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  1. #1

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    Why the '33' in Club 33?

    I never really wondered about this until I got an email message from a forum I hadn't been to in some time. All of a sudden there is a surge in the interest of the number 33.

    At Disneyland in Anaheim California, there is an exclusive "Club 33," upstairs next to the "Blue Bayou" restaurant. Anaheim's global latitude is 3384'N.


    I went on this website and found some interesting points relating to 33 ... but I'd like to know if any of you know why the Club at Disneyland got the number 33. I've seen that the shops around NOS are numbered, but why 33 for Club 33?


  2. #2

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    Hi TikiLiz,

    I believe the reason is all of the stores actually addresses are on Royal Street, not Harbor Blvd. The actual address of Club 33 is 33 Royal Street. I believe this to be correct. Could someone confirm this?

    The other rumor is there were 33 original members to the club. I think that's incorrect.

    Chad

  3. #3

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    I believe it is for the 33 original investors in Disneyland.
    Last edited by dramaqueen; 04-23-2007 at 04:34 PM.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    This comes up from time to time and opus1guy has posted several times about it. I'll see if I can dig up one of his posts. In the mean time, it appears to be club 33 because of the address at 33 Royal Street. There are many other rumors out there to why it is "33".

    As for the liquor license, that is myth as well. The club had the delivery address on West street (now Disneyland Drive) on the liquor license.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    If there was no 33 in the name, then it would just be "Club".

    OR

    1 thru 32 were already taken.

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    Good answers so far. I wasn't aware that there were threads on this question already. I was just wondering since at times it seems that the number 33 is linked to the freemasons and all that freaky stuff. I guess I'll take a peek through the older threads too and find out the answers that were given.


  7. #7

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    Quote Originally Posted by Osky View Post
    This comes up from time to time and opus1guy has posted several times about it.
    Here's that opus from Opus. Better pull up a chair.

    >>>

    But for those that don't know, it's really a great example of "history in the changing" and how "history" can change or be mislead for current agendas and goals.

    Depending on who you read or believe or interpret these days (including the Club's own "history sheet" and the Disney Archives), it could be:

    - From the address. It was at 33 Royal Street so hence the name Club 33.

    - From the original number of lessees/participants on Disneyland's opening day in 1955.

    - From the number of companies/individuals that helped finance Disneyland by opening day in 1955.

    - Forty-seven participants were polled as to creating a private club and only 33 agreed (Snopes version)

    And the truly wacky:

    - Something about Walt being a Free Mason and the 33rd sign of the 33rd moon or some other such nonsense.

    - 1933 being some sort of pivotal year for Walt.

    - And just about everything else under the sun.

    The simple truth as it was told to the members and potential members back on the Club's opening day back in the Summer of 1967? And what was confirmed to me by several of the Imagineers that had a hand in building the Club. And was confirmed to me by Herb Ryman himself:

    Club 33 opened in the Summer of 1967. In the 1966-67 year, there were 33 major park participants. And there you have it. That simple. Want backup? Want to know who those 33 were? Herbie provided that list to me by pulling out his own personal copy of the Summer 1967 Disneyland Guide Book!

    There in that Summer 1967 Guide Book it lists all the park participants. Go ahead and let your fingers do the walking and add them up for yourselves.



    Add 'em up and it spells Club 33.

    Once the name was settled upon the address was set as 33 Royal Street (the actual name of Club 33 is "Club 33, Royal Street") and as one early Club piece stated "All other addresses revolve around this most distinguished address...33 Royal Street, New Orleans Square."

    But of course, things aren't really that simple or there would be only one version of history, right? So where did things go wrong? How did history on this one tiny thing...the name...get so screwed up over time?

    Well, one thing had to do with secrecy. The Club's creation and operation was kept very secret. And for many years after the Club's opening many park cast members never even knew what was "up there." The Club was even initially set-up and run by an outside Club Management Firm. It's not like today when every geek...um, I mean enthusiast...knows about the place and has a web site on the subject. Because of the secrecy the field was ripe for real information to be lost, or forgotten or told wrong or misinterpreted.

    Give you an example. Just above I wrote that the Club was named for the 33 park participants in 1967. But you know what someone is bound to say when telling this to someone else? They are bound to say that those 33 were "the original members."

    And that's not true or what I said.

    Not all 33 park participants joined the Club! See how a piece of information can be easily and innocently extrapolated into bad info?

    Then add into the confusing mix all the Sun, National Enquirer and other sleaze rag articles that like to paint a picture of drunken orgies going on up there, or my personal favorite from one...The Talking Moose Head!

    So let's start at the beginning with Walt. Walt loved clubs. He loved being a member and he loved having his own. He had the private Coral Room at the Studio. He had the "Penthouse" club on the top of the Animation Building at the Studio. He was a member of Jack Wrather's private "Oak Room" at the Disneyland Hotel, which fulfilled many of Walt's and the park's entertaining requirements pre-Club 33. He had a small private dining room off of the Plaza Inn (still there I believe, but used mainly for meetings now) where he would entertain small groups of VIPs.

    Those were the seeds. But the final impetus for a private dining and drinking club at Disneyland got it's first launch with the 1964 New York Worlds Fair. As reported by Jack Lindquist (who was a Marketing guy back then and later became President of Disneyland) in an article in the Los Angeles Times many years ago (the only one Disney ever sanctioned on the Club, to my knowledge), one of the major amenities at the Fair were the many "Corporate Lounges" that populated the grounds where execs and their guests could relax away from the crowds and enjoy a cocktail or two.

