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Topic: Club 33 trip report from Rich and Carol Koster, From 1993!< Next Oldest | Next Newest >

RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Aug. 06, 2002 4:53 am/pm Quote

From: Carol Koster
Subject: Pt. 21 - Club 33 Inside 1 of 3
Newsgroups: rec.arts.disney
Date: 1993-10-10 17:27:31 PST

(This is from Carol:)

Continuing with reports from the 2nd Official Disneyana Convention,
held in Anaheim CA at the Disneyland Hotel, September 14-19, 1993.
Our impressions and experiences of Breakfast at Club 33 at
Disneyland's New Orleans Square.

We gathered at the Disneyland Hotel, hopped a tram, and waited next
to Town Square's City Hall at Disneyland to be escorted foot-parade
style to breakfast at Club 33, tickets in hand, IDs around our
necks.  The park was otherwise deserted.  It was 7:30 am.  My
journalism skills took a holiday, but judging from my photographs
of the interior when people were seated I'd guess approximately 100
people paid ฽/each to be in that number to go marching into the
Happiest Place on Earth for the first meal of the day.

The Disney Channel video crew was there bright and early to capture
every smile, every footfall, and later, nearly every mouthful of this
magic morning.  We waved to them and took their pictures, and they
waved back and posed for us as we documented each other for posterity.

Club 33 is next to the Blue Bayou Restaurant.  Do you notice all the
plaques with sequential numbers which might be address numbers? Number
33 is Club 33!

The entry foyer is small, but richly decorated with elegant draperies,
wallpaper, a few paintings and some antique furniture.  There is a
reception station where guests check in before going upstairs to the
club.  A glass elevator (not used for that day's ConventionEARS)
provides access to upstairs for those who find stair-climbing difficult.

Upstairs after you ascend the stairs, you'll see a landing area which
contains the glass elevator stop for that floor and opens into a long
corridor-type room called The Gallery, containing a beveled leaded
glass public telephone booth with telephone inside trimmed in oak
(does a just OK job of shutting out ambient noise for privacy, but
very pretty to look at) and as you face the stairs from The Gallery,
to the left is The Trophy Room, a dark red room which at one time had
been filled with hunting trophies and is one of two dining rooms used
for our brunch.  Leaving The Trophy Room, as you walk down The Gallery
a short ways you'll find the rest rooms on your left and Lounge Alley
on your right (a wide foyer where the food buffet was served), and
beyond Lounge Alley is The Main Dining Room (or banquet room), the
other dining area of Club 33.

This dining room had the look of an elegant French Quarter townhouse
parlor.  On two walls were a series of floor to ceiling windows which
could open to the balcony facing the park, over which were still more
decorative windows with leaded glass designs.  This is typical New
Orleans architecture.  The purpose for the windows and the walls
beneath them to open as they do is for increased air circulation in a
tropical climate and to provide access to the outside balcony to enjoy
panoramic views and catch outside breezes.  At Disneyland, due to
forced perspective, these windows are not as tall as what you'll find
in New Orleans, and the exterior balcony is somewhat narrower.  Inside
the dining room, wall sconces provided soft yellow light.  Paintings,
many of them original, grace the walls.

There were several tables of eight diners each.  We were seated and
coffee, tea and juices were served.  The orange juice was fresh
squeezed.  At each place setting was a black plate, edged in gold and
with the Club 33 insignia in gold.  Several of us picked up the plates
to inspect the back side, but I didn't record the name of the china
manufacturer who supplied the plates.  Rich noticed that this
ceremonial plate had a warning on its back to not eat from it, probably
due to something like lead in it or else to keep its finish looking
good.  At each place setting were some small token souvenirs:  A Club
33 matchbook and a Club 33 ball point pen, still wrapped in plastic.
The matchbook is black, trimmed with gold scroll work and a small Club
33 logo on the left fold of the opening cover, and a larger gold logo
one the back with gold lettering "Club 33 Disneyland ®"  (R for
registered trademark).  The ball point pen is slim, black, gold Club 33
logo and gold pocket clip, you twist the barrel of the pen to get the
ink point to come out or retract.

The wait staff removed the ceremonial top plate, and we were told it
was our section of the dining room's turn to help ourselves at the
buffet, done to prevent crowded conditions at the food tables and make
the business of getting breakfast as smooth and comfortable as possible.

We enjoyed our conversation with our table mates, two other couples
from rec.arts.disney (Michael and Judith Tuchman of Washington D.C.,
Kevin and Karen Healy) and another couple with whom we all chatted
pleasantly about varied Disney and Disney collectible topics (on
collectibles subjects, we mostly listened).

