Disney World Memories: The Adventurers Club!

Today I’m sharing Nick’s post on the Adventurers Club.  I don’t recall having ever visited this once super-popular Disney World lounge.  This article was written before the opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian and The Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen in Magic Kingdom.  I have a question for those of you who were lucky enough to visit the Adventurers Club – are these two new places anything like the Club used to be?

Disney World Memories: The Adventurers Club!

Last Saturday, I discussed Pleasure Island. My favorite club at PI was the Adventurers Club, which was styled after a private club for world travelers and explorers and was set in 1937.
The walls of the club were covered with artifacts and photographs from various explorations.
It had animatronics, puppets, and a cast of “adventurers” who performed in shows and improvisational comedy while mingling with the club-goers.
There was also an actual club to join, with a newsletter, (which I have somewhere, and will surely share if I rediscover it) and a button.

There was so much to see and do at this club, including drinking specialty beverages, such as the official drink of the club, the Kungaloosh, which may or may not have come in this canteen, (I can’t remember, too many Kungalooshes).

Sadly, the Adventurers Club closed in 2009, with the rest of the clubs on Pleasure Island, but fans, including me, still hope that it will return once more to Walt Disney World in some form or another.

 

To read more about Nick’s amazing Disney collectibles and his many Disney adventures, visit the Disney Musings Blog (where this article first appeared).  You can follow Nick on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Pinterest.  You can also listen to Nick, our friend Dave, and me on The Disney Exchange Podcast where we talk about our love for all things Disney – new episodes every Sunday morning.

Can We Let Walt Disney Rest in Peace?

IMG_7218This post was supposed to be about the Disney fan community’s outrage over the news of Magic Kingdom After Hours hard ticket events being offered this spring.  In researching the many negative reactions among bloggers, podcasters, newspapers, and social media, I was surprised to find that I was the one becoming outraged…and it had nothing to do with Disney offering 3 hours of exclusive late night Magic Kingdom access for $149/adult (available on 7 dates during April and May).

As I was perusing message boards, Facebook pages, and articles about the public’s reaction to this latest announcement, I realized that I was frequently seeing the expression, “Walt Disney is probably turning over in his grave”.  One blogger/author (I respect and follow) who makes money writing about his love for Disney was particularly passionate when he said, “Uncle Walt is probably rolling over in his grave. In fact, he’s probably turned into a tornado down there”.  How does he know?  How do any of us know what Walt Disney would or would not do or think given the fact that when Mr. Disney died in 1966, the world was a very different place.  I was two at the time and can attest personally about how drastically both technology and the entertainment industry have changed since Mary Poppins premiered (in 1964).Birthday-Vintage-Metal-Walt-Disney-World-Tray

It’ll be 50 years this December since the world mourned the death of a great visionary.  Walt Disney created the company that made him a legend and American icon.  His legacy lives on in our happy memories and in the future of the Disney Company, its characters, theme parks, movies, merchandise, books, and much more.  Now can we please stop speculating on what Walt would or would not agree with to the extent that he would not be peacefully enjoying his final reward?  Can we please let Walt Disney rest in peace?

 

 

Walt Disney and New Orleans

RM-NOLA-Bourbon-Street-SignWalt Disney and New Orleans

I’m fascinated by the connection between Walt Disney and New Orleans.  If you’ve ever had the pleasure of exploring the Big Easy – the draw is undeniable.  A city like no other, New Orleans leaves visitors with the impression of old world charm, mystery, tradition, funky modern influence, and, yes, a bit of seediness woven in here and there.  A unique place, this steamy city on the Mississippi delta made such an impression on Walt Disney, he incorporated her iconic images in Disney parks, resorts and movies.RM-New-Orleans-Balcony RM-NOLA-Zombie's-Cigars RM-NOLA-Voodoo-Shop RM-NOLA-French-Quarter

It’s said that New Orleans was once a contender for the location of Disney World.  If this article is true, it’s amazing to think about what might have been!  We recently had the chance to head south for the weekend to a wedding in New Orleans.  While I’ve been there many times before, this time I tried to look at the city with fresh eyes; tried to picture the streets, the buildings, and the atmosphere as Walt Disney might have seen them so many years ago.  While lots has changed in post-Katrina New Orleans, her heart is the same.  She’s still mysterious and fascinating – much like you’d expect in a neighborhood founded in 1718, yet full of surprises at the same time.RM-NOLA-Street-Scene

