Behind the non-descript door that is next to this sign lies a secret of Disneyland. Many have never heard of it; some have visited; and even fewer are privileged to be a member. Located in New Orleans Square next to the Blue Bayou is the secret entrance to Club 33, a private Disney club and restaurant.
While we are not privileged to be members, we are blessed to have a friend with a membership and we sometimes have the opportunity go to “The Club” for a special occasion.
This place was to be Walt’s private dining quarters for hosting dignitaries, business associates and special guests. Unfortunately, he never got to see the finished venue as he had passed away five months prior to its completion in May, 1967.
After entering through the door (the Cast Member checks to see if you have reservations before inviting you in), you are escorted to the “lift” to take you to the second floor. This elevator is a replica of a European version. Walt actually tried to buy the one he saw, but the owner refused to sell it, so he brought in his Imagineers and they took measurements and drawings and replicated it for the restaurant.
On the second floor dining areas, the interior is very ornate, reminiscent of early nineteenth century décor. The food is five-star gourmet. This restaurant holds the distinction of being the only location in Disneyland where alcohol can be purchased.
Inside, there are two dining areas connected by a long hallway. The first is the main hall where couples and small groups enjoy the atmosphere and fine dining of the club, with immediate access to the bar. This dining room certainly makes one feel special and takes you back to a more genteel era.
On the other side is a larger dining room for parties and larger groups. This second dining room is called the “Trophy Room,” which contains animatronic animals that were intended to interact with the club’s guests.
The food is definitely fine dining. Our favorite is the Chateaubriand; the beef tenderloin cooked to perfection that practically melts in your mouth.
Depending on the time of day you are dining, you have some choices. Dinner is either a-al-carte with selections of appetizers, entrées and dessert. There are choices of beef, poultry, fish, and vegetarian. If you can’t decide, you can choose the Vintner menu. Here, the chef has created a 5-course dinner with starter, appetizer, entrée, cheese tasting and dessert. You can add a wine pairing for each course for an additional fee. Should you choose to have lunch at Club 33, you have similar choices for your entrée, but there is an unlimited salad/appetizer bar to begin your meal, and then you finish off with an unlimited dessert bar. Needless to say, this is our preferred option.
There are dress code restrictions, but they are not overwhelming as they keep in mind that someone coming to the club will also be visiting the park and dressing casually. So business casual is generally accepted; they just don’t want “too casual.” There is nothing wrong with dressing up as well, if you choose. We have taken better clothes with us and changed before entering the club.
The photo on the front page of this blog is from our 34th anniversary in 2013.
For more detailed information, please check out this un-official Club 33 website!
(While this post was created in April, 2015, almost a year after the remodeling of Club 33 was complete, it was written as if it took place prior to the remodel. An updated post will be created in May, 2015 following our anniversary dinner.)