Disney’s Club 33 is one of the most exclusive and secretive clubs in the world. Located in various VIP lounges throughout Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, Club 33 offers members and their guests an upscale, private retreat right in the middle of Disney’s iconic theme parks.
With its fascinating origins, hidden entrances, and A-list celebrity members, Club 33 has developed a near-mythical reputation over the decades. But behind the velvet ropes lies a club steeped in tradition, nostalgia, and luxury experiences unlike anywhere else.
Gaining access to Club 33 is no easy feat. Official memberships are limited, notoriously expensive, and come with years-long waiting lists. But for diehard Disney fans determined to sneak a peek behind the curtain, several options exist to visit Disney’s most coveted club.
What is Club 33?
Club 33 is a private club located in Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and several Walt Disney World theme parks. Officially called Club 33 Royal Courtyard, Club 33 offers a refined atmosphere with upscale dining and VIP services.
Club 33 was originally created by Walt Disney himself in 1967 as a secluded hangout spot for dignitaries, celebrities, and other VIP guests. The club is the only place that serves alcohol in Disneyland Park.
Over 50 years later, Club 33 retains its exclusivity with just over 1,000 members worldwide. But behind its secrecy lies a hidden social club celebrating the early years of Disneyland through décor, cuisine, and confidentiality.
The Origins of Club 33
Club 33 was established by Walt Disney as a place where he could entertain guests and business associates amid the bustling crowds. The story goes that Walt wanted a private space where he could indulge in his smoking habit, which was forbidden in Disneyland Park.
The club was named Club 33 as an homage to Disneyland’s 33 original corporate sponsors. It was built right into New Orleans Square with several elaborate hidden entrances concealed from guests.
Walt personally oversaw Club 33’s design and décor, filling it with historic artifacts from his travels, many on loan from the city of New Orleans. Sadly, Walt passed away before Club 33 officially opened to members in 1967. But his original vision and attention to detail are still present throughout the club’s exclusive lounges and dining rooms.
Club 33 Locations
The original Club 33 is located in New Orleans Square above the Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland. But over the years, Disney has opened additional Club 33 locations in:
- Disney California Adventure – Overlooking Carthay Circle above the Carthay Circle Lounge
- Tokyo Disneyland – In a New Orleans-inspired area called Lounge Mystère
- Shanghai Disneyland – Next to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction
- Walt Disney World – In all 4 theme parks above various restaurants
Each Club 33 location has its own unique theme and design. But they all offer the same posh atmosphere and elite services that the original club is known for.
Club 33 Amenities and Offerings
Club 33 members and their guests can enjoy:
- Upscale dining – Elaborate prix fixe meals with wine pairings, served on fine china and crystal. Menus change seasonally.
- Lavish lounges – Equipped with full bars, small plate menus, and specialty cocktails.
- VIP treatment – Private guides, front-of-line access, reserved viewing areas for shows.
- Luxury shopping – Club 33-branded merchandise not sold to regular guests.
- Business services – Meeting spaces, corporate events, weddings.
Club 33 is the only spot in Disney parks where alcohol is served. Members also get access to the club’s extensive wine list and scotch menu.
How Much Does Club 33 Membership Cost?
Official membership to Club 33 comes at a hefty price – both in money and time invested.
- Initiation fee – $25,000 to $50,000
- Annual dues – Around $12,500 per year
- Membership waitlist – 14 years or more
In addition to the fees, members must also purchase a certain amount of food and drink annually to retain active status.
Corporate memberships are available, usually as an employee incentive or client entertainment. Some companies retain corporate memberships for many years.
How Do You Become a Member of Club 33?
Gaining official membership into Club 33 takes patience and luck. Membership opportunities are occasionally open to the public, filling up within hours. Hopefuls can add their name to the Club 33 waitlist by contacting Disneyland Member Services.
Once prospective members reach the top of the waitlist, they are invited to submit membership applications and processed in the order received. Not everyone who applies off the waitlist gets approved.
Membership is granted on a first come, first served basis subject to background checks and other qualifying factors. Members must be at least 18 years old.
What are the Perks of Club 33 Membership?
Club 33 members enjoy:
- VIP treatment at Disney parks.
- Access to exclusive dining and lounge facilities.
- Ability to reserve premium viewing areas for shows and parades.
- Private guides and front-of-line privileges.
- Luxury Club 33-branded merchandise.
