Sunday, August 28, 2011

Club 33

When New Orleans Square was added in Disneyland, Walt Disney wanted to put in a private club at which he and other dues-paying members could entertain. Unfortunately he was not able to see it completed, but the club was finished and is now a members-only club that occupies much of the second floor of New Orleans Square. It is called Club 33 for its address, 33 Rue Royale.

A second Club 33 is located in Tokyo Disneyland. Rather than being located in New Orleans Square, it is located on Center Street of World Bazaar. Members of Disneyland's Club 33 do not have reciprocal privileges in Tokyo Disneyland's Club 33.

Just Push Play and Have a Great Dinner! It'll be a wonderful night with your beloved one :)

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Interior [From Wikipedia]

To enter Club 33, a guest must press a buzzer on an intercom concealed by a hidden panel in the doorway. (At one time, a member needed only to insert his/her membership card in a slot near the buzzer and the door would open. However, this process no longer works.) A receptionist will ask for their name over the intercom and, if access is granted, open the door to a small, ornate lobby. Guests have the option of going to the dining level via an antique-style glass lift. The lift is an exact replica of one Disney saw and fell in love with during a vacation in Paris, but the owner of the original refused to sell. Undaunted, Disney sent a team of engineers to the Parisian hotel to take exact measurements for use in the creation of a replica; even a sample of the original finish was taken so that it could be duplicated. A staircase to the second level wraps around the lift.

The second level has two dining rooms. One room (the Trophy Room) has dark wood paneling; the other room (the Main Dining Room) is more formal but has a lighter environment.

Once at the dining level, guests can view antique furniture pieces collected by Lillian Disney. The walls are adorned, in part, with butterflies pinned under glass and hand-painted animation cels from the original Fantasia film. Walt Disney also handpicked much of the Victorian bric-a-brac in New Orleans antique stores.

The club is also furnished with props from Disney films. There is a fully functional glass telephone booth just off the lift that was used in The Happiest Millionaire and an ornate walnut table with white marble top that was used in Mary Poppins. A video capture from the film on display atop the table shows actors Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber and David Tomlinson standing immediately to its left. A newly-installed bar prepares drinks for members and their guests.

A harpsichord which was rumored to have been an antique was in fact custom-built for Lillian Disney specifically for use in Club 33. The underside of the lid features a Renaissance-style painting that was actually done by Disney artists. Elton John has played this harpsichord, and it can be played by anyone who sits at it.

Walt Disney also wanted to make use of Audio-Animatronic technology within Club 33. Microphones in overhead lighting fixtures would pick up the sounds of normal conversation while an operator would respond via the characters. Though the system was never fully implemented, it was partially installed and remains so to this day. An Audio-Animatronic vulture is perched in one corner of the club's "Trophy Room." The microphones are clearly visible at the bottom of each of the room's lighting fixtures. The animal trophies (Walt inherited them from a friend), for which the room was named, have been removed by Disney family members. Photos of the room with the trophies still installed can be seen on the walls now.

In the dining room area one may walk through a door leading to the balcony. The balcony overlooks the water in the New Orleans area of the park. The shows often put on there are also very visible from the balcony.

Disneyland guests participating in the "Walk In Walt's Footsteps" tour are provided entrance to the lobby of Club 33. The tour guide will provide a brief history of the club and explain some of the artifacts in the lobby. The tour members may be photographed in the lift, but are not allowed upstairs.

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