If someone mentions the city Orlando, it is likely that your mind becomes flooded with images of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and the “Happiest Place on Earth” or perhaps E.T., Jaws, and Hollywood movie sets, but there is more to Orlando than just theme parks and animated characters, especially when it comes to Orlando nightlife. Whether you are looking for a jazz club to hear live blues performances, a comedy club to literally laugh your tail off, or a nightclub to dance the night away, Orlando has a vast array of options to choose from. Various nightspots are located throughout Orlando but the majority of them fall in four locations that include Downtown Orlando, Disney’s Pleasure Island, Universal Studios City Walk, and International Drive. No matter where you are in Orlando, a fabulous experience awaits you at any nightspot and is usually only a twenty-minute drive away.
The notorious Hilton Hotels heiress herself, Paris Hilton, was involved in both the design and theme of this Downtown Orlando hotspot. Located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, Club Paris (http://www.clubparis.net) is decorated like that of a palace belonging to only the utmost royal princess. Decorated in carefully selected Italian decor, the signature crown that Paris Hilton is often seen sporting can be spotted throughout the club accented by the bright pink light that backs it. Hanging from the ceiling are crystal chandeliers that sparkle with a pink glow which undoubtedly give Club Paris a decadent and lavish feel. The club boasts over 22,000 feet of dance floors where patrons can dance the night away to the hottest tunes that are blaring from Club Paris’s top-notch sound system. If guests would rather lounge around and chat it up with someone special, there are many plush and metallic looking couches of blue, green, pearl, purple, and of course pink located throughout the club. Club Paris is a multi-level club with an exclusive VIP area located on the second floor. If guests choose to go up to VIP, they can relax and party in the comfort of a bedroom like area that includes a private dance floor and personalized VIP cocktail areas, which overlook the main dance floor. On the first floor, guests can party the night away while dancing on the main floor, lounging around on various colored sofas, and sipping on cocktails from the bars located on the main floor. Throughout the week, Club Paris has special events that bring in large amounts of individuals. On Wednesday night, Club Paris hosts Latin Night and guests can salsa or just “shake their bon-bon” to the hottest Latin music in town. On Thursday night, it is ladies night and there are drink specials and of course it is no surprise that Club Paris draws in many of the hottest Orlando women and men. On Saturday night local radio station XL 106.7 hosts Club Paris where everyone parties the night away while dancing to the hottest tunes and dance music. The dress code consists of club wear and feel free to dress up as much as you’d luck. At Club Paris, dressing to kill is usually the motto most individuals go by. Whether you are looking to just dance and drink the night away or party it up the VIP way, Club Paris is the place to see and definitely be seen.
Located near downtown Orlando, Chillers offers a nightclub like experience in a semi-causal and relaxed atmosphere. Known for its fabulous frozen drinks, Chillers offers drink specials and is open seven days a week. The multi-level club offers different kinds of music on each individual floor and with good drinks and great music, it is no wonder why Chillers draws in tons of Orlando locals. Chillers, which is open seven days a week, boasts a rooftop bar which is called Latitudes, along with various bars on the other different levels of the club. On Wednesday nights, Chillers offers drink specials which include dollar drinks and while the atmosphere is pretty laid back, guests can either opt to dress in jeans or club wear, whichever suits their preference. If you are looking to dance and mingle, Chillers offers great drinks and drink specials and various types of music throughout the club.
Howl At the Moon
Howl At the Moon (http://www.howlatthemoon.com) is located off of International Drive, the tourist strip of Orlando. Home of the famous “dueling pianos”, Howl At the Moon, offers guests a dinner theatre-like experience that features live music and performances by only the best musicians and comedians. Guests are encouraged to sing along to the well-known tunes that blare from the pianos and believe me, after a few drinks you will be singing along with the rest of the crowd. The atmosphere consists of guests laughing as the entertainers play songs that just about everyone knows, while singing along as best they can. The atmosphere is intoxicating and you can’t help but be sucked in and have fun. It is impossible not to. Throughout the evening, there are audience participation activities and the employees also come up to the main stage and perform routinely. There are various events through the week including two for one Tuesdays, Ladies night on Wednesday, and College Night on Thursdays. The dress code ranges from casual to dressy casual and with so much activity and fun in one building, it is no wonder why both locals and tourists are drawn to party the night away at Howl At the Moon. If you are out for a first date or perhaps looking to relax after a long day at a convention, Howl At the Moon is the place to be for fun, laughter, entertainment, mingling, and drinks.
