Disneyland’s elite and exclusive Club 33 is a place of fine dining and debonair entertainment, like Oga’s Cantina bar and lounge. Since the grand opening in 1967, only special members have been able to enjoy its luxury and lavish events. Club 33 has even been celebrated on television, in movies, books, and commercials.
Since the early days of the Disney Parks, Walt had visions of an upscale restaurant. This vision offered more than quick-service food eaten on park benches or picnic tables while strolling through attractions. The club was created as a place where you could go for an elegant meal on an ornate walnut table, away from the regular park crowds.
Curious to know what this exclusive Disney club is all about? Here’s the scoop on Club 33 at Disneyland!
What is Club 33 at Disneyland?
Club 33 is an exclusive club located in New Orleans Square at Disneyland. The entrance of the club was formerly located next door to the Blue Bayou Restaurant on 33 Royal Street, disguised as an inconspicuous cast-member-only door.
The secret door entrance was the only way to recognize the Club. It had an address plate with the number 33 engraved. For casual Disney fans, it may be hard to name Club 33 because not everyone knows about it.
It was designed by Walt Disney as a place where dignitaries, celebrities could visit the theme park without having to wait in long lines or on a long waiting list with everyone else or eat at ordinary restaurants. Walt Disney and the 1964 World’s Fair and the New York World’s Fair are some other events that attract these guests.
Walt Disney himself was the only member of the club until his death in 1966. Now, many celebrities have attended, such as Tiger Woods, Tom Hanks, Elton John, and Christina Aguilera. Even though it’s been many years since its start, Club 33 has remained extremely exclusive. It is said that only 33 memberships are available for purchase every year. Still, getting in isn’t an easy feat!
Why is it called Disney Club 33?
In the early days of the original Club 33, Walt Disney had a tendency for using numbers as names of things. This practice continued with his naming his personal railway car 3. It was after this that Disney decided it would be the perfect number to name his newest restaurant – Club 33 – since it was located on 33 Royal Street in New Orleans Square.
The first group of 18 members, made up of Disneyland elite and insiders, were given a lifetime membership card. They later traded them in for gold cards when they became available 12 years later. It was these original members who chose the now famous number as their new nickname for Disneyland’s exclusive restaurant.
The Making of Club 33 at Disneyland
There hasn’t been much written about the history of Club 33 Disneyland. The information that has surfaced consists mostly of gossip on social media or speculation. But here are some true facts about the club’s early history:
Club 33 was built in 1967 at Disneyland by Walt Disney, the creator of Walt Disney World, who wanted a place where him, his wife Lillian Disney and his family could entertain dignitaries, celebrities, corporate sponsors and park executives. The restaurant occupies 2/3 of an acre on the second story of New Orleans Square – this location is now home to one of Disneyland’s secret corridors.
It took over two years to build Disneyland’s Club 33 with construction starting in January 1966. At that time, it was rumored that Walt Disney had spent $1 million on private dining facilities for himself, family and friends. After the first 18 members were given lifetime membership cards, more were added as needed. Some of these new added members were service employees, park executives and insiders.
The club actually cost $250,000 to build at that time (roughly $1.6 million in today’s money). But Disneyland still didn’t face any problems thanks to a loan from Bank of America, a faithful sponsor since the beginning of Disneyland. Although it took much longer than Walt Disney expected for his dreams to become reality, he successfully built Club 33 – possibly as a special thank you to those who helped make Disneyland such an amazing success!
Club 33’s Extravagant Look
The clubhouse is not just a ground level club. To enter the club, the french lift takes you up two stories, an exact version of a lift Walt Disney saw in Paris. Every detail of this club was well thought out, intended to be one of Walt Disney’s best creations.
To complete this task, Disney recruited artist Dorothea Redmond to help him with his vision of creating a world-class steakhouse. She designed a room that included classic paintings and paneling with a mid-century modern touch. In addition, the restaurant would have low lighting to encourage more intimate gatherings.
The Secret Club 33 Entrance
The distinctive green door adorned with the number ’33’ opened as a secret passageway between New Orleans Square and Tomorrowland. It was originally intended as an escape route only to be used by Walt Disney. But later became a comfort station where Disneyland employees could rest or change clothes. Inside the green door, you can access special places like the trophy room.
Today, the door still operates as an emergency exit for park employees. There are no plans to open Club 33 to the public – partly because of its small size and to maintain exclusivity. But there are other special venues within Disneyland that cater to private parties including the Blue Bayou, Adventurer’s Club, Disney Gallery, Walt’s Apartment, The Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough and more.
