To many of us growing up, Disneyland represented the ultimate fantasy. A place that looked like it had a real Disney palace at the center with all our favorite characters and incredible rides too. As we grew up the fantasy turned to reality. Now when I think about going to Disneyland all I see is a day in the hot sun and queues for hours on end. For some though the fantasy still exists. What were once whispers have now been confirmed. Inside the walls of Disneyland, there exists a secret society called Club 33.
Club 33 makes Disneyland a fantasy all over again. While most of us have been lucky enough to get inside an airport lounge or member’s lounge once in our lives and know that it isn’t that amazing. What is offered at Disney is something far greater. It is not a place to wait for your next flight, it is a place to allow the incredible magic of Disneyland to come to life in a land of luxury. No queues, no wait times, no hard day in the hot sun, pure perfection.
It is estimated (but no one is sure) that there are around 500 members of Club 33. Membership in the club allows them entry to a private space in the Disneyland world where they can enjoy fine dining, jazz, and a full bar. Reports suggest that the walls are covered with incredible memorabilia, film props, and pictures that die-hard fans would give anything to see.
Legend also says that Walt had microphones and speakers placed in the walls so that he could converse with members if he wished. The speaker was inside a robotic vulture above a clock tower. Fittingly the vulture wears a top hat. While top hats are not required, no one is allowed in wearing shorts and a vest. Formal attire is required to get into this distinguished club.
While the private entertainment sounds great it is the perks that really make this club membership a must-have experience. Being a member allows you to enter the park early, have private events in certain park locations and allegedly a separate amusement park. If you are a member you are even allowed to ask for a private meet and greet with any of the Disney park characters. As well as free merchandise, your own parking, and fast passes to all the rides, there is likely much much more that no one is talking about. Part of the appeal of Club 33 is that it is a well-kept secret. Who knows what hidden treasures and experiences exist that the outside world knows nothing about.
The bad news is it is not easy to become a member of Club 33. Rumor has it that the Club got its name because of the 33 original companies that invest in the Disneyland theme park. They were given a number of passes and it has been kept very exclusive ever since. Membershipped is capped and there has been a waiting list to join for years. Being a member is not cheap either. It costs $25,000 to join and every year you have to pay another annual fee in the thousands.
It is likely that we will never get to see the inside of Club 33. It turns out that Walt was never able to see it either. He supposedly died 5 months before Club 33 opened meaning that the well-dressed vulture above the clock has likely never spoken. If Club 33 really is your dream we suggest you start saving now. Who knows, in the next 10 to 20 years there may even be an opening.