Have you ever had dinner at Disneyland’s exclusive Club 33?

Entrance to Disneyland's Club 33

I have been very fortunate throughout the past decade to have had the opportunity to eat at Disneyland’s exclusive Club 33 several times.  An organization I teach for holds their annual meetings there.  You have to be a member to eat there – and of our colleagues has been a Club 33 member for years.  I am told that membership costs about $10K a year.

I had the presence of mind to take pictures this time around, which was just a few weeks ago.  Here then is my personal tour of Club 33 – and a food review too.

Lobby at Club 33

But first a bit of history.  Club 33 is located in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, which was designed to capture the atmosphere of the nineteenth- century New Orleans French Quarter.  I have actually been in the real French Quarter and while Disneyland captured some of the feel of that historic place, the reality is that the real French Quarter is a bit sleazy, which of course Disneyland is not.

Walt Disney Picture at Club 33

According to a history scroll I was handed by a cast member at Club 33, Walt Disney felt that a special place was needed where he could entertain visiting dignitaries and others in a quiet, serene atmosphere where superb cuisine and distinctive decor would complement one another.  He asked artist Dorothea Redmond to provide watercolor renderings of what such a place might look like. Accompanied by renowned decorator Emil Kuri, Walt and his wife traveled to New Orleans to select many of the beautiful antiques that are on display. After years of planning, Club 33 became a reality in May of 1967 – a few months before I was born. Sadly enough, it was never seen by its creator because Disney died of lung cancer five months earlier.

Dining room at Club 33

Club 33, so named after its address, 33 Royal Street, is comprised of two dining rooms and several adjoining areas, all of which hold a wide array of magnificent antiques and original works of art. After ascending in the French lift to the second floor, guests enter into The Gallery. Here they find interesting items such as an oak telephone booth with beveled leaded glass panels adapted from the one used in the Disney motion picture “The Happiest Millionaire” and a rare console table which was found in the French Quarter of New Orleans. In The Gallery, as elsewhere in the Club, are many original works by Disney artists and sketches done as design studies for New Orleans Square and the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.

Disney portrait at Club 33

The Gallery leads into Lounge Alley which serves as a vestibule and also the buffet for the Main Dining Room and Trophy Room. One wall displays several conceptual sketches of New Orleans Square, and directly across from these sketches is a custom-designed harpsichord decorated with a hand-painted scene depicting New Orleans harbor in the nineteenth century. The furnishings are a combination of antique and reproduction pieces.

Chandelier at Club 33

The Main Dining Room is decorated in First Empire, recalling the era of Napoleon and the early nineteenth century. Three glimmering chandeliers and wall sconces illuminate the entire room. Much of the framed artwork on the walls is again, the work of Disney artists. Fresh flowers, parquet floors, and antique bronzes create an atmosphere of serenity and warmth.

Showcase at Club 33

The Trophy Room is the second dining room and offers a more informal atmosphere. The cypress-planked walls provide an excellent background for sketches done as design studies for the Jungle Cruise and Tiki Room attractions. The design of the room incorporates the use of microphones in the center of each chandelier and a vulture with the ability to speak. Walt Disney’s intention for this concept was humorous in nature, as the vulture was to converse with guests during dinner. The Trophy Room also contains a number of antiques and it is usually sunlit from a long row of windows.

Table setting at Club 33

Today, Club 33 functions as an exclusive private club where members or their guests may enjoy a gourmet meal complemented by the finest wines.

Seafood appetizers at Club 33

So let’s talk about the food now.  They serve everything buffet style.  As you can see in the picture above, there are appetizers served on ice, that feature shrimp, lobster and crab.  Another case has a selection of gourmet cheeses, marinated and roasted vegetables, salads, and cold cuts.

Appetizers at Club 33

If you’re smart you grab two plates and load one up with the appetizers and then grab the entrees with the other.  No need to make room for bread as they serve sliced artisan bread in baskets on the tables, along with butter.  Bottled water is served as well as coffee.  Adult beverages, including fine wines and mixed drinks, are available at the only bar found anywhere in Disneyland.

Entrees at Club 33

The entrees always seem to include baked fish, roast beef, and lamb chops.  The fish is served with a cream sauce that is rather mild.  The lamb chops are drizzled with Au Jus and while I loved them one of my colleagues felt they were too rare.  Creamy mashed potatoes and saffron rice were offered on this particular evening, as well as roasted vegetables that included broccolini and carrots.  Is the food really gourmet?  Well, it’s better than Hometown Buffet and on a par with what you might find at a nice Las Vegas casino.

Desserts at Club 33

The desserts are the real prize at Club 33.  They have a chocolate fondue tower and provide fresh fruits and marshmallows and wooden skewers, so you can dip the items in chocolate and bring them back to your table.  Other desserts include fruit tarts and rich chocolate cake, as well as mini fruit pies and other bite-size offerings.

I know many Disney cast members who have never set foot in Club 33.  It is an honor to be able to do so, at least once a year!

10 responses to “Have you ever had dinner at Disneyland’s exclusive Club 33?

  1. Perhaps because you have been there in relation to a group event they have served buffet style, but we have ordered off the menu. The plated dinners are to die for! Once in a lifetime experience, it has to be, I will never get back in again, but oh what a memory!

  2. the John Fields

    Oh Art. You are so lucky! Did you buy any of the exclusive merchandise from the lobby? And did you see the hidden microphones on the chandeliers? Did you step outside onto the balcony?

  3. Joseph Silveira

    Art, My girlfriend and I are Disney fanatics and this December will not only be our first time at the park together, but I plan on proposing to her as well. Is there any chance that you or anyone you know has access to Club 33 for one meal. I realize how much of a long shot this is, but I figured that I would have to try. After seeing pictures of the balcony, I feel it would be the perfect spot to propose (quiet, but also classically Disney). If financial obligations need to be met, then I would be happy to assist with that as well. Any assistance is appreciated. Warm regards, Joe.

    • It’s really tough to get in there. It is easier to get a reservation at the Blue Bayou which is also a very romantic spot.

      • Joseph Silveira

        Art, I do understand the difficulty of getting into Club 33, but if at all possible I believe that would add to the Disney Magic of the entire evening. Being able to go somewhere forbidden for most and being proposed to all in one evening is truly something only dreams can fathom. Thank you for your assistance. -Joe

      • You know I think you might be able to get some help from the Assemblyman in the 69th District, which includes Anaheim. His name is Tom Daly. If you Google his name you will find his website. Contact him and give him the details. He is tight with the bosses at Disney as they helped him get elected. Good luck!

      • Joseph Silveira

        Art, thank you for your assistance in this matter. I emailed Mr. Daly and will hopefully get a response within a few weeks. Again thanks for your help and if any other leads come up please feel free to email me at josephsilveira@ymail.com

      • Good luck Joseph! Love conquers all.

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