Recently, Mr. Michael Colglazier, the President of Disneyland, sent out a note to all Club 33 members stating that Club 33 would be going under heavy renovation over the next couple of months. See the full article about the letter and about our early coverage of the expansion, here.
What he didn’t say was what type of renovation Club 33 would go through. There has been lots of speculation online, that the Club would be closed, but no one knew when it would happen or the exact details.
President Colglazier did mention that a preview center would open for Club 33 members to see the additions to the Club. The preview center opened Monday the 9th of September 2013.
An anonymous Club 33 member sent me information regarding the changes featured in the preview center.
He was also the bearer of bad tidings for many Disney fans. What I learned was that the Court of Angels will in fact be closing to the public and will be turned into a lobby for Club 33. Previously, I had been led to believe that the Court of Angels would remain accessible to all Disney fans, but sadly that is not true.
Renovation Details From Preview Center
- Club 33 logo will be changing to match the new New Orleans vibe of the club
- The widened hall will be split in two, to separate servers from guests in the hallway.
- There will be a Club 33 merchandise case at the Grand Californian during construction. Unfortunately only open to members.
- The new elevator will be where the old bathrooms are. The bathrooms will be relocated to the location just to the left at the top of the Court. The iron gates that close the court off will be preserved with the exception of glass being added. The balcony at the top of the stairs will continue on to the club and there will be an additional check in desk at the right entry to Salon Nouveau.
- The new dining room will be referred to as Le Grand Salon.
Details For Le Grand Salon:
- Gone are the swags in the drapes. Simple panels will frame the new windows. The chairs and table will also change, the upholstery will have a blue paisley print on white background, and the floor will be lighter.
- Murals of the Louisiana landscape will be on the hallway walls.
- They light fixture in the entry area will look like a piece of jewelry. It will include stringed bugle beads, tinsel or fringe swirling like a wave. Club 33 management was very excited to see this happen.
Details For Salon Nouveau:
- Salon Nouveau is green and red. The fabric swatches were a red silk with harlequin stitch pattern, a deep green velvet and as I can recall a deep red velvet. There is a large center iron encased skylight the spans the length of the club ( it looked domed). I could figure out the orientation by the illustrations even though the plans were there as well as the inspiration boards.
- Club administration showed original renderings of the club and inspirations for it, much of the changes are directly taken from the time that Mr. Disney was still alive.
The members who I have talked to and the Club 33 servers are all very excited about the upcoming changes. With the exception of the closure of the Court of Angels, I am very excited to see that Disney is finally renovating it’s private club. Disneyland Resort management is being very carefully with adding new members. New members will be added very gradually and in small, very small amounts. Just a few every 6 months. It’s not like the flood gates will open. They always want a member to be able to get a seat, but they also want to fill a few more seats, as the club is barely filled most of the time. Members have said that currently it is very easy to get reservations and that they have even eaten in the main dining room alone. There are so many people who would love to be enjoying a meal at Club 33, that they want to let in more people, but still keep the peaceful spacious feeling in the dining room.
I know there is nothing I can do to dispel the rumor that this is a money grab, but it’s not. Look at the numbers, 100 members added during the last two years at $10,000 thousand a year. In the grand scheme of things, it really is just a drop in the bucket to the park. Tiny potatoes really. They are doing this partially to complete the original Walt Disney vision. I know how hard these people work to make the experience and I hate them portrayed as money grabbers.
All I ask is that you do the math before criticizing Disney and Club 33, they are creating a magical experience for their guests and members.
Update 9/14/13: We just received more information about the Club 33 expansion. The new info comes from an anonymous Club 33 member who sent it in after seeing the article.
Here are the details about what the new Club 33 will include:
- The gates into the Court of Angels will be replaced by opaque glass and will be walled off from the public. Some rumors said that the area would have a roof added, but that is NOT true.
- Tables and chairs will be added to the Court of Angels to provide a waiting area for the members who are getting ready to have dinner
- The French Lift from the Club 33 lobby or an elevator similar to it will be moved to the Courtyard to provide handicap access
- The walkway at the top of the stairs that is pictured below will be widened to make for a grander entryway. The stairwell will remain the same.
- The famous Club 33 restroom toilets (seen below) will be relocated to new restroom.
- The Trophy Room will be removed to create a dedicated Club 33 kitchen.
- All Club 33 china and chairs will be removed and auctioned off to Club 33 members. The chairs will be replaced by wicker ones that provide a feeling of New Orleans.
- The new Jazz Club will be named Salon Nouveau and will be inspired by Tiana’s Palace, the Jazz Club seen at the end of the Princess and the Frog film.
- Salon Nouveau will be green and red. The fabric swatches were a red silk with harlequin stitch pattern, a deep green velvet and as I can recall a deep red velvet. There is a large center iron encased skylight the spans the length of the club ( it looked domed). I could figure out the orientation by the illustrations even though the plans were there as well as the inspiration boards.
Some details are still coming to light, so take everything that we say and that all sites says with a grain of salt. We are still waiting on some details that are currently emerging.
Two special areas of Disneyland’s past will be disappearing, the Trophy Room and the Court of Angels. We had a final visit to both locations two weeks ago during the 3 hours that we spent in Disneyland. I’ll post all of the photos from these two trips sometime before the areas close for renovation.
Why Sandy Clause? Why?
The renovation will fix problems for both the general public and Club 33 members. Previously, when large parties were getting ready to visit Club 33, they had to line up outside along Royal Street. Consequently, the quaint area of New Orleans Square would get very full every time a large Club group came through. So, the reason that Disney decided to close off the Court of Angels was to keep the peace and serenity in the area.
By removing the Trophy Room and adding a dedicated Club 33 kitchen, Club 33 will be able to have even more signature dishes that it’s patrons will be able to write home about. The Club will no longer have to share a kitchen with the Blue Bayou Restaurant.
Nothing that anyone does or says about the Court of Angels closing will change what Disney does now.
The Court of Angels is one more reason to visit Club 33. For the members, the experience of the Club is just that much better, and for the people who treasure their once in a lifetime visits (that’s you and me), you will now have something very special to look forward to, seeing your old friend the Court of Angels.
For Club 33 information updates, sign up here. What is your opinion of the expansion?