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Peter David maps out a campaign to save the Adventurers Club

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Peter David maps out a campaign to save the Adventurers Club

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Peter David isn't exactly sure when he first discovered the Adventurers Club.

"It had to be sometime in 1989 or 1990," this award-winning author remembers. "I was exploring the then-newly-opened Pleasure Island. I'd already been to a number of the other clubs on the Island. And I must have wandered into the Adventurers Club around 10:30 or so."

Initially, David was confused ("I had no freakin' clue what was going on. It was like entering a madhouse"). But after catching a show in the Mask Room, he quickly became charmed by the place. So much so that Peter returned to Pleasure Island the very next evening. He was there as the doors for the Adventurers Club opened. And he stayed for every show.

And -- with that -- a love affair was launched. Over the next 19 years, Peter would return to the Adventurers Club time & time again. Dragging friends and family along so that they too could experience this one-of-a-kind entertainment. This truly unique experience.

David thought so highly of the Adventurers Club that -- when it came time to propose to his wife, Kathleen ... Well, there was only one spot on the planet where Peter wanted to pop the question.

"The people at Disney Weddings kept offering me Cinderella Castle," he explained. "But I kept telling than that 'Marriage isn't a fantasy. It's an adventure.' Which is why I wanted to propose at the Adventurers Club."

And with the help of the Colonel, David did just that. And I'm told that there wasn't a dry eye in the Main Salon when Kathleen accepted Peter's proposal.

Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

Given the number of times that David has visited the Adventurers Club ("At least 60 times. I've literally lost count") as well as his obvious emotional attachment to the place ... You can bet that Peter wasn't pleased when he learned about the Walt Disney World's plans to close this club.

"My wife actually told me," he continued. "She'd read about it on the Web. And when she told me, my immediate thought was that Disney couldn't be serious about closing such a unique entertainment.

I mean, no disrespect to those Disneyana fans who tried to save Mr. Toad back in 1998. But there are lots of rides out there that are similar to that attraction. Where you get in, you spin and then get out. But there is only one Adventurers Club in the world."

Which is why David decided that he had to persuade Disney Company executives to reverse this unfortunate decision. But first he needed a symbol. Something that the tens of thousands of Adventurers Club fans that are scattered around the globe could then rally around.

"I was brainstorming with friends," Peter remembered. "And the first thing that came to mind was compasses. That we'd send Disney Company executives this huge pile of compasses. Which would hopefully get across the whole 'North, South, East or West. An Adventurer's Life is Best' credo of the Club."

Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

But -- on second thought -- compasses are clunky. Not to mention being expensive to purchase and difficult to mail. So as David cast about for a new symbol and mapped out his campaign to save the Adventurers Club ... That's when it came to him: Maps !

"Maps are perfect. Everyone's got one or two old ones lying around their house," he explained. "So all it would cost for a person to take part in this particular 'Save the Adventurers Club' campaign is postage."

So if you'd like to take part in Peter David's campaign... Here's what he needs you to do:

"First open the map and circle where you live. Then draw arrows from your location to where the Adventurers Club is located. Because -- to be honest -- I'm not sure that Disney's current management team actually knows where the Club is. I mean, they can't seriously have visited this place if they've now planning on closing the Adventurers Club down. No one who's ever been in that Club, seen those shows and interacted with that cast could ever bring themselves to shut such a unique entertainment down.

Now take that map and stuff it in an envelope, which you'll then address to:

The Walt Disney Company
ATTN: Robert A. Iger
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

Why send these maps to Bob Iger? Because he's the one guy at Disney who's shown that he's not afraid to reverse course. Back away from a bad decision. I mean, look how close the company came to letting Pixar slip away? Bob was the only executive who could see that Disney was making a tremendous mistake there. Which is why he did everything he could to repair the company's relationship with John Lasseter and Steve Jobs.

So I'm hoping that -- if we all send Iger maps -- he'll then see the error of his ways. Bob will realize what a tremendous, under-exploited asset the Adventurers Club is. After all, it's the only part of Pleasure Island that literally has fans all over the planet. People who have great affection for, real dedication to that particular club. And they'll happily continue to spend their money there if Disney just smartens up, reverses this unfortunate decision and keeps the Adventurers Club open."

So if you want to help save this much beloved piece of Pleasure Island, Peter David says: "Put Bob Iger on the right path. Point this man in the right direction. Send Disney's CEO a map and let Bob know that you want him to keep the Adventurers Club open."

