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Got $35,000? Wanna join Club 33?

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Published: May 4, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Got $35,000 to burn? Want some awesome Disney-fan bragging rights?

You now can put your name on the waiting list for a membership to Disneyland's famed Club 33. Disney's taking names again, in anticipation of the opening of the new Club 33 annex - 1901 - in the Carthay Circle at Disney California Adventure.

Club 33

It's $25,000 grand to join if you get in, with yearly dues of $10,000 - the first year paid up front. But several of us on Twitter have wondered if that's the only price to be paid to get into Walt's exclusive club.

"Is there any hazing involved?" Arthur Levine from About Theme Parks asked on Twitter. "Do applicants have to consume insane amounts of Dole Whip while Mickey goads them on?"

So we'll take your silly suggestions for #Club33HazingRituals in the comments.

By the way, if you're loaded (and not just on Dole Whip) and really want to sign up, the email to send your inquiry is club33interest@disneyland.com. The email link to invite me, once you join, is at the bottom of the page. ;^)

Readers' Opinions

From Mark Hollamon on May 4, 2012 at 8:57 AM
I personally think that is really extreme and even if I had the money to burn I have sense enough to burn it wisely.

Now if Disney wanted to create some sort of premier pass like USF has that gives you fastpass access to all rides after a certain time each day I would definitely consider the investment in that, but it would have to make $en$e.

Club 33 does not.

From Tom Rigg on May 4, 2012 at 9:48 AM
I don't think it's really that extreme. They are pricing based on perceived demand. The waiting list was so long that it wasn't open to new entries for a long time. That shows how high the demand is. If suddenly everyone drops off the wait list because of the price I could see it dropping, but I doubt that will happen. Exclusivity is a pricey item and you can look at any high end country club to see that. There is a local one here in Chralottesville, VA that charges 27,500 a year plus 400 a month in fees. That's just the way it works. And, I don't think they are looking for the regular theme park goer to join Club 33. This isn't just another place in the park, it is a club.
From Dominick D on May 4, 2012 at 10:10 AM
If I was a millionare (300 million and up), I would look into this.
From Justin M on May 4, 2012 at 11:06 AM
I don't think it’s as crazy expensive as people think. There are some exclusive golf and country clubs in Florida and California that charge $100,000 plus membership fee + monthly dues. You get a lot of perks with the club 33 membership and it’s an exclusivity thing.

Does anybody know if you get a portion of the up front fee back if you decide to leave the club, or do they just keep the money?

From Daniel Etcheberry on May 4, 2012 at 11:19 AM
I would rather use the $35,000 to take poor kids to Disneyland.
From Mike Gallagher on May 4, 2012 at 1:41 PM
Dom, just curious. Why 300 mil? You wouldn't be interested if you had 299 mil? After all, we all know how much you looooove all things Disney ;)
From Beth Olliges on May 4, 2012 at 4:43 PM
Maybe when I hit the PowerBall or Mega Millions... ;-)
From Dominick D on May 4, 2012 at 7:36 PM
Mike, there are better things I would waste money on first, and I haven't even seen their menu!
From N B on May 5, 2012 at 1:07 AM
Do I get to skip to the front of the line for my 35K?
From Anon Mouse on May 7, 2012 at 7:24 AM
Its $35,000 for the priviledge of eating at a very expensive private restaurant. Having been there myself, I can see why it is alluring, but it is ultimately NOT cost effective and the status points is not as terrific as advertised. My problem is it isn't as posh as should be expected. It is merely moderate at premium pricing. Buyer beware. For $35,000, you should at least expect a few free dinners, but that isn't included.

You got $35,000 and another $10,000 a year to burn? Why not buy a DVC (Disney Vacation Club)?

From Brandon Mendoza on May 7, 2012 at 11:32 AM
I'm not a fan of being part of something exclusive anyway. So I'll definitely pass. I'd rather take that $35k and travel. Or eat multiple times at Wine Country, Ariel's Grotto, Blue Bayou, Jazz Kitchen in DTD, or even Hungry Bear Restaurant and feed everyone I'm hanging out with on each visit.

Hazing for Club 33 involves Turkey Legs+Tea Cups+ 24 Hours of non-stop action... 10 minute breaks every hour.

Hazing for the new restaurant involves devouring as many Award Weiners while riding Tower of Terror. One dog minimum per trip into the Twilight Zone and must be finished before photo op. Kobayashi and Chestnut will be on hand for tips and motivation.

From N B on May 7, 2012 at 11:38 AM
I think this was designed so celebrities can eat in peace with their own kind. I did a bit more reading on this because I thought it was some sort of vacation club with perks and not just a restaurant.
From 75.215.16.234 on May 8, 2012 at 4:36 PM
I received an invite to join in the mail yesterday. I can not stop laughing! With all the benefits offered it makes economic sence. We have been on the wait list for 9 years and finally now our kids are 2 and 5. Best off luck to all who want membership. Persistence and patience.
From Eric G on May 9, 2012 at 10:36 AM
There are two main issues with Club 33 - Members have no stake or ownership in the club and the membership does not manage the club either.

When you buy into many clubs, you are buying a membership. Since you have a stake in the club (ownership) when you decide to quit, you sell your membership at either a profit or loss to another person who wants to join the club. Club 33 members are not owners and the initiation fee is one-time charge that is lost forever.

Most clubs are also managed by the members who elect a board who supervises the overall operation of the club. In most cases the board will hire a management team that reports to them to manage the day-to-day operations. That's not the case with Club 33. It's solely run by Disney. They set the prices, policies and benefits and offer up no guarantee when you purchase a membership for the future.

Annual dues can be raised at any time and to any amount they so desire. They can drive the existing membership out of the club if they want simply by raising the price to a point that no existing member will participate. You have no say, and thus the members are not represented.

Lastly, dinner at Club 33 is pricey, but what makes Club 33 special is the events, but the price of the member events has gone through the roof. With the initiation fee and annual dues at these price points I would expect the events to be priced appropriately. It's not the case. There is an upcoming dinner event for club members and it is $500 a person. That would certainly be one of the most expensive covers in the country.

I was interested in Club 33 for many years, but with the recent changes in dues, which I can still afford, I have lost interest for the reasons I stated. The benefits offered are just not worth it.

After writing this I find it disgusting how Disney is managing Club 33.

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