Our Visits To Club 33

Dining In "The Club"

Recent Club Thirty-Three Visits

Prior to the "digital daze" our pictures of visits to Club 33 are in the old fashioned albums somewhere on a shelf.... But technology hs advanced...

2006 With The Adams
2010 With The Ernie, John and the Duda's
Life Day #13 2010 With Jesse Jette Of Montana
Mitch And Luisa And Dudas 2011 At Club 33

There are various origins that have been claimed for the name "Club 33." One says that Club 33 was named for Disneyland's 33 sponsors at the time, one of which wasChevron. Another explanation is that Walt Disney chose the name simply because he liked the way that "33" looked. Another, given by a Club 33 employee, says that since Walt wanted to serve liquor in the Club he had to obtain a liquor license - which requires a full street address.

Walt, wanting to protect Disneyland's alcohol-free status, didn't want to use the park's Harbor Boulevard address, so he ordered that all the buildings in New Orleans Square (then under construction) be given addresses.

According to the employee, "33" was chosen because Walt's lucky number was 3. One explanation, arguably the most common, is that "33" when turned on its side bears similarity to two letter "M"s, as would stand for " Mickey Mouse ." In actuality, it was the address assigned to the door by chance.

Club 33
The original companies that were charter members of Club 33

The Magic Entrance

Club 33 Door When Walt Disney was working with various corporate promoters for his attractions at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair , he noted to himself of the various " VIP Lounges" provided as an accomodation 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. Disney hired Hollywood set director Emil Kuri to design the facility. Club 33 opened in May 1967 , five months after Disney's death.

Club 33 originally was intended for the use of Disneyland's Corporate sponsors and other industry VIPs. After Disney's death, Club 33 was opened up to individual members also.

Interior

To enter Club 33, a guest must press a buzzer on an intercom concealed by a hidden panel in the doorway. A receptionist will ask for their name over the intercom and, if access is granted, open the door to a small, ornate lobby. Guests have the option of going to the dining level via an antique-style glass lift . The lift is an exact replica of one Disney saw and fell in love with during a vacation in Paris , but the owner of the original refused to sell. Undaunted, Disney sent a team of engineers to the Parisian hotel to take exact measurements for use in the creation of a replica; even a sample of the original finish was taken so that it could be duplicated. A spiral staircase to the second level wraps around the lift.

The second level has two dining rooms. One room has dark wood paneling; the other room is more formal but has a lighter environment.

Once at the dining level, guests can view antique furniture pieces collected by Lillian Disney . Walt Disney also handpicked much of the Victorian bric-a-brac in New Orleans antique stores, according to club manager Michael Bracco.

The club is also furnished with props from Disney films. There is a fully functional glass telephone booth just off the lift that was used in The Happiest Millionaire and an ornate walnut table with white marble top that was used in Mary Poppins . A video capture from the film on display atop the table shows actors Karen Dotrice , Matthew Garber and David Tomlinson standing immediately to its left. A newly-installed bar prepares drinks for members and their guests.

A harpsichord which was rumored to have been an antique was in fact custom-built for Lillian Disney specifically for use in Club 33. The underside of the lid features a Renaissance -style painting that was actually done by Disney artists. Elton John has played this harpsichord, Bracco told Bloomberg News, and it can be played by anyone who sits at it.

Walt Disney also wanted to make use of Audio-Animatronic technology within Club 33. Microphones in overhead lighting fixtures would pick up the sounds of normal conversation while an operator would respond via the characters. Though the system was never fully implemented, it was partially installed and remains so to this day. An Audio-Animatronic condor is perched in one corner of the club's "Trophy Room." The microphones are clearly visible at the bottom of each of the room's lighting fixtures. The animal trophies (Walt inherited them from a friend), for which the room was named, have been removed by Disney family members. Photos of the room with the trophies still installed can be seen on the walls now. Currently this room is known as the "Disney Room."

Disneyland guests participating in the "Walk In Walt's Footsteps" tour are provided entrance to the lobby of Club 33. The tour guide will provide a brief history of the club and explain some of the artifacts in the lobby. The tour members may be photographed in the lift, but are not allowed upstairs.

Years ago, 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.

Pictures Tell The Story...

These are randomly selected.... See 2006 and 2010 specifically