Reservations for Disneyland’s Club 33
If you want to try to get in without a member, call or write Disney at least six weeks before your visit, then see if there is availability. During the holidays with private events, Disney might deny access even if you have an appointment through a member.
This restaurant is very popular, so it may be difficult for you to get in with or without a Disney Vacation Club privilege, unless you plan far in advance to enjoy favorite attractions. You can always ask when making your reservation with the club, but good luck because chances are low!
Touring Tips for Disneyland’s Club 33
A fun fact, you can have a better chance to get in tot he heart of New Orleans Square if you are a Disney Vacation Club member or a hotel guest staying at the three Disneyland Resort hotels. You will also have a better chance of getting into any special area if it is after 12:30 p.m.; most parties leave by 2:00 p.m.
A party with children might have more difficulty gaining access to a Disneyland club. During some nights, Club 33 has private events that preclude children from entering (unless they’re part of the event). You also might have a better chance of getting in if you are with a small party staying at the resort.
To make your personal experiences better, it is advisable to book a reservation well ahead of time because Club 33 can fill up quickly; however, once inside, it is rumored that reservations are not necessary after you get there.
It would be wise to make one though, just in case! You can also get access to valet parking and have no trouble finding a spot in the main dining room.
You can often find listings for Club 33 online (like Craigslist) where people who were unable to attend their reservations will offer them first-come-first-served to anyone who wants them. If you’re lucky enough, this could let you dine like royalty without all the planning and expense!
For children, there are many places to tour around Club 33 like the Disney California Adventure Park. There are attractions all around and things to do like meeting a character, like Mary Poppins, a show with Mr. Lincoln, the carousel of progress, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and even an animatronic vulture or two!
How do you get into Club 33 at Disneyland?
If it’s your first time in this Disney’s Club, read this important information on this magical place. Finding the exclusive location of Club 33 isn’t easy without a member to take you. You won’t find an ad for it on the Orange County Register, that’s for sure!
The entrance is not inside Disneyland Park, but outside at New Orleans Square. If you don’t know the secret password, you will need to call or write Disney at least six weeks before your visit and they might grant you access if there is availability.
Keep in mind, only Club members and their guests are allowed inside Club 33 (and have access to exclusive merchandise as well). So, don’t think that by getting in without a member or reservation you will get to mingle with the exact replica of Mickey Mouse. While high end dining experiences like this one rely on privacy for exclusivity, Disney does often offer special events such as annual New Year’s Eve celebrations where non-members can come in.
The only other way for the general public to get in without a member is to find a canceled reservation for a party that did not show up. Look for this kind of reservation around lunch time. The amount of cancellations are hard to predict, but they are usually made around 12:30 p.m.
If guests know they can’t eat at Club 33 that day, then they often cancel their reservations. So, take a deep breath, show up, ask for a reservation and hope for the best.
If you do find yourself blissfully enjoying cocktails in the uniquely decorated club, then consider yourself very fortunate!
If you’re dying to visit Disneyland’s exclusive Club 33 but can’t get a reservation or an invite from a current member, you might have to become a member yourself. Remember, Club 33 is extremely exclusive and invitations to become a member aren’t handed out.
To find out how to become a member for the Disney World Club 33, you must send an email to express your interest to [email protected] For Disneyland, you must send a letter of inquiry to Club 33 Member Services, 1600 S. Disneyland Drive Anaheim, CA 92802.
But this is just the first step. You won’t automatically be considered by showing interest. It all depends on availability, and how much you’re willing to pay for the exclusive membership.
Club 33 Membership Fees
The individual memberships can be quite pricey! It is said that the initiation fee starts at $25,000, followed by a $10,000 annual membership fee every year after. But that’s only the Disneyland Club 33.
If you find yourself on the east coast, things might be a bit more expensive. In the Disney World location, you have to pay an initial amount of $33,000. Then, it’s a $15,000 annual fee if you want to remain a Club 33 member.
But this is just a down payment that gets you into special events. It doesn’t include any food or drink!
Food comes at an additional price of $295 per person for lunch and $420 for dinner. This may sound astonishing, but exclusivity comes at a price – and a very steep one at that!
Club 33 Membership Perks
Today, members of Club 33 receive many benefits to experience great moments out of their stay, including priority access to the park. These Disney fans get preferred seating at selected shows and events, personalized stationery, fine dining, exclusive merchandise, and small gift items on special occasions.
They also receive invitations to exclusive receptions, special tours of Disneyland, including behind-the-scenes looks at attractions, VIP lounges, live music at dinner time, meeting your favorite cast member and more. The guest of a member also gets to enjoy these perks!
