Club 33, one of Disney’s worst-kept secrets, is a legendary private membership club that started back in the 1960s. While working with corporate promoters during the 1964 – 1965 New York World’s Fair, Walt Disney took notice of the elite VIP clubs that were offered to the Fair’s corporate partners. Later as he was making plans for Disneyland, he included a lounge for corporate sponsors and other VIP in the New Orleans Square area of the park. Despite his original intentions for a corporate only area, he died prior to the park’s opening in 1967 and his idea for a private lounge became the notoriously private, members-only Club 33.
As for the not-so-secret club’s name, there are two possible stories behind it. The “official” and most common explanation is that it’s simply named after the address of the original location: 33 Royal Street in New Orleans Square at Disneyland. However, some suggest that it is also related to the 33 corporate sponsors that were involved with Disneyland when the club was being built from 1966 – 1967.
On the west coast there are currently two Club 33 locations, the original at Disneyland and a second club at Disney’s California Adventure. Both locations feature a restaurant and a private lounge, Le Salon Nouveau at Disneyland and 1901 at California Adventure. At Disneyland, Club 33 is the only place in the entire park where alcoholic beverages are served. Other perks that come with the high priced memberships include exclusive access to select resort experiences, early park admission for members and their guests, invitations to private events, and complimentary valet parking. Although memberships cost upwards of $30,000, the waiting list to join the elite group is 14 years long.
Since the flagship Club 33 opened in 1967 the elite lounges have multiplied across several Disney parks including Tokyo Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland, and most recently, rumors of FOUR new locations at Walt Disney World have come to life.
As Club 33 makes its way to Orlando, the word on the street is that each of the four Disney World parks will have its own exclusive members only lounge. Rumor has it that the initial membership price will be $33,000 and an additional annual membership fee of $15,000. Memberships will likely include a premier Club 33 passport for each member, member’s spouse, and any children younger than 26 years old. Other benefits may be 50 one-day Park Hopper tickets each year, five day-long guided VIP tours of the parks, use of a private concierge service, and a limited amount of instant Fastpass+ reservations. Possible club locations include:
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios: “The Spotlight Lounge” located in what was formerly The Catwalk Bar. This lounge is themed like a green room at a big film award ceremony and celebrates Walt Disney’s legendary career.
- Magic Kingdom: “Captain’s Quarters” will be an all-new location built in Adventureland, near the Skipper Canteen Restaurant. The plans for this spot suggest that it will feature a back porch designed as an exclusive viewing area for the park’s evening spectaculars.
- Epcot: “The Constellation Club” will take the place of the old Chase Lounge area, located above The American Adventure.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom: An all-new location rumored to be called “Harambe House” will be built in the park’s Africa section.
Each club’s interior design will be based on a completely original theme, but all four are only scheduled to serve drinks and small bites rather than full dining areas like the California locations. Access to all four parks will be granted with the use of members’ Club 33 magic bands that activate at a special hidden touchpoint.
Due to the private nature of Club 33 this information should be considered educated speculation, but if you’re interested in potentially joining the exclusive club, send email inquiries to Club33@WaltDisneyWorld.com!