How I Got Into Club 33….And What It’s Really Like

I recently got to dine at the ultra exclusive Club 33 at Disneyland…and it beyond surpassed my expectations.  There are is so much history and endless rumors circling this infamously secret club, but from what we were told, it was a private place that Walt Disney himself used to dine with and entertain dignitaries and VIP’s.  These days you’ll find celebrities, influential business people, and even presidents dining at “Le Grand Salon”.

I dined at Club 33 to celebrate my “west coast” bachelorette party with two of my bridesmaids.  (Side note: I am truly lucky to have some of the best friends in the entire world, who went above and beyond for my TWO bachelorette parties!…I had both an “east coast” and “west coast” bachelorette.)

Our reservation was for 6:30 pm, which gave us enough time for our 3 hour dinner (yes 3 hours and 5 courses), and it gave us time to go on rides after!  The Club 33 entrance door is right in the middle of New Orleans square. I have probably walked by that door dozens of times and never even knew it was there, which adds to the secretive nature of the club.  We rang the small buzzer next to the door, gave them the name on our reservation, and they buzzed us in.  We were there on a BUSY day in July, and NOTHING was more refreshing that walking out of the crowds and craziness into the beautiful and quiet courtyard of Club 33.  Upon entering Club 33 you’re immediately in The Court of Angels, a beautiful courtyard with peaceful waterfalls and a majestic staircase leading up into the dining room.  While we waited in The Court of Angels, the hosts brought us fresh lemon water, and offered to take a few pictures for us on the staircase, and in front of the stained glass in the courtyard.

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My beautiful bridesmaids- Jill and Meredith!

Once it was time, we were escorted up the staircase and into the dining room, where we were offered a full tour of the Club.  The upstairs host even offered to let me sign the guestbook, which was strangely exciting.

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Signing the guestbook.

After signing the guestbook, they brought us to our table which was beautifully decorated and adorned with the “33” logo.  Once seated, we began to look over the cocktail list; Club 33 is the ONLY place in Disneyland that serves alcohol, so we each ordered a Moscow Mule.

With cocktails in hand, we began to make our menu selections for all five courses.  Each course was served with butlers that surround your table and simultaneously place each item down at the same time.  I’m sorry to say that I lost track of each course that I tried, but I will say that the ambiance, food, and presentation all lived up to Club 33’s five star rating.

 

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One of my favorite little touches was in between a few of the courses, our server brought me a few little presents because I was celebrating my bachelorette party.  The first was a “Happily Ever After” pin that Disney Parks had discontinued years ago.  He had no idea that I had actually tried to find this pin when I first got engaged, and was told they no longer make it.  It must have been a little Disney magic at work….along with some Club 33 influence.  The next was a beautiful Club 33 card adorned with a navy ribbon and the inside of the card was signed by all the staff working that night.  The last present was a bag of assorted macaroons with a little ribbon on it;  I am not normally a macaroon person, but these happen to be the best I’ve ever tried.  They also put a “Congratulations” chocolate emblem on top of my last dessert course which was a sweet touch!

On to my absolute FAVORITE part of the night- right as we got our dessert course, we heard the beginning of Fantasmic starting and were able to watch the entire show from our private balcony with a glass of wine in hand.  We had the whole balcony to ourselves, and were high above all the crowds and chaos below…and the wine didn’t hurt either.  THAT to me was the definition of exclusivity, and being able to have that moment with two of my best friends is an unforgettable experience.  I now understand, and can (somewhat) justify that $25,000 price tag to join and $10,000 a year after, along with the 15 year waitlist.

At the end of our dinner and our private Fantasmic viewing, my friend bought us some beautiful Club 33 shot glasses in the lobby.  Because we were going to be staying at the park and going on rides, Club 33 packaged them up and had them sent to the park exit so we wouldn’t have to carry them around all night. Club 33 merchandise can ONLY be purchased from the actual club.  You can’t get Club 33 items anywhere else, so I’m glad I was able to take home a little piece home with me.

