Thursday, June 04, 2015

First Visit to "New" Club 33 Pt. 2

Join me as we enter the Jazz Club (aka Le Salon Nouveau) at Disneyland. The hallway stocked with wines framed the entrance of this Club 33 addition perfectly. Slightly dark, rich with wood, I finally felt like I was somewhere special.

These little alcoves gave a sense of privacy, something rare at Disneyland.

Each one has art and knick knacks with nods to Disney and Park history.

Tom and Huck can be seen pointing to the Mark Twain in this painting:

I could have spent a lot more time in each booth, pouring over the knick-knacks.

And then, my heart sank. I knew what had happened to it, but seeing it in person was still difficult to swallow.

The elevator that once took numerous guests upstairs for a special Club 33 experience was now gutted and repurposed as a cramped little seating area. You can almost hear the design team saying, "See? We kept your damn history. Now shut up you whiners!" Like the vulture in the lobby, all context has been removed and scrubbed clean.

And then things improved again. The Jazz Lounge felt spacious and inviting. It is one of the few spots in Club 33 that doesn't seem like 10 pounds of potatoes crammed into a 5 pound bag.

This Pepper's Ghost effect of a trumpeter is very cool to see.

The player piano is neat, but…in a jazz club, wouldn't "live" jazz seem like a natural?

Here's a shot of one of the booths.

The painting seemed to be styled after "The Princess and the Frog."

Did you happen to catch the "hidden" Darth Vader? I didn't until afterwards when it was pointed out to me.

A panoramic view of the Jazz Lounge.

Overall, the design is fairly good, with a few fixtures and finishes that seem a little cheap when examined closely. Despite liking the lounge, I couldn't help but feel that I was on a Disney Cruise Line. Mass produced…vividly colored…and lacking heart.

The crowning blow occurred as our party left the lounge with drinks in hand to be seated for dinner. One of the guests picked up the dish of nuts we had been sampling to finish them in the dining room. A cast member told us we could not take the dish with us; instead, they emptied the contents out onto a black paper napkin.

I think Bianca del Rio says it best.

For a "Club" that charges 6-figures to join and 5-figures in annual dues, it's a sad state of affairs when they feel the need to watch over what happens with a nut dish.

The conclusion of my Club 33 trilogy will be posted tomorrow.

More Club 33 and Jazz Lounge photos on my main website.


K. Martinez said...

I think I'd rather spend a day with Bianca del Rio.

Fifthrider said...

I'm grateful to have gone. I'm grateful to know a member who got me in. I'm grateful to have met so many generous other Club 33 ( Platinum ) members and the fine staff there who've always been so nice. (deep breath) ....but. All points made above are valid. I got to attend the Club 33 preview meeting where we got to see what the new club would be like and was amused to notice the decor of the event was like the inside of the Blue Bayou complete with little fireflies, and yet the actual Blue Bayou's fireflies haven't been fixed and instead left to wink out one at a time over the years. Cause? No doubt a simple bulb replacement. Too hard for Imagineering to repair?

More random thoughts:

In each of those four private booths is a picture. One is simulated stained glass, the others are simulated paintings. All are overlays on an LCD screen. They all move. If you watch them long enough you'll see the Kraken reach out of the water and grab the ship, or another ship enter into view and begin a gun battle with the main ship, or a storm with high waves, etc. The Haunted Mansion pic shows a horse and carriage. Watch it long enough and the horse fades out. The crow in the lower right will turn to look at you now and again. Around midnight a murder of crows flies over the house and across the moon. Sometimes the fireplace in the house starts up and there's a glow ( seen in the pic posted here. ) The Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn one has a paddle-boat with foaming water behind it. Sometimes there's a jazz party on board, other times it's quiet. Sometimes the light in their tent on the dock lights up and glows. The last one is just creepy, it's a stage with people that fade in and out and reminds me a lot of Jack Nicholson's B&W picture in The Shining.

Next to the elevator there's a quartet of musicians, now this picture is really great. the instruments always remain, but the ghosts fade in and out, and as they fade in and out you can hear their parts in the song fade out as well.

Given how things have gone the last few years, let's all just be thankful that they didn't turn the old elevator into a commode. You just know that topic came up at a design meeting at some point, right?

There's a lot going on at the bar. In the center is a globe similar to Madame Leota's. Things fade in and out of there. Around Christmas I think it was a snow globe. Right next to it, on the upper shelf on either side of the globe are ornamental bottles. The glass behind it must be rear-projection or similar because there's often bubbles coming out of the bottles and drifting upwards. The animations behind there change quite a bit. Continuing all the way to the far ends are two musical instruments. The coronet seen in the pic here is quite a treat and a bit better than the clarinet at the opposite end. The coronet is mounted to the wall but slides up and down while the 3 keys depress in conjunction with the ghostly fingers. As the face leans back to blow, the coronet turns up to correspond.

The player piano is quite a hidden surprise. It's a bluetooth piano that can be accessed worldwide. Behind it, a screen can drop out of the ceiling. One could feasibly watch Elton John playing in London on the screen and hear his exact note-for-note on this piano here at the same time. My tour guide was quick to point out that this is digital not analog meaning it doesn't tap the key like and old scroll-driven player piano, it actually feels the wiggle and nuances of each key as played and then duplicates it on this one.

Glad you pointed out the hidden Vader. the nut dish thing is going a bit far. It's not like when the dishes get bussed the nut bowl goes to a different kitchen for washing and restocking.

Welcome to the S.S. Club 33

Fifthrider said...

BTW, by "hidden surprise" I mean the piano is "hidden" only in that you don't know what it can do because it's never being used. I've heard tales of what it can do, but have never heard of it actually being used in conjunction with any concert. Therein lies the problem.

TokyoMagic! said...