Adventurers Club, R. I. P.


If you’re familiar at all with Walt Disney World and have visited there since 1989, Pleasure Island has been their “adult playground” of bars, night clubs and dance clubs. It was once situated to the left of the Marketplace area — actually it still is. But when the West Side was built on the other side, Pleasure Island was sandwiched in between…and a bunch of problems quickly developed. You can do a web search on the most popular Disney sites: jimhillmedia.com, mouseplanet.com, laughingplace.com, and probably a few hundred others, to find out the official reasons why Disney is tearing down the whole island.

The problem is, there are three places on the island that visitors and residents love. LOOOOVE. Mannequins, a contemporary dance club; Comedy Warehouse, an improv club; and the Adventurers Club. (Adventurers Club is my favorite, but my very close 2nd fave is 8-Trax — late 70’s disco, Love Shack music, always crowded by kids who weren’t even born then!)

The Adventurers Club is the most Disney-esque venue on Pleasure Island, combining comedy, puppetry, improv and special effects into a bar setting designed to be reminiscent of the London Clubs of the 1800s. It is, simply, a magical place.

And Disney is going to kill it in the name of revenue. Pleasure Island’s last day is September 27.
Peter David, most recently author of Tigerheart and frequent Star Trek novelist, announced on his website his intentions to help save the Adventurers Club on Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World.

This was his initial blog post about the effort:

Save the Adventurers Club

Disney has announced that they intend to shutter the Adventurers Club in downtown Pleasure Island come the end of September. I want to try and convince them otherwise.

It’s not as if the AC has been singled out; they’re closing down all the clubs in the area with the stated intent of making the area more “family friendly.”

Although the various over-18 venues on the island might fall under the label of not being conducive to family enjoyment, this most definitely does not describe the Adventurers Club. Yes, it has an active bar, but so what? If the presence of a bar made something adult-oriented, TGI Fridays would not be a family establishment. The fact is that every time we have attended the Adventurers Club, there have been kids of all ages in attendance, entranced by the club and its wildly talented cast.

For those unfamiliar with it, the Adventurers Club purports to be a 1930s private club for globe-spanning adventurers, having a pledge drive for new members. Guests mingle freely with colorful characters, interact with animatronic statues and puppets, and watch demented improv comedy and shows by the Club’s “daredevil” officers. If you have been there, then you know a night at the Club is always great entertainment. If you have not had the opportunity, then we’re about to fight to save it so that you may yet have the chance.

Long-time readers know how much the Club means to the David family. I enlisted the cast of the AC years ago to propose to Kathleen, making us the first couple to do so. Whenever we go to Disney World, we can be found there every night during our stay.

There is an on-line petition going on that already has thousands of signatures, and I wish them well (and have indeed signed it myself). But on-line petitions only go so far. What corporate types respect is actual letters, because it means that the writers took the time to write it, put it in an envelope and slap a stamp on it.

If you want to help preserve one of the single greatest entertainment experiences in Disney, then I urge you to write to:

Robert Iger
Chief Executive Officer
Walt Disney Corporation
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-4873

I cannot stress enough: Keep letters civil. Polite. Family-friendly, if you will. If you have attended the AC, talk about your experiences and how much the place means to you. If you haven’t been, underscore the good things you’ve heard about it and your intention to attend in the future.

And never forget the Adventurers Club credo (a couple of lines of which I slipped into “1602: Fantastic Four”):

We climb the highest mountains,
just to get a better view.
We plumb the deepest oceans,
because we’re daring through and through.
We cross the scorching desert,
martinis in our hand.
We ski the polar ice caps,
in tuxedos looking grand.
We are reckless, brave, and loyal,
and valiant to the end.
If you come in here a stranger,
you will exit as a friend.
KUNGALOOSH!

Feel free to cross post this wherever you think it will do any good.

Then, he had an adventurous idea…

Saving The Adventurers Club–Phase Two

UPDATE: 7-22-08–I officially retract everything I said about Jim Hill. Check it out:

http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jim_hill/archive/2008/07/22/peter-david-maps-out-a-campaign-to-save-the-adventurers-club.aspx

I’ve decided that simply sending letters to save the Adventurers Club may not be enough. Previous letter campaigns to various companies have been more effective when there are visual aids accompanying them.

You see, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, Robert Iger has never actually been to the Adventurers Club. Not once. In fact, for all we know, none of the decision makers have ever actually visited it, or have the faintest idea of the superb family entertainment it offers.

So here’s what I intend to send Robert Iger, and I hope fellow supporters–or those who have not yet had the opportunity to enjoy the Club and want to have the opportunity to do so–will do this as well:

Maps

The concept ties into the Adventurers Club motto of “Up or down, north, south, east or west, an Adventurer’s life is best.” There is only one possible explanation for why key Disney executives have never gone to the Club: They have no idea where it is. So to be helpful, it behooves us to help them find it. Furthermore, we can underscore the notion that, for adventurers all over the country, or even the world, all roads lead to the Adventurers Club.

What I intend to do–and I hope others will follow my lead–is to pull out an old map, circle the town where I live, and then draw a path heading toward the Adventurers Club as far down as the map allows. That way, no matter where Bob Iger happens to be, he’ll be able to pull out a map and find the general direction to go in order to find the Club.

I want to see Robert Iger’s office flooded with maps. If nothing else, it’s becoming obvious that Disney has lost its sense of direction, and as dedicated adventurers, we can do nothing less than help them find their way. In addition to whatever letter you wish to include talking about your experiences at the Club, be sure to write “Adventure Is In This Direction!” or “This Way to Adventure!” on the map. My further hope is that we can capture media attention with a dedicated map campaign. It’s just different enough from your standard-issue letter-writing campaign.

I know there are all sorts of rumors about the Club winding up at other locations at Disney. My sources have indicated to me that that is all they are: Rumors. Nothing is settled. Nothing is definite. And from what I understand, if Disney is not made to realize what a terrific place the Club is and how worth saving it is, then rumors are all they will remain.

Send your maps to:

Robert Iger
Chief Executive Officer
Walt Disney Corporation
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-4873

Feel free to crosspost this message to any boards. I will keep people apprised of any further developments.

PAD

I honestly believe that Disney will do nothing. Today, the bottom line is a projected amount of daily revenue, and if Pleasure Island was underperforming, then screw it all, tear it down and build something else.

But, like the X-Files proclaims, “I want to believe.”

So draw your maps if you love the Adventurers Club. Clap your hands to save Tink. And if nothing works, you can make one of your favorite Adventurers Club drinks in your own home.

Kungaloosh Recipe

1 cup Daily’s Strawberry Daiquiri Mix
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum
1/4 cup blackberry brandy

Toss it in a blender with enough ice to make it slushy.

Drink — and Repeat!

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4 thoughts on “Adventurers Club, R. I. P.

  1. Drink and repeat
    Drink and repeat
    Drink and repeat
    Drink and repeat
    Drink and repeat
    Drik and repet
    Drunk and repuke
    Drunk and ……

    Like

  2. As an original club member, I AM going back to my spawning ground, as it were. Not to make a personal appeal to Mr. Iger, not to create a stink, but to bask one more time in the memories & camaraderie & fun that made the AC the institution it is.
    Mike Speller

    Like

  3. Thanks for your post. I am hoping to get to the Adventurer’s Club one last time before they close. This is truly a unique entertainment venue. While it is certainly not for everyone, it will indeed be a shame to see it go. What do we get in its place? More restaurants and shops. Very sad. Until then…
    Kungaloosh!

    Like

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