December 14, 2017

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What it’s like inside the secret, members-only club hidden in

Kirsten Acuna, INSIDER From Business Insider

The entryway to Club 33 in Shanghai Disney is decorated with a 33.Courtesy of Heather Concannon

One of the most exclusive restaurants in Disney Parks is Club 33. The members-only club with a years-long waiting list and a secret entrance in Disneyland opened in 1967.

Another Club 33 opened June 2016 when opened in China. Four more are planned to open in each of Walt Disney World’s parks. Not anyone can visit Disney’s hidden gem. You need to be a member or invited to dine inside.

One way you can get invited is if you visit China through a group vacation with Adventures by Disney. That’s what Heather Concannon did this past summer with her family. As part of the tour, they dined at Club 33 in Shanghai’s Disneyland park.

If you can’t get to Shanghai Disneyland, Concannon shared photos of her trip to Club 33 with INSIDER. Keep reading to see what it’s like inside one of the most exclusive clubs Disney has to offer.

Club 33 in Shanghai Disney is hidden in the Main Street area of the park called Mickey Avenue. The entry is marked with a “33” overhead.
Heather Concannon stands under the Club 33 archway in Shanghai Disneyland.
“It’s basically behind Main Street,” said Concannon. “You made a left and next to Shanghai’s version of the Emporium they had a little doorway that said 33 above it. You had to ring a doorbell to get in.”

When you’re looking at a map of Shanghai Disneyland, it’s close to the park’s entrance.
For any Disney fans who want to search for Club 33, here’s where you can find it in the park.Shanghai Disney Resort
Concannon said the exit dropped her family right off in Shanghai’s version of Downtown Disney called Disneytown.

You can’t just show up in your park clothes. The restaurant has a business casual dress code. It’s not tough to see why when you enter the atrium and wait to be seated.
Pink flowers were everywhere in Club 33 during the summer.Courtesy Heather Concannon
Concannon and her family had to drop off their bags and change before dining.

The theme of Shanghai’s Club 33 was inspired by Disney’s third animated movie, 1940’s “Fantasia.”
The view of the staircase from above.Courtesy Heather Concannon
The staircase is adorned with chandeliers and the sugar plum fairies from the Nutcracker Suite in “Fantasia.”

They were brought to the room to dine.
The view of the Garden View room.Courtesy Heather Concannon
It was a giant circular room filled with round tables and a floral centerpiece.

“I took a thousand photos of the centerpiece, because I thought it was beautiful,” said Concannon.
The flowers were at the center of the Garden View room.Courtesy Heather Concannon
The entire space felt classier than what you may be used to seeing inside a Disney park restaurant. That makes sense when you know the original Club 33 in Disneyland was built to entertain VIP guests at the park.

More private, intimate rooms with curtains were off to the sides.
Gorgeous artwork adorned each wall.Courtesy Heather Concannon
The private rooms offered a more romantic setting.

Concannon’s group ate at a large round table in the room.
The table was large enough to seat 10 people.Courtesy Heather Concannon
They were lucky enough to have most of the giant room to themselves when they visited over the summer.

You know you’re eating at Club 33 when all of the dishware is labeled with the iconic number.
The napkin holder matched perfectly with the design on the plates.Courtesy Heather Concannon
In case you weren’t sure where you were, all of the coasters on the table also had the number 33 printed on them.

Since they were there with Adventures by Disney, they ordered off of a pre-selected menu with a five-course meal.
Here’s what a menu at Club 33 at Shanghai Disneyland looks like.Courtesy Heather Concannon
They were able to choose between a short rib or fish for the main entree.

The appetizer was a grapefruit sorbet with green apple wasabi granite and dill oil.
The presentation of the appetizer.Courtesy Heather Concannon
They were also given two glasses of red or white house wine with their meal.

One of the main entrées was a slow-cooked Australian wagyu short rib with chili glaze, apple salad, and parsnip purée.
The short rib choice at Shanghai Disneyland.Courtesy Heather Concannon
Each part of the five-course meal was a small portion so you didn’t get filled up too quickly.

After they were done dining, a balcony allowed them to see the park at large.
You can see the Tron ride (far left), the iconic castle, and the park’s carousel (right), which is also “Fantasia”-themed.Courtesy Heather Concannon
“Once you walk through the restaurant, they have a firework-viewing area. That’s what the balcony is [for],” said Concannon.

At the end of the night, it’s the perfect place to watch the park’s fireworks display.
It doesn’t get much better than this.Courtesy Heather Concannon
“The view is worth it, especially because it’s so crazy to watch the fireworks in front of the castle [in Disney World] these days,” said Concannon. “It was nice to be able to watch it and hear the music and experience it with just our group and two other couples.”

And because it’s Disneyland, you can also go home with some souvenirs.
Concannon may have taken one of the coasters with the 33 on it, too, as a keepsake.Courtesy Heather Concannon
“They had a store where you could purchase a polo, a tie, a bag,” said Concannon. “I bought a pen, a notebook, and a mug because I figured I’m never doing this again in my life.”

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