Club 33 is the private, exclusive, secret, mysterious club that occupies a maze of rooms on the second floor of New Orleans Square. It is accessible only to members, and membership is hard to come by -- there is a waiting list of several years, a large application fee, and monthly dues in excess of $25, putting membership far out of reach of the average Joe and Jane Schmo.
Members can make reservations months in advance, and they receive free admission to the park on days when they dine in the club, so long as they promise to tip heavily. At their reserved time, members approach a subtly decorated door in New Orleans Square (purposefully misnumbered to thwart the uninitiated) and press a button on the wall. They are then asked for a password, and if the password is correct, they are allowed upstairs.
The Club 33 password has changed frequently over the years. Since the introduction of magnetic membership cards that can be used in place of the secret intercom, the password has been (apparently permanently) changed to "Please throw me out of Disneyland." There are rumors that guests using this password and claiming they lost their membership card receive special treatment, but we don't recommend you try it.
Within the club, members are frisked, iris matched, carded, and fingerprinted, after which they may use either a long staircase or a great glass elevator (inspired by the Roald Dahl book of the same name) to reach the club proper. Guests entering the main area are greeted by name and presented with $100 in Disney Dollars, custom made with the guest's name printed under the "Treasurer" title.
Fine, original art, and reproductions of fine, original art are everywhere in the club. Of particular note is a glass phone booth at the top of the stairs, donated to the club by a man who wished to be known only as "The Happiest Millionaire."
The club is divided into three main areas -- a small dining area that seats (ironicly) 33, a lounge/dining area that seats 66, and a buffet area that feeds 99. All the rooms are elegantly appointed, and the lounge has a large balcony that overlooks New Orleans Square and the Rivers of America. Club members are permitted to throw small items of their choice at the heads of passing run-of-the-mill guests with impunity.
The small dining room was once decorated with mounted animal heads, but they were removed for use in the Country Bear Jamboree and not returned when the attraction closed. The one remaining "animal" in the room is a lifelike animatronic vulture in one corner. It had been Walt Disney's idea that microphones hidden in the room's chandeliers could be used to listen in on guests' conversations, and that staff would respond to requests for service, while the vulture would join in on conversations when it seemed appropriate. The microphone/vulture system was never put into full use, as it quickly became apparent that rich, influential guests and company executives wouldn't like anyone so obviously listening in on their conversations. Today, the vulture stands silent, and the microphones are used only to record.
Club 33 is famous not only for its great service, but for its wonderful food -- in particular, its buffet and fixed-price Disney-themed dinners. For example, the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea dinner features food made entirely from the bounty of the sea, including an entrée of fillet of unborn octopus, and -- until Club 33 became a no-smoking venue -- a seaweed cigar after desert. Believe it or not, it's fabulous! (We do, however, recommend that you avoid the Tarzan-themed luncheon.)
Surprisingly, Club 33 does not maintain its own kitchen. Even though the club occupies space above the Blue Bayou Restaurant, all food served there is specially prepared at the Dennys across the street from the resort.
Guests are welcome to order wine, champagne, or fine spirits to accompany their lunch. The extensive wine cellar has both aged, recent, and house vintages, and emptied wine barrels are often used as decorations in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride below the club. Club 33 is the only place on Disneyland property where alcohol is served outside of grad night.
Adding to the mystery of Club 33 is the fact that it is the only attraction in the park with its own address. As a matter of fact, it has several addresses. Club 33's official New Orleans Square address is 33 Royal Street, its legal address (for purposes of its liquor license) is Club 33, 1400 S West Street, 2nd Floor, Anaheim, CA, 92802, and its address for complaints, suspicious packages, and hate mail is 1000 Flower Street, Glendale, CA 91201.
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