Alcohol Served in Disneyland

Since before I was born (and very likely long before you were born), Disneyland has been serving up alcoholic drinks and offering exclusive gourmet dining in its well-known family-oriented themepark. Surprised?

Photo © Disney

Smack in the middle of New Orleans Square, right next to the entrance to the Blue Bayou restaurant, is a mysterious door with an ornamental “33” to its right. Without a $20,000 corporate sponsorship or a $7,500 individual membership, along with $2,250 in annual dues, you will not be allowed to step inside the doorway to the elegant Club 33. Unless, of course, you have a well-to-do or well-connected friend who himself is a member.

“I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in the Park. I want them to feel they’re in another world.” — Walt Disney

Glancing upward, the ornate iron railings and picturesque flower arrangements on the second-story 19th-century New Orleans French Quarter-style balcony give no clues that inside is a private adult club adorned with original works of Disney artists, Napoleonic furnishings, glimmering chandeliers, fresh flowers, parquet floors, and antique bronzes.

Walt Disney envisioned this secluded haven as a special place where he could entertain visiting dignitaries and others where “superb cuisine and distinctive decor would complement one another.” Many of the antiques on display were selected by Walt himself during frequent trips to New Orleans. It took years for his original idea to come to fruition, and unfortunately he died five months before its grand opening in May of 1967.

One of membership’s most intriguing perks is permission to ride in “Lilly Belle”, Walt’s private and luxurious rail car, the only caboose on the four trains that circumnavigate the park.

Thrills: 0. But, coolness factor: a definitive 10.

Don’t think you can rush right out and charge up one of these memberships on your American Express Platinum card. The current waiting list is approximately two to three years.

Update

It is reported that as of 2011, the wait for membership may be as long as 14 years.¬†Corporate members pay an initiation fee of $27,500, while individual members pay $10,000 — in addition to annual dues, which are about $6,100 or $3,500, respectively.



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