Sunset Over the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Inside Club 33 at Disneyland Park

posted on August 18th, 2011 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Club 33 at Disneyland Park

You’ve probably walked by, looked up at the iron balconies or stopped at the “33” sign on Royal Street and wondered what was in there. I know I have – Club 33 is a mystery that any Disneyland fan who has not experienced it ponders with each visit to New Orleans Square. Since new club memberships are rarely issued, I thought I’d never be able to see it for myself – that’s why I’m excited to be able to take you with me for a look inside Club 33!

First, a brief history. According to Disneyland Food and Beverage General Manager Matt Gray, Walt Disney was attempting to attract new sponsors for Disneyland park while he was at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. He noticed the fair had executive lounges for corporate sponsors and felt that Disneyland should offer similar amenities. He envisioned an exclusive setting – elegant, featuring fine cuisine and a uniquely Disney atmosphere. Matt says that it was actually one of the Disneyland sponsors who suggested that club invites be extended to select individuals.

In April 1966, Walt and Lillian Disney travelled to New Orleans with designer Emile Kuri, who had decorated the sets of “Mary Poppins” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” to select many of the beautiful antiques which would be featured in the club. The club opened at number 33 Royal Street in New Orleans Square on June 15, 1967 – sadly, six months after Walt Disney passed away. It would go on to be known as Club 33 – the most exclusive address in all of Disneyland.

“Our biggest challenge,” says Matt, “is living up to the expectations that our guests have built up in their heads from years of hearing about what is behind the door.”

Victorian-Age, French-Style Lift at Club 33

Club 33 includes two dining rooms and several adjoining areas, all of which hold a variety of antiques and original works of art. After ascending to the second floor in the unique Victorian-age, French-style lift – a reproduction of one Walt had admired during a trip to Europe – you enter The Gallery. Here you’ll find an oak telephone booth with beveled leaded glass panels adapted from the one used in the Disney motion picture “The Happiest Millionaire” and a rare console table which was found in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Also in The Gallery are original works by Disney artists and design studies for New Orleans Square and the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Lounge Alley

In Lounge Alley, you’ll find a beautiful harpsichord – one of the results of the “shopping” trip to New Orleans. It features a scene showing Jackson Square and the Mississippi River in the 19th Century, hand-painted by WED artist Collin Campbell.

The Main Dining Room

The Main Dining Room is decorated in First Empire style, recalling the era of Napoleon and the early 19th Century. The room, decorated with framed artwork by Disney artists, is lit by wall sconces and three chandeliers. Fresh flowers, parquet floors and antique bronzes create an atmosphere of serenity and warmth.

The Trophy Room

The Disney Room, or Trophy Room, is the second dining room. It was originally to be the setting for a show featuring five Audio-Animatronics figures: two magpies, an owl, a raccoon and a vulture who would entertain the guests and even participate in their conversations through the use of microphones which were hidden in the chandeliers above each table. The show never developed, however, and today only the vulture remains on his perch in the corner of the room.

Now that you’ve had the tour, join the Disney Parks Blog team for dinner tonight at Club 33! Thomas Smith, Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Jim Ames and I will be live tweeting tonight from Club 33 starting at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST. Follow along at Twitter.com/DisneyParks!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

29 Comments 1 Reply

1

Luke from CA on August 18th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I’ve eaten lunch in there before, and it is really fancy. The food is also very fancy, but I’d take a corn dog or a burger from Hungry Bear any day.

2

Dean on August 18th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Wow! Thank You! I’ve always wondered what the inside looked like! What other movie artifacts, if any, are in Club 33?

 

Erin Glover on August 19th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Dean – my favorite movie artifact in Club 33 is a table that was used in “Mary Poppins.”

3

Tyler from OR on August 18th, 2011 at 5:02 pm

This is incredible! These rooms are much larger than I would have ever thought there was room for. (Especially considering that many of the 2nd floors in Disneyland are forced perspective.)

Is it true that this is the one and only place where you can buy alcohol in Disneyland?

4

Ashley on August 18th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

We dined at Club 33 November 2011 for my husbands birthday, and will be dining again on October 22 with a few close friends for our 1 year wedding anniversary. It is imaculatly designed; service is impecable, and the cuisine is decadant. take care to view passers by from the balcony that overlooks the square. Take all the time in the world to enjoy what is sure to be a truly memorable experience.

5

John from CA on August 18th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

And this is just one of the many reasons why I want to work for the Disney Parks Blog! Are you hiring?

6

Heather on August 18th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Picture three has the coolest piano I have ever seen.

7

John from FL on August 18th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I’ve had two wonderful opportunities to eat at Club 33, both in Feb 2007 during my very first trip to Disneyland and the other during July 2009 and took my mother to eat there for the first time as well. The food is excellent, a bit pricey, but it’s totally worth the experience getting to eat there.
MouseTimes Podcast Host

8

Cara from MT on August 18th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Ok… how on earth do you get an opportunity to eat there? I see trip reports from various people… Do you have to be a member…do you have to be invited? My mom and I want to see it so badly!! We talk about it every year when we are in Disneyland!

