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  1. #1

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    Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passport?

    I would be interested in hearing everyone's opinion, members and non-members.

    First, the definition per Merriam-Webster:


    1club

    noun,often attributive\ˈkləb\: a group of people who meet to participate in an activity (such as a sport or hobby)
    : the place where the members of a club meet
    : a sports team or organization


    For the many years we have been members, I will wholeheartedly admit we have dearly loved and enjoyed Club 33. My answer to the above question would have been 'yes', the ol' place was a true club. A place where Disney/Disneyland enthusiasts met, private banquets were held to celebrate special occasions and it was highly enjoyed by friends, family, and our guests. This is based upon the club prior to 2012 and the recent revision.

    Now, however, my personal opinion is the club has become an extremely peculiar form of high grade annual passport. Restricted access based upon membership level (exactly like the park's AP's), inability to easily share and at least so far, unquestionably overpriced food which we personally don't enjoy. Yes, I miss Marcel! Sorry gang, Andrew is a terrific chef but I tend to prefer a slightly heartier fare without so much, shall I say, 'fanciful poofery!' But they've only been re-opened since July 18th and they're still getting their feet wet, so naturally there will be a learning curve. Perhaps when Andrew and Justin begin to truly know the members and what they enjoy, the menu will graciously change. I'm getting off track, sorry.

    It is true that Club 33 has been turned into a major profit center since being taken over by TDA, but based upon it's popularity, this was inevitable. But the changes, good or bad, to me at least, have truly changed not just the face of the club but also it's heart and soul.

    I'd like to hear your opinions, I'm sure they will be quite different from my own, but please keep in mind, the club was a place my kids grew up enjoying, where my friends and family have shared an almost countless number of wonderful occasions and sharing the club was truly the greatest benefit of membership. Wow, has all that changed! I walk into the Main Dining Room now and I want to put a jacket on as it's so cold and stark. And yes, we live close to the park so we frequented very often, not just the occasional visit from afar. I had planned on not renewing for 2014 but the club management promised me the changes would be wonderful and we would have full access to the lounge. So, I renewed. That, my dear friends, is an entirely different story.

    So, there you have, what's your opinion? Is Club 33 an actual club?



  2. #2

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    Like many words in the English language the word club has multiple meanings and definitions, and the above in the OP is but one of those.

    Additional meanings and definitions of the word club:

    Merriam-Webster:

    an association of persons participating in a plan by which they agree to make regular payments or purchases in order to secure some advantage.

    Oxford definition

    An organization offering members social amenities, meals, and temporary residence

    A commercial organization offering members special benefits

    I would say based on the other definitions of the word, that yes Club 33 is still very much a club, and really the AP program could be considered a club as well.



  3. #3

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    Quote Originally Posted by David A View Post
    I would be interested in hearing everyone's opinion, members and non-members.

    First, the definition per Merriam-Webster:


    1club

    noun,often attributive\ˈkləb\: a group of people who meet to participate in an activity (such as a sport or hobby)
    : the place where the members of a club meet
    : a sports team or organization


    For the many years we have been members, I will wholeheartedly admit we have dearly loved and enjoyed Club 33. My answer to the above question would have been 'yes', the ol' place was a true club. A place where Disney/Disneyland enthusiasts met, private banquets were held to celebrate special occasions and it was highly enjoyed by friends, family, and our guests. This is based upon the club prior to 2012 and the recent revision.
    My uncle used to be a member back in the 70s and 80s. I don't know if he was an original member but he was an early member and back then the club really wasn't a place meant for Disney enthusiasts. Sure it was a blast for me personally as a Disney fan being able to go and I am sure some members were also Disney fans coincidentally. But back in the day I think a big reason for club membership was the ability to network with Disney and other corporate partners and for the members to be able to offer a reward or gift to their employees and or clients. IMO it was when "Disney enthusiasts" began to join the club and the corporate members started dropping out that this focus switched to being an "upper level AP" as you say. It became less a club for companies and more a club for people who liked Disney so much they were willing to pay exorbitant prices for the privilege.

  4. #4

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    With the opening of the lounge, I would think it would be more club-like....

  5. #5

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    With the opening of the lounge, I would think it would be more club-like....
    I find it very similar to country clubs my siblings belong to and to a baseball "club" other siblings belong to.

    And as far as "access", most clubs have various levels of membership. FOr example, I have a sibling that belongs to a club and has full access meaning they can golf any day of the week, make dining reservations 60 days out, has tennis privs, swimming privs, etc... Another sibling has a Tier II membership where they can have golf privs only Mon-Thurs. (Bunch of other things too, but gives you an idea of restrictions.)

    The club is still allowing upgrades to the higher tier for current members.

    As for cold, that isn't what I felt. It was beautiful and elegant. I agree about the food. It is good, but I think Sutton needs to learn his members. I love Marcel. I email him each trip and see him over at Steakhouse. If food continues, I will eat there on occasion, but you will probably find me in Steakhouse a little more...
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  6. #6

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    Outside of the member events, do members call each other up and arrange to meet up at the club and chat over drinks/food? That to me is what the real definition of the club is... camaraderie amongst members.

  7. #7

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    Wink Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    Sure it's a club, in the same genre as exclusive private city & country clubs. It selects its own membership [$ does not guarantee admission nor preclude expulsion]. It has premises and services reserved for members and their guests. It's management, while not elected by the members, is reasonably concerned with and responsive to members' input.

