Monthly Archives: September 2009

Pleasure Island Dead

Pleasure Island, the nightlife portion of Walt Disney World, an island strip mall of nightclubs, restaurants and stores, closed last year. With it, many of the resort’s best entertainments vanished. Among them an audience participation comedy club, a country and western club, the BET club, an upscale dance club, a 70s disco, a rock bar and first and foremost – The Adventurers Club – which was as far as I (and I’m not alone) am concerned, was one of the reasons to go to Disney World in the first place.

It’s really kinda sad. With Pleasure Island closed, you can still walk through what to those who remember what was is now a ghost town. No gates at the bridges, no lights, closed doors of the clubs, and high above what used to a DJ booth for the whole strip – a sign still lit that says “LIVE” over the darkened “PLEASURE ISLAND” sign.

There are still some stores here so there are still shoppers. They walk through, sometimes curiously looking at the closed doors of clubs like archeologists looking at the statues of Easter Island. They wish they knew their secrets and could live their lives.

There are rumors that one or two of the clubs (hopefully the Adventurers Club) may reopen either here or at another location. Let’s hope so. WDW just isn’t the same without this place.

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French Fry Diary 49: Pop Everything, WDW


Last year we made the mistake of visiting Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. Their Twister ride was a disappointing walk-through with some sorta educational, mostly exploitation footage of tornadoes, followed by them putting a fan on you and getting you wet while watching some amateur special effects fake a tornado on a soundstage. What a waste of time.

On my most recent trip to Walt Disney World’s Epcot we went to a small hidden corner of Innoventions for something called StormStruck. It was about a quarter the size, maybe even less, of Twister and literally blew it away.

Now it’s sponsored by several window and roofing companies as well as The Weather Channel, so at times it does seem like an infomercial but for the most part it’s all excitement. You’re wearing 3-D glasses on a deck overlooking a virtual reality neighborhood as a terrible storm approaches, and when it does, it feels real. Great stuff! Don’t miss this hidden gem.

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French Fry Diary 48: Restaurant Marrakesh, World Showcase

Chat with C. Hope Clark

The Writer’s Chatroom

Chat with C. Hope Clark

C. Hope Clark (Hope) founded and serves as editor of, a well-known writer’s reference that reaches 20,000 readers weekly with grants, markets and motivational editorials that generate stacks of thank-you notes from readers. Writer’s Digest voted FundsforWriters one of its 101 Best Web Sites for Writers for the past nine years.

Hope’s dozen ebooks are rapid sellers ranging from “Grants for the Serious Writer” to “Short & Sweet; Markets for Fillers.” Hope has published in magazines like Writer’s Digest, The Writer Magazine, ByLine Magazine, Next Step Magazine, College Bound Teen, TURF Magazine, and Landscape Management. “The Shy Writer” is a nonfiction paperback she penned to aid writers like her who have difficulty appearing in public. Published in 2004, it continues to readily sell and was re-released as a second edition in Fall 2007.

After 25 years as a manager with the federal sector, she requested an early retirement in her forties to write full time and manage FundsforWriters, marrying her knowledge of grants and her love of writing.

She lives in Chapin, South Carolina on the banks of Lake Murray and has completed a novel, the first of an agricultural mystery series, which is currently being read by several agents. She is married to a recently retired federal agent who inspires her love of mystery writing.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

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Pop Half-Century

Most of the time when one thinks of Walt Disney World and where to stay – places like the Grand Floridian, the Contemporary and the Polynesian come to mind, but those aren’t you’re only choices, and certainly not your only price range. Economy, low rent, even called white trash by some folks, Disney offers several less expensive places to stay while visiting.

Pop Century is one of the economy resorts along with the All-Stars and a few others. My most recent stay was there, mostly because we were only crashing for a long weekend. It’s a place with a theme right up my alley, pop culture. The place is consumed and decorated by all manner of trivia and nostalgia. And like the All-Star resorts, the buildings are adorned with gigantic knick-knacks. The building we stayed in, the “70s,” was surrounded by giant 8-tracks, a huge foozball table and a really big Big Wheel, among other things. Fun.

My problem with the resort, other than the other patrons, which I suppose just can’t be helped, is the name of it – Pop Century. It’s all set up by decade – the 1970s, the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1980s. Isn’t there like half a century missing there? Did the 20th century start in 1950? No, but pop culture kinda did. Still, it’s a bit misleading, and not to mention disinformative to kids learning about the passage of time. Not sure if we’ll be staying here again, but still, fun.

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French Fry Diary 47: Casey’s Corner, Magic Kingdom

French Fry Diary 46: Nifty Fifty’s

Coming Soon…

The ‘reinvention,’ rather than remake, of 1980’s Fame also opens on Septemeber 25th. It’s gonna be a busy weekend at the movies…

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Skillet Skating