Disney’s Club 33 – 10 years of Birthday Celebrations

When I first heard whispers about Disney’s Club 33 I was not sure if it was real or an urban legend.  I spoke to people that assured me it was real, but they had never been inside.  At that point, even the exact location within Disneyland was even a mystery. Disney's Club 33

After years of searching and seeking, I found the opportunity! I attended a University alumni fund raiser in 2006.  A silent auction item was a certificate awarding the winner a dinner reservation at Disney’s Club 33.  The fine print of the auction listing stated that the reservation  included entry into the Disneyland park, however the cost of the meal was NOT Included.   That was it, there was no additional information or explanation of the auction item just a 4-digit price tag for the starting bid.  I was the only bidder.

My family at Club 33 for my Birthday dinner in 2006
My family at Club 33 for my Birthday dinner in 2006

My birthday was a couple months away and dinner at Club 33 was the perfect way to celebrate!  My immediate family and a couple friends made up my dinner party. The entire night was surreal, I had a hard time enjoying the moment, I was so excited!

2006 - Decorative Disney Phone Booth at Club 33 in DisneyLand
2006 – Disney Phone Booth at Club 33

Every item had a little Disney touch, including the white wicker throne decoration on the toilets in the Ladies Room (the only time I wish I had a photo of a toilet).  The dining room was dark wood and we were surrounded by a (non-functional) animatronic vulture, extravagantly painted piano, and fresh flowers on every mantle.

Somehow, I thought I would find the opportunity to go back.  After ten years, I am ready to admit that meal may be a once in a lifetime event.

All photos from my 2006 Club 33 Birthday evening are courtesy of my Mother, who realized more than I what a special evening we were in for.

Disney Club 33 2006 to 2016

Club 33 in Disneyland is a magical place to celebrate a Birthday!  Here are a few more stories of Club 33 Birthday dinners over the last 10 years.

Penny celebrated her 33rd Birthday at Club 33 in April 2016 with her husband and another couple. She was kind enough to share her Birthday memories with me (and you).

Happy Birthday Penny! Photo Courtesy of Penny Fillebrown.
Happy Birthday Penny! Photo Courtesy of Penny Fillebrown.

“I always wanted to celebrate turning 33 at Club 33!”

Reservations were made through the other couple, not members themselves.  As many of these Club 33 stories go, it was made possible by a friend of a friend of another friend!

Photo Courtesy of Penny Fillebrown
Photo Courtesy of Penny Fillebrown

“My favorite part of the meal was speaking with the waiter about his time working at Club 33. That, and watching out the window the sunset over the busy Disney crowds, all while enjoying a really nice glass of wine.

Birthday meal at Club 33. Photo Courtesy of Penny Fillebrown.
Birthday meal at Club 33. Photo Courtesy of Penny Fillebrown.

Club 33 means to me a special spot where Disney guests are allowed a moment to soak in the vintage Disney pace of life, while enjoying a cocktail and amazing food. Each and every Cast Member made us feel special, which sometimes is difficult in “fancy” restaurants.

What I have found, is that the waiters cater to so many different walks of life, that they all begin with same very polite tone, but our table was real and wanted to get to know our waiter and enjoy his company and stories as well. I felt happy making his night more enjoyable too. I loved that we were able to take longer than 30 minutes to eat a meal in Disneyland. It was beyond magical to spend my 33rd birthday at Club 33. To me, it was an experience of a lifetime, regardless of the price tag, it was something I would do again in a heartbeat! I would also, purchase more items in their glass case of souvenirs. I hope more people are able to feel the fairy dust sprinkled on them in such a special spot.”

Club 33 entrance 2016 - Photo Courtesy of Penny Fillebrown.
Club 33 entrance 2016 – Photo Courtesy of Penny Fillebrown.

He said, She said – David and Vy share their Club 33 Birthday stories

Happy Birthday David! Photo Courtesy of David and Vy Spear.
Happy Birthday David! Photo Courtesy of David and Vy Spear.

We’ve been fortunate enough to visit the Club multiple times, before and after the recent renovations. The most memorable experience for David would be his first visit on December 28, 2012, when I (Vy) surprised him for his birthday.  My most memorable visit was for my 33rd birthday this past year (2015).

Happy Birthday Vy! Photo Courtesy of David and Vy Spear.
Happy Birthday Vy! Photo Courtesy of David and Vy Spear.

For David’s birthday, I was able to secure a reservation through a friend of a Club member, who made a reservation on my behalf.

For my birthday, one of my dear friends made the reservation for me.

