Over 60 years ago, Disneyland was opened by Walt Disney, and he announced, “To all who enter this happy place, welcome.”
But when you’re wealthy, there are always more doors that are open to you — and Club 33 is one door you’ll want to use your wealth to open.
If you’ve ever been to Disneyland, you’d be forgiven for walking straight past the entrance to the 33 Club, because this has been designed to remain as elusive as the club it conceals. Located in the New Orleans Square in Disneyland California, this exclusive address can be found at 33 Royal Street.
Here, members are invited to indulge their taste buds with a six-course tasting menu, which incorporates New American and French cuisines. And no meal would, of course, be complete without a tipple or two — which is why Club 33 is the only place in Disneyland to serve alcohol.
What is Club 33?
Disney designed Club 33 as a place where he could entertain celebrities, donors, politicians, dignitaries, and other VIPs who were visiting the area. Designed with wow factor in mind, Disney and his wife sought out the world’s finest antiques and most superb cuisines to create a serene yet breathtaking location.
In May 1967, after years of planning, the club finally opened. However, sadly, Disney passed away just five months before, meaning he never got to see one of his most magnificent creations brought to life. Nevertheless, Club 33 remains a testament to Disney’s incredible imagination, and is still decorated with the outstanding works of art and unique antiquities he and his wife purchased many years ago. And the best bit is if you’ve got enough money in your pockets and an invitation from the club, you can enjoy this stunning location, which is only accessible to the world’s most privileged people.
What’s Inside Club 33?
Inside Club 33, members will find a number of distinguished rooms, including two exclusive dining rooms. Upon entering the restaurant, diners are taken to the second floor via an ornate French lift where they’re greeted by the grand gallery. This is decorated with quirky artifacts, such as an oak telephone booth, which was used in The Happiest Millionaire, and works of art produced by the artists at Disney.
However, it is the two dining rooms that will capture your attention most, as both of these have been carefully designed to evoke entirely different feelings in guests. The first dining room has been decorated in a style reminiscent of the 19th century and boasts extravagant chandeliers and wall sconces that illuminate the room. Again, you’ll find even more work by Disney’s artists, as well as antique bronze artifacts that add to the warmth and serenity of this unique location.
But if you fancy something more informal, you’ll want to head to the second dining room — the Trophy Room. This area offers a more relaxed atmosphere, or, at least, it does now. Originally, Disney placed microphones in the chandeliers so he could earwig on guests’ conversations before getting a vulture statue (who’s sitting on the grandfather clock in reception) to talk back to them. Thankfully, there’s no one listening to your conversations today, but you can still enjoy the frivolity of talking to the vulture.
How Do You Join Club 33?
Due to the exclusivity of Club 33, membership doesn’t come easy. It’s rumored there are only 500 members at a time, with over 800 people on the waiting list. However, good things come to those who wait, and these elusive membership spots do become available every now and again. To be invited to join this prestigious club, you need to make sure you’re on the waiting list. Patrons are encouraged to send their application in writing to Club 33 Member Services, 1600 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, CA 92802.
Once you’re on this list, you’ll have to wait patiently for your golden ticket to arrive through the post, and if it does, you’ll need to have readily available funds. Although membership details for Disneyland Club 33 do remain top secret, numerous reports suggest the initial fee for joining Disney’s invitation-only club is $25,000 while annual fees are around $13,000.
However, you may want to take advantage of the club’s exclusive platinum membership, which costs $100,000 to join and has an annual fee of $30,000. Paying this additional fee will give you access to Le Salon Nouveau and Le Grand Salon, which aren’t available to lower-paying members.
If that’s still not exclusive enough for you, you may be interested to know there’s an even more selective club available. Club 1901 is only available to the top tier of Club 33’s members, and is home to the largest personal collections of Walt Disney. From books to vintage pieces of Minnie and Mickey Mouse, this secret club is every Disneyland fan’s dream.
If this all sounds too good to be true and you can’t wait for your invitation to arrive in the post, there is one other option available to you – finding a current member who’s happy to take you along with them. This is the only other sure-fire way of gaining access to this elitist club, but you’ll want to make sure you’re aware of the club’s etiquette before you go. Guests who aren’t found to be adhering to the dress code will be fined $50 each. Shorts are a definite no-no and casual attire is only appropriate if you’ve been enjoying the park beforehand.
Finally, if you’re lucky enough to gain access to this club (which is undoubtedly one of the world’s finest members-only clubs), don’t forget to bring one of the napkins home as a keepsake. Shaped into various Disney characters such as Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, or Mickey Mouse, these are the ultimate memento for guests who visit the illustrious Club 33.