I was curious if anyone on the site is a member of the club, or if anyone knows a member and has experienced the club. If so, what are its benefits? What's the hype?
The second rule of Club 33 is you do not talk about Club 33.
The third rule of Club 33 is "try the veal, it's delicious!"
We'd usually go for Sunday brunch, because it was about $50 per person, and it included admission, which was about $40 at the time. So lunch was basically $10.
There's a discreet green door to the right of Pirates & Blue Bayou, with the number 33 on it. There's a little intercom panel on the door jamb. You buzz in, they ask your name, and if you have a reservation, they let you in.
You enter into a little lobby, with a steep staircase and a small elevator leading up to the restaurant. The cast member is dressed up in old timey Victorian clothes.
On the walls are sketches and plans of the park, and cels from some of the films. When you look out the window, you see people looking back up at you wondering how you got up there. I never visited the women's restroom but I hear it's posh.
Brunch was a buffet, with roast beef and crab and so on. Sometimes they had lobster tails. The food was good; the desserts particularly so. Dinner had a menu, and it was good, but not as good as the buffet, in my opinion. And it cost more.
They had pens you could keep, as Joshua mentioned, and also chocolate coins in gold foil with 33 embossed on them.
You can buy a membership but it's $10,000 and there's a very long waiting list. Sometimes a member will auction off the chance to eat there, with the proceeds going to charity, and bids will reach into the thousands. It's neat, but not that neat.
The microphones are hidden in the middle of the chandelier. The CM told us that Walt was a tad paranoid, so he would disappear during dinner and eavesdrop. If he wanted to have fun, then the bird came to life. Can't prove it, just what we were told.
I had Alaskan Snapper -- very tasty. But the real treat was the dessert bar and the bread-and-olive-oil bar. Mmmmmm.
We took tons of photos. And yes, the women's restroom has a "throne" for the ladies. Very posh, but very funny.
And about those microphones in the chandeliers: yes, they exist, but not in the main dining room. They're only back in the group dining room, and according to the host, Walt had them installed not because he was paranoid, but because he wanted to be able to hear and respond to every desire of the guests. For example, when the staff heard a guest say "I'd sure like some ice cream," the ice cream would magically show up a few minutes later, much to the surprise of the guests. Or if someone said to a friend, "Wouldn't a Brandy be good right now," the Brandy would show up -- which brings us to the obvious observation: Club 33 is the only place where alchohol is served within the Magic Kingdom.
The restaurant itself is VERY large -- if you're in New Orleans Square, nearly the entire upper level on the buildings (with all the balconies) is the restaurant. It's definitely a special occasion place -- but not nearly as high-style as one would think. Heck, we were in shorts and t-shirts (typical Disney wares) and we didn't feel out of place at all.
Walt Disney World