The Adventurers Club
The Adventures Club was a nightclub based at Pleasure Island - Disney’s adult’s entertainment (since replaced by Disney Springs). Opening on the 1st of May 1989 The Adventurers Club was a nightclub themed as a private club for world travellers.
Developed by Show Director Roger Cox and designer Joe Rhode it featured animatronics, puppets and a cast of adventurers who performed in the shows.
The backstory focuses on Merriweather Adam Pleasure, an Intrepid and eccentric explorer, the Adventurers Club was built by Pleasure as a library, a personal museum for his extensive collection of artefacts and a place he could entertain his explorer friends. Built from a set of designs he won in a game of dominoes the club opened in 1932.
- Hathaway Browne - Aviator, and the club’s resident innuendo-making ladies’ man.
- Otis T. Wren - Club Treasurer and ichtyologist
- Fletcher Hodges - Absent-minded Club Curator, he is said to have “mounted every object in the club.”
- Pamelia Perkins - Club President.
- Samantha Sterling - Explorer and cabaret singer.
- Emil Bleehall - Contender for the Balderdash Cup. Hails from Sandusky, Ohio. The character used to be portrayed as a plaid sport coat-wearing country bumpkin, but is now depicted as a “Junior Adventurer” in a costume that is a pastiche of a Boy Scout uniform. During the final performances, both characters appeared in the show (as Emil Sr. and Emil Jr.).
- Graves - Club Butler.
- The Maid - There were many maids who work in the Adventurers Club and participate in its activities. The only character that changes identity depending on which actor is playing her.
- Madame Zarkov - A mysterious roma woman who makes rare appearances at the Club. This character usually replaces that of Samantha Sterling for an evening. Both Samantha Sterling and Madame Zarkov appeared in the final performances at the club.
- Colonel Critchlow Sunchbench - Club Gleemeister. The colonel is a cable-controlled puppet worked from behind the scenes. He is usually “on duty” (sitting dormant), but he wakes up to lead the new inductees in the club song, and occasionally to converse with guests in the Main Salon.
- Babylonia - A giant stone face on the wall in the Main Salon, the goddess of women and all things fertile, who sometimes speaks.
- The Yakoose - A mounted animal head that occasionally moves and speaks, either to guests or to Babylonia.
- Arnie and Claude - A pair of talking masks in the Mask Room.
- Beezle - A genie whose head appears in the Treasure Room.
- Fingers Zambezi - A haunted organ that provides the music for the Library shows (with animatronic motions that usually have little to do with the music, and timbres that morph from theatre organ to practically any other keyboard instrument, according to the needs of the show).
- Emil Bleehall, Sr. - Emil Bleehall’s father. Only appeared on the club’s closing weeks.
- Sutter Bestwick - Another normally unseen character who is supposed to be a competitor for the 1937 Balderdash Cup. He, too, is unable to attend due to Otis’ exploits. Sutter is also a past winner of the Balderdash Cup for 1930. His only appearance was on the club’s closing weekend.
- Chilton Thompson - Although mentioned in the Balderdash Cup and the Radio Broadcast, he is a never seen character that is supposed to be the sound effects man for the Radio Broadcast (but never shows up). He is also a past competitor for the Balderdash Cup, but, due to Otis Wren’s doing, is unable to attend for 1937.
- Sheila Griffin - A never seen character, which is supposed to be playing the role of Gretta in New Year’s Eve episode of “Tales of the Adventurers Club”, but for some unknown reason, does not show up to the Radio Broadcast
- Marcel - A man in an ape suit. Appeared during the early days of the clubs existence, and in the Hoopla of the club’s closing night, during which he invited the permanent members of the Adventurers Club to accompany him on a year-long safari.
- Plaid Monkey - This was an invented character by the performers in later years. He was sometimes joked about, but very rarely made appearances. The character was a quick combination of the Marcel monkey mask and plaid jacket props that were no longer in regular use.
- Nash - In the early years all bartenders were simply called Nash, no matter who was actually working that job at the time.
- Dave the Soundman - The name of the Tech of the day, no matter what the Tech’s name actually is.
Links to S.E.A.
Around the early 2000s with the decline in travel following September 11th. Disney took pleasure Island in a new direction. Finally in 2008 Disney announced the closure of Pleasure Island including the adventurers club. The Adventurers Club had its final night on the 27th of September 2008. When the club shut it was confirmed that some of the props were sent to Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland.
The masks which now hang in the Explorers Club Restaurant in Hong Kong Disneyland’s Mystic Point is what initially brought the Adventurers Club into the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. Since then there have been further connections including a letter from Pamelia Perkins which references Harrison Hightower at Aunty’s Beach House in Disney’s Aulani Resort.
The Jungle Cruise connected to The Adventurers Club as part of its inception. The trunks next to the old Fastpass machines included labels from Emil Bleehall and Pamela Perkins from The Adventurers Club.
It wasn’t until the Skipper Canteen confirmed the link with the fez of Merriweather Adam Pleasure on display with the other confirmed members of S.E.A.