The Adventurers Clubby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 7/31/2008
It's probably fair to say that the recent announcement by Disney that the clubs at Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney would close at the end of September was greeted with horror by many people for one reason and one reason only: The Adventurers Club.
For those who've been there, the uniquely Disney appeal of the place is immediately clear. It's certainly not a traditional nightclub. You don't go there to dance the night away. Instead you step inside and are instantly transported back in time to the 1930's, when gentlemen's clubs were all the rage. Fortunately here, everyone is welcome and everyone soon becomes a part of the Adventurers Club.
On any given night, there is a range of different entertainment taking place in the Main Salon; and the Library, Treasure Room, and Mask Room, all just off the Main Salon. All of this is downstairs from where you enter. And, when you first enter, you can't help but wonder what this club is all about. It's not unusual to walk in and see very little happening upstairs, but that's because you need to head down the staircase opposite to get yourself immersed in the action below you.
Once you do, you'll encounter a variety of weird and wonderful characters, the likes of whom you're only really likely to ever come across in Disney. You'll meet Pamelia Perkins, the Club President; Graves, the loyal club butler with a wonderfully dry sense of humor; and Otis T. Wren, Club Treasurer. Other stars include Club Aviator (and ladies man) Hathaway Browne, the club Maid, the daring adventurer Samantha Sterling, respectable Club Curator Fletcher Hodges, and the delightful Emil Bleehall, a bumbling, but lovable character newly arrived from Sandusky, Ohio.
The best bit about the Adventurers Club is that you'll come across these characters throughout the venue. The Library is where all the main shows take place every night, but as I know from experience, you don't have to set foot in there to enjoy a night there. On our last visit, I was still recovering from a bout of illness during the day and didn't once move from my seat in the Main Salon and was delighted to see that we got just as much entertainment as those who'd headed into the Library. Perhaps the most bizarre thing is to see characters leaving and entering the Library midway through shows and carrying on conversations even when outside.
The entertainers who work here are exceptionally talented and we've witnessed them on many occasions holding the attention of an audience single-handedly for a good 20 minutes, sometimes with no help from other cast members, just the audience. Everyone plays a part in a night at the Adventurers Club, even if it's just to take part in the New Member Induction Ceremony and sing the Adventurers Club song. Others may be more lucky -- or unlucky -- depending on your view and may take a more central role in shows. My husband ended up taking a starring role in one show with Samantha Sterling, and we've seen friends on stage before, all of whom have had a great time. As happens so often in Disney, they seem to know which people to pick, who won't mind being the center of attention.
As well as all the entertainment, the Adventurers Club includes a full service bar, with drinks even brought to you at your table during the shows in the Library. The one drink to try here is the Kungaloosh, the official drink of the Club. It's a rum based drink with strawberry daiquiri mix and blackberry brandy or liquor. As you can imagine, it's pretty strong!
Perhaps the best thing about the Adventurers Club is that it's the type of place that you can head to and enjoy for just an hour or two or you can linger for an entire evening. Shows tend to take place in the Library every 45 minutes or so (and each show is different than the last), but there is literally always something going on, including brief lecture/presentations in the Mask Room And Treasure Room, and often the time flies past before you've even noticed. Going there as part of a big group is definitely a bonus. We've done this several times before, particularly during MouseFest, the annual gathering of Disney fans, and have had a great time.
The Adventurers Club will remain open until Saturday, September 27, 2008, when all the clubs on Pleasure Island will sadly close for the last time. It opens every night until then at 7:00 pm and is usually open until around midnight or 1:00 am.
If you haven't been inducted as an Adventurer yet, you don't have much time left to join this unique club. There really is nothing else like it anywhere at any Disney theme park and is well worth a visit. There will be many very sad Disney fans wishing it a final "Kungaloosh!" when it closes its doors for good. I'll be one of them. All together now, "Marching along, we're Adventurers ... Singing the song of Adventurers ... Up or down, North, south, east or west, an adventurer's life is best!"
Updated 7/31/2008 - Article #136
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