Let’s stay in place in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, but travel back in time to before the recent renovations of the legendary private members and their guests-only Club 33.
Being invited to this near-mythical hidden upstairs locale in the Square is the dream of many Disney fans and I was very blessed (thanks to a friend of a very kind and diligent friend of mine) to be able to visit Club 33 for a special birthday celebration – and thus able to cross that experience off of my Disney wish list!
I’m doubly glad in retrospect that I had the opportunity to see the original Club 33 before it was so unrecognizably changed this past year, altering the structures and design of New Orleans Square forever in its wake.
There were two major reasons I wanted to go to Club 33:
Being inside the original Club 33 and seeing all of the beautiful antiques, wood paneling, wallpaper, and thematic touches of the designers and the décor was incredible. Everything from the plates to the pens that you signed your check with had the Club 33 logo on them and just felt… special. As was the feeling of walking into 1960’s-era Disneyland – held sacred in stasis there. This place contained such history and you felt it from the moment you walked in the “secret” Club 33 door from New Orleans Square into another world and another time.
The other thing I was most looking forward to at the Club was the famous chateaubriand I had heard about for years and I knew before I even looked at the menu that that was the dish I wanted to try. To say it did not disappoint when I ultimately tasted it is an understatement. That was absolutely the most delectable cut of meat I have ever consumed in my entire life. I wished that dish would never end and savored every bite of it.
The seafood buffet was also magnificent. As was the Mickey mousse birthday dessert I was later presented with. And having Mickey Mouse and Pluto drop by to visit the premises during the meal was a bonus – though it was just a quick stop in the hallway and nothing I would consider as a character meal.
I was pleased to be seated in the very elegant main dining room, but managed to take a quick peek into the famous Trophy Room as well.
As a Disney fan, I’m so grateful to have been there before the venue and menu changed. I really have no interest in experiencing or eating at the new Club 33. What appealed to me – the connection with Walt Disney and the stepping-into-history feeling and classic menu of the original Club 33 – is gone, with all the modern “updates” and food changes that have now been made to this historic location. But just being there and seeing it all captured in that one moment in time was such a privilege – one I am eternally grateful to have had before it all disappeared.
Another time I shall write about the Disney-connected restaurants I would recommend if you never got to go to the original Club 33. The quality of the food is nearly as excellent, and the atmosphere is charming and steeped in its own history and theme – just like Club 33 used to be.
Have you ever been to Club 33? Or is it still on your bucket list?