On Royal Street in Disneyland’s bustling New Orleans Square, a plain green door (address number 33) opens up to one of California’s most exclusive clubs. And most park visitors walk by it without even knowing.
Club 33 was the brainchild of Walt Disney himself. He wanted a place where he could entertain VIP guests right in the park, but in a private setting. Sadly, Disney died a few months before the club’s first meal was served, but his plan lived on. The club has grown over the years, but reps are mum on exact numbers. And while it is indeed very private, it’s also very pricey—individual memberships include a US$25,000 initiation fee and US$10,000 a year in dues. (Of course, these fees bring extra perks, such as annual admission passes to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, VIP guided tours of the parks and access to 1901, the new private lounge in Disney California Adventure.)
To gain entrance to Club 33, members must press a hidden doorbell and wait for an attendant to confirm their identities via intercom before the door is unlatched. A long set of stairs or an antique French lift then brings them to two beautiful dining rooms, which are decorated in a Victorian style and adorned with Disney movie props and memorabilia.
Naturally, the cuisine is impeccable. Nothing but the best when it comes to serving the dignitaries, politicians, actors, rock stars, retired animators and other VIPs who are fortunate enough to be on the members list.
The only way “common folk” can see the inside of Club 33 or taste its gourmet fare is by accompanying a member. Alas, claiming you’re with Mickey won’t get you in.