    I'm so glad it's still there... the norwegian swim team has a lot of great memories out on that dance floor!

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    • #3
      Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

      I have taken a spin on the dance floor before! It is a lot of fun!!!

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      • #4
        Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

        Originally posted by Nom View Post
        I'm so glad it's still there... the norwegian swim team has a lot of great memories out on that dance floor!
        That explains the geeky Norwegian guys that hit on a friend & I (and anything else female) there back in 2001. OMG they were totally stalking us all over PI too! :lol:

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        • #5
          Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

          Originally posted by aimster View Post
          That explains the geeky Norwegian guys that hit on a friend & I (and anything else female) there back in 2001. OMG they were totally stalking us all over PI too! :lol:
          haha! Thta's funny because maybe we met the same guys! I was actually making a joke to myself with the swimming reference (I am a dork that way)... My cousins and I are all blond and we went on a girls-only trip once (it was incredible) and every bar we went into people were calling us the norwegian swim team. We loved manniquins. The funny thing is that near the end of our trip I bought us all norwegian flags as a joke, and we were walking along with them, and up came some norwegian guys who started talking to us in norwegain! I have it on video and it was so funny. And they were definately dorky, so maybe it was the same guys! (Our trip was May 2001- was that when you were there????? HOW WEIRD that would be!!!)

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          • #6
            Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

            ^^LOL! That is too funny!

            I think when my friend & I went there it was June. I remember she was in Orlando for a seminar (she's from Texas), so I drove up and we met for dinner, then went to PI to hit the clubs. We were just minding our own business when these 2 guys came up and started talking to us. They were all "We are from Oslo!" My friend & I were like, "That's nice..." and then ditched them and went upstairs, where we watched with amusement as they seriously hit on anything female. After awhile we left Mannequins for a bit and we saw them outside so we ducked into 8-Trax for awhile, then spotted them again so we hid around the corner from one of the outside bars... then finally decided to call it a night, but not before messing around on the Legoland playground (I got stuck in the slide... LOLOLOL!!!).

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            • #7
              Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

              OMG, our trip was end of may- maybe it was the same guys! lol!

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              • #8
                Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

                I love Mannequins. May it keep spinning forever.

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                • #9
                  Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

                  That sad fact is that it was easier for me to get on the floor drunk than it was for me to get on it sober ) Fun place
                  Good morning, son
                  In twenty years from now
                  Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
                  And I can tell you 'bout today
                  And how I picked you up and everything changed
                  It was pain
                  Sunny days and rain
                  I knew you'd feel the same things...


                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

                    In 1997, on our honeymoon I wanted to go in there but my husband was not 21 yet. Darn! So we went to the other clubs. Hopefully we will get to go there someday. I'm really surprised it's still there.
                    sigpic


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                    • #11
                      Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

                      Ok, I just came back from WDW and I had a GREAT time at Mannequin's last week!!! :evil::evil::evil:
                      --Jonathan

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                      • #12
                        Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

                        I make it a point to hit Mannequins whenever I'm at the world (several times a year now)...Thursdays is "boys" nite if you know what I mean and is loads of fun...even if its unofficial, I think its great PI has a gay club once a week (not to mention the whole complex all weekend during Gay Days)

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                        • #13
                          Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

                          Originally posted by FLtoCali View Post
                          even if its unofficial, I think its great PI has a gay club once a week
                          Yeah, and uh, not only that it's pretty dang gay the rest of the week too!! (I think it was Tuesday :lol

                          Who knew I could have such a dirty good time at a Disney night club!!?!

                          :evil::evil::evil:
                          --Jonathan

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                          • #14
                            Re: Mannequins 'Still' Dancing At Pleasure Island

                            I miss being able to DV8 every Thursday night! I was so happy when I got my coveted backdoor pass so I didn't have to deal with the line in the front and the elevator ride.


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