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Should I Join Club 33 at Disneyland?

Should I Join Club 33 at Disneyland?

Old Feb 28, 15, 10:54 am
  #1  
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Should I Join Club 33 at Disneyland?

If this is the wrong forum, please move it. I saw a thread about reservations at Club 33 from 2007 in this forum so went with it also.


I have the rare opportunity to join Club 33 but am undecided and looking for thoughts from others.

For those of you who don't know, Club 33 is supposedly the second most exclusive club in the USA behind Augusta National.

As a club member you get access to Club 33 and 1901 lounge at DCA and the abiity to "guest" groups 20 times per year unaccompanied. In addition to passes and unlimited club access for me and my wife and accompanied guests, we would also get 4 Premier passes good for 365 day access to all LA and Florida Disney parks (value $1099 each) along with various discounts and room upgrades:

https://disneyland.disney.go.com/pas...mier-passport/

I would also get 50 park hopper tickets (value $139 each or $6950 total) and invites to special member only events and a few VIP tours which are normally $300/hour with a minimum of 6 hours.

Although it seems like a no-brainer, I am hesitating because I don't live in the USA (although I do go a few times a year) and in addition to the $12,500 annual fee, there is a one-time initiation fee of $20,000. That means $32,500 is payable upon signup.

The total value of the tickets, annual passes and tours is more than the annual fee but of course I wouldn't be the one using all of them--they will be gifted to friends and family

According to people at Club 33, the waiting list is over 20 years long so I probably won't get another chance to join. I want to do it but my better half is hesitating.

I hope someone can provide some solid reasoning to help me convince her!

The kicker: I need to decide in a few days.
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Old Feb 28, 15, 11:07 am
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Theres a 20 Year waiting list to give Disney $32,500 plus 12,500 per year? Mind... Blown!
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Old Feb 28, 15, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by LAChargers View Post
If this is the wrong forum, please move it. I saw a thread about reservations at Club 33 from 2007 in this forum so went with it also.


I have the rare opportunity to join Club 33 but am undecided and looking for thoughts from others.

For those of you who don't know, Club 33 is supposedly the second most exclusive club in the USA behind Augusta National.

As a club member you get access to Club 33 and 1901 lounge at DCA and the abiity to "guest" groups 20 times per year unaccompanied. In addition to passes and unlimited club access for me and my wife and accompanied guests, we would also get 4 Premier passes good for 365 day access to all LA and Florida Disney parks (value $1099 each) along with various discounts and room upgrades:

https://disneyland.disney.go.com/pas...mier-passport/

I would also get 50 park hopper tickets (value $139 each or $6950 total) and invites to special member only events and a few VIP tours which are normally $300/hour with a minimum of 6 hours.

Although it seems like a no-brainer, I am hesitating because I don't live in the USA (although I do go a few times a year) and in addition to the $12,500 annual fee, there is a one-time initiation fee of $20,000. That means $32,500 is payable upon signup.

The total value of the tickets, annual passes and tours is more than the annual fee but of course I wouldn't be the one using all of them--they will be gifted to friends and family

According to people at Club 33, the waiting list is over 20 years long so I probably won't get another chance to join. I want to do it but my better half is hesitating.

I hope someone can provide some solid reasoning to help me convince her!

The kicker: I need to decide in a few days.
You didn't discuss the most important thing. And that is, do you love Disney? Do you go to Disney when you visit the US? Is it a common vacation spot for you? If yes, I would signup in a heart beat. FYI, I absolutely love all things Disney related and my family vacations there every year.

The premier passes that you mentioned are an awesome value only if you plan to vacation in Disney, otherwise they are worthless. So do you plan to spend 1-2 weeks each year in Disney World? Is that something you already did?

Now since I was the first to reply, can I snag one of those 50 park hoppers from you? ^
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Old Feb 28, 15, 11:48 am
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I grew up in LA going to Disneyland. I enjoy it but if we joined, it would dictate where we spend a week or two for at least the next few years.

My 8yo daughter has been to the the LA, Orlando (only Magic Kingdom), Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris parks and loves them and a trip to Orlando for a week or so would be warranted this year if we did join.
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Old Feb 28, 15, 12:18 pm
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If this is the second hardest club in the USA to get into, it's simply because Disney limits membership intentionally -- they could build another "exclusive" restaurant or two and easily increase the size. Another reason the wait is long clearly would be because Disney top execs use it to impress people or as a business entertainment venue.

It started for Friends of Walt, and was (probably still is) the only place inside Disneyland where alcohol is served.