The food and service were terrific.  Certainly the food was as good
as anything comparable in the great restaurants of New Orleans.  It
was unusual to see lamb chops and vegetables on the menu so early
in the morning, but otherwise everything was very well presented and
flawlessly cooked.  We treated it as the brunch it was meant to be
and didn't eat again until quite late that night.

(Continued in next message.)

--Carol Koster

* "A dinner here is never second best!"

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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Aug. 06, 2002 4:56 am/pm Quote

From: Carol Koster
Subject: Pt. 21 - Club 33 Inside 2 of 3
Newsgroups: rec.arts.disney
Date: 1993-10-10 17:29:43 PST

(This is from Carol:)

(Continued from previous message.)

Continuing with reports from the 2nd Official Disneyana Convention,
held in Anaheim CA at the Disneyland Hotel, September 14-19, 1993.
Our impressions and experiences of Breakfast at Club 33 at
Disneyland's New Orleans Square.

During the meal it was announced that something special was being
offered to us Disneyana ConventionEARS.  1992 marked the 25th
Anniversary year Club 33 had been opened.  To celebrate, the Club
had their china supplier make them a limited edition plate.  The
black china plate was edged in silver, and had the Club 33 Logo in
the center of it and "25th Anniversary" in script in the center in
silver.  We were told only 333 of these were made.  Most had been
sold over the past year, but about forty remained.  They were being
offered to the 2nd Disneyana ConventionEARS attending the meal only
for the duration of our stay at the meal.  For 贝.  Each.

*Catnip!*

A few castmembers took the plates around to the tables so the
diners could get a really good look.  On the back was limited
edition type information.  I thought of friends of ours also
attending the Convention from New Orleans, who felt that a trip to
Club 33, while intriguing, only took money away from buying
collectibles, and one type of Disney collectible they accumulate is
plates.  We don't collect.  Our friends would like these plates.
Maybe.  Think of them, act for them with our money and hope they
like and want the plates enough to pay us back?  贝 each?
Hmmm...?  Nahhhhhhhh!  Their loss!  A Beavis and Butthead attitude
can come in handy sometimes, heheheheheheheh!  ;-)  It is possible
to save money inside a Disney park!  ;-)

But others were not so tight-fisted as we were.  The first thing
to seemingly fly through the air were charge cards, as people
handed over their MasterCards and American Expresses to process
their purchases.  There was some confusion later, it happened that
some of the imprints didn't show up well enough and people had to
turn their cards over a second time so the purchase could be
reprocessed.  After the imprints were done came the chore of
obtaining signatures for the charge slips.  This seemed really time
consuming to us and unnecessarily unwieldy.  By this time people
were milling about, some looking off the balconies outside before
the park opened, some admiring the rest rooms, some photographing
each other in the rest rooms, a few actually using the rest rooms
for their intended purpose (see earlier post about the Club 33
rest rooms audio tour) and relieving the rest rooms of very nice
paper towels with the Club 33 logo on them for an additional set of
souvenirs.  Some were on mini-guided tours of Club 33.  The cast
members conducting the plate selling had to hunt down each person
who bought plates, return their charge card, and get their
signature or get their card back to reprocess the transaction.
Then the bags appeared.  Goodies for all of us, a parting gift?
Nope, they were the plates everyone bought.  A few people bought
more than one plate.

The balconies of Club 33 overlook either what will be New Orleans
Esplanade after the "Fantasmic!" show area construction is completed
or the Royal Street path past Blue Bayou and some shops.  Hanging
ferns offer an authentic tropical touch to the setting.  Some of
the neighboring balconies offer awnings or additional iron lace
grillwork below.  The view is very nice, though I would guess a view
of "Fantasmic!" from the front balcony would be obscured by tree
limbs.  There's black cast iron furniture to sit on.  The entire
second floor of the New Orleans Square complex is either Club 33,
the Disney Gallery, or the Club 33 kitchen.  The Disney Gallery was
designed to be a second apartment for Walt and Roy Disney to use for
relaxing and entertaining VIP guests.  One of the rooms currently
used as a model and painting display area on the front corner of the
Gallery was meant to be the dining room, and the display case against
the wall hides a door with access to the Club 33 kitchen.

