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Walt Disney never stopped examining the world around him and where ever he traveled, he enjoyed noting details, both small and large. Even if a project was near completion, Walt believed in 'plussing' it, his term for making such even greater. It was at the 1964 World's Fair where Walt visited the private VIP lounges of the large corporate sponsors that allegedly caused him to began forming the concept of his own VIP lounge within Disneyland. It wasn't long after his return back to the studio that Walt's private lounge began it's initial development.
below material was taken from the Club 33 Official History Sheet
Club 33, Royal Street, New Orleans Square, Disneyland
Years ago, Walt Disney felt that a special place was needed where he could entertain visiting dignitaries and others in a quiet, serene atmosphere where superb cuisine and distinctive decor would complement one another. He asked artist Dorothea Redmond to provide watercolor renderings of what such a place might look like. Accompanied by renowned decorator Emil Kuri, Walt and his wife traveled to New Orleans to select many of the beautiful antiques that are on display. After years of planning, Club 33 became a reality in May of 1967. Sadly enough, it was never seen by its creator because of his untimely death five months earlier.
Club 33, so named after its address, 33 Royal Street, is comprised of two dining rooms and several adjoining areas, all of which hold a wide array of magnificent antiques and original works of art. After ascending in the French lift to the second floor, guests enter into The Gallery. Here they find interesting items such as an oak telephone booth with beveled leaded glass panels adapted from the one used in the Disney motion picture "The Happiest Millionaire" and a rare console table which was found in the French Quarter of New Orleans. In The Gallery, as elsewhere in the Club, are many original works by Disney artists and sketches done as design studies for New Orleans Square and the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.
The Gallery leads into Lounge Alley which serves as a vestibule and also the buffet for the Main Dining Room and Trophy Room. One wall displays several conceptual sketches of New Orleans Square, and directly across from these sketches is a custom-designed harpsichord decorated with a hand-painted scene depicting New Orleans harbor in the nineteenth century. The furnishings are a combination of antique and reproduction pieces.
The Main Dining Room is decorated in First Empire, recalling the era of Napoleon and the early nineteenth century. Three glimmering chandeliers and wall sconces illuminate the entire room. Much of the framed artwork on the walls is again, the work of Disney artists. Fresh flowers, parquet floors, and antique bronzes create an atmosphere of serenity and warmth.
The Trophy Room is the second dining room and offers a more informal atmosphere. The cypress-planked walls provide an excellent background for sketches done as design studies for the Jungle Cruise and Tiki Room attractions. The design of the room incorporates the use of microphones in the center of each chandelier and a vulture with the ability to speak. Walt Disney's intention for this concept was humorous in nature, as the vulture was to converse with guests during dinner. The Trophy Room also contains a number of antiques and it is usually sunlit from a long row of windows.
Today, Club 33 functions as an exclusive private club where members or their guests may enjoy a gourmet meal complemented by the finest wines. Tradition, accompanied by gracious hospitality, has been the hallmark of Club 33 since its opening day . . . and will continue to be for many years to come.
Below is one of the original Club 33 membership brochures
The young man with the orange sleeved carving coat standing behind the large silver chafing dish is Mr. Roger Craig. He later became the club's Asst. Manager and then rose to Manager. He explained that when this photo was taken, the black and gold coats for Club 33 were not finished, so they used the carving coats from Plaza Inn, hence the orange color.
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