Something of an underground culture, many of us Disney fanatics are simply not satisfied by only visiting the park. We search for hidden Mickeys, seek out little known tales that explain the meaning behind certain window signs and revel in stories of Walt’s apartments above the Fire Station on Main Street and above the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. There are two not-so-secret places in Disneyland that attract a lot of interest. One is the half basketball court inside the Matterhorn and the other is the exclusive Club 33 located upstairs in New Orleans Square. Earlier this week I had the pleasure of dining in the not-so-secret Club 33.
Completed five months after the death of Walt Disney, Club 33 was designed as a VIP lounge where Walt intended to entertain dignitaries and VIPs. His vision was inspired by the VIP lounges at the 1964 World’s Fair and further modeled after the French Quarter in New Orleans. Walt and his wife hand selected many of the antiques on display in Club 33 during their travels to New Orleans.
The Trophy Room
The entrance to Club 33 is located directly next door to the Blue Bayou restaurant that is inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. To enter, there is a door bell under a metal panel to the left of the door. The host opens the door and checks to see if your name is on the list. Once inside, there is a lovely wooden elevator (French Lift) and staircase for your ascent into the club.
After ascending the staircase or by use of the French Lift, guests enter the Gallery that branches off to Lounge Alley, The Trophy Room and the restrooms. Lounge Alley, seen above, leads to the main dining room. The experience includes a buffet of appetizers and desserts, that are located on the sides of this hall next to a full service bar, and an entree selected from the menu. This is the only restaurant in Disneyland that serves alcohol.
The food is scrumptious, the atmosphere is fine dining with a very attentive wait staff, and every article in the place is unique and interesting. Even the ladies room toilets are fashioned as wicker top chairs. I would’ve taken a picture if I didn’t think that might come across as weird.
For more history and pictures of Club 33, visit http://www.disneylandclub33.com/.