If you’re a die-hard Disney fan, you know what Club 33 is. For everyone else, you probably had no clue that Disneyland has a hidden, members-only club within the park. It’s so exclusive that you can’t even get on the 14 year wait list for the 400 person club, and reservations are only available via a Club 33 member. If you’re fortunate enough to get on the membership list and you have the patience to wait well-over a decade, you’ll shell out over $10,000 for a personal membership in the first year, inclusive of initiation fees and first year dues, with subsequent recurring annual dues.
Let’s just say that I’m not a member, nor do I know any member, but I’ve been trying to land a spot since I’ve been in 7th grade. And how did I land a seat? Well, I’m not at leisure to disclose that fact. But was it worth all the effort and money to dine at Club 33?
Yes. Yes it was. The experience that is. There’s something very cool about finding a secret hidden entrance within Disneyland and then standing on the Club 33 terrace overlooking the crowds and watching Fantasmic with a drink in hand. There’s an old elevator that escorts you to a 2nd floor, with a trophy room, a lounge, and a formal dining room where Walt Disney and his inner circle used to drink and dine. It’s also the only place in Disneyland that serves alcohol, although for something so exclusive, Club 33 has a pretty poor selection of wines and other alcohol.
How was the food? Well, the tasting menu was comparable to what you’d get at an unmemorable hotel restaurant, a wedding dinner, or any other big event where they’re serving over a hundred guests. Unfortunately, that was what my brother ordered. As for me, I went a la carte, and ended up with THE worst duck and rack of lamb I’ve ever had, and I have close to three decades of eating experience under my belt. It was as if they had taken frozen pieces of meat, half microwaved them, and then… well, nuked the outside. I’ve never returned anything to the kitchen, but the thought crossed my mind a few times that night. Denny’s or Norms serves up better meat.
But hey, we all know Club 33 isn’t about the food or the drinks. It’s really about the Club 33 experience, which though a bit kitschy and a bit underwhelming, was still really, really cool. No regrets, and I’m glad I did it, but if an offer for Club 33 membership came up or I had another opportunity to dine there, well, thanks, but I’ll pass.
Enjoy the photos below. I’ll fill in the photo details another time.