Guy Selga Jr., coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, takes us inside Club 33 at Disneyland.
Club 33 is Disneyland’s members-only restaurant that is hidden in plain sight on the upper levels of the park’s New Orleans Square area. Membership requires entering your name on a waiting list—and then paying thousands of dollars for the privilege. I’m a simple travel writer who can’t afford a membership for myself, but I never pass the opportunity to dine there as a guest. In this post I’ll share my most recent trip with you.
Club 33’s entrance is on the lower level in New Orleans Square, across the street from the Mascarade d’Orleans shop. To enter, guests with reservations ring a doorbell that features an illuminated Club 33 logo. Cast members will speak to you over the microphone and ask how they can help you; if you have a reservation, they’ll open the door and let you wait in the Court of Angels until it is time for you to be seated.
Court of Angels was accessible to all Disneyland guests from the time New Orleans Square opened in 1966, up until Club 33 was remodeled and expanded in 2013. This area is now closed off and serves as Club 33’s waiting room. While my party waited for our table, we took pictures, drank complimentary apple cider, and soaked in this charming and hidden part of Disneyland. A hostess eventually appeared and gave us the option of taking the stairs or the elevator. In the old Club 33 I never passed the opportunity to take the French lift that was personally selected by Walt Disney and crafted by his Imagineers. But in the new Club 33 the elevator is the far less interesting option. We walked up the stairs and were taken to the Club’s main dining area.
The table where I was seated was kind of interesting and secluded from the rest of the dining room. Pre-expansion, I believe this little nook was where the wine was stored. After being seated you’ll find the Club’s beautiful charger plate in front of you.
The menu features items that are leagues above typical theme park food, in terms of taste, quality, and presentation. Club 33’s menu was revamped by Executive Chef Andrew Sutton, who is also the head of Disneyland Resort’s other two signature restaurants, Carthay Circle and Napa Rose (both of which are fabulous, by the way). You really can’t go wrong with any of Chef Sutton’s three Disney restaurant menus. In terms of food, Carthay and Napa Rose are just as good, if you never get a chance to dine at Club 33.
There were so many delicious sounding options that I had a hard time picking each part of my “Four Course Experience.” I ended up selecting the following items:
Appetizer: Wild Blue Crab Cake
Soup: Harvest Acorn Squash
Entrée: Filet Mignon
Dessert: Autumn Apple Galette
The $80 price may have been a bit hard to swallow, but at least the meal was top-notch. I especially enjoyed the Wild Blue Crab Cake appetizer. The outside was nice and crispy, while the inside had large chunks of tender crab.
After lunch, my party sat for a bit and enjoyed drinks. Club 33 does serve alcoholic beverages, but I’m not a drinker, so I opted for a nonalcoholic Garden District Lemonade. Because my drink wasn’t “pretty” enough, I’ll post a picture of my friend’s order, the “Hurricane,” which contains light and dark rums, passion fruit, lime, and grenadine.
Before leaving Club 33 I spent some time on the balcony to enjoy a unique bird’s-eye view of New Orleans Square.
Before signing off, I will admit that a lot of the appeal of Club 33 comes from its exclusivity. It may be “just” a restaurant; however, I do think it’s a wonderful experience, thanks to the excellent staff, food, and atmosphere.