Pursuitist presents an insider’s guide to the exclusive world of Disney’s Club 33, curated by the world-renowned luxury travel expert and journalist, Christopher Parr. Voted a “Top 10 Luxury Travel Blogger” by USA Today and recognized in Luxury Lifestyle Awards’ 2023 list of the “Top 50 Best Luxury Influencers and Bloggers in the World,” Parr is your trusted guide on this journey into the heart of Disney’s best-kept secret and takes you inside Club 33, Disneyland’s $15,000 per year secret club offering dining, drinks and VIP services. Embark on a captivating exploration of Club 33 as Parr divulges its rich history, the exquisite offerings, the intricacies of membership, and the coveted privileges bestowed upon its select members. This is not just a tour; it’s an exploration of luxury, exclusivity, and the enchanting Disney magic. So, dear reader, let’s peel back the curtains of Club 33 together and discover the wonders it has to offer.
Imagine a hidden sanctuary nestled amidst the unbridled magic of Disney – a place where exclusivity meets enchantment, where privilege and whimsy intertwine, creating an experience that’s as extraordinary as it is elusive. Join us as we unravel the allure of Club 33, exploring its hallowed history, the opulent offerings, the intricacies of membership, and the coveted access into this members-only retreat. This is not just another travel tale. This is an invitation to explore the unexplored, to discover the marvels hidden within the magical universe of Disney. Let our magic adventure begin.
What is Club 33?
At the onset, it’s imperative to understand what Club 33 is. It’s a private, members-only club nested within the Disney Parks, offering an elite experience of luxury, privilege, and top-tier services that redefine the Disney experience. From its inception in 1967 by Walt Disney, Club 33 has offered an exclusive escape for those craving the magic of Disney with an added touch of sophistication and grandeur.
Club 33 is not just a club; it’s a journey, a unique experience that brings together the magic of Disney and the allure of luxury. It’s a haven where members can enjoy the enchantment of Disney Parks with an elevated sense of exclusivity and privilege.
From the gourmet dining services to the exclusive meet-and-greets with Disney characters, Club 33 leaves no stone unturned in providing a top-tier experience. With locations across various Disney parks, each adding their unique flavors to the club’s charm, the Club 33 experience is as diverse as it is exciting.
The Allure of Club 33: A Backdrop and Historical Context
Tracing its roots back to 1967, Club 33 resides in the heart of Disneyland Park, a testament to Walt Disney’s vision to create an exclusive space for entertaining investors, dignitaries, and celebrity guests. Its name ‘Club 33’ is a nod to Disneyland’s original 33 corporate sponsors, adding an air of mystique and allure to its backstory. Located above the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square, this private club is adorned with Victorian-era sophistication, while embracing the whimsical charm synonymous with Disney.
Exclusive Entry and Membership: The Golden Ticket
Peering into the mirror of exclusivity, Club 33’s entrance and membership encapsulate the essence of luxury travel at its finest. To simply step foot into Club 33 is to cross the threshold into a realm of exclusivity, with entrance limited to members and their guests. The club’s iconic “33” embossed door in New Orleans Square is the gateway to a wonderland, accessible only to a select few.
The coveted Club 33 membership carries a hefty price tag, reflecting its premium offerings and reputation. The initial fee ranges from $30,000 to $100,000, contingent on the level of membership, with annual dues of approximately $15,000 to $30,000. Securing membership, however, is not solely a matter of affluence; aspirants must also navigate an extensive waiting list, rumoured to span years. Nevertheless, those who manage to acquire membership secure their passage to an unparalleled Disney experience.
The Exquisite Club 33 Experience: Services, Amenities and Locations
The services offered by Club 33 are designed to cater to every member’s whim and fancy. From gourmet dining services to exclusive meet-and-greets with Disney characters, the club leaves no stone unturned in delivering a top-tier experience. The Club 33 experience even extends to the parks, where members are granted access to FastPasses, behind-the-scenes tours, and VIP guides, who provide a unique perspective on the Disney universe.
Club 33’s exclusivity and opulence is not confined to Disneyland alone. Membership benefits can be enjoyed across various Disney parks. The original club at Disneyland, California, has sisters at Disney World, with lounges tucked away in each of the four parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Each location retains the iconic charm of the original Club 33, while adding their distinct flavors, reflecting the park they reside in.