Some of the more notable furnishing elements of the dining areas:
A harpsichord with an old New Orleans scene painted inside the
raised lid which would cover the strings.  This scene depicts
Jackson Square (named after Andrew Jackson, a general and later
president of the United States who won the Battle of New Orleans
which saved the city from advancing British troops during the War
of 1812), the Cabildo on the left (site of the signing of the
Louisiana Purchase), the Presbytere on the right (now used as a
public museum of historic Louisiana artifacts) and the Pontalba
apartment buildings adjacent to the square, and the historic
St. Louis Cathedral from the point of view of Algiers, the
community just across the Mississippi River from the French
Quarter.  The area painted there is wooded and tranquil, the women
wear quaint long dresses and bonnets and observe Jackson Square and
the river traffic from a bluff on the opposite levee.  The levee on
the French Quarter bank of the river is today the Moonwalk
promenade but in the painting shows a busy port with old tall
sailing ships prominent in the river, illustrating the water-based
commerce taking place then as well as now.

(Continued and concluding in next message.)

--Carol Koster

* "Listen, Satch, just think of it.  Imagine you being on the Mark Twain,
* "and welcome!"  "Yeah, thank you, thank you!"  "I know this seems like old
* "times to you, doesn't it?"  "It sure does.  It sure does."
* -Bandleader and Louis Armstrong, Disneyland After Dark

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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Aug. 06, 2002 4:57 am/pm Quote

From: Carol Koster
Subject: Pt. 21 - Club 33 Inside 3 of 3
Newsgroups: rec.arts.disney
Date: 1993-10-10 17:29:44 PST

(This is from Carol:)

(Continued and concluding from previous message.)

Continuing with reports from the 2nd Official Disneyana Convention,
held in Anaheim CA at the Disneyland Hotel, September 14-19, 1993.
Our impressions and experiences of Breakfast at Club 33 at
Disneyland's New Orleans Square.

The sides of the harpsichord are trimmed in black lacquer with
painted tan panels with floral bouquets surrounding the sides.

One fireplace has a mirror covering the entire wall above it to
provide the illusion of a larger dining space.  A brass sculpture
which depicts a scene of what I guess is a mythological hero
rising above angels.  Reflected in the mirror across the room is
another marble fireplace (the restaurant is full of them) with
two smaller brass statues and flanked on either side with wall
sconces with polished brass, four light fixtures each, and
crystal hanging down from them.

Another fireplace has a round magnifying mirror above it, framed
in gold with a Federal eagle about to fly, inset into oak
panelling.  The sides of the fireplace are mirrored walls framed in
cream colored painted wood trim and crown molding.  On either side
we see another pair of brass light sconces, ferns are below the
sconces to provide a touch of green.

There's an oak and brass grandfather's clock up there, but I never
got close enough to examine its details as closely.

All in all, this is an elegant, sophisticated retreat from the
bustling park on the streets below.

Our tickets don't look like anything special.  They look like
something nice a local print shop like Kinko's or Kwik Kopy might
produce:  Purple paper, 4 inches by 3.5 inches, nice fonts, written
inside a box "DISNEYANA CONVENTION Behind-The-Scenes Programs
Club 33 Breakfast Thursday, September 16, 1993 7:30 a.m.
Disneyland Tour Guide Gardens (next to City Hall on Main Street)".
The ticket is printed on paper as opposed to card stock the other
Behind the Scenes tickets were printed on, so the Club 33 Breakfast
tickets were likely printed at the last minute, after the others,
due to the late addition of a new meal due to ConventionEAR demand.
When we arrived and were seated we all set these out in case the
staff wanted to collect them up.  They didn't.  But if you weren't
quick and aware enough to hang onto yours as a memento, such as it
was, there were other ConventionEARS to snatch them up from your
table after the meal was over:  A few people speculated that the
tickets might grow in value among Disney collectors and gathered up
the little purple squares of paper for themselves rather
outspokenly and brazenly with the hope of being able to resell them
later.

I began getting the idea that among some Disney collectors you
don't want to leave the family silver lying around unless it's
nailed down, if you catch my drift.  This was literally confirmed
a few days later at John Wayne Airport as we waited for our
departure flight to Dallas on Delta.  We sat in the pre-boarding
area with a man from Tampa and his very elderly mother.  He
obviously had been Disney shopping, had the telltale bags from
Disneyland with him, and it turned out in the conversation that he
had attended the Convention as a collector.  It further turns out
he ate at one of the six Club 33 luncheons which were part of the
Convention (ours was the only breakfast).  He openly admitted to
us, in front of his mother, that he swiped a saucer from Club 33.
Figured, what the heck, why not, he justified it by saying he
couldn't afford the 贝 plates that were being sold, so he took a
saucer instead, and didn't seem to find anything wrong with that.
Rich opined out loud that if he were to mail back the saucer they'd
probably accept it.  The guy said, yeah, maybe so.  His mom didn't
seem to have any reaction to this aspect of our conversation.

