Who's a member of the club that's made for you and me? That would be the Mickey Mouse Club, but there's another super secret club in Disneyland that is decidedly NOT for you and me, but instead for only a lucky few. With so many great restaurants, Disneyland is the most magical place on Earth and for those chosen (and wealthy enough) to be among the exclusive VIP ranks, that magic goes even further. It's these elite few who are granted access to the only alcohol-serving restaurant in the theme park. Club 33 at Disneyland provides a jazz-infused, upscale dining (and drinking) experience fit for royalty.
A membership to this club comes with much more than valet parking. The exclusive restaurant at Disneyland features a dining room, called Le Grand Salon, where diners are offered a fancy array of meals and wine pairings. The ultimate jazz bar atmosphere awaits in the Le Salon Nouveau where patrons can enjoy a full bar with mini-menu for a more upbeat experience.
If you're wondering how to get in to Club 33, just know that it's not easy. The purpose of its creation was to provide a level of exclusivity and class to what is, overall, a family-friendly amusement park. Access is only available to those with corporate connections and/or loads of cash. It's not impossible to join, but it is tricky, so be prepared for a long and expensive ride. Memberships are capped at a certain number with a waitlist that spans over a decade. Individual initiation prices cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Those of us who can only dream of dining at this exclusive restaurant at Disneyland will have to resign ourselves to poring over the photos, blogs, and reviews that the lucky souls with memberships post online. Here's a look inside the elusive Club 33 to tide you over until you hit either the jackpot or make friends with a card carrying member.
Membership Perks Include An Annual Pass And Character Appearances On Demand
Membership to Club 33 is the only ticket to boozeland in Disneyland. But membership comes with an annual pass that gets members into Disneyland Resort and Disney's California Adventure. They also get complimentary valet parking at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, exclusive access to various park events, and, since 2012, access to Disney California Adventure's new private lounge in Carthay Circle, 1901.
As if all of that wasn't lux enough, members can also request their favorite characters visit them while dining. All they have to do is make the request ahead of time. Dinner with Donald Duck on demand; not bad.
Better Dress To Impress If You Snag An Invite To The Club
Creating an air of elegance and high-class style, Club 33 adheres to a very strict dress code policy. Your basic theme park clothes won't cut it if you expect to gain entry. To allow enjoyment of the park on the same day as a trip to the club, casual attire is permitted for lunch. But watch out, this excludes tank tops, cutoffs, bare midriffs, sweatpants, or any sort of beach wear, and shorts need to be walking length and jeans cannot be faded or torn. For dinner, guests should wear evening casual attire, such as collared shirts, slacks, and informal dresses, but no shorts of any kind are allowed in.
Members Enter Through A Discreet Door With A Thorough Check-In
The entryway to the club is tucked away at 33 Orleans Street in New Orleans Square. It used to be an incognito door next to the exit of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and is now next to the a gift shop called Le Bat en Rouge. When the club is ready to allow entry via reservation, members tap their membership card over an emblem at the door. Non-members must enter Club 33 by pressing a buzzer on an intercom hidden underneath an inconspicuous panel on the doorway. The check-in area spans out into the open-air courtyard called the Court of Angels. Both members and non-members will be escorted to the second floor where they can drink and dine at the restaurant and lounge.
Prior to a major remodeling in 2014, the entrance was located at 33 Royal Street and access to Club 33's second level was via an antique glass elevator, which Disney's engineer's faithfully replicated from an elevator in Paris, France.
The Dining Area Provides The Best View In Disneyland
Le Grand Salon is the upstairs dining room intended for formal and reserved-seating meals. Le Grand Salon is open for both lunch and dinner and offers a menu stocked full of French and New American cuisine.
Aside from offering exquisite food selections as part of their multi-course meals, members and guests are allowed to venture out on the balcony overlooking the park. It's from this balcony that guests have the best view of New Orleans Square and the Rivers of America, as well as the best seat for the nightly showing of the Fantasmic light show.