To celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary my husband arranged for us to have lunch at the exclusive Club 33 inside Disneyland. We aren't members ourselves, but Larry was able to make reservations through his hospitality pipeline. He knew I have always wanted to go and so on November 1st we headed down to Disneyland to eat at one of the most sought-after tables in the world–one by the window at Club 33.
Not only was I excited about visiting a location inside Disneyland that few people have been before, but the idea of being in a place that was so intimately inspired by Walt Disney himself had me bursting with anticipation…like waiting outside the door an hour before our reservation, that kind of anticipation.
The door that leads to Club 33 is so innocuous the casual visitor would walk right by it. A simple plaque that reads "33" is the only indication you have arrived and at right location in New Orleans Square. Larry, who is very clever, found the brass intercom on the door frame and after pressing the buzzer, we were let in after giving the name of the reservation.
It's the only way in.
It's all very Maxwell Smart.
The moment you walk inside the Club the mood, atmosphere and energy is markedly different than being inside the park–like jumping from a jacuzzi into an icy cool pool–you've entered another world. Mahogany, crimson and soft music replace Mickey Mouse t-shirts, plastic beads and the crush of the crowds. It was still Disneyland, still had the vibe, but felt closer to the heart of it.
We choose to take the famous lift up to second floor and then we were escorted to the dining room. Through the hallway our host pointed out special mementos and art found only at Club 33.
I think this was my favorite part, seeing the photos and artwork only found there. I also got a braggart thrill looking out over Disneyland through the window of Club 33. I'll admit it, I felt special.
The staff helped deepen my elitist vibe with the way they scurried around the surprisingly small dining room, refilling waters, checking in on our meals and basically pampering every guest big and small.
So after a starter buffet, our main course meal and then the dessert buffet (which I need to call out the lemon eclair as a new sweet favorite) we had this adorable plate to finish off our experience. I don't know if we'll ever be able to snag reservations again, but I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to dine there for our anniversary.
If you want to see my full photo slideshow, please click here.
For the lowdown on Club 33 watch this segment from the Food Network Show "Unwrapped." It's from a show called "Disney Delights" and it features Disneyland's Director of Food and Beverage (who has since become Director- Food and Beverage of Disneyland Resort, Tokyo), Gary Maggetti touring Club 33.