Club 33 is a special place, and a special dress code is a part of the experience. While most guests to the park that summer day were sporting tshirts and shorts, we're in dining attire, myself in a coat and tie sweltering in the 90 degree plus weather at 530 pm. It's strange to be ogled by your fellow theme park visitors, half of them not sure if you're some sort of high ranking executive in the park or someone who didn't get the memo that it was July in Southern California and 90 degrees outside.
The hostess working the intercom opened the door and let us in. As we entered some stragglers tried to follow us in, but were kindly turned away by the hostess explaining to them it was a "private club". These are one of those times you feel like you're getting away with something. A time where just for a second you feel like visiting royalty. You think "Ha ha, I get to do something you can't do." You know, really mature and all.
Our party is then ushered into a glass elevator, small by modern standards, just barely holding the three of us, we are deposited onto the upper floor of New Orleans Square and escorted to the dining rooms. We are greeted by the maitre' d looking very sharp in his black tuxedo and sat down in the large dining room decorated elegantly with flowing curtains and french fleur de lis motifs. It reminded my wife and I of King Louis XIV's Palace of Versailles in France.
This is fine dining and believe you me you pay for it. It's not particularly overpriced as fine dining restaurants go, but all told a couple will easily drop 200 dollars in an evening. For that money you can bet your life the quality is higher than what you get at Redd Rockett's Pizza Port or even the Blue Bayou Restaurant. The money you spend is justified in the quality of food and service you receive. Of course any meal at Club 33 is not complete without a fine bottle of wine.
That's right. Club 33 is the only place at Disneyland where alcohol is served. Disneyland is the theme park equivalent of a dry town, in fact it makes Provo, Utah on a Sunday look like Oktoberfest in comparison. Now I am not really that much of a drinker, truth be told, but there is just enough of the "Oooh, look at us we're soooo naughty" factor to it that you've got to enjoy at least a little of the grape just to say you did. We had a bottle (or two, but who's counting) of a really nice red wine from Fess Parker's winery in Northern California. Yes, THAT Fess Parker, the guy who played Davy Crockett. How funny, we thought, that we're drinking wine at Disneyland grown at Davy Crockett's vineyard. How random is that?
It was a great experience and like any Disneyland visitor it was time to go souvenir shopping. My wife and I have been to many fine restaurants but none have ever had merchandise. Well, Club 33 does. Its not exactly a store, more of a glass case with displayed items inside. We got a pair of mouse ears, a keychain and a lapel pin all emblazoned with a gold "33" on the front.
We made sure to thank the very kind friend, a club member, who signed us in for this amazing evening, one that we will truly never forget.
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