Members are allowed to bring one guest during regular dinner hours (two guests during the holiday season) and two guests for lunch. Additional guests will need to pay $25 per person plus any menu items they order.
The Walt Disney company club’s reputation has spread throughout the years with its high profile membership. Members are able to rub elbows with celebrities and dignitaries without paying outrageous prices in formal Los Angeles restaurants. I’m sure it didn’t hurt when former U.S. President George W. Bush chose Club 33 as a meeting site during his 2005 trip to Anaheim either!
What is the dress code at Club 33?
In regards to dress, men must wear suit coats and ties. Women may dine in cocktail dresses or elegant skirts and blouses to the dining area or executive lounges.
While members are not expected to gracefully adhere to this rule 100% of the time, they must be dressed appropriately in order to keep up Club 33’s exclusive reputation.
What is it like to visit Club 33?
Disneyland’s Club 33 is not an average restaurant with a liquor license – it doesn’t have a typical menu or atmosphere. It also can be packed with members and their guests because of its small size!
That said, the food has always been delicious (I’ve dined there twice) and the service is top notch. Remember this place is for exclusive use by Club 33 members only – don’t expect Disney employees to know where everything is all the time! If you are planning on dining here during your next trip, whether it is with business associates or family, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore every nook and cranny!
Club 33 is the only place at Disneyland where you can purchase alcoholic beverages. The menu changes frequently to offer various options for appetizers, entrees, desserts, and cocktails. There is an exquisite lounge area, and the bar has an extensive scotch collection, with at least one brand from every single distillery in Scotland.
You can also always take home some adorable souvenirs like a shot glass for your glass case.
What Kind of Food is Served at Club 33 Disneyland?
The private club has its own specially-designed menu even for lunch and dinner, which usually changes daily to feature fresh ingredients, but also includes some signature dishes that are served year-round. These include the famous “Oysters and Pearls”, Scallop of Petrale Sole, Lamb Lollipops, Carved Prime Filet Mignon of Beef au Jus, Fresh Duck Confit Agnolotti, Seared Hokkaido Scallops with Spicy Miso Broth, among many others.
However, it isn’t just about the dining. You get acces to Le grand Salon, and Le Salon Nouveau to finally relax on your vacation to the most magical place on earth (A.K.A the Disneyland resort).
Can You Take Pictures Inside Club 33?
Yes and no. You might feel tempted to take pictures to remeber your times in the club, who wouldn’t?! But it might not be allowed.
If you are a member or a guest at one of the three Disney hotels, it is not allowed. For everyone else, if clothing requirements are met, you can take pictures in the lounge area but not in any other public section of Club 33.
The Club 33 Gift Shop
Just like the club itself, the gift shop is exclusively for club members and their guests. It’s even difficult to find the gift shop, if you don’t know where to look!
The gift shop includes extravagant items, like the classic Mickey Mouse ears hat or the Disneyland Coin. But these are customized to fit the Club 33 aesthetic, making them hard to find anywhere else. Club 33 members also get special offers in the Club 33 gift shop. Here, you can also purchase note cards, T-shirts and drink glasses.
Any club member can also enjoy shopping without waiting in line. They have special access to the park’s gift shops including Elias & Co., Star Trader, and Disneyana.
Important Things To Remember About Club 33 at Disneyland
Disney’s Club 33 is for high rollers, big spenders, or people with corporate memberships. If you want to catch a glimpse of the club, forget about using binoculars or spotting it from Main Street. You’ll need to be extremely lucky and know someone who knows someone (a member) in order to get an okay for a visit.
It has been said that if you can’t afford the annual dues to dine at Club 33 at Disneyland, there is no need to be upset – just go eat somewhere else. You will gain more satisfaction out of another restaurant as opposed to dining at one of Disney’s most exclusive clubs!
It may shut its door on you due to a lack of preparation or preparation errors. In the end, park guests may have a hard time gaining access to the club, but it could be worth a try.
While you’re around, be sure to visit more attractions at the happiest place on Earth. This includes places such as Magic Kingdom, Haunted Mansion, Court of Angels, Star Wars in Hollywood Studios, and the Carthay Circle restaurant! But don’t stop there! Tokyo Disneyland is a must see attraction, even if it’s a once in a lifetime experience.
Whether you are traveling to Disney with your annual passes or you want to get that new club experience, you are bound to have fun! Happiness at Disneyland is right there in plain sight so go have fun.
Well, that’s the scoop on Club 33 at Disneyland! For more Disney related content, check out these articles: