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Club 33 at Disneyland

Have any other Chowhounders had the experience of dining at this members-only club inside New Orleans Square at the Magic Kingdom? After visiting the club last week, I do recommend it -- if not solely for the food, then for the absolutely unique dining experience. It's not that the food is bad -- and the service is certainly attentive and on par with finer restaurants elsewhere. It's just fairly typical California-inspired fare -- salads, steaks, fish, and chocolate mousse shaped like Mickey Mouse for dessert (of course).
I'm curious what others on this board who have had the Club 33 experience thought of it.

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  1. Had many dining evenings there. I actually have a history with that site as I was a guest of Mr. Disney as a very young child (my father knew him). The service is very attentive and I think it is a fun and unique experience. But as a foodie, I found the cuisine heavy and not at all inventive. If I had not been on a corporate expense account, I don't think I would ever go back unless it was to take guests to such a unique place. Sorry.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodiechick

      foodiechick: no apology needed. I don't own Club 33 so I'm not offended that you found the food less-than spectacular. I was just curious what others thought, and it sounds like we more or less agree. I was being treated there too by a member, so the price was right.

    2. Did you go during the buffet or for ala carte dinner?

      The last time I was there, my companion had soft shell crab with lavender in a tempura-style crust. I think I had a venison dish. Well beyond what you're describing.

      The buffet that I went to was more like a very good hotel, although I do recall no-limit lobster.

      This was probably 4-5 years ago.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mlgb

        both times we've been, we've ordered a la carte meals. I had the New York Strip that had a really nice charred creamed corn on it. I also had the nice field greens salad. So maybe I was too harsh in my initial assessment of the food. I thought it was very good food and overall a great experience that is hard to find anywhere else. It's just that among chowhounders, I know the stakes are high, so while I found the meal was fine, I was curious if it met the elevated standards often found here.

        1. re: encinitaseater

          There was a 2005 post with some menu descriptions. This is quite similar to what I remember. You probably could have tried something a bit more creative than steak and been pleasantly surprised.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/65751

      2. I have had the pleasure of eating here twice; once for dinner and once for brunch, as guests of my Sister-in law. I thought the service was impeccable, and the food was delicious.
        I agree though; it's less about the food than it is about the 'event' of eating here, from the minute they open the 'secret door' and whisk you upstairs in the amazing elevator, to the service, then to the incredible bathrooms!
        Then, when you leave and walk back out the 'secret door' people always ask 'What is in there?".
        I thought it was kind of magical.....

        1 Reply
        1. re: CEfromLA

          CE, you're so right. On our first visit last year, I "accidentally" (wink) left with a couple Club 33 matchbooks from the men's room. When we walked out into New Orleans Square through the "secret door," a lady wearing at least 100 pounds of Disney paraphenalia was excitedly trying to take pictures inside the little lobby area inside. I asked her if she wanted one of the matchbooks, she said yes, and it was like I'd made her day! I felt like a rock star! Anyway, it's been a fun experience and we'll definitely return if/when given the opportunity.

        2. DS (law school student) was invited to go to club 33 this past winter. (I would LOVE to get invited, but alas)
          What I remember vividly about his review of the evening is that the restaurant required long pants and the guys had on long shorts. California boys who have been going to Disneyland all their lives.

          They went to the shop across the way and got some ugly green or pink (or something) jogging suits and were accepted into the restaurant. They returned the attire after dinner and got their money back. They were told "it happens all the time"

          4 Replies
          1. re: laliz

            the dress code is sort of hit and miss. Some people dress up (slacks, suit jackets, women in formal dresses) and some dress down (jeans, collared shirts). But you're right: No shorts are allowed, even during summer.

            1. re: encinitaseater

              That's strange, I've been to Club 33 a few times and never heard of the no shorts rule? Here's a few picturse of me and my family at Club 33, and I'm wearing shorts. Maybe it's a somewhat new rule? These pictures are from last year.

              http://cuong.nguyensolutions.com/club33/

              1. re: kingkong5

                I think it depends on when you eat.
                If it's brunch/lunch I think you can wear shorts (walking shorts, not Daisy Dukes!).
                Dinner is long pants only.

                1. re: CEfromLA

                  It may be something they've started enforcing. Looks like kingkong WAS there for dinner. (Nice pics BTW). For those interested in what is on the dinner menu, you can also look at kk"s photos.

          2. I had the pleasure a few years ago to go for dinner and it really was a special experience. It is the only place in DIsneyland that serves alcohol! It is fun to step our onto the balcony and watch everyone below and the funny thing is, they never look up! I went with a friend who had won it tin an auction. I would love to go back, but don't have the "connection"!

            1. I have been a member from almost the beginning. The food over the years has had its ups and downs, but it is always a special experience. If you know a member, they can make reservations for you. You get into the park free and just has to purchase your meal at the club, which is about the same price as admission. Its a truly unique experience. We use it for business lunches, and it leaves a lasting impression on your guests.

              7 Replies
              1. re: vegasmike

                If you don't mind be asking, how did you become a member? I work for Warner Bros. Studios and my boss doesn't even have a connection! I know they have closed the wait list, which can be a forever wait.

                1. re: bosanova99

                  You simply apply for membership. Two types: individual and corporate.

                  No application forms. Simply write to the address below asking to be put on the membership waiting list and specifying which type of membership you are seeking.

                  Club 33
                  c/o Disneyland
                  1313 Harbor Blvd.
                  P.O. Box 3232
                  Anaheim, CA 92803-3232
                  (714) 781-4709

                    1. re: bosanova99

                      Bear in mind that there is an initial cost and also an annual cost, and we're talking about an initial cost of $10,000 or more and an annual cost around $3,000... and there's a 14-year waiting list.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        There must be a way around that. The person that I know that is a member became a member shortly after becoming a 'mucky-muck' politically for the city of Anaheim....

                        1. re: CEfromLA

                          There is. Corporate memberships can be maintained and memberships transferred from person to person as corporate management teams (or elected politicritters) change. However, the corporate membership is even more expensive and new corporate applicants are probably subject to the same waiting list.

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            I think CEfromLA is talking about the off-the-books shortcut. There's always an off-the-books shortcut.

              2. I've been there twice, both instances through my employer. It's solid but unspectacular food. Really it's about the experience and being able to dine somewhere where relatively few others have dined before.

                Full reviews with photos: http://www.kevineats.com/2006/10/club... and
                http://www.kevineats.com/2007/10/club...

                1. By far, the best thing about it is that you can drink. Walking around Disneyland with a buzz is one of the best experiences in the world.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: suicidemartini

                    Just don't get drunk, b/c they will escort you out.

                    1. re: justagthing

                      I agree, Disneyland is so much fun when you have a little buzz! I was surprised to see kevin's group in such casuel clothing, I thought men had to wear a a jacket and no jeans a loud.

                      1. re: bosanova99

                        That's for dinner. Pretty much anything goes at lunch service. ;)

                        1. re: bosanova99

                          even for dinner when we went last month, we were told to wear nice, dark jeans, not worn or torn, and we'd be fine. And we were. Bottom line on the dress code: People dress way up and people dress pretty casually.

                      2. re: suicidemartini

                        You can get alcohol at Downtown Disney now, and pop back into the park.