#TBT: Club 33 Before the Renovation

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, at least I hope Kylene Hamulak thinks so! I loved her throw back Thursday article so much I decided to share one of my own. This time visiting Disneyland’s Club 33 before the much debated renovation. I thought now was a great time to preserve the information in case the club emerges nothing like it was in the past. Now, I must apologize for the photo quality. Back in 2011 I hadn’t picked up photography as a hobby just yet. That plus my hands trembling with excitement led to some pretty sad results!  If you want to see (always) amazing photos, check out this old post by THE Tom Bricker.

I’ll never forget how nervous I was that day! I couldn’t think about anything else and I made my hubby push the button to check us in. When they first opened the door and we stepped inside, I immediately snapped a photo of the inside of that door! I’d been waiting so long to see it! It was surprisingly… red. Actually the entire entry was a bright red color with a lovely staircase directly in front of us and the French lift on the right. Maybe I remember that color so well because all my photos are just a smeared mess of that red! ;) We asked to take the French Lift up to our table and it’s really as tiny as people say.

Below is my first photo of the day that turned out. Once we sat down I took a deep breath and photographed everything on the table. Our server tried to unfold my napkin to place it on my lap and was a little confused when I stopped her. I was worried she’d think we were “that” kind of table but it ended up that she was really lovely and appreciated how much we treasured being there.

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After taking a few minutes to appreciate the dining room we thought we should grab something to eat. When we were at Club 33 you not only got to order from a gourmet menu, there was also a buffet to start your meal. The options were immense with cheeses, seafood, meats, salad, fruit, soups, and more. I wonder if this tradition will continue with the new club? It was an amazing way to start off your meal!

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Of course, we both ordered the Chateaubriand. I feel like every good Disney nerd would do the same thing. Am I wrong about that? I’d asked if I could have mine with the macaroni and cheese instead of potatoes but our wonderful server just brought me both! Everything tasted heavenly. I’ve accepted I’ll likely never get another chance to head back to Club 33, but if they’d just throw me some of that macaroni and cheese over the balcony I wouldn’t tell anyone! ;)

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If you weren’t already stuffed, below is a photo of the dessert buffet complete with the most amazing lemon cookies we’ve ever tasted. I bake all the time at home and I’ve tried a dozen different recipes trying to replicate these without coming close. It’s almost cruel to feed you so well before a dessert buffet like this! (Ok- if someone is making me a doggie bag to throw over the balcony put in a couple lemon cookies too!)

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The only thing that made those lemon cookies not so sweet was realizing my time in Club 33 was nearing an end. There was so much more I wanted to see. How was I going to sneak away and inconspicuously look at every corner of the restaurant? Our server came to deliver our bill and must have read my mind. She handed the bill to my hubby and handed me a fistful of Club 33 pens, assuring me that they had boxes of them laying around. Then she offered me a tour of the restaurant! I gleefully left my dear husband with the massive check and ran off to take the photos. Looking back at them I don’t remember all the details, but I’ll never forget the feeling of walking through a place I’d read about for as long as I could remember.

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Below left is one of the lovely lamps that used to sit on the Club 33 bar. I wonder if all these details will survive the renovation? On the right is a photo inside the ladies room. My sever told me I had to take a look in the powder room and I knew just what she was talking about. I couldn’t believe I’d waited that long to visit. The odd toilets were on my list of things to check out. But when I entered there was another woman in there and I felt awkward taking photos. We both waited around a while checking makeup and washing hands until I finally gave in and apologized for being tacky but I had to take photos. She burst out laughing and pulled her camera out. We’d both been trying to wait the other out so we could maniacally photograph the space! We had the best time taking pictures together.

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When I emerged, my server was waiting to show off the Trophy Room. It was empty and set for a group visiting later in the day. At that point my hubby joined me and they said we could have the room as long as we liked and show ourselves out when we were done. There was was so much history in this room. I found the microphone in the light fixture, found talking vulture, and took dozens of really poor quality photos. I’ve heard this space didn’t survive the renovation and I’m very sad about that. I’d dreamed about seeing this one little room for as long as I could remember. How many people don’t have a chance of their dream coming true now?

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Before leaving I snuck out on the balcony one last time to look out over New Orleans Square. Then we headed down the very red staircase and back out into Disneyland like it never happened.

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That’s how I will always remember Club 33. My connection is long gone so I’ll likely never get another chance to go and I’m not sure I want to. I had an amazing chance to visit the Club 33 that Walt had a hand in creating. While I’m normally a fan of change and new things being better, I just don’t know how they could improve what was already there. My sentimental heart will always love the Club 33 I’m lucky enough to remember.

Have you ever visited Club 33? What do you think about the changes? Do you have any questions about my experience from a few years ago? I hope you’ll let us know in the comments below. As always thanks so much for reading and commenting!  

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Posted on July 24, 2014

2 Responses to “#TBT: Club 33 Before the Renovation”

  • Reading your article & viewing your photos brings back so many happy memories! I (along with my husband and 2 kids) have had the good fortune to visit Club 33 several times over the years – we even got to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner there one year!! We never take a visit for granted and realize how blessed we have been to be able to experience such a magical place!

    • by Daisy Lauren on July 24, 2014, at 8:43 pm EST

      Hi Eva!! I was beginning to think nobody read this one! :) How amazing that you’ve been. Thanks for commenting.