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Inside the Disney club that’s so exclusive you’ve never even heard of it: Club 33, ‘named after Walt Disney’s Masonic ties’, has invite-only membership, a 14-year wait list, and a $100k initiation fee

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Inside the Disney club that’s so exclusive you’ve never even heard of it: Club 33, ‘named after Walt Disney’s Masonic ties’, has invite-only membership, a 14-year wait list, and a $100k initiation fee

Inside the Disney club that’s so exclusive you’ve never even heard of it: Club 33, ‘named after Walt Disney’s Masonic ties’, has invite-only membership, a 14-year wait list, and a $100k initiation fee
February 23
07:26 2017

Inside the Disney club that’s so exclusive you’ve never even heard of it: Club 33, ‘named after Walt Disney’s Masonic ties’, has invite-only membership, a 14-year wait list, and a $100k initiation fee

 

A Club 33 member spoke exclusively to DailyMail.com on condition of anonymity to give an insider’s view of the private club

Designed for Walt Disney himself to entertain business associates, it opened in 1967 – five months after his death

The club’s name is claimed by some to be a reference to Walt Disney’s Masonic ties – others say it’s a reference to the park’s 33 original sponsors

Executive platinum membership costs $30,000 per year- and carries a $100,000 initiation fee

This gives members access to Club 33’s two areas – Le Grand Salon dining area and Le Salon Nouveau bar and lounge – which are in Disneyland in California

The venue is packed with original Disney memorabilia including artifacts such as photos from Walt’s office

By Matthew Wright For Dailymail.com

Published: 09:03 EST, 17 February 2017

It may be the happiest place on earth, but a small corner of it is also one of the most exclusive.

Tucked away in plain sight in the middle of Disneyland’s New Orleans Square is a private members-only club that is so elite that you can only get invited to join if you know someone who knows someone and even then the wait list can be as long as 14 years.

Those who are fortunate enough to be invited to join Club 33 pay up to $100,000 joining fee and $30,000 annually for the privilege.

For their investment they get access to countless perks, fine dining and a lounge where they can mingle with like-minded wealthy Disney enthusiasts, revealed one Club 33 member who spoke exclusively to DailyMail.com on condition of anonymity.

Le Salon Nouveau bar and lounge is just one of two main compartments of Club 33 at Disneyland in California, an exclusive invite-only club

With fewer than 500 members it is almost impossible to get off the wait list with some waiting up to 14 years. There are several levels of membership - gold, platinum, executive platinum and corporate and one must be of a platinum member or higher to go to Le Salon Nouveau

The bar at Le Salon Nouveau was made to look like it had been crafted by hand. Drinks here can range to relatively cheap prices to $2500 per ounce

Food from Club 33's dining area Le Grand Salon can be ordered at the bar which features live music and high end drinking selections. The exclusive club is the only place alcohol can be bought on Disney grounds in California

Walt Disney poses with a vintage Mickey Mouse doll that is similar to the one in Club 1901

There are fewer than 500 members so it is nearly impossible to get past the pale green door that grants access to some of the most prized possessions of Walt Disney himself such as original photographs, vintage Mickey and Minnie and original items from the sets including a table from the 1964 movie Mary Poppins.

It is just as hard to even become one the privileged: prospects must be recommended by a current member to even get on the wait list.

The rules are strict at Club 33 – even detailing where photographs can be taken. Ones inside the bathrooms are off limits.

The Club 33 member who spoke to DailyMail.com has set up an anonymous Instagram account disneyland33member dedicated to showing a sneaky peek inside the unique club where top business executives, investors and celebrities are believed to be members.

Even Nicolas Cage and Alec Baldwin are rumoured to be members. Others say Christina Aguilera goes there. Others claim Tom Hanks has been.

Speculation abounds not just about the membership but also the origins of the name. Why Club 33?

Opened in 1967 as an exclusive treat and retreat for investors and was designed and overseen by Walt Disney himself however he died five months before the grand opening and never got to see the members-only club in all its glory.

Club 33 is tucked away in plain sight in New Orleans Square. Regular visitors often pose in front of the door and try to catch a glimpse of what is inside

Behind the reception desk is a huge picture of Walt Disney who died five months before the club opened

The reception area between Le Grand Salon and Le Salon Nouveau. Club 33 requires that guests wear smart casual attire to eat lunch and buttoned dress shirts for men blouses for women for dinner. Shorts are not permitted

Guests first arrive in a courtyard called the Court of Angels where groups wait to be escorted upstairs. There, visitors are often given a complimentary drink of hot chocolate or cider

Once up the stairs, visitors must walk through this door to get to Le Grand Salon and Le Salon Nouveau. A tiled Club 33 insignia can be seen on the floor

A door leading to an unknown location in Le Salon Nouveau. There is speculation that the name Club 33 is a homage to Walt Disney masonic ties

The Louie Room at Le Salon Nouveau is home to an old 1941 sketch said to have been made by artist Marc Davis who would retreat into a private room and observe people

So some think its name refers to the park’s 33 corporate sponsors when the club opened. Others claim it is so named as a reference to Disney himself’s supposed Masonic ties.

He was said to be a 33rd Degree Mason. Other say it’s because if you turn the numeral on its side, it resembles Mickey Mouse’s ears.

Disneyland33member said: ‘(The masonic ties) are a fun rumor to engage in and adds some more intrigue to the club.’

Whatever the answer, the club’s location on 33 Royal Street should certainly offer a partial explanation.

There are several levels of membership – gold, platinum, executive platinum and corporate.

The most basic costs a one-off initiation fee of $25,000 and $13,000 annually up to executive platinum which costs $100,000 to join and $30,000 per year thereafter.

This fee gives members access to Club 33’s two areas – Le Grand Salon dining area and Le Salon Nouveau which is a bar/lounge that can only be visited when a platinum or higher member is accompanying the group.

There are numerous statues and figurines throughout the club adding to the eccentric flair of the mysterious club

This statue can be found in the Court of Angels and greets guests and members. The most basic costs a one-off initiation fee of $25,000 and $13,000 annually up to executive platinum which costs $100,000 to join and $30,000 per year thereafter

Club 33 went through a huge remodeling project in 2014 when the bar lounge was added. The entrance was redone as well.

Members flash their membership cards at the entrance where they then wait in the Court of Angels, a courtyard where groups wait to be escorted upstairs. There, visitors are often given a complimentary drink of hot chocolate or cider.

For new joiners, an orientation is conducted with management in the Dream Suite, a two bedroom apartment that was once only reserved for a Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour before the opening of Royal 21, an exclusive dining soiree that cost $15,000.

A picture in Club 1901 where only the top tier of Club 33 members are allowed. It shows the production staff of Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony cartoons extending their congratulations to Walt Disney

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