Adobe Gilas at Pointe Orlando
Located off of International Drive at Pointe Orlando, Adobe Gilas offers a casual bar experience which features drink specials and live entertainment. Due to its location, guests can enjoy drinks on the second floor at Adobe Gilas or head downstairs to catch a flick at the Muvico Theatres. In addition, one can do some shopping at a variety of brand name stores and little boutiques that include Express, Armani Exchange, Foot Locker, Gray Fifth Avenue, Players Golf, Chico’s, Everything But Water, the Sunglass Hut, and Victoria’s Secret. If you are hungry, you can dine at Adobe Gilas, Johnny Rockets, The Capital Grill, or Hooters.
Matrix and the Metropolis at Pointe Orlando
Located on the top floor of Pointe Orlando, Matrix and the Metropolis are two local clubs located side by side which draw in both out of town visitors and the locals. A single cover charge covers admission into both clubs and between the two there is a variety of music including Techno, Top 100, 80’s music, Reggae, and Euro trance, which is played by live deejays. In addition, the club boasts a multi million-dollar light show, which sets it apart from other Orlando nightclubs.
The Blue Martini
If you are looking for a nice restaurant and bar to go to, The Blue Martini, home of over twenty-five different martinis and located at the Mall of Millennia, is where you want to go. Guests can either spend their time in the VIP section or mingle on the outdoor patio or in the main room. The dress code is dressy so if you decide to head out to the Blue Martini, be ready to dress to impress. Various events are hosted throughout the week including Wednesdays’ Ladies Night and Sunday’s Reggae Night and on occasion, there will be performers who will perform live music for the guests.
Universal’s City Walk
In a tourism driven town like Orlando, it is no surprise that the major theme parks that basically are the reason Orlando is on the map, have decided to stake a claim in the Orlando nightlife. Located within steps away from Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, City Walk offers a variety of ways to enjoy your evening.
Pat O’Brien’s at Universal City Walk
Known for their Hurricane drinks, Pat O’Brien’s is a place where guests can enjoy authentic cuisine and live entertainment. Pat O’Brien’s cuisine consists of a variety of Cajun specialties including jambalaya, catfish, and shrimp Creole. While dining or drinking, guests will undoubtedly be entertained and can sing along to “dueling piano” show that is performed throughout the evening.
Bob Marley: A Tribute to Freedom at Universal’s City Walk
Located in the heart of Universal’s City Walk, Bob Marley’s celebrates the musical legend’s career and life, providing guests with a unique experience and setting to enjoy his music and celebrate his life. Guests can dine on authentic Jamaican entrees, appetizers and desserts while either dancing the night away or watching live performances by reggae bands.
City Jazz and Bonkerz Comedy Club at Universal’s City Walk
If you are looking for a musical experience that includes a little bit of jazz, funk, r&b, soul, and rock, then City Jazz is the place to be. Guests have the opportunity to sip cocktails and dance while listening to live jazz music performances. It doesn’t end there. On Thursday and Sunday nights, City Jazz transforms into Bonkerz Comedy Club, a special comedy club that features nationally renowned comics. Guests will laugh the night away and may have the opportunity to be a guest participant in the show and on Sunday nights, guests can participate in comedy hypnosis if they dare. Guests must be eighteen or older.
The Groove at Universal’s City Walk
Located in Universal’s City Walk, The Groove is a nightclub where guests can go to drink, dance, and listen to hits ranging from the Top 100 to music from the 70’s and 80’s. The Groove features a multi-level club that consists of three VIP lounges, each with different themes where guests can go to relax and strike up a conversation with that special someone. Guests must be twenty-one years of age in order to come party at The Groove.
Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Universal’s City Walk
If you are looking to hang out in a classic party atmosphere while sipping a margarita, Jimmy Buffet’s is the place to be. Guests will enjoy live entertainment after 10 pm and can choose from a wide selection of specialty drinks from any one of the three bars that are inspired by some of Jimmy Buffet’s songs. The names of the bars are the Volcano Bar, the Shark Bar, and the 12 Volt Bar.
The Red Coconut Club at Universal’s City Walk
The Red Coconut Club, which is Universal City Walk’s newest addition to Orlando nightlife, features signature martinis and a DJ spinning a variety of hits. On occasion, guests can enjoy live performances by selected bands. In order to be admitted into The Red Coconut Club guests must be twenty-one and older.
Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney
Now seeing that theme parks rule Orlando, it is no surprise that Disney has its own little form of nightlife located in Downtown Disney. Surrounded by themed restaurants including the Rainforest Cafe and Hard Rock Cafe, Pleasure Island houses all of the nightclubs ranging from dance clubs to comedy clubs. Guests can purchase a pass to a single club or opt for the pass that will get them into all of the clubs.
8 Trax at Pleasure Island
Located in Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island, guests can flash back a few decades and boogie the night away at 8 Trax while grooving to music hits of the 70’s and 80’s. Television monitors are located throughout the club and guests can watch the music videos while dancing to their favorite tunes.
Adventurer’s Club at Pleasure Island
If guests are looking for a dinner theatre-like experience they will want to mosey on in to the Adventurers Club where they will encounter an interactive experience with an entertaining cast of characters. The setting takes place in a 1930’s gentlemen’s club and guests have the opportunity to participate in the club’s events that include a welcome party, a talent show, the Maid’s sing-a-long, and several others. The Adventure’s Club serves mixed drinks, soft drinks and bottled beer, but does not serve any food items.
BET Soundstage Club at Pleasure Island
If hip-hop and R&B are the types of music you enjoy dancing to, then the BET Soundstage Club is where you will want to go. The two-story club plays the latest in R&B and hip-hop music, which is spun by a live DJ. Television screens are located throughout the club and they display live shots of guests throughout the room.
Mannequins Dance Palace at Pleasure Island
It’s no wonder why the revolving dance floor distinguishes Mannequins from the other clubs at Pleasure Island. Guests can shake their groove thing to the latest in tech and trance music as the dance floor revolves. I have to say that getting on the dance floor is a breeze but getting off of it (especially if you’ve had a few cocktails and are in stilettos) can prove to be somewhat of a challenge. Guests must be twenty-one and older to go in Mannequins.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Beach Club at Pleasure Island
If you are looking for live music or just to hear some good rock ‘n’ roll songs of today and yesterday (or maybe even further back than that), the Rock ‘N’ Roll Beach Club is where you want to go. The three-story club doesn’t limit itself to playing a set type of rock ‘n’ roll music so regardless of what kind of rock ‘n’ roll music you prefer, you’re likely to hear it at the Rock ‘N’ Roll Beach Club.
Motion at Pleasure Island
Known for it’s enormous screen located in the center of the club that displays the music videos of the songs that are blaring throughout the club, Motion tends to be the most crowded of the Pleasure Island clubs and on most nights, there is usually a waiting line to get in. While you may have to wait a little bit in line, the wait is well worth it. Motion plays the Top 40 music and throughout the night you’ll usually hear an old party favorite. Guests can either go dance on the dance floor (which tends to get pretty crowded, especially after midnight) located on the first floor or head upstairs to lounge around on couches or sit down and study the dance floor, which can be easily seen from above.
The Comedy Warehouse at Pleasure Island
With stadium seating and a full bar, guests can enjoy cocktails while watching an improv comedy show. Red phones are located at the end of each row and guests may be called up by the comedians and then literally become a part of the comedy show. One thing is for sure, be ready to laugh like crazy if you head here!
While Orlando has clearly been put on the map due to the ever-expanding Disney World, the Orlando nightlife has quite a bit to offer as well. Whether you are looking to dance on a packed dance floor, attend a comedy show, or sing-a-long at a piano bar, Orlando has a lot to offer and with so many good choices, it is doubtful that you won’t find something in the Orlando nightlife that you absolutely love.