So do yourself -- and Peter David -- a favor and start mailing those maps.

Your thoughts?

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  • Great idea! I do not know the Adventurer's Club as well as other people do but I still think it is a fantastic idea and a place unlike any other in property, let alone the world. So I'll go and find my map - I'll need a world one as I live in the UK and if it needs to show Florida too... it's a big map!

  • I love the Adventurer's Club, and I'm going to miss it, but it is closing at the end of September and that is that.

    We just need to move on....

  • UPDATE: 7-22-08--I officially retract everything I said about Jim Hill. Check it out: http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jim_hill/archive/2008/07/22/peter-david-maps-out-a-campaign-to-save-the-adventurers-club.aspx I've decided that simply sending letters

  • I'm planning on visiting WDW this fall, but sadly, after the AC closes, apparently. So I guess I'll never know what it was like...unless Peter's plan works and the AC is saved. IMO, Iger ought to move the place to Animal Kingdom. Beyond Everest and Bug's Life there is NOTHING to do out there. I am not impressed by its zoo-like aspects - there are lots of good zoos out there to visit, if one is so inclined - and the theming of the Adventurer's Club would fit in very well there and give folks another reason to abandon better parks like Magic Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios for a day. Plus making into a restaurant might be a good idea too. Anyway, best of luck, David and company, with your efforts. I hope they work.

  • I've been to the Adventurers Club, once, years ago, and I loved it.  I intended to go back a number of times, but I always found myself to be far too busy when I was at Disney World.  I do wonder if it is as much fun now that it is populated with "fan boys".  That is one thign the fans don't realize... when they take over something liek this, it becomes far less fun for the outsiders.

    Anyway, I appreciate Peter's efforts, as I hate to see Disney close anything that is beloved and isn't drastically out of date, however... and I hate to be the downer here... I have experience, from the inside, with fan campaigns and Disney, and I can tell you right now, the maps, or anything else you send, won't make it to Mr. Iger.  Also, unless you can figure out a way to show them how to make it worth more to them left standing than it is torn down... and I mean financially, not because it won't upset the fans... they really don't care.  Today, the bottom line for Disney is the bottom line, and the plan for Downtown Disney is basically pure profit for them.  They don't have to pay salaries, they don't have to manage the establishments, and they get paid a lot for rent, and probably a percentage of profits.  It's going to be very hard to convince them that they should give up the money they can make from that property in order to maintain it as is, which probably bring in little to no money when you figure electricity, salaries, cost of drinks, and upkeep.  

    If you want to save the Adventurers Club, here's what you do.  You find a professional management company who is willing to take it over from Disney and run it as is... and do so like every other company bringing in their stores and restuarants, with no out of pocket from Disney.  Then, they might be willing to at least think about keeping it.

  • Is the Peter David behind this Save the Adventurer's Club THE Peter David? As in one of my favorite comic book writers Peter David? If so, I'm all for sending a map Mr. Iger's way. Even if I've never set foot in the place. That's all on me, of course, since I've never been one to want to enjoy the late night Pleasure Island experience. Perhaps the whole of the Adventurer's Club could be moved over to the Night Kingdom like I read on JHM before? Anyway, I'll put my forty-two cents (or whatever it costs to send a map) in!

  • Sending maps is fine. Making Iger aware of your ire is fine. But unless you send the maps and notify of the ire AND GET PRESS ATTENTION--as in LOTS of press attention---good luck.

    Mr. David is prominent in his own small arena of the media universe, but he's no rockstar, folks. This thing needs MAJOR attention to make it work. Get Tom HANKS to send a map. Get bigtime DISNEY stars to send maps. Get them all to do it visibly and on TV. Get it on the "funny/poignant capper/closer story" of the evening news programs in 100 cities around the country. Get it on all the entertainment tabloid shows.

    One of the reasons that corp. execs "change course" is because people are WATCHING. Right now, other than the "fanboy" contingent of AC lovers, this is happening in the DARK. "Night Kingdom" indeed.

    Make it PUBLIC make it ENDLESSLY public and make it BUILD and GROW. Heck, have a WDW Map BURNING ceremony somewhere, too. Get the cameras rolling. Get the talking-heads talking. That's how to move mountains in Burbank...as opposed to merely finding your map-sending efforts winding up in the "space mountain" between their ears.

  • HowardtheDuck,

    Yes, this is Peter David the comic-book/novel/tv-script author. I've read a number of his Star Trek novels.

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