A few last things to mention, don’t forget to check out the bathroom.  It is decorated SO beautifully, and there is an amazing lounge chair that you need to try out for yourself.

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Lounge chair in the bathroom!

There are also miniature mouthwashes and paper towels with the 33 emblem.  Take lots of pictures…it is nearly impossible to capture all the details, but having pictures helps!  Last tip is let them know if you’re celebrating something, they truly go over the top to help you celebrate.

Club 33 is more than just a restaurant, it’s an unforgettable experience that I hope you get to try out for yourself!

xoxo Mary Kate

 

Budget Friendly Wedding Invitations

When it comes to weddings, whatever you had in your mind as a “budget”, just multiply that by 4, and then add a few more zeros. That is one realization I have been having as I plan my upcoming wedding. Because your wedding is one of the MOST important days of your life, the wedding industry knows that they can pretty much charge you whatever they want. Despite the fact that prices are exorbitant, I am not a cynical bride. I am still a fairytale, princess, ‘I’ve dreamed of this day since I was a little girl” type of bride. With that being said, the pressure was ON to find a perfect invitation without breaking the budget.

I have been told time and time again that wedding invitations set the tone and formality for your big day. I have tortured myself by doing countless hours of researching and pricing and by this point, I’ve seen it all. (You show me a wedding invitation, and I can tell you how much it cost, where you ordered it, and who designed it). Now that the invitation stage is behind me, I wanted to share with you some of the amazing sites that I used, and how it all works.

The invitations I ended up choosing were from minted.com. I had been looking at Minted for my ‘Save the Dates’, and fell in love with a lot of their designs. I love the idea that Minted supports designers from around the world, and helps gain these artists global recognition. For my ‘Save the Dates’, I ultimately ended up choosing a different website (more on that below), but I knew when it came time to ordering the invitations I would give it another shot. My mom was initially panicked at the idea of not being able to see all of the details of all the invitations in person, but I am the total opposite. Put me on the couch in pajamas with my computer and a glass of wine and I am one happy shopper! AND one of the amazing things about Minted is they send you a FREE sample kit. This is what the sample kit looks like: kit

It comes with all the different paper options, color options, sizing, RSVP cards, etc. You name it, and it’s in the kit, so that you can see everything in person. I ultimately ended up choosing a gold foil design called “opulent border”, but the “bianco” design was a very close runner up.

 

 

When I chose the “opulent border” invitations, I wanted to do completely customized wording and change the whole layout. I basically had my own one on one designer holding my hand and reworking the whole invitation for me. Each time they sent me a digital proof, I could change the font, change the wording, basically do whatever I wanted on the invitation. I think the designer and I went back and forth almost ten times to get my exact vision, but it was so easy and effortless that I would do it all over again. (Maybe that’s an exaggeration). But Minted really worked with me and made the whole process as painless as possible. They also offer free address printing on the envelopes, but I chose to hand write mine to give them a more personal touch. My only complaint is that I upgraded to have the envelopes lined with foil, and when I received my package I wasn’t aware it was a DIY project. It’s not difficult, but for a perfectionist like me, I may drive myself crazy inserting those little gold pieces into each envelope. Shipping was quick and easy, and the box came perfectly and carefully packed with bubble wrap and a hand written note from the person that packed the box. I liked that extra little touch! box

If you’re interested in trying out Minted, here is a link for you with a discount code:

Minted Wedding Stationery

Now back to my ‘Save the Dates’, for these I used the website simplytoimpress.com. A few friends had told me about this site for ‘Save the Dates’, and their prices were pretty competitive.  I ended up saving about $100 using Simply To Impress for my ‘Save the Date’s, and they turned out amazing!  They also do birth announcements, wedding invitations, birthday cards, and more!  I have a code for 25% off your order, click the link below:

Click and SAVE 25% on Wedding Announcements.

Good luck planning to all you fellow brides! Here is to one more thing checked off this list!

Xoxo