The Perks of Membership: Club 33 Offerings
Membership to Club 33 is the gateway to a realm of exclusive luxuries, each designed to deliver a unique and unforgettable Disney experience. Here, every detail is considered, every wish catered to, immersing members in a world of enchantment and indulgence.
- Gourmet Dining Experiences: Club 33 offers unparalleled dining experiences. Members can savor the culinary delights crafted by top-tier chefs in the club’s world-class restaurants. Whether it’s a decadent dinner at Le Grand Salon or a casual lunch at the Trophy Room, every meal turns into a gastronomic adventure.
- Private Meet-and-Greets with Disney Characters: Imagine meeting your favorite Disney characters in a private, relaxed setting. At Club 33, members have the opportunity to interact with Disney characters away from the crowds, creating personal and magical moments.
- Exclusive Previews and Special Events: Club 33 grants members early access to special events, attractions, and previews within the park. Whether it’s a first look at a new ride or a private viewing of a nightly show, members experience the magic of Disney in a unique, up-close manner.
- Premium VIP Tours: Experience Disney like never before with Club 33’s VIP tours. These tours, led by knowledgeable guides, take you behind the scenes, exploring the hidden wonders and trivia of the Disney Parks.
- Access to 1901 Lounge: Named in honor of Walt Disney’s birth year, the 1901 Lounge is an exclusive area within Disney’s California Adventure park. Access to this haven of relaxation, complete with a bar and lounge areas, is reserved exclusively for Club 33 members.
- Complimentary Valet Parking at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel: Club 33 membership takes care of the finer details of your Disney experience, including complimentary valet parking at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, adding to the ease and comfort of your visit.
These are just a handful of the diverse benefits that Club 33 offers its members, turning each visit to Disney into a bespoke, unforgettable journey into the heart of the magic.
Club 33 Locations and Tips for Access
While the original Club 33 is located at Disneyland in California, the club now has expanded locations in each of the four parks at Disney World in Florida.
- Disneyland, California: Located above the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square, look for a door marked with the number “33”.
- Magic Kingdom, Disney World: Club 33 is located in Adventureland. Look for a door with “33” plaque next to the entrance of the Adventureland Bazaar.
- Epcot, Disney World: The entrance to the Epcot club can be found in the American Adventure pavilion.
- Hollywood Studios, Disney World: The club’s entrance is at the Hollywood Brown Derby, marked with a “33” emblem.
- Animal Kingdom, Disney World: Located in Africa’s Harambe Village, keep an eye out for a door marked with a “33”.
Each location maintains a level of secrecy, so look for the iconic “33” at each park. Always remember that access is granted only to members and their guests, and a prior reservation is necessary to enter.
What is the Cost of Membership?
The Club 33 membership is highly sought after and carries a hefty price tag. The initial fee can range from $30,000 to $100,000, with annual dues of around $15,000 to $30,000, depending on group size.
- Initial membership fee: $30,000 to $100,000.
- Annual membership dues: $15,000 to $30,000.
- Prices are contingent upon the level of membership.
How’s the Food at Club 33?
The culinary experience at Club 33 is nothing short of magical, with dining options that fuse Disney’s enchantment with the allure of fine cuisine. Each location, whether in Disneyland or Walt Disney World, offers a unique gastronomic journey.
In Disneyland’s Le Grand Salon, dinners turn into exquisite affairs. The rotating seasonal menu brings to life the imagination of the club’s talented chefs, with dishes such as truffle-infused pasta and caviar starters that thrill the palate.
The Trophy Room offers a more relaxed dining experience, where the charm of home-style cooking meets the refinement of gourmet cuisine. From the signature Club 33 burger to the hearty lobster bisque, each dish is a celebration of familiar flavors enhanced with a gourmet touch.
The Walt Disney World locations uphold this standard of culinary excellence. The club’s locations in Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom each serve a carefully curated menu, reflecting the unique theme of their respective parks, thereby adding an element of surprise and delight to the dining experience.
The culinary offerings of Club 33 are a testament to Disney’s dedication to delivering extraordinary experiences, turning each meal into a gastronomic adventure steeped in magic and luxury.