9

Jen on August 18th, 2011 at 7:49 pm

I’ve always wondered what it was like inside Club 33. Thanks for the peek!

10

Maria on August 18th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I’ve had the opportunity to visit Club 33 on two occasions about 4 years ago – 1 for my daughter’s 23 b-day and one as a guest of a friend. While I agree that the food could be pricey, the experience is unique and priceless. The ambiance is serene; the food is to die for and the personnel professional, kind, patient and very cordial. My only suggestion would to add items to the kids menu and improve it a bit

AND, with your Club 33 reservation you receive complimentary same-day passes to both parks – Disneyland and California Adventure!

To answer some of the bloggers’ questions: Yes, you need to be a member or be invited by one to get access.
And, yes, this is the ONLY place where you can buy alcohol at Disneyland.

Cheers!!

11

nicole on August 18th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Thanks for the great pics of the inside of Club 33, the lift looks really cool. My dream is to one day be able to eat at Club 33.

12

Michelle on August 18th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I visted through my company’s membership. They have had membership for 20 yrs. I read on the net a few years back that there’s a waiting list of 10yrs?? And the cost is pricey. Its not like getting season tickets for a football team cheap.

I enjoyed it both times I’ve visited. First time was summer and the second time was for Christmas Eve. We had a blast.

13

Carrie on August 18th, 2011 at 9:07 pm

This is on my Disney Bucket List! “Dreams do come true” right? Or is there a contest coming up to eat here? That would be AWESOME!!

14

Matt from CA on August 18th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I absolutely LOVE Club 33, its my all time favorite place to eat at the Disneyland Resort!

15

Eliel on August 19th, 2011 at 12:51 am

Very Impressive. It resembles some of the finer hotels I’ve been in, only this one is even better because of its unique location. Thank You Erin for the pictorial tour!

16

Minesh from CA on August 19th, 2011 at 10:57 am

@Erin, Thank you for posting this wonderful insight to Club 33! I had the honor of dining there once (many years ago!) and it truly is the ‘Creme de la creme’ for any Disney fanatic! This post brought back very fond memories I only wish to happen again. So once more, thank you.

17

Kate on August 19th, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I love Club 33! The food and service is always great and the atmosphere is wonderful. My uncle is a member, so we eat there every time we go to Disneyland.

18

Dean on August 19th, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Wow! I want to see that Mary Poppins table!

19

Randy on August 19th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

So how was the food there last night? That is very cool that you guys got to go in and dine at Club 33!

20

Krista on August 19th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I have been in the entry area with the elevator but never upstairs. I’ve seen pictures of the upstairs before, but not of the room with the piano. Thanks!

21

Heidi from CA on August 19th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I was able to go there for the first time a few years ago. I was absolutely delighted; it was so very special!

22

Mindy from CA on August 19th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I love Club 33! I think I’ve been 5 or 6 times now, each time I get just as excited as the last. My most recent, and best trip was for my 30th birthday. I love the waiters that work up there! Alister is my absolute favorite :) I can’t wait to go back!

23

DON on August 20th, 2011 at 12:25 am

Read the captions, people! It’ a harpsichord.

24

Jeffrey from CA on August 20th, 2011 at 1:23 am

Glad to hear you were able to get a sneak peak inside ;)
It is quite the experience, especially since formal attire is required and most people don’t expect to see people in suits walking off the Monorail :P

I remember when Club 33 was THE best kept secret in Disneyland.
Sadly, this isn’t the case anymore, but it’s still the 2nd hardest place to get into at Disneyland (the first being the Dream Suite).

25

Larry on August 21st, 2011 at 5:44 pm

The Club is the best ride in the parks, atmosphere unique and inviting, unbelievable service, and food beyond even Disney standards. Walt would be proud!

26

Rich from AZ on August 22nd, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Ha! Jeffrey, you’re right. I ate at Club 33 last night but I’ve never seen the Dream Suite. (Except in pictures.)

That harpsichord picture must be years old. Because the room doesn’t look like that anymore.

If you ever get to go ask your server about the secret island in the Pirates of the Caribbean map.

27

Devan on August 22nd, 2011 at 9:34 pm

how does someone get into club 33 and if they could, how long would they have to wait?

28

PAMELA from NV on August 23rd, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I guess I should feel lucky that I have been in the Dream Suite. I took lots of photos to remember it by. I’ve been in the entry way of Club 33 but have yet to experience dining there. Hopefully one day we’ll get the chance. Thanks for the sneak peek. It makes me want to go there even more than before.

29

Angela from CA on August 25th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Thanks for the pictures. We loved our dinner at Club 33 last January for my husband’s birthday. We were blessed to have someone set us up with a reservation and we were truly grateful to have the experience.

Before the Dream Suite was put to use, we were able to tour the rooms, see the special effects and take pictures. I can only imagine how fun and cool it would have been to stay there for the night.

29 Comments