Update 5/21/2015: My visit to Club 33 predates the remodel of the club so many details have changed, but read on for a nostalgic view of this secret club above the streets of New Orleans Square.
I’m guessing that if you are a Disney Nerd like me, you already know about Club 33, but in case you don’t, it’s a special “members only” club nestled above the Pirates of the Carribean ride. Much mystery surrounds it as very few get to go inside, but if you are VERY lucky and if you know somebody who knows somebody, you can see it for yourself. Located in the heart of New Orleans Square, it’s residence is not hidden but not obvious either. There is a door next to the Blue Bayou with simply a large number “33” in beautiful lettering next to it and if you look closely, on the wall of the door frame is a little metal hatch. When you lift it and press the button a usually sweet sounding voice asks how they can help you. Saying your name and time of reservation is your key to opening the door. From the moment you step in, you are experiencing something very unique in all of Disneyland.
You have the choice of taking the elegant stairs or the nifty elevator that shuttles you up to the next floor. Take the elevator. You can walk a flight of stairs anytime (and maybe you’ll want to after eating a hefty lunch), but the elevator is part of the decor of the place and helps put you in the mood of an exclusive, posh club that – at least for the moment – YOU are a part of. Club 33 is a supper club of sorts. Members who come to this place are coming to eat a kind of meal you can’t find anywhere else in the park. I’ve only been twice and both times through the graces of a good friend. The food was delicious. And the price is a little hefty – but when you consider that guests of Club 33 get into the park for FREE (admission is part of membership), it’s really not so bad. I’ll tell you though, that was the most expensive mac and cheese my daughter has ever eaten!
Once seated at your table, you can look out onto the Rivers of America which is outside of the balcony doors (which you are allowed to go out and walk around). From there you can see some surprising details like a chair and table with a pitcher of iced tea on top of it for your neighbors across the way. Amazing how Disney thinks of even the little things for something very few will see. Just another testimony to the attention the Imagineers and folks at Disney put into everything they do. If you go at Lunch/Brunch you’ll order a main dish with the appetizers and desserts served buffet style. At Dinner, you will receive pure table service with generally immaculate attention to detail. The service we had both times was very good, but I have to admit the dinner service was exceptional. I don’t know if they still do it since this was years ago, but at dinner they had these servers standing near each table simply holding bottles of Evian and refilling your glass almost immediately. It was pretty impressive. At the brunch we went to just last year, the service wasn’t quite that intense, but still friendly and a cut above most places you’d go to. And there’s nothing quite like it in the Park.
Now the food was five star quality. I had the line caught sablefish with risotto croquettes and they were fantastic. A place that can cook fish this tender without overcooking it and with the flavor combinations they had on the plate were simply tremendous. Every part of it was tasty. Cassie got the filet mignon with truffle mac-n-cheese with actually truffle flakes and not just the “truffle oil.” It was the best mac-n-cheese ever. The sauce the filet rested on was magnificent as well. Emma had the kids macaroni and cheese which was as I said before the most expensive mac-n-cheese ever, but considering you get free admission into the park was not bad at all (but unfortunately that is no longer the case). The desserts were fun. Some were elegant, some were tasty, and some were both elegant AND tasty. With as large a variety as they had to choose from it would be hard for someone to walk away unhappy with at least a few of the delectable treats.
If you’re like me and you enjoy walking away with a little memento of your time at Club 33, then be sure to check out the souvenirs available only at the restaurant. In the hallway leading to the dining room, you will see on your right a display cabinet showing shirts, pins, and other memorabilia. Some of the prices are a bit high, but the merchandise is high quality and the opportunity to buy a souvenir from one of the most exclusive places in Disney is surely worth a little more. If you’re a pin collector be sure to pick up at least one! Just let your host or hostess know what you’d like and they can add it to your bill. Feel free to walk around, ask questions, and enjoy your time in the famous Club 33. As you leave, you know you’ll walk away with an unique experience few ever get to experience.