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Al Lutz
Dinner at Club 33
(Originally posted on 4/14/96)

I finally got to have dinner at CLUB 33! Thanks to a wonderful online friend, I was able to join him for dinner at 8 PM in the ONLY place I was never able to get into before at DL, the much vaunted, and much restricted Club 33. What a thrill to hit that little buzzer and actually have the door open up - to be welcomed in by a CM sitting right by the door.

The entrance lobby is small - the centerpiece being an antique elevator that is polished to an inch of its life. In one corner was a discreet souvenir cabinet, offering Club 33 mugs, glassware, pens and such for sale, at prices that a member wouldn't probably blanch at . Riding the lift up to the second floor we were met by another gracious CM who took us down a brilliant wood parquet floored hall (where for lunch a Buffet is served) to our table in the amazingly small dining room, situated right over the Cafe Orleans facing the river. We got a corner table overlooking the One of a Kind shop and the Blue Bayou.

In my mind I kept as a reference the dinner I had this past Thanksgiving at WDW's Victoria & Albert's in the Grand Floridian. This evening reminded me of that night in that many of the conventions regarding the service and such that were remarkably similar. But - where I was disappointed overall with how the whole evening went at WDW, here at the Club it was amazingly total perfection. Our waiter was attentive and the service person for our table didn't miss a thing. After looking around I noticed that each table had their own set of CM's watching over them - something that was implied in our visit to V&A's last year - but not kept to.

All the good service would have been for naught if the food didn't live up to it - and here I have to say it was everything I could have hoped for and more. We ordered Chateaubrian (forgive my spelling here) for the three of us and it was literally sliced by just dropping a butter knife on it. Our waiter helped select the perfect wine - and was bubbling about how the new management was allowing them to be more involved. Dessert was superb - I had a white chocolate covered vanilla heart with a raspberry sorbet center on a bed of chocolate swirled raspberry sauce. The manager that night came by to say hello and tell us about how proud he was of how things were going.

At one point in the evening our CM waiter commented on how we at the table were discussing the park - and wondered if we were Disneyanna people. We said no - and he said they had just hosted some of them not too long ago. "They are quite something - it was unbelievable how many questions they had about the place." he said, "But what was really amazing was that after they left we found one of our bathroom seats missing - we knew they took it - but we couldn't figure out why since it didn't say Club 33 on it." What a great story - I couldn't stop laughing.

An advantage of having dinner at the time we did meant we were allowed to catch both performances of Fantasmic! while finishing our meal and enjoying our coffee and dessert. Although the view is obstructed somewhat by a large tree - the leisurely pace and wonderful ambiance more than made up for that. On the way out we stopped by the trophy room (as the CM's referred to it). We spotted the mikes in the chandeliers that are not in use, along with the wildlife replicas on the paneled walls. 

Our exit was leisurely - we didn't even manage to exit the place until well after 11 PM (the park had closed at 10 PM) and the quiet walk back was occasionally brightened by a CM or two saying good night to us as they also headed home. Disneyland at night is always a little more special - when you and just a few other souls are alone there it's positively enchanting.

This was truly a special event for me - and one that someday I hope I can experience again. Sorry to ramble on so - but I thought I should catch everyone up!



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