Category Archives: adventurers club

Pleasure Island Dead

Pleasure Island, the nightlife portion of Walt Disney World, an island strip mall of nightclubs, restaurants and stores, closed last year. With it, many of the resort’s best entertainments vanished. Among them an audience participation comedy club, a country and western club, the BET club, an upscale dance club, a 70s disco, a rock bar and first and foremost – The Adventurers Club – which was as far as I (and I’m not alone) am concerned, was one of the reasons to go to Disney World in the first place.

It’s really kinda sad. With Pleasure Island closed, you can still walk through what to those who remember what was is now a ghost town. No gates at the bridges, no lights, closed doors of the clubs, and high above what used to a DJ booth for the whole strip – a sign still lit that says “LIVE” over the darkened “PLEASURE ISLAND” sign.

There are still some stores here so there are still shoppers. They walk through, sometimes curiously looking at the closed doors of clubs like archeologists looking at the statues of Easter Island. They wish they knew their secrets and could live their lives.

There are rumors that one or two of the clubs (hopefully the Adventurers Club) may reopen either here or at another location. Let’s hope so. WDW just isn’t the same without this place.

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A Final Adventure

Disney Does It Better

I recently had a chance to visit Universal Studios in Orlando. It was my first time there after visiting Disney World almost a dozen times in the last two decades. I gotta say, I was unimpressed. Universal tries hard, but in most cases not nearly hard enough. It’s all in the attitude.

The rides are fun, but have to stand on their own because the staff just doesn’t support them. Disney characters stay in character and aid to the ‘enchantment.’ I saw a Cyberdyne employee at the Terminator 2 ride chatting with guests about the weather and agreeing with them about how the park’s hours suck. Would an evil corporate employee of an evil mega-corporation about to eradicate mankind really do that?

I personally engaged Doctor Emmett Brown from Back to the Future in a conversation about Kanye West’s new single and how upset he was about the closing of the Adventurers Club, and how he wished he could have “gotten that gig.” Way to break character, Doc. Doc Brown, it should be noted, now that his ride has vanished from Universal, had been exiled to a nuclear-powered tricycle in the vicinity of Mel’s Drive-In from American Graffiti. The fifties, get it? Yep, that’s about the extent of Universal’s originality.

Have you ever tried to get the guides at Disney’s Haunted Mansion to break character? Ain’t gonna happen. You’d have better luck trying to make guards at Buckingham Palace crack a smile. Disney definitely does it better.

Save the Adventurers Club!

One of the major reasons to go to the Walt Disney World Resort, and perhaps the only reason to go to Pleasure Island is… The Adventurers Club.

Many people are unaware of this wonderful themed nightclub at Pleasure Island but those hip to it know it’s the place to be every night of their WDW visit. Outfitted like a 1930s club for adventurers this is an interactive experience with various shows throughout the night. In between shows the action never stops as visitors can interact with actors for a different experience every time you visit. The walls are alive and the objects d’art speak to you, and the exploration never stops as you notice something different every time you’re there.

We have a visit to WDW planned for September, and of course on the agenda were nightly trips to the Adventurers Club. And then a friend hipped me to this: On September 28, 2008, they will be closing down the clubs at Pleasure Island and will be replacing them with shops and restaurants. Some sources say this is due to lack of attendance at Pleasure Island. If this is in fact true, perhaps Disney could have instead invested some advertising for such wonderful and largely unknown treasures like the Adventurers Club.

There is an online petition going around to save the Adventurers Club. You can see it and sign it here.