Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Look Inside Disneyland's Newly Revamped Club 33





Overlooking the hustle and bustle of Disneyland's New Orleans Square, the exclusive (and somewhat elusive) members-only Disney club Club 33 has undergone a major renovation and expansion.  The Club reopened this past month to members and their guests and the internet has already been stirring with excitement with all the changes. 

The original sign for Club 33

Disney fans around the world, including myself, were surprised at the news of the renovation and expansion, which moved the entrance of Club 33 from the nondescript door on Royal Street (designated only with a 33 outside - see pic on the left) to the Court des Anges; expanded the kitchen into what used to be Walt's "Trophy Room" (you can see images of what that room used to look like in Kendra's Club 33 post); and added a jazz lounge that would rival Disney California Adventure's 1901 Lounge. I got the esteemed opportunity to accompany a friend into the newly expanded Club 33 for lunch service and experience the new jazz lounge firsthand. 

I'm here to take you on a photo tour of some of the things that remained, the things that changed, and what you can expect if you get the chance to visit this somewhat secret spot at The Disneyland Resort - I'll try to retain some of the mystery because that's what makes Disney so magical. Let's get started!

When you walk past the original 33 door, you'll gaze upon these large Art Deco gates....


Club 33 Courtyard doors
New courtyard doors closing off the Court of Angels
Keep walking and find yourself at the new Club 33 door and entrance...


The Club 33 entrance doors
To gain access into the Club, push the new Club 33 buzzer, which will change color:

The new Club buzzer - changes color!
A hostess greeted us at the door and checked our reservation.  Our lunch wasn't scheduled until 12:30 pm, but the new jazz lounge, Le Salon Nouveau, opens at 11 am and can be visited without a reservation.  We were ushered into a small lobby which housed two familiar pieces from the original Club lobby, the jazz musicians of New Orleans Square and the bust of Marie Antoinette


Familiar art pieces from the original Club 33 Lobby
The hostess room opens up to the familiar Court des Anges (Court of Angels), which has had several additions made to the staircase.  Our hostess asked us to wait in the courtyard before we were escorted upstairs to Le Salon Nouveau.


New glass flower fixtures have been added to the courtyard staircase
The view of the Court des Anges staircase from the top
My friend and I were escorted to the new lobby and entrance of Club 33.  The restrooms have been moved to the exterior of the Club, as has a familiar telephone booth from the film, "The Happiest Millionaire":


The telephone booth - outside of the lobby

Restroom and telephone booth
Then the moment awaited us - we entered the new lobby space for Club 33!
Club 33 Mosaic at the entrance to the lobby
The Club 33 Lobby
The Lobby Chandelier, brandished with the new Club 33 logo
Perched in a corner, the Trophy Room vulture is still here!
The harpsichord is still at the Club!
If you continue straight through the lobby, you will enter the Grand Salon, the original dining area of Club 33. Since it wasn't quite lunch time, we made a left turn at the host's counter down to Le Salon Nouveau. We passed by the wine cabinets and four beautiful booths, themed to four different scenes: Mark Twain, the Haunted Mansion, Mardi Gras (New Orleans), and the sailing ships.  The beautiful French lift that the Club was known for has also found a new home in the lounge.


Le Salon Nouveau - view from the entrance
The French Lift has now become a salon table
A view of Le Salon Nouveau's full bar
My friend and I decided to sit in one of the four themed booths outside of Le Salon Nouveau. To retain a bit of the mystery of the Club, I will only share the photo of the booth we sat in, which was the Mark Twain booth featuring a wonderful portrait of the Mark Twain Riverboat.  Look long enough and the portrait might actually come to life!


Close-up of the Mark Twain booth - notice the books in the right and the wonderful portrait
We couldn't visit the lounge without trying one of the specialty drinks on the newly created menu for the Club.  My friend opted for the non-alcoholic Apple Lemonade, which is served with a baked straw.  Our wonderful server Justin suggested The French Martini for me as a fruity, fun, and refreshing option.  Both items did not disappoint and the menu is extensive and impressive!


