Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Kool Aid at Club 33, Pt. 1
First, many thanks to Andy Castro for generously allowing me to use his photos in today's post.
Up until the last few years, Club 33 has sailed through Disneyland history as a hidden part of the New Orleans Square landscape. It was that elusive place that some were aware of but weren't quite sure exactly where or what it was. Many have been fortunate enough to visit, thanks to the generosity of a friend of a friend, but only a select few who patiently suffered through the years-long wait list were actually members. They enjoyed the camaraderie of other long-time members and the ability to experience Walt's park in a private setting that he had helped conceive and design. Rich with history, there were a number of personal artifacts that he and Lillian had hand-picked for the decor. Its dark and richly adorned interior just positively oozed Walt Disney.
The once understated entry door (shown above), which was probably not even noticed by 80% of the people who walked by it, has given way to a more lavish (but not necessarily better designed) and ostentatious entrance. If you're not a member and can't afford the dues, that fact is now shoved in your face.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the lovely Court of Angels has also been taken away from the regular paying Joe Schmoe guest. What you once saw was this:
Now, you get two sets of colored acrylic doors:
Faux candles adorn the new addition above. Really?
Once unable to see inside the Club, brand-spanking new windows allow the guests who only pay $125 or so (and that's just to get into the Park) to see exactly what they're missing.
The worst offense was what was done to the portion of the Club above Cafe Orleans. Here is how it was originally designed:
And the hideous off-center window that replaced its tasteful predecessor:
For Club members though, the view is lovely. The Disney Corporation is sending a very clear message to the public.
If you think only the regular paying guests are getting the shaft, come back tomorrow for an inside look at the "new" Club 33 and hear what many of the members are grumbling about.
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