First of all, I would like to send a huge thank you to author Joe Cosgrove for organizing a signing event at Club 33 for his book, “Walt Dreamers Me“. I would also like to thank the great people in the MouseWait family for holding a raffle for some extra spots that allowed my wife and me to attend. For those that don’t know, Club 33 is an exclusive restaurant in New Orleans Square that is open only to club members and their guests. The wait list to become a member is something like 15 years and needless to say it is quite expensive. I couldn’t believe that I finally could check this off my list!
We met up at the front gates around 7AM and entered as a group before the park opened. Our Club 33 host met us on Main Street and escorted us past the crowds waiting for the park to officially open, and that allowed me to take a glimpse at an empty New Orleans Square:
Our group took up the main dining room, and this was where the author Joe Cosgrove talked about his book and some other stories about Walt Disney. It was definitely an amazing experience hearing about Walt from someone who actually knew him and worked with him!
Here’s Joe in his signature red and black hat signing his books and talking one on one with his guests. It’s so nice to see someone with that much passion for what he does. His positive attitude was infectious and you could see his eyes light up when he was telling us all his stories about the Walt and Club 33:
To be honest, I don’t remember the food much. I was just trying to take it all in during my short visit there, since I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to return. The decor inside is very vintage and ornate, and there are some pictures of Walt that are rarely seen:
So this is what it’s like looking out from the windows above New Orleans Square!
No this isn’t a piano. I was told it was a harpsichord. Even though this is my first time ever seeing one, I doubt all of them are this beautiful.
Since we had the Club to ourselves, we had a rare opportunity to see the other dining room, or the Trophy Room, completely empty. It was nice being able to look around freely without feeling like we were bothering other guests:
This audio-animatronic vulture used to interact with guests, but now it just sits there looking at guests’ leftovers:
There was a voice actor hidden away that would listen to guests conversations through microphones built in to the chandelier:
I really wish I could have stayed all day, but the staff needed to clear the room for lunch service so we were all shown the exit:
Club 33 will evidently be undergoing some renovations and expansions as early as this fall. The expansion will effectively double the size of the private club. The new lounge portion will be directly above the French Market and echo the jazz theme of the area. We REALLY hope to be able to go back and see the changes some day. Fingers crossed!
See you in the parks!
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