Are There Bars at Club 33?
Club 33 is home to several unique bars, each a haven of relaxation and camaraderie. Each location, whether in Disneyland or Walt Disney World, offers an enchanting retreat where members can unwind.
In Disneyland, Le Salon Nouveau stands as the primary bar. With its jazz-era aesthetics and an impressive selection of wines and spirits, this space offers a sophisticated and intimate setting where members can savor expertly crafted cocktails.
The 1901 Lounge, located within Disney’s California Adventure park, is a separate entity of elegance and nostalgia. The bar houses an array of fine wines, whiskies, and bespoke cocktails, allowing members to enjoy a relaxing respite amidst the bustling park.
Similarly, the Walt Disney World locations feature exclusive bars within their premises. The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom each have their unique bars, each themed to align with their park’s ambience. These bars serve as exclusive retreats where members can enjoy finely crafted beverages in a sophisticated environment.
The bars at Club 33 encapsulate the essence of the club – a seamless fusion of exclusivity, luxury, and Disney magic, turning every visit into an unforgettable experience.
What is Club 1901?
Club 1901, hidden within the captivating landscape of Disney California Adventure, mirrors the exclusivity and allure of its sibling, Club 33, found within Disneyland. However, it takes the concept of exclusivity a notch higher, granting access solely to Platinum and Executive members of Club 33.
Unlike Club 33, where members have the privilege to make reservations for others, the access protocol at Club 1901 is notably more restrictive. Entry to Club 1901 mandates the presence of the Club 33 Platinum or Executive member at the time of access, making it a truly exclusive retreat within the bustling adventure park.
The charm of Club 1901 lies not just in its exclusivity, but in the deeper level of intimacy and personal connection it offers its select members. It serves as an idyllic, quietly glamorous corner that provides a serene contrast to the delightful excitement that permeates the Disney parks, offering its esteemed members an unassuming haven amidst the exhilarating adventures of Disney California Adventure.
What are the Parks offering Club 33 service?
Initially, Club 33 was exclusive to Disneyland in California. However, the Club has now expanded to other Disney Parks, including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom in Disney World, Florida.
- Disneyland, California
- Magic Kingdom, Disney World
- Epcot, Disney World
- Hollywood Studios, Disney World
- Animal Kingdom, Disney World
What are the Club 33 VIP Services?
Club 33, in its commitment to providing an unparalleled Disney experience, offers an array of VIP services to its esteemed members. These services are designed to enhance the Disney adventure, making each visit a unique, personalized, and unforgettable journey.
- FastPass Access: One of the foremost benefits of Club 33 membership is the privilege of FastPass access. With this, members can bypass long lines at the most popular rides and attractions across all Disney parks. This priority access ensures that members can make the most of their time at the parks, experiencing their favorite attractions with minimal wait times.
- Behind-The-Scenes Tours: Club 33 goes beyond the glitz and the magic, offering members an exclusive glimpse behind the curtain. Members have the opportunity to partake in behind-the-scenes tours, learning about the incredible intricacies, history, and trivia that make Disney parks so special. This backstage access adds a new dimension to the Disney experience, making each visit even more memorable.
- Exclusive VIP Guides: To ensure members enjoy a seamless, tailor-made Disney adventure, Club 33 offers the services of VIP guides. These knowledgeable guides, well-versed in all things Disney, provide personalized tours, sharing intriguing tidbits, assisting with dining reservations, and offering insights to enhance the overall park experience. They act as personal concierges, dedicated to ensuring that each Club 33 member’s visit is as magical and memorable as possible.
- Preferred Seating at Shows and Parades: Club 33 also offers preferred seating to its members for various shows and parades across the parks. Whether it’s a nighttime spectacular, a Broadway-style performance, or a lively parade, members can enjoy the best views, ensuring they don’t miss a moment of the magic.
- Access to Secret Entrances: To enhance the exclusivity of the experience, Club 33 members also gain access to secret entrances to the parks. These discreet entrances not only heighten the sense of privilege but also allow for a more relaxed entry and exit, away from the regular crowds.
