Hey everyone, it’s your favorite Disney cast member! Since Disneyland will be opening soon and everyone is big on Disney, I thought I would start a weekly column about the Magic Kingdom. I will take you behind the scenes of well-known Disneyland spots and secrets that many people do not know! I will provide you with tips and tricks if you ever do decide to travel to the parks. How about we start off with a secret place — or should I say secret club?
I am, of course, talking about Club 33, a members-only fine-dining restaurant hidden inside Disneyland. The address for this prestigious club is 33 Royal St. in New Orleans Square. For folks who haven’t visited Disneyland, the park is divided up into “lands,” and each land has everything from rides to gift shops to restaurants. New Orleans Square is one of the lands in the park, and Club 33 is on the second story inside the French Quarter overlooking Tom Sawyer Island. Club 33 is marked with a special “33” placard on the outside of a large door, with a lobby so beautiful you can only use your imagination to picture what it looks like. You better have your wallet ready though, because the initiation fee costs $25,000 and yearly fees are $10,000. It was also the only place in the park to serve alcohol, since Walt Disney never wanted hard liquor around the children in the park. This has now changed with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, where guests can buy liquor at Oga’s Cantina.
Club 33 was built after Disney traveled to the World's Fair in New York in 1964. After that, Disney felt it would be a good idea to have a place where he could entertain corporate sponsors, royal dignitaries and celebrities. Disney was also constructing an apartment near the restaurant, and he planned on using the kitchen as his personal chef. Sadly, Disney never got to witness his masterpiece, as Club 33 opened in June of 1967, six months after he died.
It is a place as magnificent as ever, and I am speaking from experience. Yes, I have been to Club 33 many times. Every year, my family and I would go around Christmas time. The park looked so beautiful with all the decorations and lights. The Club especially looked grand, with dozens of beautiful Christmas trees and tinsel shining so bright. I especially loved the Christmas cookies with the Club 33 logo on it! I also enjoyed riding the old elevator up and down the two stories. I must have ridden it so many times the operator had to have gotten tired of seeing me.
The best part about Club 33 was sitting on the outside balcony and watching Fantasmic. The last time I went was my senior year in high school in 2012. While I may have been older, Club 33 was just as beautiful as the first time I laid eyes on it. My hopes are to become an executive at Disney and that one of the perks is Club 33 membership. Whether I go back or not, I will never forget the wonderful times I had with family and friends inside Club 33. Also, I want to thank you, Walt. Though I never met you, your love for Disneyland allowed you to build Club 33 and give me a place to share these memories. Your spirit lives within every cast member at your glorious park.
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Sean (he/him) is a business administration major from California. He enjoys playing video games and watching Disney+ in his free time.