Club 33 Vulture - Photo Courtesy of David and Vy Spear.
Club 33 Vulture – Photo Courtesy of David and Vy Spear.

David:  Before the renovation/expansion, it was nice to see a bit of Disney history with the original Trophy Room and the animatronic vulture.  

Club 33 in 2014, after the remodel. Photo Courtesy of David and Vy Spear.
Club 33 in 2014, after the remodel. Photo Courtesy of David and Vy Spear.

Vy:  At the original Club, the most interesting item at Club 33 was the French lift.  Since the expansion, the lift is no longer in use and sits in the bar, but we were able to ride it and it was fun to learn that Walt Disney picked it out himself and had it installed at the Club.

David:  On one of the most recent visits, I had the Autumn Pumpkin crème brulee with candied persimmons and spiced shortbread. They lit it on fire and it was so much fun!

Vy:  I always enjoy the presentation of the different dishes at the Club – soups that are poured in front of you or big reveals of your entrees.

David:  Overall, I had a very nice experience at Club 33. Fine dining isn’t something you necessarily associate with a theme park. Is it worth the exorbitant membership fees? Probably not, but if you know someone who can get you in, it’s certainly worth the price of the meal.

Vy:  For any Disneyland fan, visiting Club 33 is a definite bucket list item and one that I’m grateful to have experienced. It’s fun to get a glimpse into a private place that Walt Disney had a hand in creating (although he didn’t get to enjoy it himself) and it is like a museum – housing relics of Disney’s successes to artwork and pieces that he hand-selected for the Club– that’s a slice of Disney history you can’t experience anywhere else in the park.

Vy writes about her Club 33 Dining experience in detail here, and you can follow her dining adventures on Vy Loves to Eat website and Instagram @vylovestoeat

Want more?  Here are 5 Facts About Club 335 Facts about Disney Club 33

  • Club 33 is a private member’s only restaurant located in Disneyland.
  • The club was Walt Disney’s idea for a VIP lounge, but sadly was not opened until 1967, six months after Walt Disney’s death.
  • To join Club 33, there is a wait list of 10+ years and annual membership costs thousands of dollars (currently reported as $40,000 for corporate membership and $27,000 for individual members).
  • The original door was identified with a simple “33” sign, located in New Orleans Square behind the Blue Bayou restaurant.
  • The club was remodeled in 2014 to update the original foyer and lounge. The original dark wood was replaced with a lighter, brighter atmosphere, and the entrance is now at the intersection of Royal Street and Orleans Street in New Orleans Square.

57 thoughts on “Disney’s Club 33 – 10 years of Birthday Celebrations”

  1. I’ve never heard of Disney club 33 but now I want to go. It looks amazing. I’m so glad that your mum took the photos as it’s really nice to compare.
    I can’t believe the wait for this place though.
    Thank for teaching me about somewhere new.

  2. Had no clue that this even existed, and I have been to all the Disney theme parks around the world (minus the really recent one in China). First of all congratulations on wining the ticket and nothing like celebrating your birthday there. I’m glad you enjoyed the experience. I’m a huge fan of Disney and it’s always nice to take the kids to the parks or any Disney activity when we can.

    1. We are a Disney family for sure! My parents went to Disneyland for their honeymoon! We would go at least once a year, so it was extra special to take my entire family to Club 33 for my birthday.

  3. I haven’t been to Disney in decades! I never knew something like this existed. It looks like a very unique and special experience for an extreme Disney fan! My only memories of Disney include “It’s a smalllllll world after all…” on repeat!

    1. Club 33 at Disneyland is the only one that I know of. There are rumors that Disney may built another club at other parks, someday.

  4. Celebrating one’s 33rd birthday here must be fun. I find it interesting that Disney has this sort of private club and that people are willing to pay so much to be part of it. The things we learn when reading blogs! 🙂

  5. So funny–I had no idea this existed. I got to Disney WORLD every year and I bet they have their own kind of secret clubs there too. Hmm, I need to look into that! Congrats on being able to experience such an exclusive club!

  6. My family has had a membership to Club 33 for over 30 years. Sadly some of the recent changes (choices) that Disneyland has made regarding the club have made it loose some of its mystique. There is no longer a wait list for membership or plans to cap the membership. Anyone that can pay the $26K initial membership fee as well as the $10K annual dues is welcome to be a member. I love Club 33 and have given more people the opportunity to experience it than can be counted. Some of my best memories growing up have been at Club 33. There are some great perks to bring a member but since the remodel it feels more like a really expensive season pass. Here’s what’s included in the membership package.