The VIP services offered by Club 33 are a testament to Disney’s commitment to creating extraordinary experiences for its members, transforming each visit into a tailor-made journey into the heart of Disney’s magic.
Who are Club 33 Members?
Club 33 membership is a coveted status held by an elite and diverse group of individuals. Its members come from various walks of life, but they all share a deep affection for the Disney brand and the exceptional experiences it offers. The club’s membership roster includes high-profile business figures, celebrities, and Disney enthusiasts who appreciate the exceptional service, exclusivity, and Disney magic that Club 33 provides.
- High-Profile Business Figures: Club 33 membership is often sought by prominent business figures, including executives and entrepreneurs from various industries. These members, such as Tom Staggs, former Chief Operating Officer of The Walt Disney Company, and Tony Baxter, a retired Imagineer who helped design various Disney attractions, value the unique networking opportunities and the tranquil respite Club 33 provides amidst the bustling parks.
- Celebrities and Influential Figures: The allure of Club 33 also extends to celebrities and influential figures who seek a unique and exclusive Disney experience. Elton John, a known Disney aficionado, and Christina Aguilera, who once celebrated her birthday at the club, are just a couple of the numerous high-profile personalities that have enjoyed the exclusive benefits and enchanting atmosphere of Club 33.
- Disney Enthusiasts: At the heart of Club 33’s membership are the Disney enthusiasts. These individuals, regardless of their profession or status, share an unwavering passion for all things Disney. They appreciate the rich history, the detailed storytelling, and the exclusive offerings that Club 33 offers, which heighten their Disney experience and deepen their connection with the brand.
Club 33’s membership is a testament to the universal appeal of the Disney brand. Despite their diverse backgrounds, all Club 33 members share a common thread – a deep-seated appreciation for Disney magic and an affinity for extraordinary experiences. The members of Club 33 aren’t just patrons; they are part of an exclusive community bound by their shared love for Disney and its timeless enchantment.
How to Enter Club 33?
Stepping into Club 33 is akin to unlocking a special chapter in Disney’s storybook, one reserved for a chosen few. The club’s access protocol preserves its exclusivity and adds an air of intrigue to the experience. Here’s a closer look at how one gains entry to this prestigious club.
- Membership Access: First and foremost, access to Club 33 is strictly reserved for its members. Membership not only offers unparalleled privileges within Disney parks but also serves as a key to unlock the elusive doors of Club 33. The club’s venues, spread across various Disney parks, are private spaces where members can relax, dine, and immerse themselves in the sophisticated side of Disney.
- Guests of Members: Access extends to guests invited by Club 33 members. If a member wishes to share the exclusive Disney experience with friends, family, or business associates, they can make a reservation on their guests’ behalf. This privilege allows members to share their unique access and experiences with their personal or professional circles.
- Reservation Protocol: Regardless of membership status or guest privilege, entry to Club 33 requires a reservation. Members can make dining or event reservations via a dedicated Club 33 reservation line or through the club’s member portal. It’s important to note that the club’s venues have a limited seating capacity and operate on a reservation-only basis to maintain a comfortable and exclusive environment.
- The Iconic Door 33: The final step to entering Club 33 is through its distinctive doorway marked with the famed “33” plaque. In Disneyland, the original Club 33 entrance is an unassuming green door located in New Orleans Square, while other locations feature entrances subtly adorned with the club’s logo or the number 33. Once through these doors, members and their guests are welcomed into an enchanting world where Disney’s magic meets unparalleled luxury.
The journey into Club 33 is a unique experience in itself – one that’s woven with exclusivity, anticipation, and a distinct sense of Disney magic. It is this meticulous process that keeps the allure of Club 33 alive, making it an enticing destination for those who seek the extraordinary within the happiest place on earth.
Tips and Hacks for Entering Club 33 if You’re Not a Member
Gaining access to Club 33 is often perceived as an exclusive privilege only afforded to its members. However, it’s not entirely impossible for non-members to experience the magic hidden behind the “33” doors. Here are some tips and strategies that might just pave your way into this exclusive club.
- Network with Club 33 Members: Given that Club 33 members can extend invitations to their guests, networking with existing members is one way to potentially gain access. If you happen to know a member or can establish a connection through mutual friends, you might receive an invitation to dine or attend an event at Club 33. Remember to respect the members’ discretion in extending invitations and avoid coming across as intrusive or insistent.
