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Posts Tagged ‘Theme Parks’

Last weekend, I got the best surprise a Disney geek like myself could ask for – my friend Jenny invited me to come with her, her brother & sister-in-law to experience the one-and-only Club 33!!

For the unfamiliar – Club 33 is the private club inside of Disneyland, located at 33 Royal Street in New Orleans Square. The decor was picked out by Walt & Lillian Disney, and the club was opened in 1967 shortly after Walt’s death.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m excited to have the chance to share a little bit about the club!

After buzzing in, a hostess welcomes you to the lobby area where you wait until your table is ready. When ready, you have the option of taking the french lift, which was a definite must-try! Especially considering the Vanna White-esque way it was offered to us 🙂

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Amanda, Jenny & Kevin – my fab dining group!

If you can’t tell from the picture, it is a VERY TINY elevator! If you have a larger party, you may want to see if you can split up…

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Upstairs there are two dining rooms, plus an appetizer, beverage & dessert hallway. We were seated in the Main Dining Room, which is gorgeous! The whole club has a very ornate, yet incredibly laid back atmosphere.

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A portrait of Walt enjoying at meal at Club 33, in the hallway

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A harpsichord rumored to have been built especially for Lillian Disney

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The Main Dining Room

I’d heard from my friend Adam, that we simply had to get the chateaubriand…and so that is exactly what all 4 of us did!

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Can you tell how much I’m FREAKING out?

Chateaubriand - delicious!

Chateaubriand – delicious!

Jenny & I also split a bottle of wine from Fess Parker’s winery! Fess Parker was Davy Crockett in the 195os Disney show, and was also the father in Old Yeller (sob). There was a selection of wine his winery bottles especially for Club 33, so that was the one we picked!

After seeing the dessert bar on our way in, there was no way we weren’t going to have one of everything – everything was single-serve (including mini 1 person pies!) so it was easy to sample a lot of the items without exploding from all the food 😉 The group favorite seemed to be the smores, but the chocolate cake and eclairs were delicious as well.

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Before and after the meal, we could walk around on the small balcony that overlooks most of New Orleans square – it’s a great people-watching spot! The New Orleans Bayou Bash was going on the weekend we went, so we watched one of the many repeat performances of the Princess and the Frog show from the balcony.

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On our way out, we checked out the Trophy Room (the second dining room). Initially Walt wanted to use the audio-animatronic technology throughout the restaurant. Microphones were installed throughout the room (in the chandeliers!) to catch bits of conversation and then the audio-animatronics would respond to the guests! It was never used, but many of the microphones and one animatronic vulture are still hanging out.

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The Trophy Room

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Microphones in the chandeliers

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Animatronic Vulture!

All-in-all we spent almost 3 hours there! It was such a special, fun afternoon and the company made all the difference. I still can’t believe we were there! Talk about Disney Magic 🙂

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The theme at the Disney Parks and Resorts this year is “Limited Time Magic” – special appearances of beloved characters, brief returns of old favorites or new experiences only around for a very short time.

Now through the end of this weekend (though it has been at Disneyland since January 10th) is the Salute to the Golden Horseshoe! A condensed (but still VERY fun) version of the Golden Horseshoe Revue, which played at Disneyland from park open in 1955 through October 1986.

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I had never seen this stage show before and I’m SO glad I got the opportunity to experience it – it is a hoot and a half! 🙂

We’re introduced to the saloon owner Miss Lilly, and she and the bartenders and dancers at the saloon put on a great 20 minute show.

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The saloon girls even do the can can!

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It’s very much the kind of thing I would see in the classic westerns my dad likes to watch – lots of singing and joking and BOY was Miss Lilly trying hard to find a husband during our show 😉

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This is a great little variety show, with lovely ties to Walt and opening-day-Disneyland. Miss Lilly even makes a point to talk about how Walt personally picked out much of the decor.

If you’re at the parks this weekend be sure to catch this before it goes away after February 4th!

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…is where the new Star Tours attraction is located! Well, technically it is in Disneyland (and Disney World) but, well, I was being witty and Star Wars-y so bear with me here.

That’s right — for the past couple of weeks the updated and much improved (not that the old one was BAD, since I loved it) Star Tours has been offering flights.

I’m hoping that the lines have subsided some since I went to Disneyland with my friends a few weeks ago. We showed up EXACTLY at park opening (hello 8 AM!) so that we could get a Fastpass — which we were luckily able to get because the wait was already 75 minutes long! When we came back at our designated time (11:10 AM) Fastpasses were already gone and the wait was roughly two hours. Eek!

We checked out the new merchandise in the store nearby…

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…and then headed to the boarding gates!

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The R2D2 and C3PO scene in the line is pretty similar to the original waiting area.

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The biggest change is all of the new videos promoting the locations you might visit on your flight — and that’s because you really CAN visit different locations in the updated ride.

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Each flight makes 3 stops, and there are (I believe) 5 different options at each stop. So every time you go on Star Tours you’re in for a different experience.

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Another different experience? These super snazzy 3D glasses. I’ll let Alex & Rachel model them for you (the pic of the 3 of us is blurry…):

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The 3D technology in the new attraction is REALLY cool. It’s so immersive you barely even notice the 3D, if that makes any sense.

And while Rex has been relegated to the storage bins…

It was really dark, but there's ol' Rex!

C3PO makes for a really entertaining pilot! I definitely miss a few of the old parts, like George Lucas appearing on the landing deck (someone let me know if I just didn’t see this??) and the crazy lady with the weird side buns in the safety video, but the new Star Tours is a DEFINITE must see.

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