Dinner on 5/18 was going to be the third time we dined in Club 33. We’ve dined once for dinner (just me & DH); one for lunch (with me, DH & DS13) and this dinner was going to be the first time DS19 was going to join us. Our reservation was for 8pm.
After parking at GCA, having drinks at 1901 and walking over to DL, we arrived in New Orleans Square about 7:30 - half an hour early. There were a lot of people around the entrance to the Blue Bayou, even some who were sitting on the ground in front of the Club 33 door. We browsed a few shops, walked around a bit and rang the bell at about 7:50. The hostess came out; and said due to capacity she would seat us at our reservation time & could we please wait. She came back promptly at 8pm and let us in. We took a family picture in front of the elevator; and DH walked up the stairs and I took the elevator with the kids.
We were seated at a table in a corner with access to two of the French doors that opened to the balcony. The table was set so perfect with the big charger plate with a gold 33 in the middle and a fancy schmancy folded napkin. Our server was Alistair was wonderful (until we ordered dessert, which I’ll explain later). I ordered the Vintner 5 course dinner (duck, calamari with lobster bisque, short ribs, cheese and a pear cake dessert-without the wine pairings); DH got Chateaubriand; DS13 got the hangar steak and DS19 got the crab-stuffed lobster.
Club 33 Place Setting
The restaurant was busy and nearly every table was occupied. Now that I’ve been here a few times, I’ve noticed that people do get loud here – they’re having wine, or their favorite beverage, many are celebrating special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries and people are happy. One louder table near us was a party of 5 and they were laughing about trips to Mexico and what happened there stayed there.
Our food was wonderful. DS19 said the crab with his lobster was amazing. My second course came with what I thought was a soup – the menu mentioned calamari and lobster bisque; but what I got was about 6 pieces of calamari, and a bit of bisque that you could pour over or use as a dipping sauce. It was good but I thought the menu, or the waiter, could have explained it better. Also, when we ordered dessert, that’s when we learned that the courses on the Vintner 5 course menu could be ordered separately. Our server Alistair should have said that when he was explaining the menu before we ordered.
When Fantasmic started, I did go outside but it was hard to see. The kids did make one trip outside and took pics of each other. We had two of the French doors to use to get out on the balcony, so it was easy access.
There are chairs and settees near the service bar area and when I made a trip to the ladies room I noticed about 6 – 8 people milling about, some seated, some standing, all with cocktails. I guess they were waiting for a table to be ready. I always thought the bar could only serve those who were seated for dinner but clearly, this group was having drinks before dinner.
By the time our dessert was served it was closer to 10 pm and the dining room was clearing out and bussers were clearing dishes and re-setting tables. And here’s where the evening got weird. A busser came to our table and began to clear our dessert dishes; and his back was to the loud party of 5 mentioned earlier but my back was to the French doors and I had a full view of what happened next.
One of the people at the party of 5 table stood up, turned around, left their table, walked to a table that had been re-set, picked up one of the big charger plates with the gold 33 in the middle with one hand, picked up the fancy napkin and put it where the plate had been with the other hand, and walked back to her seat with the plate.
Yep, she stole it.
Just like that.
I was dumbfounded. Stunned. Flabbergasted. Astounded that someone would DARE to steal something at Club 33, let alone this GIANT PIECE OF CHINA. All I could say was OMG that woman just took that plate.
Now, the busser was still picking up our dessert dishes. The culprit had evidently waited until he passed their table, then made her move while his back was to their table. He heard what I said, and said to me Did you just say you saw a guest take something?
I said yes, that woman at that table has one of your charger plates on her lap. By now the others at the table were giggling and one of them said Now you’ve got yourself a souvenir. The busser must have heard them.
He said Do you mean our under plates? I said yes, the big one you take away when you bring the appetizer. (I call it a charger. I have a set of inexpensive gold ones from Costco, and the box they came in said set of 8 chargers. So that’s what I call them.) He asked me which seat the culprit was at, and left with our dishes.
By now DS13 was just apoplectic that this woman had stole the plate; and wanted me to confront the culprit and I said no, I’m not going to do that; someone who works here knows what the issue is and they can choose how to respond. I thought I gave him an appropriate response. No way was I going to confront anyone! But I was furious. Club 33 is a nice pace! I had no idea if these people were members, or guests of members. Regardless, why would you steal anything from Club 33, let alone a huge decorative plate? If you’re a member, you risk getting kicked out. If you’re a guest, you risk getting your host kicked out! Plus, you risk getting caught and arrested for theft. They give you the ink pen when you sign, and you can take all the bathroom paper towels, swizzle sticks and chocolates they bring with your bill that you want, plus there’s merchandise to buy for souvenirs. From reading these message boards, Disney does not mess around with shoplifters or people who steal. They have a lock-up on site at DL and will call the Anaheim PD and have you arrested. This woman was crazy, inebriated, or both.
Then, the culprit left her table with the plate; and when she came back, she was with one of the men who had been at her table. I hadn’t noticed him leave the table; and he was carrying a gift bag – as if they had celebrated a birthday, and someone had brought a present in their own gift bag. It was large and easily could have held the stolen plate. Somehow, they had likely (allegedly?) transferred the plate to the gift bag. She picked up her handbag and they all quickly left their table.
Our server Alistair came with our bill and said I understand you’ve seen some excitement tonight! I said yes I have. Good - our busser had already spread the word. A few minutes later, a hostess CM came over and asked me what I saw and I repeated what I said to the busser. Good -if they want my statement, then they are doing something. We paid our bill; lingered a bit and then left our table. Other than this crazy woman stealing china, it had been a lovely evening.
As we walked past the bar, the party of 5 was grouped around a CM near the harpsichord who was speaking about the instrument. The hostess who had spoken to me was standing nearby; and there were other CMs milling about. It appeared they were trying to stall these people. We stopped to buy something from the merchandise display case; and DS13 and DS19 left to ride the Haunted Mansion. They told us later when they walked past the hostess downstairs, she was on the telephone and they heard her ask for Security Dispatch. After we purchased our items and exited, there was a security CM downstairs with the hostess. Good. Somehow there will be consequences for these people. Oh, how I wish I knew what happened after we left!!!
Anybody work at Club 33?