The Adventurers Club was an themed nightclub at the former Pleasure Island complex at Downtown Disney.
The flagship of Pleasure Island's nightclubs, the Adventurers Club was the offering at Pleasure Island most directly tied to the Merriweather Adam Pleasure storyline and the spiritual ancestor of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. After the club closed in 2008, it would be retconned into S.E.A.'s storyline as a successor organization established by Merriweather Pleasure after feeling the Society had become too stuffy.
- 1 Members
- 2 Summary
- 3 Connections
- Merriweather Adam Pleasure
- Pamelia Perkins
- Hathaway Browne
- Samantha Sterling
- Otis T. Wren
- Emil Bleehall
- Fletcher Hodges
- Colonel Critchlow Sunchbench
- Madame Zarkov
- The Maid
Taking place during New Year's Eve, 1937, the Adventurers Club is a gathering place for a wild band of explorers and adventurers that are celebrating the new year through an Open House/New Membership Drive. The Club's permanent membership would roam through the different rooms for different shows throughout the evening, with a number of animatronic/puppet characters also found throughout.
The Zebra Mezzanine
The top floor of the club. The club entrance leads into the mezzanine, which forms a circular balcony around the Main Salon. The walls feature many artifacts, and a framed parchment of the Club Creed. Primarily Graves' domain, the adventurers spend limited time here except for certain rituals (e.g. an exorcism or the Rhythm Ritual). This area featured a rarely used extra bar near the staircase into the Main Salon that was only used during particularly busy nights.
The Main Salon
The central room of the club. The Main Salon houses the nightclub's primary bar, and also has a small stage from which the adventurers often speak or lead shows such as the New Member Induction Ceremony. The centerpiece of the Main Salon is a larger-than-life statue that some say is titled "Zeus Goes Fishing", but alternatively referred to as "God with Rod". It is a replica of the famous Artemision Bronze. The walls of this room are filled with even more artifacts than on the Mezzanine, and many have placards giving their history and importance to the fictional former owner of the island, Merriweather Pleasure.
This room is the largest in the club, housing around 100 people, and hosts the larger (and mostly scripted) shows, many of which are musical in nature. This room also includes an additional bar, and is the home of Fingers Zambezi.
The Mask Room
A small room off the Main Salon that features several shows throughout the night, with a 40 person capacity. The walls are covered with masks from around the world, many of which move and laugh. Two large Bacchanalian-inspired masks at the front of the room, Arnie and Claude, also talk and move their eyes.
The Treasure Room
Another small room off the Main Salon, the Treasure Room contains additional artifacts gathered by the club, and also hosts several shows throughout the night which feature the genie-head-in-a-lantern special effect.
The Adventurers Club offered many shows throughout the night. The main shows were hosted in the library, which seated over 100 people, while smaller shows occurred in the Mask Room and Treasure Room, seating about 40 people each. The times were not always fixed, but there were plaques next to each room to show the schedule for that particular evening. The shows mostly follow a script and order of songs and jokes, but performers would sometimes make running jokes about guests' behavior, dress, or place of origin. Some guests would be invited to participate. Shows include:
- Welcome Party (Library). Samantha Sterling and Fletcher Hodges throw a welcome party to get the open house off to a good start.
- Radio Broadcast (Library). Otis and Pamelia lead a version of their weekly old-timey radio broadcast "Tales of the Adventurers Club", in which half of the cast is missing and must be replaced by audience members. The broadcast is a serial radio show, similar to "The Shadow" or "Little Orphan Annie".
- The Balderdash Cup Competition (Library). The Adventurer of the Year wins the Balderdash Cup. The Balderdash Cup ceremony always ended with Emil Bleehall winning, as judged by crowd applause. However, on the club's final night, the crowd decided to applaud and cheer for Otis T. Wren, allowing him to win the cup for the fourth time.
- The RadioThon (Library). The club uses its radio broadcasting ability to attempt to raise $2,000 and save the club from losing its lease, finding some trouble along the way. A kind of variety show. On the last night, the show failed to raise the $2,000 needed.
