by Benjamin Greenberg
In my first post last week I asked whether you would rather dine at Disneyland’s historic Club 33 members-only restaurant or eat at the AAA five diamond restaurant Victoria & Albert’s. The results are in and nearly three quarters of my readers would rather dine at Club 33. While Victoria & Albert’s is known for special food and service, the exclusiveness of Club 33 and the history behind the restaurant made it a more coveted Disney experience.
Disney history is steeped in Club 33, so much so that there are stories about how the restaurant was even named. The restaurant opened six months after Walt Disney’s untimely passing, first serving guests in May of 1967. While Disney’s official explanation of the restaurant’s name is that the restaurant is named after its address on 33 Royal Street New Orleans Square. However an alternative explanation is that it was named after the 33 corporate sponsors that currently leased attraction sponsorships on the day of the restaurant’s opening.
When it comes to theme park food Club 33 can’t be beat. While many people complain of how one can only find burgers and fries at theme parks, such as Disney, those same people probably don’t know that you can eat caviar and chateaubriand inside Disneyland’s confines.
Other highlights at Club 33 include the famous French Lift, the classic and majestic harpsichord in the lounge, and other various film props. An animatronic vulture can be found in the Trophy Room dining area.
The inspiration for Club 33 was an area for Disneyland V.I.P. clients, after Walt was able to experience similar V.I.P. lounges and areas at the 1964 World’s Fair. To this day many celebrities and V.I.P.s are Club 33 members.
According to Tony E, (BacksideOfWater in The Box) the personal connection to Walt is what makes Club 33 more attractive, while Blake mentioned that the restaurant had a certain mystique due to its exclusive nature. Beth also added that a meal at Victoria & Albert’s is a luxury that one can save up for, while a Club 33 membership requires a greater financial commitment. In addition, Club 33 is characterized by nostalgia.
To even be able to pay the 10,000 dollar plus membership one has to wait on a waitlist first. The only other types of waitlists similar to Club 33’s that I can think of are the ones for Green Bay Packer or Boston Red Sox season tickets.
The audience has spoken and the most coveted Disney dining experience is a meal at Club 33! For this week’s would you rather we will explore the other end of the Disney spectrum and look at two extremely popular Adventureland snacks!
This week’s options are… would you rather Option A: Have a Dole Whip or Dole Whip Float from the Aloha Isle stand
Option B: Have a traditional Citrus Swirl from the Sunshine Tree Terrace
Photo from my personal collection
Benjamin Greenberg is a sophomore at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, who is passionate about Walt Disney World, the Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Pixar. He is proud to play offensive line for the Cornell University Sprint Football team and is the recorder for Sigma Nu Gamma Theta Chapter.