So we left the restaurant because 10:00 a.m. was approaching.  The
park was about to open, and we saw the rope stretching across Main
Street at the Central Hub, preventing that day's eager park
attendees from reaching their favorite DL attractions as quickly as
they wanted.  The Disneyana Store was going to open in an hour, and
we wanted to get there, do our quick shopping, and then meet our
12:45 p.m. appointment for the afternoon.  Little did we know....

--Carol Koster

* "No time to say 'Hello!' Goodbye!  I'm late!  I'm late!  I'm late!"

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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Aug. 06, 2002 4:58 am/pm Quote

From: Rich Koster
Subject: Pt. 22 - Club 33 Audio 1 of 2
Newsgroups: rec.arts.disney
Date: 1993-10-10 17:29:44 PST

Posted to both the Fidonet Disney echo and Usenet's rec.arts.disney:

Continuing with trip reports of the 2nd Official Disneyana
Convention, September 14-19, 1993, Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim CA:

Transcript of an audio tour of Club 33, given by non-expert Rich
Koster follows.  For more complete details, see Usenet's Frequently
Asked Questions List For rec.arts.disney put out by Tom Tanida
(tanida@esosun.css.gov) or the Disneyland FAQ, written by Adrian
McCarthy (adrian@mti.mti.com).  I will attempt not to duplicate the
information found there, in Matt Emerson's speech, or in what my wife
Carol wrote about the club from her perspective.  Additional comments
not actually on the audio tape are found in brackets "[ ]".

Maximum Occupancy sign in the banquet room [The Main Dining Room] is
66.  [Although I've heard that at times many more people than that are
squeezed into the room!]

Along the [Gallery] hallway is artwork that was used in the portraits
of the Haunted Mansion [seen in the stretching room].  Off of the
[landing area] room with red wood and red wallpaper (where the elevator
is) is The Trophy Room.  [Above the door as you enter is an Audio-
Animatronic vulture, which was motionless during our tour.]  This room
is done in very dark [cypress plank] wood and has what looks like
weathered brass chandeliers, four of them, hanging over the tables.
[These contain the microphones, which were reportedly never used to
listen in on guests, to aid the vulture in commenting on what the
guests would be saying.]  There is what looks like an old New Orleans
fireplace that was converted to coal and closed up and not used anymore
[on the wall to your right as you enter].  There is one trophy of a
stuffed bird in a glass-enclosed wooden case, very ornate, that goes up
all the way to the ceiling from about shoulder level [to the left of
the fireplace].

This room overlooks the part of New Orleans Square where the Cristal
d'Orleans shop is, Number 32 on Royal Street.  On either side of the
windows facing out onto that street [on the wall to the left as you
enter The Trophy Room], in between the windows are beautiful dark
wood-framed mirrors with red draperies with gold trim.  [So from what
is seen out the window, it is apparent that The Trophy Room is
located directly over the entrance to Club 33, across from the
Cristal d'Orleans shop.  The second-floor windowed walkway you see
on the street in this area is Lounge Alley which leads to the Main
Dining Room in the building off to the right.]

There is a very beautiful dark wood serving board with cabinets for
the stemware [seen through glass cabinet doors], on the wall just to
the right of the windows.  It looks to be over six feet long.  Above
the door [to the right of this old piece of furniture] to the kitchen
is a shelf with an old kettle on it.  There is artwork just to the
right of that on the same wall that are color sketches of how the four
walls of Club 33's Trophy Room used to look, including all of the
stuffed animal heads on the walls.  And then the wall that's opposite
the street has a lot of artwork of animals, which replaces the animal
heads which were taken down.

The ceiling has the same shade of wood in beams, and in between them is
an off-white color [smooth surface] with the border just inside in red,
and a very ornate gold design -- almost like a fleur-de-lis, but not
quite -- in each of those four corners [of the rectangular areas in
between the ceiling beams].

[From The Gallery room] looking down into the street, we're able to
see the cast members still sprucing up New Orleans Square for the
morning's guests.  [This was prior to that morning's 10 o'clock
opening.]  As we were walking in, we saw men with brushes brushing
all the moldings [on the exterior of the New Orleans Square buildings]
removing any of the dirt that accumulated from the night before.  All
the streets were freshly washed.  A custodial electric-powered truck
is just going by now, a little two-seater type cart.

We were able to walk out onto the veranda outside the Club 33 main
dining room, and see a beautiful view of the Rivers of America and
the Mark Twain with the Big Thunder Mountain directly behind it.

