Last Night’s Meetup – 8/9/13
I consider last night’s meetup to be the meetup of “firsts”. There were lots of firsts for me personally as well as for the group. For me, it was the first time going to Port Orleans French Quarter, the first time riding the boat to Downtown Disney, the first time seeing the new Lava Lounge at Rainforest Cafe, and the first time for me to go inside Raglan Road. As far as firsts for the group, there were quite a few first-time members joining us, it was our first lounge meetup at Scat Cat’s and Raglan Road, and it was the first time we’ve had over 20 people at a meetup. Last night was an amazing night for a lot of reasons, and I really hope everyone else had just as much fun as I did.
We started the night out at Scat Cat’s lounge at the Port Orleans French Quarter. As I mentioned, this was my fist time going to this lounge. I went in with no expectations and really not knowing anything at all about this place. Honestly, I had never even heard of Scat Cat’s…which means there’s probably lots of cool lounges around property that I don’t know about. I was under the impression that the live entertainment at Scat Cat’s was the main attraction. As it turned out, the musician plays just outside of the bar area, and to me, seemed more like background music than something to sit and watch. I thought the atmosphere at Scat Cat’s was good, although I will say that its a bit brighter than I prefer for a lounge.
There was one part of Scat Cat’s that I was not pleased with, and I know I heard at least one other member comment on it. The Bartender. I’ll just say it….this guy seemed like a real asshole. When I ordered my first beer, he sort of had this attitude of “hurry it up guy, you’re interrupting me!”. When another member of the group asked the bartender if he accepted Tables in Wonderland cards, his response was “yeah, if I have to”. Whenever I get a bartender like this, my goal is to order as much as I can and demand as much as possible, while leaving just enough tip to let the guy know that I was less than pleased…..or European.
But enough about the bad service. This blog is about what a great night it was, and although the story of the bad bartender seems negative on the surface, its little things like that that will spice up a meetup. Scat Cat’s was fun, and I was really happy to see everyone that showed up. We had quite a few regulars, some first-timers, and a few friends that we haven’t seen in quite a while. Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier in the “firsts” explanation…this was the first time at a meetup that I felt we actually mingled instead of all sitting around in a huge circle. This is something that I’ve been striving for for a long time now. I have to say I’m a bit disappointed that I wasn’t the one that actually set this meetup up. I might just be a little jealous of the person that did set it up….and I won’t say who that is.
Although this was my first time at the French Quarter, I have been to Riverside before. Unfortunately, I participated in one of the famous Yeehaw Bob performances. I’ve never been a fan of audience participation, and that’s what his show is all about. I was fairly adamant before the meetup that I would NOT be going to the River Roost to see Yeehaw Bob. So, naturally the group as a whole decided we should check out the River Roost and Yeehaw Bob when we left Scat Cat’s. Thankfully, after our hour-long hike to get to River Roost, it was packed. No place to sit. That meant it was time to hop on the boat and head over to Downtown Disney.
I thought the hike from Scat Cat’s to River Roost was long, but that was nothing compared to the boat ride. I felt like they should’ve had a casino onboard…or at the very least, a restroom. We finally made it over to Downtown Disney, at the boat dock next to the Rainforest Cafe. It’s been a while since I had been to Downtown Disney, and I knew that Rainforest Cafe was going through some rehab, but I didn’t realize they were building an outdoor lounge, called “Lava Lounge”. They also did some enhancements to the outside of the restaurant like smoke and fire shooting from the volcano. Very cool.
Our original plan was to go to Lava Lounge, but when we got there we realized that the place was packed as well. No seats available, and really no place for 20 people to stand around and drink. Although Lava Lounge was a cool place, it doesn’t seem like a hangout sort of place as much as it is a quick drink at the bar while you’re doing some shopping sort of place.
We decided to head over to Raglan Road, and I was excited since I’d never been there before. I’ve walked by Raglan Road plenty of times, and for some reason I was thinking that it was a small pub inside and an outside bar with a few tables. I was very surprised to see that this place was quite huge inside….some might even say “ginormous”…a fictional word that I hate. There were musicians playing inside and outside, several bars, and great atmosphere. I really liked this place. I’ll definitely be back. We actually found one single table that was large enough to fit the whole group! Why didn’t someone tell me about this a long time ago? This was the perfect spot for a Friday Night Meetup.
Raglan Road is where the night began to slow down and come to an end. After one last stroll through the marketplace, it was time to call it a night. I gotta mention the heat here. It’s hot….and I know that it’s so cliché to say that its hot in Florida in August, but I feel that its an important aspect to summertime meetups. The good thing about the heat is that it makes those 65-degree nights at EPCOT later in the year all that much better.
It certainly seems like our Friday Night Meetups are gaining in popularity, and they keep getting better and better. I encourage everyone to join the DizMeet group if you’re not already a member, and come join us for our next Friday Night Meetup.