Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The One with Club 33

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Copy and pasted from Wikipedia (but all the pictures were taken by yours truly!):
Club 33 is a private club located in the heart of the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland. Officially maintained as a secret feature of the theme park, the entrance of the club is located next to the Blue Bayou Restaurant at "33 Royal Street" with the entrance recognizable by an ornate address plate with the number 33 engraved on it.
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Club 33 members and their guests have exclusive access to the club's restaurant, and the premises are not open to the public at large. It is the only location within Disneyland to offer alcoholic beverages. (Which, we don't drink, but it's an interesting bit of info).
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Members get free access to both Disney parks whenever they are open, plus early park admission several days each week.
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In addition, members are provided with valet parking to the overall Disney resort and access to Lilly Belle, the presidential caboose car on the Disneyland Railroad. Recently, Club 33 members were also provided the new benefit of getting up to six immediate Fast Passes per day, bypassing the stand-by queue for any Fastpass attraction in the parks. (I didn't know this! Dang! Oh well... maybe next time, if there ever is a next time! :)

When Walt Disney was working with various corporate promoters for his attractions at the 1964–1965 New York World's Fair, he noted the various "VIP Lounges" provided as an accommodation for the corporate elite. This gave him the idea that culminated in Club 33. When New Orleans Square was planned, this special area for corporate sponsors and VIPs was included. Disney asked artist Dorothea Redmond to paint renderings and hired Hollywood set director Emil Kuri to decorate the facility. While originally intended for exclusive use by Disneyland's Corporate sponsors and other industry VIPs, when Club 33 opened in May 1967—five months after Disney's death—individual memberships were also offered.
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As of 2010, there is a 14 year wait list for membership and it is closed to new additions. It only allows 487 members. Members pay an initiation fee of $27,500 (if they are a corporation) or $10,450 (for individuals). On top of that, they pay annual fees of about $6,100 or $3,275, respectively. (Holy moly...)

To enter Club 33, a guest must press a buzzer on an intercom concealed by a hidden panel in the doorway. At one time, a member needed only to insert his/her membership card in a slot near the buzzer and the door would open. However, this process no longer works.
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A receptionist will ask for their name over the intercom and, if access is granted, open the door to a small, ornate lobby.
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Guests have the option of going to the dining level via an antique-style glass lift, an exact replica of one Disney saw and fell in love with during a vacation in Paris, but the owner of the original refused to sell.
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Undaunted, Disney sent a team of engineers to the Parisian hotel to take exact measurements for use in the creation of a replica; even a sample of the original finish was taken so that it could be duplicated; or a staircase to the second level that wraps around the lift.

The second level has two dining rooms. One room (the Trophy Room) has dark wood paneling (that's where we ate).
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(Side note: I just finished reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and there is a bunch of significance to the number 33 - and here we are at Club 33 with a maximum occupancy of 33 -coincidence? I think not!)

The walls are adorned, in part, with butterflies pinned under glass and hand-painted animation cels from the original Fantasia film.
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The other room (the Main Dining Room) is more formal but has a lighter environment.
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Once at the dining level, guests can view antique furniture and art pieces collected by Lillian Disney.
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Walt Disney handpicked much of the Victorian bric-a-brac in New Orleans antique stores.
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The club is furnished with props from Disney films. There is a fully functional glass telephone booth just off the elevator that was used in The Happiest Millionaire and an ornate walnut table with white marble top that was used in Mary Poppins.
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A harpsichord which was rumored to have been an antique was in fact custom-built for Lillian Disney specifically for use in Club 33.
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The underside of the lid features a Renaissance-style painting that was actually done by Disney artists. Elton John and Paul McCartney have each played this harpsichord.
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Walt Disney wanted to make use of Audio-Animatronic technology within Club 33. Microphones in overhead lighting fixtures would pick up the sounds of normal conversation while an operator would respond via the characters. Though the system was never fully implemented, it was partially installed and remains so to this day. An Audio-Animatronic vulture is perched in one corner of the club's "Trophy Room." The microphones are clearly visible at the bottom of each of the room's lighting fixtures.
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In the dining room area one may walk through a door leading to the balcony.
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(Fox and I out on the balcony; and a mistake of a photo but I think it looks coolio):
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The balcony overlooks the water in the New Orleans area of the park. The shows often put on there are also very visible from the balcony.
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And that's all Wiki has to say! The rest of these pictures are about our dining experience and other things I found interesting. Like these bathroom labels.
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Inside the special assistance bathroom / painting of Little Red Riding Hood
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My place setting:
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First we got to partake from the seafood and salad bar.
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Hold the seafood... bring on the meat, bread, and fruit!
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Somehow I neglected to take a picture of the main dish which consisted of filet mignon and mashed potatoes. It was heavenly! Then it was off to the dessert bar.
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I love how everything is enshrined with the Club 33 symbol.
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Goodbye chocolates.
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The entire party enjoying a once in a lifetime opportunity at Club 33. And get this - at only 10 months old Fox was the OLDEST of the four babies that were there! We're like old timers now!
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Thanks so much for arranging this and for having the major hookups Daisy!

17 comments:

lyndsey said...

oh i'm so glad you got to go to club 33!! it is seriously the best secret in disneyland and such a special place. i knew you could truly appreciate it :)

Chris said...

That was awesome! I was able to check off a major item from my bucket list!

CHRIS and JENNY. said...

So I am a Disneyland freak. My family has been going twice a year, every year, since before I could walk....so needless to say I am soooooooop jealous that you got to go to club 33. Seriously jealous!

Paula said...

I got to dine at Club 33 many years ago too and I've never forgotten the glass elevator, the lamb chops, and the desserts!!How fun!

Valerie said...

How cool is that!! I remember you talking about this on a previous post, how excellent that you got to go. Have to share this post with my hubby - thanks for all the photos, Paige!

JenniferSanborn said...

My jaw hit the floor when I saw the title of this post.

You. Are. So. LUCKY!

:)

Jenni said...

WOW that is SO SO cool! Thanks for sharing!

Mr. Taylor and his Lady said...

what?! i had no idea this even existed! so jealous!
Xo

wendipooh13 said...

LOVE this post!!! I have always wondered what Club 33 looked like!!! how cool and what a great experience!!! you are soo lucky!!!

Behind the Mist Trilogy said...

How cool!!! How do you get to do that? Mom

Eliz Gardner said...

Wow! Great minds think alike! I too posted about Disneyland yesterday...but yours is WAAAAAYYYY cooler! So glad (and super jealous once again) that you were able to go to Club 33. Thank you for sharing all of the great photos and information. I love hearing about all of the history of this park and would have NEVER gotten to actually see inside those walls if not for you. Whoot for Paige and Chris and adorable Mr Fox!

Mandy said...

Wow looks so cool! Great photos!

Blake and Erica said...

What an awesome experience!! Not too many go behind those doors! :)

The Clems said...

i love club 33! i used to go all the time but haven't been in years! we even had our prom dinner there! so cool! 18 more days til out trip!

*reyanna klein* said...

Wow. I don't even know what to say. I mean, you know I'm a huge Disney fan, so of course, I'm super jealous. But I'm SOOOO glad you got to go because I know you're a big Disney fan too. And that makes my heart happy. :-)

And maybe some day when I'm in CA, you and Daisy can hook me up? ;-) What may I organize and decorate for you, dear friend? ;-)

Marlene McCune said...

I hate you....unless this Daisy can get me in someday too.

Marlene McCune said...

I'm just kidding. I don't hate you. I'm just very jealous.