    2 Annual passes (you and your spouse)
    Unlimited reservations that you attend
    20 unaccompanied reservations
    50 – 1 dayHopper passes to give out
    Free valet parking at Grand Californian
    Access to members only events
    Ability to ride the Lilly Belle (if hooked up)
    1 visit Walt’s apartment above firehouse
    10 fast passes good for anytime on any ride every time you visit the park.

    I guess my main complaint is that the new restrictions limit how many people we can send to the club. Before the remodel we were allowed to make unlimited unaccompanied reservations for friends and we loved being a part of making people’s dreams of going a reality as many of you have experienced. My favorite part was talking to friends after their first time going. Their genuine excitement of having been a part of something that unique always made me feel a small piece of what I imagine Walt felt in creating Disneyland.

    1. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing the Members side of Club 33. You are lucky to have experiences with this wonderful club. Sorry to hear the changes have made it less than magical.

  7. Never even knew such a club existed! How awesome, it looks like you had a ball and all of the ladies who visited after look like they’ve had a lovely time. What a cool place to go for a die-hard disney fan!

  8. Being a Disney fan myself, I am sure it was an absolute treat. Knowing that the queue to join the club is over 10 years is quite disheartening. Glad you could find yourself in the sweet spot. 🙂

  9. Wow! What a cool place to celebrate your birthday! I am such a Disney fan, I am pretty sure I will add this club to my bucket list!

  10. Oh, a secret exclusive restaurant in Disneyland.. who would’ve thought that something so sophisticated would be going on inside Disneyland haha. I had never heard of this club but now that I know of it, it would be amazing to visit one day.

  11. I’ve never heard of Disneyland Club 33. It’s a private club like you said so maybe that’s it. I can’t get over the exclusivity of the club that it has 10+ years of waiting list! Never heard of any that has a long waiting period like it before, too. It is sure is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to dine in the place. You are one of the few who had and I’m happy for you.

  12. This place look nice to spend time celebrating a birthday. the place looks very luxurious. maybe we will get a very pleasant experience and happy if it were there.

  13. Wow! I had no idea this place existed. Sounds like it is a memorable dinner experience for a lot of people. I hope I get a lucky break as well and am able to experience it some day.

  14. Another hidden Mickey? And something I certainly can not afford. That price tag! Yikes! But I am sure you truly enjoyed your time as well as the other lucky geese. 🙂

  15. How cool!! There are lots of these sorts of members clubs in the UK, but nothing like this 🙂 What a fantastic way to spend a birthday!

  16. I went to Walt Disney World’s Character dining , Orlando during my last birthday and loved it! Club 33 looks amazing but waitlist of 10+ years sounds stupid!

    1. I agree – the wait list is insane! For most people, the only hope to get reservations is through a friend (or a friend of a friend).

  17. Happy birthday!! What an awesome way to celebrate! I didn’t even know there was a club. Good job getting that reservation at a silent auction.

  18. I’ve not managed to make it to any Disneyland so far, but would love to get there some day. The waiting list for this club though? Yeah, not happening for me 😀 Loved what they do with birthdays though, totally get why it would be so appealing.

  19. This is so interesting! I had never even heard of Club 33 though I am really into Disney. But it makes sense because it’s in Disneyland and I’ve only been to Disney World. It sounds like a real treat!

    1. Members get access to the park included with Club 33 reservations (same day only), and the actual privilege to make reservations at the Club. Members pay for food and drinks at the club. With the current wait list and memberships fees, it would not be worth it for me, but I am glad that I have been there once.

  20. Wow, this is really intriguing! Never heard of the Club 33 before. I would imagine any Disney fan would jump at the chance to celebrate a special occasion in this place. 🙂

  21. Never heard of Disney’s Club33 until you highlighted it to this post. Must have been a good one to spend birthday at. You both are so lucky:)

  22. Thanks for including our experiences, Jen! The Club has always been an amazing experience for us and we’re happy to share our stories of this cool slice of Disneyland history!

  23. Wow, that’s amazing! I’ve never been to Disney but the foodie in me would love that kind of experience. I can’t believe how exclusive it is!

  24. Jennifer, I could literally feel your emotions from reading about your visits to Club 33. It really looks like a great place to celebrate BirthDay. I also love the mosaic on the floor.

  25. A waitlist of 10+ years?! Sounds like joining a golf club membership… of a waitlist for the next Hermes bag! In spite of this, this place seems worth each penny.. and waiting 😀

    1. I never made the membership list, and probably would not be worth it now. But, it was a very cool way to spend a milestone birthday!

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