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Dining at Disney's Club 33: The Good, The Bad and The Shopping

Categories: Dishney
33pin.jpg
Anne Marie Panoringan
Bet we can get $55 for him.

There is a special population obsessed enamored with all things Disney, and a completely unrelated group that wants to be a part of all things exclusive. Rarely do these two collide, except when discussing a certain door adjacent to the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square, its only marker being their address, the buzzer behind a discreet panel your only way in. Happiest place on Earth? Try toughest reservation.

You know the drill: Club 33. Only place in Disneyland proper that serves alcohol. Even if they had the space for you, it first requires a membership (which we didn't have), or a Six-Degrees-of-Someone-Who-Does to enter (we did). Inquiring about their wait list isn't even an option anymore, as there are more than enough deep pockets ready to jump at a spot in Club 33's limited membership to last years.

A certain allure is associated with this place. That bourgeois air carries guests throughout the night, explaining why you might see inexplicably high-heeled or well-suited tourists wandering Main Street. If you think this is for old stogies, guess again. The young lady awaiting her coat just got engaged, a gaggle of 20-something girls in their curvy outfits all struck a pose next to the tree, and our celebratory party of four opted to hitch a ride up the old-fashioned lift. There's no mistaking it: this is a self-contained ode to Dickensian sophistication.

Once seated, we come to the realization of something bad: it's an $80 minimum to eat here. Not that we were expecting to spend a lot less; we've been fortunate enough to know people (who know people), and most of our forays have been a very pricey, yet unlimited Sunday brunch. Being our second visit for dinner, maybe we forgot all about this prerequisite? Either way, it was like elementary school book reports--when you're forced to do something, it's never as much fun. Granted, the good in all this was our one-day, park-hopper pass included with our reservation (on a day that was otherwise a blackout for us). So we all sucked it up and scanned the selections, fifth-grade addition mentally kicking in. Coincidentally, their multi-course Vintner menu was strategically priced $10 above their great expectations, so our table goes with that.

They decide to amuse us with a golden morsel of savory goodness enveloped in phyllo dough. Included was a carefully scripted spiel of exactly why our server was starting us with a single bite, which I guess to first-timers is good. When I inquire about the individual components, a different server visits, describing our combination of goat cheese, apricot and Maui onion......with an identical spiel of the history behind amuse bouches. Ok, we GET it. I quietly hope the rest of our meal isn't narrated with such brainwashing precision (Hey, I worked the Disneyland College Program. I know the drill.).

33fondue.jpg
Anne Marie Panoringan
I might've liked it more with a nice Chianti.

Course one is a fontina fondue soup. Thick for a spoon, but weird for a fork. We dig in, and it's super cheesy, figuratively and literally, with fava beans, roasted fingerlings, and cauliflower. It was neither good nor bad; something Liz Lemon would whip up on Valentine's Day. I had the urge to dip some walnut bread and try scooping it up, but resisted.

Next on the agenda was contessa shrimp cake.

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Cimarron Kuskie
Cimarron Kuskie

I agree lunch is best unless you want a quiet dinner. To many kids attend during lunch. and the ticket value is great if your not a pass holder. and now members only get 50 of those per year so they cant have to many free guest per year now. 

Joeblowww
Joeblowww

Been meaning to ask this question for some time now:

What's the purpose of providing individual links to all of the food pictured in these articles if said pics are no larger than the originals?  On occasion, even the linked pics are lower in resolution than those embedded in the original article.

Sabor de Soledad
Sabor de Soledad

This review was so poorly written (all the Oxford commas!) and hard to follow. What the heck does "something Liz Lemon would whip up on Valentine's Day" mean in reference to the fontina fondue soup? Laden with fava beans, roasted fingerlings and cauliflower...everyone knows Liz Lemon is partial to Sabor de Soledad cheese puffs.

Anne Marie
Anne Marie

So she didn't cook a cheese soup for Jon Hamm's character on Valentine's Day? I believe she did, with much regret.

Sophie
Sophie

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Gastronome
Gastronome

@909Jeff. I think you are right about lunch at Club 33. It is a different experience.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Have you been there for Lunch?  That is my favorite meal at club 33 mainly because of the all you can eat seafood buffet... I'll get the roasted chicken and the truffled Mac& Cheese from the menu but its the mountain of lobster tails and snow crab and shrimp that I feast on.

I actually think the cost is a great value because you pay for a 1 day 1 park pass which is $80 but you get a park hopper which is currently $105 and the cost of the meal is covered. Bonus... Your ticket says "Club 33 Comp" on it so you just automatically feel cooler than everyone else.  You do have to pay for booze and tips, no big deal! a couple cocktails and tip on 160 dollar meal is still less than two meals at the side stage cafe. (Okay maybe its still a little more) but  worth it.  

If your source ever runs dry and you need a new hookup Gustavo has my e-mail addy.   I'm sure he'll approve the expense report!

Anne Marie
Anne Marie

Lunch was never an option with the groups I've dined with (scheduling conflicts). I've already had a couple of friends say the same, and perhaps I'll check it out. Trying to expense that amount isn't really possible, but that's alright. Thanks for the invitation.

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