- Join Charity Auctions or Fundraisers: Occasionally, Club 33 will donate a dining experience to charity auctions or fundraisers. These events provide a unique opportunity to bid on a Club 33 experience, with the added benefit of your funds going towards a good cause. Keep an eye out for these charity events, as they are one of the few ways non-members can directly secure a reservation.
- Consider Corporate Memberships: Some businesses hold corporate memberships to Club 33 and occasionally use these memberships to reward employees, entertain clients, or facilitate company events. If you work for a company that values experiences like Club 33, it may be worth discussing the possibility of a corporate membership or inquiring about opportunities to attend through existing corporate benefits.
- Visit during Special Events: During certain events, like the annual D23 Expo, Disney sometimes arranges special tours or experiences that include access to Club 33. Although these occasions are rare and spots are highly sought-after, they offer non-members a potential pathway into Club 33.
- Be Patient and Persistent: Lastly, remember that gaining access to Club 33 is no easy feat, and patience is key. Continue nurturing your love for Disney, attend Disney events, and be an active member of the Disney community. You never know when an opportunity might arise.
Although there’s no guaranteed method for non-members to enter Club 33, these strategies might just bring you a step closer to experiencing the exclusive allure of this iconic club. Always remember, the journey into Club 33, whether as a member or a guest, is about more than the exclusivity—it’s about celebrating the magic, history, and charm that Disney has to offer.
Is Club 33 the Most Expensive Experience at Disneyland?
While Club 33 is a very exclusive and expensive private society, there is one private destination that’s even an upgrade over Club 33. This is the super private, exclusive only 21 Royal, which is Disneyland’s most expensive private suite — offering personalized fine dining, drinks, viewing areas, private beds, and dining rooms. It is upstairs from Club 33 at Disneyland, comes complete with a private butler, and costs $15,000 per night.
Club 33 is a journey into the world of exclusivity and luxury nestled within the enchanting universe of Disney. A hidden gem for the elite, this club blends the magic of Disney with the bespoke service and opulence of a high-end retreat. While its entry is guarded, its doors open to reveal a world of perks that transform an already magical Disney adventure into an unforgettable, privileged journey.
While Club 33’s price tag may be steep, the rewards are unquestionable. Members are not just buying access to a space; they’re purchasing an experience – a chance to traverse the various Disney parks like never before, to be a part of a select community and share in an illustrious legacy that stretches back over half a century. For those with an affinity for Disney and a desire for exclusivity, Club 33 is the epitome of luxury travel, a Disneyland dream realized in grandeur and splendor.
Like most luxuries, Club 33 is not just about the tangible amenities it offers, but the intangible experiences it affords – the feeling of exclusivity, the thrill of privileged access, and the lasting memories it etches onto the heart of each member. As the world slowly reveals its secrets, Club 33 remains a secluded gem, promising a unique blend of Disney enchantment and exclusive privilege, forever treasured in the heart of every member.
Traveling, much like life, is an exploration – a quest for new experiences, unique perspectives, and novel narratives. Club 33 embodies this spirit, offering a luxury travel experience that redefines the boundaries of exclusivity and indulgence.
This is a testament to the power of luxury travel – the capacity to transcend the ordinary, to break the barriers of everyday life, and to usher in experiences that are, in every sense of the word, extraordinary. And in the end, isn’t that what luxury travel is all about? The chance to explore the unexplored, to taste the untasted, and to live the unlived. And at Club 33, you’ll get to do just that – in true Disney style.
Disclaimer: Prices and membership details are accurate as of July 2023. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please reach out to Disney directly.
Christopher Parr, is the Editor and Chief Content Creator for Pursuitist, and a contributing writer to USA Today, Business Insider — and the on-air host of Travel Tuesday on Live at 4 CBS. He is an award-winning luxury marketing veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. Named a "Top 10 Luxury Travel Blogger” by USA Today, Parr has also been selected as the official winner in Luxury Lifestyle Awards’ 2023 list of the “Top 50 Best Luxury Influencers and Bloggers in the World.”