And like everything else, for the proletariat, Disney sells it at a substantial profit. They know you aren't going to give away all the passes; they totally come out ahead.

So if you can afford it and are a Disney fanatic, or want to impress the few people who know about it, go ahead and join. Otherwise -- you can get some really nice vacations for that money.

P.S. I grew up in LA and was also Disneyland-addicted -- when I was under 15. I still have some remnants of early ticket books stored away somewhere. My father practiced medicine in downtown Burbank and Walt's brother (the original Roy) used to patronize the foot doctor down the hall.
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Old Feb 28, 15, 12:40 pm
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I think it would be worth it if you lived in OC. Otherwise, probably not.
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Old Feb 28, 15, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by LAChargers View Post
Club 33 and 1901 lounge at DCA
DCA in this case means Disney California Adventure, not Ronald Regan Washington National Airport
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Old Feb 28, 15, 12:51 pm
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I went to Disneyland once and once was quite enough. Fortunately the kids totally agreed. So for me, absolutely not!
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Old Feb 28, 15, 1:37 pm
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If you have to think about it, then the answer is no.

This comes from a former Disney nut myself. The benefits of club 33 are for Disneyland. If you won't be visiting there frequently (and by frequently I mean at least once a month) and will be planning ahead enough that you can get reservations, you won't be using club 33 much. And as for the park access, yeah that is expensive but it would still be cheaper to buy park hoppers for your trip.

The only other reason I would see this making financial sense would be because you would get passes you could give to others while you were not there.

So, financially it makes little sense. But, having been a fan, and knowing many who are, the financial aspects are just a small part of the equation. So if you really have that kind of money to spend, don't base the decision on whether it makes financial sense. make it based on how much you want to be part of the park.
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Old Feb 28, 15, 2:26 pm
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Cool

Originally Posted by Groucho Marx
I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.
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Old Feb 28, 15, 4:23 pm
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I think you should visit sites like miceage.com or mouseplanet.com and read the Club 33 threads in the Disneyland forum on each site. The membership benefits have changed dramatically which might have led to a wait list opening that you got.

Let's be clear though, this type of membership does not have a clear ROI and if you are even thinking about the value of the various benefits versus the cost, you have already made the decision. I suspect most people who are members do so like buying a really expensive $100k priced car, many of the benefits are not tangible.

Rasheed
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Old Feb 28, 15, 5:18 pm
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I used to work for BofA in Southern California and they had a membership that was used for corporate functions (we had a few division off-sites at Club 33) and business promotion (read - taking high value customers/prospects out).

A company as large as BofA has no problems making use of the benefits and ensuring the membership is in consistent use. I'd question if the OP could sustain similar levels of activity; otherwise, it seems a lot to pay.
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Old Feb 28, 15, 5:21 pm
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I had the pleasure back in 2010 of visiting Club 33 for breakfast as part of the tour we were on. I thought the place had a lot of charm and was fantastic. I would have said yes to you. However, after the renovations, I have seen a lot of pictures of the place and it seems to have lost its history and charm it once had. So now I say no, you shouldn't join it.
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Old Feb 28, 15, 6:29 pm
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I was just there in late December and saw the renovations. There is a new bar on the side where members can drop in for a drink and limited menu lunch but the buffet is gone. It was still nice and it is still exclusive.

There are 2 things that I am considering. First is that this opportunity may not come again. If I don't join now, I probably will never get another opportunity. I think that if we didn't join we would be kicking ourselves a few years down the road.

On the other hand, if I do join and pay the $20,000 initiation, I am basically locked in for life. It would be foolish to drop the membership a few years down the line after paying the initiation/enrollment fee.

This whole thing was presented to me on Wednesday and I was given the details about the initiation fee on Friday and need to make a decision by Monday...
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Old Feb 28, 15, 6:30 pm
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If you are just looking at it as a club, or an interestingly themed restaurant, it doesn't make sense, but then again I am not sure it would make sense for you at any price then. Club 33 is more about being a special part of the magic that is (or was) Disneyland.

Years ago WDW had their I think it was 30th anniversary. For returning guests, they got little red token WDW name badges. You wouldn't believe how big an impact that made! People were so downright proud to have them. That was the kind of following they generated those days - you weren't just a guest dropping a few bucks - you were somehow now part of that magic.

So in that sense, you will never make a logical argument for club 33 membership. But it is a lot like our FF programs. It makes little financial sense unless you actually fly all those miles for other reasons and just happen to get status. The status itself means more - its a group you belong to, something that makes you special in some way.
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