Friday, February 22, 2013

Journey to Club 33: Part 1

A few years ago my now wife, then girlfriend, and myself were able to experience something very magical. We were able to dine at Club 33. For those of you not in the know Club 33 is a secret and ultra exclusive restaurant inside of Disneyland Park. The idea for the club came about during the 1964-65 World's Fair in New York City. Walt was hired to put together some attractions for a few of the pavilions and noticed that many of the companies had exclusive VIP lounges set up in their pavilions. Walt decided he wanted to build a VIP lounge in Disneyland to entertain executives and visiting dignitaries. Thus Club 33 was born. Walt and his wife Lillian Disney went to New Orleans to go shopping for antiques for the club. But sadly, Walt died before the club was able to open. Instead of the club becoming a lounge for VIPs, it became an ultra exclusive club with membership open to the general public ( If you have $12,000-$15,000 a year and can wait for 10-20 years to become a member). The club is located in New Orleans Square at 33 Royal Street.
This small plaque adorns the door to get into the club.
My wife and I had been yearning to visit and dine here for years before we were finally able to. Only members of the club can let you in or make reservations to eat there. There are only 457 members of the club so finding a member is like finding a needle in a stack of other needles. For us, getting into the club was nothing more than a pipe dream. Every time we would pass by the door we would dream about what was inside. Then one fateful day, something incredibly magical happened that would allow us to realize our dream beyond our wildest imagination.
At this point in time my wife was working at a restaurant. She didn't normally work on Friday's at that point in time, but for some reason was working that day. She also was not cashiering that day but was hostessing instead. A customer came in wearing a shirt with a small Club 33 insignia embroidered on it. My wife sat him at a table and unlike what she would normally do, small talk with the customers, she engaged the gentleman in a conversation about his shirt. She told him she liked his shirt and his response was one of surprise, he was shocked that she knew what that was. She informed him that she did know what Club 33 was, due to the fact that she and her boyfriend were HUGE DISNEY NERDS!!! She told him that we had always dreamed of being able to go. He then told my wife that she was in luck as he enjoys making dreams come true.  He asked her to sit down at his table and slid a piece of paper across the table to her and asked her to write down her name. He then took out his cellphone and made the call. He gave the receptionist his member number and asked my wife to write down her phone number. He then asked what day would work best? My wife couldn't believe what was happening and just said "whenever is fine." He hung up the phone and told her he had just called and made a reservation for us at Club 33 for lunch. But there were two conditions; the first being that we pay our bill and please not charge it to his tab (He had done this before and the people had charged it to his account, what kind of a-hole does that!?) The second was that she not tell me and make it a surprise. My wifes excitement level skyrocketed. This was unbelievable, so many things had to happen to make this possible. She worked on a day that she normally didn't, at a station that she normally didn't, and engaged a customer more than she usally did. In the end she couldn't keep it a secret from me, the whole situation was so crazy that she had to tell me.

Part II Coming Soon! Here is a picture to tantalize you:

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