Vidalia Onionski Zarkov is a Romani woman with some magical prowess who was active in the 19th century. By 1880, Zarkov served as the proprietress of the Museum of the Weird, a collection of strange and unusual artifacts from all over the world. From the museum, Zarkov became affiliated with the Society of Explorers and Adventurers as-well as its president Jason Chandler.
At some point in the early 20th century, Zarkov joined a splinter-group of the society known as the Adventurers Club which was founded by S.E.A. member Merriweather Adam Pleasure. The Adventurers Club was based out of Pleasure Island in Lake Buena Vista, Florida and was formed from Merriweather's dissatisfaction with the stuffiness of the Society fo Explorers and Adventurers. Within the group she attended the 1937 New Year's Eve party though she did not show the age that a 57+ year-old woman would presumably be showing by the time, likely due to her magical abilities.
Appearances and allusions
Zarkov was a rare character at the club, not appearing as often as the other members. She was dressed in a striped peasant top, a long purple and gold skirt, a black vest and sash with gold coins, black and gold jewelry, and a blue bandana wrapped around her dark, curly hair. She sometimes carried a tambourine.
Zarkov is referenced in the queue at Magic Kingdom. Jason Chandler consulted her to discuss the goings-on at Big Thunder Mountain. After he heard what she had to say, he wrote a letter to Barnabas T. Bullion, urging him to stop his mining operations.
In Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Madame Zarkov is identified as running the Museum of the Weird. The Museum of the Weird was an unbuilt expansion planned for Disneyland's Haunted Mansion which was developed by imagineer Rolly Crump.
- Madame Zarkov’s connection to the Museum of the Weird is possibly a reference to Madame Z, a character designed by Marc Davis for the Haunted Mansion that eventually evolved into Madame Leota.
- Assuming that Zarkov was at-least 18 when she was running the Museum, her minimal age's birth-year would be c.1860 making her at-least in her late 70s during the 1937 open-house. It is however more likely that she was at least around 30 when she ran the museum which gives the area of birth-year of c. 1850 and which would make her in her late 80s during the open-house.