Confirmed: Rumored Club 33 Expansion Could Include Jazz Club Concept

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Update: A letter from Mr. Michael Colglazier, the President of Disneyland was sent to every Club 33 member today telling them that Club 33 would be going under massive renovation and expansion. The expansion starts on January 6th, 2014, with the last available day to make reservations to eat at the club January 5th.

Story: See latest Club 33 renovation update information.

The letter also confirmed that award-winning Imagineer Kim Irvine will be leading the project and will follow the original vision of the club. Kim Irvine is the Art Director for Disneyland park and is a resident Imagineer at Disneyland.

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The Club is also opening a members only preview center on September 9th. Expect to see more information from us after the preview center opens. Subscribe to our email list to get updated immediately.

Club 33 is a private club in New Orleans Square in Disneyland that is NOT open to the public. I can’t get anyone reservations as much as I would love to.

Below is our article from last May when we were the first site to report on the expansion.

Club 33 Expansion

Walt Disney once said, “Disneyland will never be finished.” This continues to hold true today. I have heard rumors floating around about a possible expansion of Club 33. It would be taking place over the next six months and would open by the beginning of 2014. club33walkway

Club 33 Expansion Details

Included in this rumored expansion is the addition of a new area of Club 33 above the French Market and a new Club entrance in the Court of Angels.

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Elaborating on the expansion, back in 1966 Walt Disney died. At the time, a couple of big projects were going on in New Orleans Square at Disneyland. Walt Disney’s private apartment was being built and Club 33 was having the finishing touches put on it.

Disneyland Jazz Club

One project that many people may not remember was the plan by Disney to build a jazz club above the French Market at the top of the Court of Angels stairs. The project was stopped when Walt Disney passed away as was anything not already nearing completion like Club 33.

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Concept Art For the Court of Angles Which Included Stairs to Walt’s Apartment and the Jazz Club

The original concept for the club was for a room that could seat 50-100 people and included a stage. The plan was to have notable musicians performing nightly for Walt Disney and his guests. Walt envisioned that night would go like this: Cocktails at his private apartment above Pirates of the Caribbean, a dinner in the trophy room of Club 33 and finally a night of entertainment at the Jazz Club.

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Disneyland is all about looking to Walt as an inspiration and so finally almost 50 years later Disney headed back to the Walt Disney Imagineering Archives and dug up some concept art that fits a need that Club 33 has at the moment. You see, Club 33 has always had very interesting Disney lectures for their members. They wanted to provide a space for lectures and increase their capacity the rest of the time. They dug up the concept art for the Jazz Club and wanted to implement it in the extra space in New Orleans Square. The space is now used for storage and also houses numerous cast member areas like the New Orleans Entertainment group. The creation of the Jazz Club will be a beautiful fit with Club 33 and New Orleans Square.

New Entrance to Club 33

I also mentioned the addition of a new entrance to the Club above. That new entrance would be up the stairs of the Court of Angels.

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The final rumor that I will be sharing is the amount of time that the club would be closed for. What I have heard is that Club 33 would be closed for upwards of four months in order to completely renovate and fully connect the new and old spaces. Keep in mind that while these rumors are floating around the Disney-fandom, nothing is official yet. The money and dates are not yet set and everything I have said is just a rumor….for now. :)

 Update

I did a little bit more digging around and emailed friends at the unofficial Club 33 website and they explained that included in the expansion would be a walk up lounge for members. At the moment Club 33 is strictly reservation only including for members while the new 1901 Club in California Adventure is a lounge available at any time for members. disneylandclub33expansion 1901 is a huge success and Disney wants to try to capitalize on the idea and follow Walt Disney’s original vision. Please remember that Disney has not confirmed this project nor has this article been approved by them. Everything written here is speculation.

See our video tour of Club 33.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or snarky.

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7 thoughts on “Confirmed: Rumored Club 33 Expansion Could Include Jazz Club Concept

  1. I believe the above concept art you are referring to was built and still exists today. It is the courtyard between Pieces of Eight (Thieves Market in concept art) and Port Royal shops.