(Continued in the next message.)

* "Little town, it's a quite village.  Every day like the one before.
* "Little town, full of little people, waking up to say:"
* "Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour!"
* "There goes the baker with his tray, like always, the same old bread
* "and rolls to sell.  Ev'ry morning just the same, since the morning
* "that we came, to this poor provincial town."  "Good morning, Belle!"
* -Belle & Townspeople, BatB


--------------
RichKoster, Disney Echo modEARator

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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Aug. 06, 2002 4:59 am/pm Quote

From: Rich Koster
Subject: Pt. 22 - Club 33 Audio 2 of 2
Newsgroups: rec.arts.disney
Date: 1993-10-10 17:29:45 PST

Posted to both the Fidonet Disney echo and Usenet's rec.arts.disney:

(Continuing with a transcript of my audio tour of Club 33, with
additional comments not actually on the audio tape found in brackets
"[ ]".)

[Our "Disneyana Convention Behind-The-Scenes Programs Club 33
Breakfast" tickets were never collected, so we were very glad to be
able to keep them and add them to our collection.  Since this was the
only breakfast tour to be offered, they are even *more* valuable!]

[When we were ready to leave it was still before the park's 10 am
opening, so we had to wait for cast members to escort us out of
the club back to Main Street.  On the way *to* the tour that morning,
we had assembled in Town Square near the Tour Guide Gardens next to
City Hall on Main Street, and at the appointed time we all were
escorted down Main Street to The Hub, where a moving van could be seen
unloaded wheeled outdoor sound system speakers directly in front of
the castle.  A white Honda Accord with a black wind-screen "car bra"
on its front (looking very much like our silver-colored Accord with
the same type of bra) was parked in front of the Carnation Plaza
Gardens at The Hub.  Both of these vehicles were long-since gone by the
time we were escorted back to the Main Street area.  We could see the
crowds of guests on Main Street kept behind the rope, all poised for
the mad rush when it would be time for the "rope drop".]

We were brought to The Hub and now we are exiting *behind* Main Street,
going through [a gate labelled] "Cast Members Only" [to the right of
"Coke Corner" and the side door to the Candy Palace.  Holding the gate
open for us was Club 33's Matt Emerson.]

Rich: "Thank you, Matt!  Very nice, Matt."

Matt: "Thank *you*.  Bye-bye."

We're now behind the Candy Palace stockroom, walking amongst all of
the gas tanks back here and the recyclable bins.  There's [a cast
member named] Dave, and the back of the Jungle Cruise where the boats
go to sleep at night.  They have a combination of the old and the new
Jungle Cruise boats here, as they change over from the striped-awning
version to the ones that are more like in "The African Queen".
There's one with the phony top of the boiler [lifted] up above, and
you can see the red-painted diesel engine that actually powers it.
That is the Magdalena Maiden.  Right next to that is a recyclable bin
for Cardboard Only Please.  There's a cast members' womens rest room
[across from the Jungle Cruise, on the left] and an outdoor water
fountain *with* a shower head!  Next to that some [large pipes] with
control valves.  And now we're by The Emporium stock room with many
electrical transformers, cast member lockers.  On the other side of
the embankment to the Jungle Cruise there's a big Generac generator
-- looks like its diesel-powered.  There's a large storage tank with
some kind of gas, perhaps LP-type, maybe.  And we're coming out next
to the Firehouse on Main Street, through the cast member door of that
walled area there.  [Before leaving through the door, I see] there's
a Please Help Keep Your Backstage Area Clean sign.  I see the
horsecars.  There are four of them [in a line, under a carport-type
roof] with a horse attached to one of them all ready to go out for
the morning, waitin' for 10 o'clock.  And there is a sign next to
the horsecar, which is right next to a large working firehose
apparatus, that says "Attention all cast members: The shortcut to
the New Orleans service area along the Jungle Cruise berm has been
closed.  Please use the on-stage Adventureland or Frontierland areas
to access locations in New Orleans.  Thank you!"  [If only it were
*actually* that easy to come and go between Main Street and the
*real* New Orleans, Carol and I would be showing up at DL quite
often!  ;-) ]

And now we see the back entrance to the Firehouse, with the metal
stairs up to Walt's apartment.

Craig: "Bye-bye!  Thanks for joining us."

Rich: "Bye-bye, Craig!  Thank you."

And out into Town Square.

(End of Club 33 Audio Tour.)

* "Hey, Tink, slip me some wing... POW!  Keep the jacuzzi hot --
* "I'll be back!" -Robin Williams, Animation Tour, WDW

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