    Some ruffled feathers and climbing to the tops of trees followed (a) the 2012 restructuring and (b) the 2014 replacement of the original C33 premises with what I whimsically call "Club 34". These are a lot of new tricks for old dogs, but do not really change the essential nature and function of the Club.

    As discussed in other threads, probably the single most defining change to the Club is that C33 was designed to be secret, while C34 is not. We saw the gradual evolution and tension of this beginning in the late 1990s and becoming more and more of an awkwardness thereafter, pretty much compelling Disney to either make it larger and more open or close it down as a public relations dodo bird. The Internet fanned the flames with all sorts of YouTube footage, unofficial websites, bloggossip, etc. [Look at all the gumbo ya ya on MiceChat alone!] The whole issue of nonmember access to C33 was a particular sore point, with some members selling reservations and non-C33 groups like D23 holding events there. Finagling your way in became a Disneyland addict merit badge.

    Club 34 is still a club, but it is no longer a secret club, which under the above circumstances and today's social climate is inevitable. Yes, there will be some grumbling among us old Mousketeers who regarded it as our "backyard tree fort".


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  8. #8

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    Outside of the member events, do members call each other up and arrange to meet up at the club and chat over drinks/food? That to me is what the real definition of the club is... camaraderie amongst members.
    I've seen numerous member groups doing this quite often, so yes.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    I love Marcel. I email him each trip and see him over at Steakhouse. If food continues, I will eat there on occasion, but you will probably find me in Steakhouse a little more...
    Amen to that statement.
    One cannot help but feel that with so many gold members extremely angry at the current club 33 management, most of us will eat within the Main Dining Room as a mandatory requirement to utilize the lounge, but once experienced, visits will taper off tremendously.
    I can already see that most platinum members are filling up on the lounge appetizers, enjoying the bar selections and then going back into the park. Honestly, the appetizers in the lounge are quite good, I was somewhat shocked to experience something reasonably tasty, especially when compared to the Main Dining Room selections.
    It's incredibly sad how the gold members are being mistreated.

  10. #10

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post
    Finagling your way in became a Disneyland addict merit badge.



    I still take exception to that viewpoint.

  11. #11

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    Quote Originally Posted by David A View Post
    Amen to that statement.
    One cannot help but feel that with so many gold members extremely angry at the current club 33 management, most of us will eat within the Main Dining Room as a mandatory requirement to utilize the lounge, but once experienced, visits will taper off tremendously.
    I can already see that most platinum members are filling up on the lounge appetizers, enjoying the bar selections and then going back into the park. Honestly, the appetizers in the lounge are quite good, I was somewhat shocked to experience something reasonably tasty, especially when compared to the Main Dining Room selections.
    It's incredibly sad how the gold members are being mistreated.

    I thought salon noveau was open to all members regardless of level..and that only 1901 was restricted to the upper tiers.

  12. #12

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    I thought salon noveau was open to all members regardless of level..and that only 1901 was restricted to the upper tiers.
    Currently, the Salon is open to all Platinums and Executive members at anytime, and to Gold, Silver, and Corporate on days they are dining. This is subject to change depending on how busy the salon is. If the salon is not used enough, it could be opened to Gold/Silver/Corp Mon-Thurs. excluding event dates.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    It still sounds like a club, by definition. A group of people with a common interest - a love of Disney or Disneyland - meeting together. Even more so if it's a group of members meeting together (which for me, would be the biggest draw to joining - making friends with people who love Disneyland as much as I do!).

    As for opinions, I really think the most valid in this particular case are those from members. Unless someone is invited often, it's really hard for me to think that an infrequent guest or person who has never visited can really have much to base their opinion on. That's just my feeling, though. With that being said, my above statement is based only on the postings from the various threads and not on my own experiences.

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  14. #14

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    I'd always thought of the 'Club' in C33 as being more related to 'club' as in 'nightclub'. Back in the '60s it wasn't all that unusual to have a restaurant with 'club' in it's name, many were supper clubs (dinner and a show) but many were also just restaurants. If it's true that Walt's idea was to end up with Jazz music as part of the experience, then 'club' in the name would have been even more natural.

    I never associated the name itself as meaning 'I'm in 'the club' and you aren't' because that wasn't really the initial intention of the place IMHO. Just a 1960s snazzy name for a restaurant (where you incidentally have to be a member).
    Last edited by Stormy; 07-28-2014 at 08:01 AM.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Under current management, is Club 33 a 'true club' or an upper level Annual Passp

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    I'd always thought of the 'Club' in C33 as being more related to 'club' as in 'nightclub'. Back in the '60s it wasn't all that unusual to have a restaurant with 'club' in it's name, many were supper clubs (dinner and a show) but many were also just restaurants. If it's true that Walt's idea was to end up with Jazz music as part of the experience, then 'club' in the name would have been even more natural.

    I never associated the name itself as meaning 'I'm in 'the club' and you aren't' because that wasn't really the initial intention of the place IMHO. Just a 1960s snazzy name for a restaurant (where you incidentally have to be a member).
    To me, when somebody says they are at the club (of which they are a member), it makes me think of the British Gentlemen's clubs of the late 1800s.

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