Nestled in the heart of New Orleans Square at Disneyland Resort lies one of the park’s most enigmatic and elite experiences—Club 33. This private club offers lavish dining rooms, an upscale lounge, and VIP perks inaccessible to regular guests.
As Disney’s only high-end membership club, gaining access to Club 33 requires luck, connections, or lots of money. But for diehard Disney fans, just stepping inside its secretive doors is the ultimate dream.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the history, perks, membership process, and costs for entering Disneyland’s most exclusive inner circle.
A Brief History of Club 33
The origins of Club 33 are traced back to Walt Disney himself. While planning Disneyland in the 1960s, he envisioned a private space where he could entertain guests and business associates in an intimate, yet magical setting. Sadly, Walt passed away before his Club 33 could be completed.
On June 15, 1967, five months after Walt’s death, Club 33 finally opened its doors in New Orleans Square with an exclusive membership roster and a 14-year waitlist. For decades it remained shrouded in secrecy, known only to elite Disney insiders.
Today, Club 33 retains its air of prestige and mystery. But behind its hidden door lies a world of luxury dining and VIP treatment at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Inside the Exclusive Club 33
Stepping inside Club 33 feels like stumbling upon a secret, sophisticated speakeasy hidden within Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. The venue encompasses several upscale spaces:
Le Grand Salon
This elegant lounge evokes the grace of early 20th-century New Orleans. Deep blue carpets, ornate chandeliers, and walls filled with antiques transport guests to the Big Easy.
Le Salon Nouveau
With its artifacts paying homage to Disney films and imagery, Le Salon Nouveau brings Club 33 into the modern era. Walt Disney’s famous quote, “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever” adorns the bar.
Les Salles de Presse
The intimate main dining room serves New Orleans-inspired cuisine for lunch and dinner in two sophisticated settings: L’Or-de-Vie and La Galerie.
Le Balcon Privé
This semi-private space offers balcony seating overlooking New Orleans Square. It’s perfect for small special occasions.
Throughout Club 33, guests can spot “Hidden Mickeys” in the decor along with subtle references to Disney legends and films. Walt Disney ensured that even his exclusive private club embodied the magical, imaginative spirit of Disney.
The Perks and Privileges of Membership
Club 33 members gain access to an array of elite services and amenities:
- Refined Dining – Eat exquisite seasonal dishes and classic New Orleans cuisine prepared by award-winning chefs. Wine pairings and craft cocktails complement the culinary offerings.
- Concierge Service – Personal attendants handle reservations, requests, and every detail of your visit.
- Private Lounge Access – Unwind in the elegant lounges or out on the exclusive balcony overlooking New Orleans Square.
- VIP Tours – Members can request personalized, guided tours of Disneyland led by knowledgeable hosts.
- Merchandise Discounts – Receive 20% off merchandise at Disneyland and 15% off at other Disney stores.
- Premium Parking – Gain reserved parking spots steps from Disneyland’s entrance.
- Extended Park Hours – Enter Disneyland early and stay late after regular park closing.
- Exclusive Events – Disneyland hosts member-only holiday parties, dinners, and new attraction previews in the club.
Having Club 33 access essentially means enjoying your own private Disneyland within the main park. Every visit becomes a VIP experience thanks to the premium perks.
Club 33 Membership Levels and Costs
Gaining access to Club 33 requires becoming a member, and membership comes at a hefty price. There are three tiers based on privileges and access:
The initiation fee is a one-time cost to join, while dues must be paid annually to maintain membership. As of 2023, the total investment over ten years could reach around $200,000 – $300,000.
Members also pay à la carte pricing for dining, drinks, merchandise and additional services. So being part of Club 33 requires serious financial commitment. But for hardcore Disney fans, the luxury and magic make it worthwhile.
The Application and Waiting List Process
Gaining entry into Club 33 is not as simple as paying the high fees. You must first be approved for membership after an extensive application process. And most applicants go on a long waitlist first.
Here is the process to join Club 33 at Disneyland:
- Inquiry – Contact Member Services to express interest and request an application.
- Application – Complete the detailed application with background, professional, and Disney connections.
- Interview – If approved, schedule an in-person interview at Club 33 with a membership director.
- Approval – Applicants are notified if they have been approved for membership.
- Waitlist – Most approved applicants are placed on a waitlist that can take years to clear.
- Membership Activation – When an opening is available, members are notified to pay fees and activate their membership.
The waitlist to join Club 33 currently stretches 10 – 14 years. But once your membership is official, you’ll have exclusive access for life and can pass down privileges to heirs.