    Keep in mind at this point, that corporate America was very much a "old boys club" of 3 martini lunches, sexrataries, and private men's clubs. Even the major airlines like United flew many all men only flights ("The Executive") from coast to coast. Stewardess were all single and encouraged to flirt with passengers. Sounds unbelievable now, I know. But it was a different world back then. No workplace sexual harassment laws. No glass ceiling for women....it was casehardened steel! Frankly, folks drank and smoked much more than today. Just keep that in mind for context.

    So, when Walt was trying to get sponsorship for these many Fair attractions to be moved to Disneyland at the conclusion of the fair, Jack reported that a major sticking point of any deals was the fact that Disneyland was dry. Jack reported something like "These big wigs wanted someplace they could knock back a couple while entertaining at the park." He went on rather humorously backpedaling in the article to say, "Now I'm not saying that these guys were a bunch of drunks or something. It was just something they wanted that they couldn't have in their private lounges at Disneyland."

    So you had the seeds, and then you had the demand and the desire of The Founder for a private club. Good timing with the upcoming construction of New Orleans Square. Things just came together.

    Neither the operation of "The Club" (as it was then referred) or it's final name was known by the time Walt passed away in late 1966. Walt was alive to dedicate New Orleans Square earlier that year, but the space where the Club was located was still under construction by that time. Bill Justice told me he was up in the Club's space during the Grand Opening of New Orleans Square and Walt brought that mayor of the real New Orleans in for a "someday soon" tour. And of course Walt and Lilly had been with Emile Kuri to New Orleans to personally select many of the antiques of what would be in Club 33.

    According to Herb Ryman, he recalled a gentleman named Jack Sayers (I may have that spelling wrong...that's how I jotted it down) first suggested it be based on those 33 1967 participants. He was in charge of participants back then I gathered. For a brief time after that it was called "The 33 Club." Somewhere along the line between then and opening, that changed to Club 33, Royal Street.

    Now how do things go astray? How can things change as a result of current needs and desires of the company?

    Well, for many years after the Club opened it was widely reported and assumed that it was a club for only park participants and their guests. This was not true though. Not all of the 33 actually joined the Club. They filled other spots with other well-healed corporations. It wasn't until sometime later that when they expanded the maximum number of memberships from 150 to 450, that Disney decided they needed to distance themselves from the Club being perceived as a park participant only deal. They needed and wanted to quickly fill those new available memberships and didn't want anyone misunderstanding just who could join. So the official "line" quietly changed. It changed to what is currently on the Club info sheet...that Club 33 was named after it's address. Well, that's not really a lie now, is it? But what came first? The chicken or the egg? The name or the address?

    The name came first. The address later. But it's not a lie to say it's named for the address, because it is. Get it?

    Well, there you have it. Take it for what it's worth. I did email this info to Snopes about [now, 7] years ago and got a rather terse reply that they confirmed their version with the highest Disney authorities. Oh well. Probably the same highest authorities that never knew the truth or were compelled to keep up with the company line.

    And in the end, what does it really matter anyway. People are dying in Iraq. Seems sorta silly to be splitting hairs over such trivia. But it is fun, isn't it?

    <<<<

    As I said...take it for what it's worth.

  8. #8

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    All of the stores inside Disneyland have street addresses. The Club is located at 33 Royal Street. Simple. It's listed on the blueprint of the Park I have on my wall in the living room. All the buildings in the back area that are machine shops and work places all have addresses as well. Toontown has addresses. They all have addresses, just for the sake of finding them for internal purposes. You can't send mail to them, they are not postal addresses, they are Park addresses.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    Here's what I envision. In New Orleans Square there is Hercules, we'll call him Opus. A girl names Meg falls into the rivers of America. From Club 33 comes Opus....he jumps into the river to rescue Meg. Underwater for 10 minutes, Opus arises with a lifeless Meg.

    Who could survive underwater that long!?

    Only Opus who is now a Disney God!

    Great story pal, your knowledge is astounding.

    Thanks,
    Chad

  10. #10

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    Quote Originally Posted by aashee View Post
    Here's what I envision. In New Orleans Square there is Hercules, we'll call him Opus. A girl names Meg falls into the rivers of America. From Club 33 comes Opus....he jumps into the river to rescue Meg. Underwater for 10 minutes, Opus arises with a lifeless Meg.
    A good detective might also consider that perhaps Opus was not trying to rescue Meg...but was trying to assure that she did not survive the fall, and purposefully held her underwater for the 10 minutes. And the hero was actually a zero.



    Quote Originally Posted by aashee
    Great story pal, your knowledge is astounding.
    Let's just hope at least some of it is accurate.


  11. #11

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    It is Club 33, because that is how many years it will take to pay for membership.




  12. #12

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    He had a small private dining room off of the Plaza Inn (still there I believe, but used mainly for meetings now) where he would entertain small groups of VIPs.
    Very cool. I never knew about that or the Oak Room either. Was the Plaza Inn dining room chic or nicely decorated? Or was it more function than fashion?

  13. #13

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicKingdomBoy View Post
    Was the Plaza Inn dining room chic or nicely decorated? Or was it more function than fashion?
    It was nicely decorated in a Victorian scheme. Not every big though. Just a room. Got a picture somewhere of some meeting being held in there...but it could take years to find!

    It's still there and still being used for meetings, last I heard.

  14. #14

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Fischer View Post
    It is Club 33, because that is how many years it will take to pay for membership.


    Opus - thanks for the back story. Once again - you had the answers!
    She did it!


  15. #15

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    Re: Why the '33' in Club 33?

    I thought that it was called "Club 33" because even though "Boom Boom Room" fit better with the theme of New Orleans Square, Walt realized that he could make more money off $10,000 memberships than 20% of the night's take.

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