Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our Disneyland Adventure: Day 4

I'm finding it hard to put into words our experience at Club 33. First of all, to be lucky enough to even dine there (for 4 hours) was amazing. The moment we walked through the door we didn't want to leave. Ever inch of Club 33 was gorgeous and the staff was so friendly. It seemed that once you get a job there, you never leave. Our waitress has been there for 26 years and the top person has been there for 40 years. While we didn't see any famous people, we heard wonderful stories about John Lassiter and others. It was nice that you could go out on the balcony and take pictures and enjoy the view. Plus, laughing at the people below you that weren't in Club 33 was fun too (ha ha).

I owe a HUGE thank you to someone that I've never met before but sprinkled me with some pixie dust and made a dream come true. I won't mention his name but THANK YOU, you are a wonderful person! I hope we get to meet someday...maybe at Club 33 (wink, wink)

You know by reading this blog that I'm not a great writer. So I thought the best thing to do is to copy here what is printed on the History Sheet.

Club 33, Royal Street, New Orleans Square, Disneyland

The colorful realism and the precise architectural detail of New Orleans Square in Disneyland captures the atmosphere of the nineteenth-century New Orleans French Quarter. Glancing upwards to the second balcony and the ornate iron railings hung with flowers, one would hardly guess that they surround the little-known but quite elegant Club 33.

Years ago, Walt Disney felt that a special place was needed where he could entertain visiting dignitaries and others in a quiet, serene atmosphere where superb cuisine and distinctive decor would complement one another. He asked artist Dorothea Redmond to provide watercolor renderings of what such a place might look like. Accompanied by renowned decorator Emil Kuir, Walt and his wife traveled to New Orleans to select many of the beautiful antiques that are on display. After years of planning, Club 33 became a reality on June 15, 1967. Sadly enough it was never seen by its creator because of his untimely death six months earlier.

Club 33, so named after its address, 33 Royal Street, is comprised of two dining rooms and several adjoining areas, all of which hold a wide array of magnificent antiques and original works of art. After ascending in the French lift to the second floor, guests enter into The Gallery. Here they find interesting items such as an oak telephone booth with beveled leaded glass panels adapted from the one used int he Disney motion picture "The Happiest Millionaire" and a rare console table which was found in the French Quarter of New Orleans. In The Gallery, as elsewhere in the Club, are many original works by Disney artists and sketches done as design studies for New Orleans Square and the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions.

The Gallery leads into Lounge Alley which serves as a vestibule and also the buffet for the Main Dining Room and Trophy Room. One wall displays several conceptual sketches of New Orleans Square, and directly across from these sketches is a custom-designed harpsichord decorated with a hand-painted scene depicting New Orleans harbor in the nineteenth century. The furnishings are a combination of antique and reproduction pieces.

The Main Dining Room is decorated in First Empire, recalling the era of Napoleon and the early nineteenth century. Three glimmering chandeliers and wall sconces illuminate the entire room. Much of the framed artwork on the walls is again, the work of Disney artists. Fresh flowers, parquet floors and antique bronzes create an atmosphere of serenity and warmth.

The Disney Room is the second dining room and offers a more informal atmosphere. The design of the room incorporates the use of microphones in the center of each chandelier and a vulture with the ability to speak. Walt Disney's intention for this concept was humorous in nature, as the vulture was to converse with guests during dinner. The pictorial time line that blankets the east wall offers an intimate view of Walt's life and highlights of Disneyland history. Brass plaques on each picture name the scene.

Today, Club 33 functions as an exclusive private club where members or their guests may enjoy a gourmet meal complemented by the finest wines. Tradition, accompanied by gracious hospitality, has been the hallmark of Club 33 since its opening day...and will continue to be for many years to come.

The history sheet refers to the second dining room as The Disney Room but I was told that it was called The Trophey Room. I'm not sure when the name changed or how up-to-date the history sheet is. If you would like to know more about Club 33 you can visit a nice website I found: Here you'll find some fun facts and more photos.

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Mitch Brannen said...

Awesome slideshow and great trip report so far. :)

Mad Hatter

Dad.. said...

Lucky.. Lucky.. LUCKY!!!! Great slideshow!!

MaryJo said...

Awesome slideshow!!! I was really blessed to get to be there with you. Thank you.

Caspian said...

What a great meal! Thanks again.