Before you begin reading, pretend that I posted this yesterday. ;)
I can’t believe one year ago today (*wink*) I crossed off a top ten bucket list dream of mine- Dining at the exclusive Club 33 in Disneyland. If you’ve never heard of Club 33, you may be asking yourself, “Why is some Disney restaurant on the top ten of her bucket list?” And I would have to explain to you the significance of this magical place:
(Summary borrowed from Wikipedia, where you can read more about the origin here!)
When Walt Disney was working with various corporate promoters for his attractions at the 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair, he noted the various “VIP Lounges” provided as an accommodation for the corporate elite. This gave him the idea that culminated in Club 33. When New Orleans Square was planned, this special area for corporate sponsors and VIPs was included. While originally intended for exclusive use by Disneyland’s Corporate sponsors and other industry VIPs, when Club 33 opened in May 1967—five months after Disney’s death—individual memberships were also offered. As of 2011, there is a 14 year waiting list for new memberships. The membership waiting list was re-opened in May 2012 after being closed for over a decade. Corporate members pay an initiation fee of $27,500, and individual members pay $10,000 in addition to annual dues, which are about $6,100 or $3,500, respectively. Initiation and dues may change annually.
When I first heard of Club 33 years ago, I dreamed of going but obviously didn’t have too many friends (or even a friend of a friend) with a membership. Enter the delightful Carrie and Patrick, who are not only two of the coolest people we know but friends with the coolest people I don’t know! (If you ever wanted to hear Carrie chatting with, oh, I don’t know- Dick Van Dyke about his wedding, for instance, you can listen to her podcast here!)
The entrance in New Orleans Square. <3 Carrie had to send her hair and blood samples through a secret box while giving secret knocks, clicks, and passwords to grant our access. (Or, you know, just buzzing the doorbell, but whatever!)
When the door opens, you’re greeted with a cozy lobby and a French lift (which I insisted we take, of course).
The menu *cue the Hallelujah chorus.*
The main dining room where we were seated at a window table like rockstars:
Instead of coffee after lunch, I asked for hot chocolate. :)
I thought I knew all about Club 33 going into the experience, but I had no idea how expansive the outside balcony was, which weaves all above New Orleans Square. I think the highlight of Nate’s life was hanging out up here watching the “peasants” below, and has resulted in fist shakes at anyone we’ve seen on “our” balcony since. :)
Thank you Patrick for this photo of us!!
And I leave you with a photo of the ladies’ restroom, where I may or may not have stuffed my purse with those paper Club 33 napkins. Because that’s what all the classy ladies do, right? :) Carrie and Patrick, thank you for granting a decade-long wish!!