- Business amenities like meeting spaces.
- Networking opportunities at member events.
- Prestige of belonging to an elite Disney club.
Club 33’s five-star amenities coupled with its exclusivity make membership highly coveted. Members can access luxury experiences and rare privileges within Disney parks.
How to Experience Club 33 Without Membership
For Disney fans eager for a taste of Club 33’s allure, several options exist to visit without the price tag:
Become Friends with a Club 33 Member
Club 33 members are allowed to bring guests to the club. If you have a friend or family member who holds a coveted membership, they can host you for Club 33 dining reservations or lounge access.
Members are only permitted to make a limited number of guest reservations annually. But by befriending a member, you may be able to score a coveted invite.
Work for a Company That Has a Corporate Membership
Some large companies hold corporate Club 33 memberships for employee incentives and client entertainment.
Landing a job with a company that has corporate membership perks can give you access to Club 33. Companies are very selective about which employees they allow Club 33 privileges, but it still may be possible.
Bid on a Club 33 Experience in Disney Auctions
Disney auctions occasionally offer exclusive Club 33 dining packages or member-for-a-day experiences. These packages can sell for several thousands of dollars, but it’s one way to legally buy your way in.
Book a Guided Tour of New Orleans Square
Publicly available guided tours of New Orleans Square sometimes include a peek inside the entrance of Club 33. It’s not access to the club itself, but it allows you to see the iconic blue door and buzzer for a coveted photo opp.
Stay at the Disneyland Dream Suite
This overnight Disneyland experience includes a tour of the private Club 33 lobby. The Disneyland Dream Suite is only available as a prize through conventions and contests.
Wait for Possible Future Expansions
Is Getting Into Club 33 Worth the Time and Money?
For diehard Disney fans, getting into the exclusive Club 33 is a dream come true. Members gain VIP status and luxury experiences, unlike any other private club. Rubbing elbows with celebrities and executives also brings major networking perks.
But for the average Disney guest, the astronomical membership fees and waits likely aren’t worth it. Except for bragging rights, Club 33 doesn’t offer much beyond services available through VIP tours and Disney travel agents. Strong connections and creativity go further to access Club 33 than money alone ever could.
Gaining access to the coveted Club 33 is a rare privilege. But with insider tips, patience, and pixie dust, any Guest can still experience a touch of Disney magic beyond the velvet rope.
Frequently Asked Questions About Club 33:
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Club 33 membership and access:
How much does it cost to be a Club 33 member?
The initiation fee is $25,000 – $50,000 plus annual dues of around $12,500. Members must also spend at least $15,000 annually on food and drink. Corporate memberships typically cost over $40,000 per year.
What are the perks of being a Club 33 member?
Perks include VIP treatment at Disney parks, access to exclusive dining/lounges, luxury Club 33 merchandise, business amenities, and prestige. Members can make reservations for special tours, premium viewing of shows, and more.
How do you become a member of Club 33 at Disney World?
Membership opportunities are occasionally open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Hopefuls can add names to the 14+ year waitlist through Disney World Member Services. Applications are processed in order when waitlist spots open.
Is Club 33 membership worth it?
For diehard Disney fans, access to rare privileges and elite experiences may make membership worth the cost and wait. But for average guests, the same VIP treatment can often be purchased through private tours, travel agents, and auction packages.
Is it possible to visit Club 33 without membership?
Yes, by befriending members who can bring guests or working for companies with corporate memberships. Disney auction packages sometimes allow Club 33 access too. Membership expansions could make access more attainable in future.
Can you buy Club 33 memberships?
There is no official way to buy a membership. However, some current members reportedly do try to sell their active memberships, against Disney policy. These transfers can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and still must be approved.
How much is a 1 day pass to Club 33?
Single-day passes are not sold. But VIP tour guides and Disney auctions may include Club 33 meals ranging $2,000-$5,000. Access is only through legitimate reservations, not by paying someone at the door.
Gaining access to the coveted Club 33 is a rare privilege. But with insider tips, patience, and pixie dust, any Guest can still experience a touch of Disney magic beyond the velvet rope. For those determined to become one of the club’s elite 1,000 members, perseverance through the long waitlist may be rewarded with unmatched prestige and luxury. Yet Club 33’s aura of exclusivity and wonder will continue to inspire Disney fans – whether from inside its storied walls or out. The key to unveiling the club’s secrets is simply believing that dreams can come true.