Inside Disney's Exclusive $100,000 Club 33
Updated: 4 days ago
Enter Through The Secret Door At Disney World
Ah Disney. The undisputed kings of creating a domestic vacation so extraordinarily expensive that it's generally prohibitive for standard American families. And all that just to stand in line for three hours in the Orlando heat/Burbank heavenly climate just to watch a bunch of animatronic dolls sing a song at you about how small the world is. Usually, you'll head to Disney and stay in one of their resorts that costs anywhere from $250-$2,000 per night, and then head into the parks at over $110 per ticket per day. You'll pay for overpriced dinners, stand in line a bunch, want to pass out from heat stroke and then collapse on the air conditioned bus back to the airport. When you get home, you post a picture of yourself in Mickey Ears in front of the castle at Magic Kingdom on Instagram, declaring your trip a success and reading all of the "omg so jealous" comments your friends leave.
That's the standard trip to Disneyland. However, as with everything else in life, the wealthy people have it much, much better than you. If you have some serious cash to burn, Disney can be an entirely different experience. And I'm not just talking about a little bit of cash. This is generational wealth. Welcome to Disney's Club 33.
What Is Disney's Club 33?
Gaining its name from the "33 Orleans Street" address, Disney's Club 33 a super exclusive (and expensive) invite-only series of lounges located throughout Disneyland that contain high-end food, drinks and New Orleans-style decor throughout.
Club 33 originally opened in Disneyland in California, but there is another location now open at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Why Does Club 33 Exist?
Club 33 was reportedly the dream of Walt Disney himself. He wanted an upscale and secret area of the park in order to entertain select guests and business associates, so he got the ball rolling on the club. Unfortunately, he passed away five years prior to the completion of the area, which has now led to speculation about why it's named "Club 33."
According to "The Richest" on YouTube, the 33 could allude to the number of original investors that allowed Disney to build Disneyland in the first place. It could also be an homage to the 33 people that voted the club continue development after Walt's death. Either way, his dream seems to be realized with this ritzy, upscale, inaccessible bar and lounge.
How Do I Join Disney's Club 33?
First of all: good on you. Dare to dream. Well first, you need to get on the wait list for the club. There are several rumored ways that people get invited, mostly dealing with being a celebrity, but you can email Disney at Club33@WaltDisneyWorld.com. Assuming your email actually makes in into a monitored inbox, be prepared to wait. And wait, and wait.
The wait list is reportedly "in the thousands" and some members have reported waiting up to 14 years for entrance to the program. But let's say you're actually as special as your mom told you when you were a kid and they call you back. Then you have to stump up the initiation fee. "How much?" I hear you ask as you pull out your wallet and we watch the moth fly out.
What Does Club 33 Membership Cost?
Well, it's unclear. Members have reportedly paid anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 for their initiation fee, and then yearly membership dues run between $12,500 and $30,000. However, if you'd like the experience of Club 33 without being bent over a Mickey-shaped barrel, one brave member has started an anonymous Instagram account chronicling what it's like to live the high-life in the most magical place on that part of the earth.
More Than Just Club 33 Mickey Ears
First, you get a pair of golden Club 33 Mickey Ears, just so you can rub it in the face of the proletariat.
Seriously, what a slap. "Thanks for the $100,000, now here's your pair of $20 exclusive Club 33 Mickey Ears" says the person behind the front desk who is likely getting compensated in college credit. Anyway, you also get a few other nice amenities.
According to AllEars.net, you get year-long tickets to Disneyland, as well as 50 day passes for friends and family and some VIP park tours that treat you as the only park guest. That's pretty cool. You also obviously get access to the lounges I mentioned above. There's also the chance to visit the Disneyland "Dream Suite," which was apparently a custom designed apartment by Walt Disney that wasn't built until 2008. It has also now stopped accepting guests, making it about as useful as a chocolate coffee pot.
The Bottom Line
Look, Disney is the absolute champion of squeezing every last dime out of its patrons, and this is no different. They're just now catering to clients with a lot more dimes in them than most. They also have what's referred to in the investing world as "pricing power." If you don't like it, you can't go somewhere else for the same experience, so they can charge whatever they want. Case and point: the new Disney Star Wars hotel whose per night cost will make your eyes bleed. Club 33 is one of those situations where, if you have to check the price tag, then this probably isn't for you. Side note: this club is so popular, it's now available in Disney Tokyo, Disney Shanghai and Disney World. Jesus.
Related: Investing In The Walt Disney Company
Want the full walk-through? Check out this video from The Richest.
What do you think of Club 33 Disney? Would you join if you have unlimited money? Let me know in the comments below, and don't forget to sign up for my email list by clicking this link!