Patience and persistence are key when vying for Club 33 access. But the rewards of joining Disneyland’s most elite circle make the long process worthwhile.
Networking Your Way Into Club 33
If you don’t want to wait 10+ years to join Club 33, networking can help fast-track your membership.
Use any existing connections you have to Disney executives, Imagineers, or current Club 33 members. Having them directly recommend you go a long way.
Reach out to professional organizations like the Disneyana Fan Club and make friends with avid Disney collectors and fans who have ties to Club 33. The more legitimate Disney connections you cultivate, the better your chances.
Also, consider booking a Disneyland VIP tour. While pricey, this gives you access to exclusive park areas and face time with well-connected guides who may be able to pull Club 33 strings for you.
Joining the D23 Official Disney Fan Club and attending member events can also help you network with other Disney devotees and cast members who could sponsor your membership.
While still difficult, leveraging all your Disney relationships and actively networking gives you a big leg up in joining the club.
Booking a Table Instead of a Membership
If full Club 33 membership isn’t feasible, you can still experience its magic by booking a table as a guest of a member.
Members are allotted a certain number of guest visits per year to make reservations for friends and family. If you know any members, ask nicely if they would be willing to sponsor your group for a meal.
You can also contact the Club 33 Member Services office directly to inquire about reserving a table from the guest waitlist. Availability is extremely limited, but it’s possible if you’re flexible.
While you won’t get the full privileges of being a member, it allows you to dine in the exclusive club and soak up the atmosphere.
Joining the Club 33 Community
If gaining access to Club 33 itself remains elusive, you can still connect with fellow fans online.
Join the Club 33 Facebook group to trade tips and experiences with over 7,000 members. Superfans share everything from how to improve your chances to photos inside the club.
Follow @disneyland33member on Instagram for an insider perspective on reservations, menus, and happenings inside Club 33. Live vicariously through their posts and stories.
Subscribing to the Club 33 podcast lets you learn more about the club’s fascinating history and operations. Episodes feature interviews with celebrity members, Disney Legends, and Club 33 leadership.
Though an exclusive venue, the Club 33 community welcomes any Disney fan who shares their fascination with this hidden Disneyland gem.
Is Club 33 Worth the Hype and Costs?
For many Disney enthusiasts, there’s no price too high for the prestige and magic of Club 33 membership. But its hefty fees and tedious application process aren’t for everyone.
Consider whether the perks justify the costs based on your personal Disney priorities:
Worth It For
- Serious Disney collectors and status seekers
- Frequent Disneyland visitors wanting premium treatment
- Disneyphiles who will maximize membership perks
- Deep-pocketed fans budgeting for a major Disney splurge
May Not Be Worth It For
- Casual Disneyland goers
- Families only visiting Disneyland once
- Budget-conscious guests
- Those wanting overnight park access
There’s no definitive right or wrong answer on the value of joining Club 33. For many, it’s a far-fetched fantasy. But for some hardcore Disney devotees, gaining elite access grants the ultimate bragging rights.
Living the Magic as a Club 33 Member
Very few guests realize that behind an unmarked door in New Orleans Square, a world of luxury and fantasy awaits at Club 33.
Gaining access requires money, patience, and connections. But those who persist can unlock Disneyland’s best kept secret.
Within its private walls, Club 33 members don’t just visit the Happiest Place on Earth—they experience a magical realm tailor-made just for them. For any serious Disney fan, that’s a dream worth the time, effort, and cost to fulfill.
So consider networking, waiting, and budgeting your way into this exclusive inner circle. Because for those who love Disneyland with all their heart, there’s nothing quite like the keys to the kingdom within Club 33.
Frequently Asked Questions About Club 33
How many members does Club 33 have?
Club 33 is limited to just over 500 members. Demand greatly exceeds availability.
What celebrities are rumored to be members?
Elton John, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, and Christina Aguilera are all reported members.
Do Club 33 members get unlimited Disneyland access?
No, members must still hold valid park admission. But they enjoy extended park hours.
Does Club 33 serve alcohol?
Yes, Club 33 has a full bar and sommelier with wine pairings available.
Is there a dress code for Club 33?
Business casual dress is recommended, but there is no formal dress code. No tank tops or flip flops though.
Can members bring guests to Club 33?
Yes, members can reserve tables for a limited number of guest visits per year.
Is Club 33 open year-round?
Yes, Club 33 is open 365 days a year for lunch and dinner service.
Are there Club 33 locations outside of Disneyland?
Walt Disney World and Shanghai Disneyland also have versions of Club 33 for members.