Thursday, June 21, 2007

Club 33: The Happiest, Most Exclusive Place on Earth

Who knew?

In 1967, Disneyland opened Club 33. Furnished with antiques and serving food that can only be described in French, like "Escargots et champignons sauvages sur petules des tomates," the club has only 487 members. They sit above the rabble that clogs the cobbled streets of New Orleans Square and sip champagne from Cinderella's glass slipper.

Wail and gnash your teeth; the waiting list for Club 33 has closed and will not suffer the inclusion of further supplicants. The few mortals already on the list may look forward to an estimated fourteen years of drooling until a slot becomes available. If they're lucky enough to be called, prospective members must cough up a $9,500 initiation fee and $3,175 yearly dues.

What do you get for this princely sum? Besides an appetizer of snails and wild mushrooms with tomatoes? Well, you can see pictures of the bar, lounge, and dining room at this unofficial (I prefer to think of it as illicit) website.
According to the LA Times, your meal at the club (for which you pay) includes access to Disneyland for everyone in your party. You can request that a Disney character join you at your table (yeah, I wanna see Mickey slurp those snails!), get behind the scenes tours. . . of course, you must reserve your table weeks in advance. Those 486 other members must be pretty frequent diners, I guess.
And someone pays over $12,000 for this! Corporations, btw, pay $25,000 for a members and almost $6,000 in yearly dues.
There are legends of animatronic vultures in the trophy room that delight visiting dignitaries. Kobe Bryant and our Governator have eaten there. . . OK, make it undignitaries, occasionally.
Twelve thousand dollars. It boggles the mind. That this story came out the day after World Refugee Day is a crude aside; just ignore me. I'm going away to sulk for the weekend.

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