The French martini and the leather bound Club 33 drink  menu
The delicious and refreshing Apple Lemonade  that's an apple straw!
I also couldn't wait for dessert, so we opted for the "Trio of Petit Choux" - with a coffee cream flavor, banana cream, and raspberry rose.


Beautiful petit choux - so delicious!
Then it was time to see the Grand Salon and enjoy a wonderful lunch.  The noticeable changes in the Club included the paint color, which no longer is a rich, deep red color but seemed to be brightened up with creams and light blues.  The Trophy Room is noticeably absent with this long wall featuring beautiful murals.


The walkway down to the Grand Salon
These beautiful murals take the place of the original Club bar
Complete table setting in the Grand Salon
Table setting with Club 33 logo
Me with the new Club 33 menu
The new bar in the Grand Salon
New window treatments - the Club feels brighter
We had the opportunity to choose between a three-course or four-course lunch, overseen by Executive Chef Andrew Sutton (who is known for The Napa Rose in the Grand Californian and The Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure).  Since we had dessert earlier, we opted for the 3-course meal and I decided to have a Mint Julep - very different than the ones served downstairs.  Here's a collage of both our selections!  The bread was absolutely moist and delicious and all of our selections were amazing  

All the delicious dishes that we shared!

Of course you're wondering, "Do the restrooms look the same? Have they changed from their "royal" reception?"  I hate to break it to fans of the throne toilets - the women's bathroom has transformed into a delicate powder room adorned with swans and beautiful light fixture. (Per Club policy, we have removed the images of the restrooms because at Babes In Disneyland we always play by the rules.)

After lunch, we decided to return back to the Salon and enjoy a cup of coffee and listen to the "self-playing" piano in the jazz lounge!


The self-playing piano in Le Salon Nouveau
Check out the beautiful stained glass ceiling!
Close-up of the Salon's bar

The Club blend of coffee from Club 33
Posing inside Le Salon Nouveau
I hope this photo tour was a feast for your eyes!  Both the Grand Salon for Club 33 and Le Nouveau Salon have beautiful details - and familiar pieces from the original Club are scattered throughout the Club (you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for them!)  There are still so many amazing details that I didn't want to reveal here or that I didn't get a chance to capture with my camera.  Here's hoping everyone gets a chance to see it firsthand.

6 comments:

Mindy said...

Thanks for sharing this, Vy! I'm sad about the thrones being gone but I'll try to get over it ... haha!

Vy Spear said...

Mindy - I know, right?! I knew I HAD to report on the throne toilets - the people must know! Glad you enjoyed the photo tour.

Okie said...

Thanks for this post.

Club 33 has been on my bucket list since I first learned about it decades ago.

For me the exclusivity and the ultra-elegance was only part of the draw. The main reason I wanted to go was because of the distinctive ties to the era of Walt. While I like some of the pictures and decor of the refurb I'm a little disappointed at the same time.

I'd always dreamed of taking the French Lift, of exploring the Trophy Room, etc. While some of those elements are still around, it seems like the changes served to transition this into more a place trying to be an upscale 5-star eatery first and being a homage to the bygone era of Disney second. I preferred it the other way around.

Sadly, unless I start seeing evidence to the contrary, a luncheon at Club 33 is no longer as high on my bucket list as it was previously. :(

Jeffrey Birou said...

Vy, thanks for these lovely photos! I have a member contact that is willing to make a reservation for me and my group, but I have heard mixed reports about access to Le Salon Nouveau. Is it true that a member must be present in your group to access the lounge, even if you have a lunch or dinner reservation?

Thank you!

Vy Spear said...

Hi Jeffrey! From what I know, as long as you have a reservation, you should be able to access the lounge. I am getting confirmation now (stay tuned!) but as far as I understand, you need the member present only if you want to access Le Salon Nouveau without a lunch or dinner reservation.

Vy Spear said...

Jeffrey,

Confirmed. With a lunch or dinner reservation, you do not need a member present with you to access the lounge. If you do not have a reservation, then you cannot access the lounge without a member.

Enjoy!