Our hotel was just a couple of blocks from the heart of the French Quarter.  It was cloudy and misty, which made it thankfully cooler, but a bit dreary for pictures.  We strolled leisurely along Bourbon Street after lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, the Red Fish Grill.  RM-NOLA-Pat-O'Brian'sTurning right on St. Peter Street, we passed a New Orleans Ghost Tour headquarters, the famous Preservation Hall,  and Pat O’Brian’s pub (home of the famous Hurricane) as we headed to Royal Street.  Once on Royal, we slowly made our way from the touristy voodoo and souvenir shops to the more upscale boutiques full of antiques, estate jewelry, art, and crystal chandeliers.  Street musicians of all types were plentiful and added the perfect soundtrack to our wandering, as special as the city itself.  Browsing incredible (and incredibly priced) treasures of all sorts was both interesting and educational.  All the while, I tried to imagine Walt and Lillian shopping for the furnishings for Disneyland’s Club 33.  It was very easy to do!RM-NOLA-Galatoire's-33

Now let’s look at some of the New Orleans influences that can be found in Disney parks and resorts (photos courtesy of Nick Maglio) – Can you tell me where each of these pictures was taken?RM-Nick's-Photo2 RM-Nick's-Photo4 RM-Nick's-Photo3 RM-Nick's-Photo5 RM-Nick's-Photo1

 

 

 

Review: Disney Trivia from the Vault by Dave Smith

Oswald the Lucky RabbitSummertime is a great time to relax with a good book and enjoy the warm weather.  With perfect timing, my friend Andrew dropped by with this wonderful book review.  I already have Dave Smith’s Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia, and now I want this trivia book as well, thanks to Andrew’s review.

Review: Disney Trivia from the Vault – Andrew Carrieri

In the summer of 2012, Dave Smith, the chief archivist emeritus of the Walt Disney Archives, released a trivia book, Disney Trivia from the Vault: Secrets Revealed and Questions Answered. Here, Smith discusses trivia from eight categories over 262 pages: “Animated Features,” “Animated Shorts,” “Disneyland,” “Live-Action Films,” “Publications,” “Television,” “Walt Disney World,” and “Walt Disney.”

Unlike Lou Mongello’s popular Disney trivia books, Smith’s version is not written in a quiz-like format with multiple choice questions and corresponding answers in a separate section. Rather, Smith compiles a wide selection of questions and answers from his various columns over the past thirty or so years and duplicates these questions and answers in the appropriate section of the book. As such, Smith’s book is better utilized as a light read than for a game with friends.Early Disney Cartoon

I purchased Smith’s book shortly after its release and have greatly enjoyed it. More than anything, I have used the book to discover new films and shorts to view. I first watched the live action movies The Ugly Dachshund (1966), The World’s Greatest Athlete (1973), and The Cat from Outer Space (1978) after seeing them referenced in questions in Smith’s book. For what it’s worth, I enjoyed the first two of the aforementioned movies, but thought the third figuratively stunk like cat food; oh well.Donald's-Decision

As for shorts, based on mentions in Smith’s work, I watched “Donald’s Nephews” (1938), “Mickey’s Trailer” (1938), “Donald’s Decision” (1942), “Susie, the Little Blue Coupe” (1952), and “In the Bag” (1956). These shorts are all available to view on youtube. I found “Donald’s Decision” especially interesting because it was made as a propaganda piece such as to encourage Canadians to purchase war bonds during World War II rather than for general amusement. Also, in “Donald’s Nephews,” we learn that our favorite duck, the one who is never wrong but always right, the one who never dreams of starting a fight, the one who gets stuck with all the bad luck, the one and only Donald Duck, has a sister named Dumbella.

While Disney fans will likely be familiar with some of the information presented by Smith, it is equally likely that you will learn something new, especially since multiple aspects of the Disney Company are highlighted. I strongly recommend reading it if you get the chance.

Feel free to sound off with any thoughts in the comments!

Want to read more of Andrew’s posts?  He’s a contributing writer at The Mouse For Less and you can also follow him on Twitter @AndrewCfran