    • The concept art above is already built. But, the reason that I included the art was that the stairs were originally going to lead to Walt’s Apartment, the Jazz Club, and Club 33.

  2. I believe the stair case you are referencing was used in the past for the Club back maybe through the 70′s…maybe 80′s. From what I was told. Could have just been while they were working on the lobby.

    I do know the club is closing and it would make sense that they would finally build out the Jazz club section since as you referenced it was built out 45 years ago, but just walled off. The same flooring that is elsewhere in the Club is already there!

    If they could get this done in less than four months that would be a super miracle not only on the Disney side, but contractors…they are ALWAYS slow. Rumor also has the Trophy Room closing…which has been shared by a Club Cast Member or two to dining guests in recent months.

    No matter what…things are in the works…we just have to see when it starts, what it is and how long it will take. I would find it hard to believe the Club would be closed during December especially with Candlelight going the whole month of December now.

    • The stair case has been used as a back entrance to the club for cast members for quite some time. I would believe that it was used as a main entrance while the entrance room and lift were being worked on.

      We were just waiting for the club closure to be announced. It would seem to me that with the club closing, the project would be going ahead.

      Remember that the Candlelight Processional is only for one weekend this year due to the fact that Main Street retail revenue was way down in December of last year due to the processional taking up so much space and time.

      The Trophy is on the chopping block to become an expand exclusively Club 33 kitchen.

  3. Hmmm….interesting as I was told and “confirmed” that Candlelight was going to follow the WDW model and go longer. I believe they should move it to the Hyperion and do three shows a night and have it combined with a dinner package. The dinner plan was almost set this year, but they had too many kinks to go live. Amazing how one park has it down for decades and another can’t get it moving. As for revenue being down….another interesting point as people were forced to walk through the shops to get down the street….so I would not think that would have been an issue. They seemed to be doing VERY well to me and reality…this would be no different than running two parades a night…where people are locked off for upwards of 30-45 mins. I am not sure I find the revenue down argument real since from a guest flow perspective…there would not be too much different. In addition while the show was going on people could still move in and around Main Street as a whole. It will be interesting to see what happens with Candlelight as I believe this is a BIG lost revenue opp and possible great guest experience leaving it on Main Street and limited. I understand the “tradition”, but things change and with the addition of DCA it would be a much better guest experience in a theater where it will run regardless of weather and more people would get to experience it over the month run.

    In addition….Club 33 had MANY more ops for dinner plans with the multiple nights and going back to one weekend REALLY cuts back on member benefits which are already under constant scrutiny as the new levels continue to evolve. I just see going back as not a real option, but with George leaving…maybe new management went back to old ways.

    I will concur that the Trophy room conversation said it was being used to extend the kitchen. Oh well.

  4. I was just dining at Club 33 a couple of weeks ago and here is a comment from some of the employees (castmembers?) that you might want to listen to. I heard from 2, two, dos, different employees that if you have any Club 33 items that you should hold on to them. I have been collecting them for years and never part with any of them. They both told me, as a matter of leaked fact, that the club will also be changing their logo. Yikes!!!!! Diane Disney-Miller just passed this week and she fought so hard for her father’s legacy. We have been fortunate enough to sit at Lillian Disney’s favorite table several times at Club 33. We were fortunate to see, meet, and chat with Diane also at the Walt Disney Museum. This company is meandering all over the place trying to come up with ways of making more and more money. Walt’s vision is being totally lost as a place where most people can afford to go to the park any longer. So sad!!!!

    • The news that the logo was changing actually was announced a couple of months ago here on our site. Same as you I immediately stocked up on Club 33 gear when I heard.

      Please don’t call Disney evil and fishing for money. Club 33 will be a new experience, and it needs a new logo to match it. THATS ALL.

      The loss of Diane Disney Miller is tragic. I had the chance to meet her at the museum a couple of times, and she truly was a strong willed wonderful women.