29 September 2009

Singing the song of Adventurers

My recent trip to Walt Disney World was built around two unique experiences, the Expedition Everest Challenge and the Adventurers Club Dinner (created by WDW Radio Show and Mouse Fan Travel). Of the two, Everest presented a race that I hoped would be the first of many, and the Adventurers Club offered many of us the chance to bid a wonderful cornerstone of Disney entertainment a fond farewell. Today, I want to try and express what the Adventurers Club Dinner meant to so many of us.For starters, it should be noted that there would be no alcohol at this club once famous for their Kungaloosh, a fact that would not diminish the experience or the feelings anyone had for the establishment. The dinner itself, as well as the desserts, were fantastic but seemed more symbolic to those of us there to spend time with Hathaway, Sugar, Pamelia, and the rest of the Adventurers and their club.The events of the evening, the swearing in as new members, the Hoopla, and the Mask and Treasure room shows, in addition to the appearances of Babylonia and the Yakoose, made the night one to remember. While having some free time to roam the corridors one last time (in an attempt to document as much as I could), there were moments when the achy reminder that the Club would soon be shuttered for the last time would wash over, but the pains were soon washed away by the cheers and laughter of patrons interacting with our brave and bold adventurers.Highlights, at least in my house, of the evening include my wife, alongside two of her friends, having their first experience of a Hoopla. The Hoopla Virgins, as they were announced to Hathaway Browne, were dubbed Sassy, Trashy, and Sleazy. Although, which is which is probably up for continual debate. For my part, just before the night ended, it seemed as if Sugar Snap needed some assistance in clearing the house. Unfortunately, the end result included my wearing her hat, choker, holding her feather duster, and having a pair of stockings draped around my shoulders. Afterwards, since I saw about two hundred camera flashes, I decided there was no point in keeping this photograph undercover. It was, after all, all in good fun. Plus, what a last memory to be able to treasure.The final bows, rousing ovations, and, finally, the request that we all had to clear the building, were fitting in and of the fact that so many of us got what the Adventurers Club was, what it was all about. It was the crown jewel of engaging, interactive experiences, especially when coupled with the story of the entire Pleasure Island area. There may never be Adventures marching along the banks of Walt Disney World again, but for the past twenty years we have been lavished in innuendo and laughter, regaled with tales, and become a part of the stories. Thank you Pamelia, Hathaway, Otis, Emil, Samantha, Fletcher, Graves, and especially you Sugar ( ;^) ), your spirit will live on in each of us.After the two Hooplas had ended, while everyone was chatting with the Adventurers and each other, before they asked us to leave, I took a moment to snap one last picture on the stage. A moment trapped in time, a moment I will never forget, no matter how many years I go marching along.

9 comments:

Elizabeth said...

There is no debate. The Hoopla Virgins know which is which. We just don't necessarily feel the need to reveal why. :-) So long, Adventurer's Club. You will be missed. Even by those of us who only got a glimpse of you.

Anonymous said...

Kungaloosh!
May the spirit of the Adventurers' Club live on.

Jen said...

Thanks, Ryan, for an excellent summary of a phenomenal night! I'm thrilled I could be a part of it--and delighted that Sassy, Trashy, and Sleazy are immortalized in the pages of the Main Street Gazette! ; ) Kungaloosh!

Chuck Munson said...

Thanks, Ryan, for describing the proceedings prior to the Last Kungaloosh. Those of us who made the Adventurers Club a part of every visit are going to truly miss it.

Princess Fee said...

Thank you Ryan! I'm so happy that you could share this with us - what a shame that I couldn't be there, but the memories do live on!

Kathy said...

I had the pleasure of experiencing the Adventurer's Club twice... oh if I had only known... I would have made more of an effort to partake of the fun and zaniness just one last time during our last vacation. :(

I'm glad the old girl got a proper send-off! She will be missed.

lorilovestigger said...

I think you should've put those fishnets on.

-- Ryan P. Wilson said...

I took somewhere in the neighborhood of 225 photographs of the Adventurers Club that evening, so this is by no means our last Hoopla on the matter.

Lori - I think they should have let me keep them as a momento! Of course, it would have been tough to explain why I have a pair of stockings framed on my wall...

Gator Chris said...

Hi Ryan. Thanks for a heartfelt summary of a truly memorable evening.

On a personal note, it was also great getting to meet you and so many other members of the Disney online community.

As for the fate of the Club, I keep telling myself two things:
-- We shouldn't cry that it is gone, rather we should rejoice that it ever existed at all (not my words, I'm paraphrasing).
-- I take heart in the prophetic words of Babylonia herself, who that evening foretold that she would someday be hanging on a wall in Hong Kong.

"Up or down, North South East or West..." (you know the rest).

- C.