- The New Member Induction Ceremony (Main Salon). Every night in the Adventurers Club is the night of their membership drive. The ceremony is performed 3 times throughout the night, hosted by different characters each time.
- The Club Salute – This is where new adventurers learn the true meaning of the club's greeting, "Kungaloosh!", and the secret salute to accompany it.
- The Club Creed – A recitation of the Official Creed.
- The Club Song – The Colonel is awakened to teach the crowd the club's anthem, though he usually misunderstands which song is expected of him at first.
- Samantha's Cabaret (Library) – Features Samantha Sterling performing musical numbers.
- The Maid's Sing-Along (Library). The Maid leads the audience in song.
- The Rhythm Ritual – A show centered in the Main Salon that leads into the Hoopla. The Ritual usually features all the adventurers looking down from the balconies of the mezzanine as they take turns performing humorous solos on percussive instruments. The ritual usually builds to a crescendo as they come downstairs into the Main Salon, all playing their instruments together. Then the Colonel responds to the sound by coming off duty and shouting out rhythmic but often nonsensical phrases for the patrons to repeat, finalizing in the announcement of the Hoopla.
- The Hoopla – The Adventurers Club evening finale. At the end of the Rhythm Ritual, the Library doors open and the guests are seated. The Hoopla is hosted by Samantha Sterling, and always begins with a sing-along of "The Happy Wanderer". There are usually two or three other numbers performed by other adventurers, then the show is always concluded with Samantha leading everyone in "When the Saints Go Marching In", with each remaining adventurer creating a verse. The actors either invent a new verse on the spur of the moment or reuse one they've previously found to be effective.
Some shows were performed in the club's earlier years but later canceled. These include the beer tasting session (where guests would vote on the beer of the evening), "Fingers Plays Requests" (where guests would try to stump the organist's knowledge of tunes), Madam Zarkov's show, and more.
A group panting originally found near the stage purported to include Merriweather Pleasure himself would be moved to Aunty's Beach House at Aulani in Hawaii after the closure. There, it would be retconned into a painting of a young Harrison Hightower III and his Pillager's Brigade, on an African expedition where he would first learn of the legend of Shiriki Utundu.
The character of Zarkov would later be referenced in Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, appearing in a letter from Jason Chandler to Barnabas T. Bullion, warning him of the mountain's supernatural properties. This letter would also identify Zarkov as working at the Museum of the Weird from the Haunted Mansion.
A number of the masks in the Mask Room were moved to the Explorer's Club Restaurant at Mystic Point after the restaurant's closure. Within the context of the new story, the masks were originally owned by Lord Henry Mystic, who moved them from the house's collection to the restaurant hallway as he had begun to notice the unnerving movement of their eyes. Presumably, Mystic would end up gifting the masks to Merriweather Pleasure to be rid of them entirely.
Previously at the Magic Kingdom's Fastpass kiosks, trunks and crates are being shipped to Adventurers Club members Pamelia Perkins and Emil Bleehall by the Jungle Navigation Company.
The Society of Explorers and Adventurers membership fez of Merriweather Adam Pleasure is on display. Additionally, a book called Another New Year can be seen in the library which was written by Merriweather. Props from the Adventurers Club can also be found throughout the restaurant.
There are letters to Trader Sam from several club members which can be found in this locale. A photograph of the Colonel is also found with a letter mentioning his familiarity with Sam and his favourite drink of Gin & Tonic. Sam was apparently left in possession of the Adventurers Club's ventriloquist dummy by Pamelia Perkins with said dummy being visible. While the bar is clearly influenced by the Adventurers Club, one of the drink-order events at Trader Sam's is a shipwreck in a bottle, which was borrowed from the Adventurers Club though changed to resemble The Wicked Wench from Pirates of the Caribbean. There are also several photos and messages from U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt with notes from Sam saying he was an early member of the club.
An oar commemorating M.A. Pleasure's 1900 voyage on the Kissimmee River is on display along with those of other S.E.A. members.
- The bottled shipwreck was originally designed by Yale Gracey to be featured in a bar themed to the film Splash (1984) which would have been featured in Downtown Disney.