Member Of Secret Disneyland Club Tells All


A member of Disneyland’s most exclusive club has been opening up to inquiring minds on Reddit, a social news website. The anonymous user has been defending the club’s $35,000 per year price tag, and also dished about dining with celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Tom Hanks.

The user introduced himself by saying he has been member of Club 33, a secret feature of Disneyland located in the heart of the New Orleans Square, for more than 10 years – and that the membership has been with his family for more than 30 years. The private club was opened in the 1960s, and the waiting list for membership is rumored to be 14 years.

Describing the scene, the member noted that celebrities can often be spotted at the club. “I’ve spoken to Jack Nicholson and Tom Hanks one on one while in the club,” he noted, adding that he tends to try and give celebrities their space.

He said a membership covers up to four family members. Besides access to the club, benefits include valet parking on a private lot, automatic upgrades at Disney properties, reserved seating at shows, a private car on the Disneyland Railroad, behind the scenes tours, immediate fast passes, invitations to special events and the ability to make reservations for friends and family members.

A former Disney Imagineer who was unable to access Club 33 asked if there were any of Walt Disney’s trademark gags inside. The member explained that there is an animatronic vulture in the Trophy Room, one of two dining rooms inside the club. He also noted Disney put an elevator that comes up from an underground garage so VIPs could be ushered in and out of New Orleans Square quickly and easily.

According to Wikipedia, the elevator is an exact replica of one Disney saw during a vacation in Paris. The owner of the original refused to sell, so Disney sent a team of engineers to the Parisian hotel to take measurements and a sample of the original finish for an exact replica.

Most of the people leaving comments on Reddit questioned whether or not the membership to the club was worth it. The member seemed undecided on the matter, pointing out that he mainly keeps his membership because it is a family tradition.

“While I make good money, I consciously pay the dues each year from some inheritance that was left to me by my parents,” he said. He also explained that dinner at the club comes at a cost of around $150 (without alcohol), and he only took advantage of his membership four times last year.

“If you’re a big Disney fan and want to enjoy 33 once, the price is worth the experience and memory,” he said, but he also pointed out that the best experiences he’s had because of the membership took place outside of the club.

The member also explained that Disneyland as a whole seems a little less magical than it was in years past.

“The attention to detail is fading quickly in the park,” he wrote, adding that maintenance and repair is also slipping. “[Twenty] years ago, something would be repaired the next day if the part was handy. Now things go for weeks before [they’re] replaced. If you ever meet an original Disney employee, ask them how often they saw a light bulb out.”

The member also offered a surprising tool for those looking to get into Club 33: Craigslist.

“Some members, especially the corporate ones, have been known to charge a hefty price tag to take guests,” he explained. “Alternatively, if you know any executives in the big well known brands in the [United States], ask them. Fewer and fewer corporate accounts are joining, but I’d have to assume it’s still the majority of the reservations.”

[Photo Credit: Creative Commons]

The Playboy Club returns to London in 2011


The Playboy Club plans a return to London in the first half of 2011 with an exclusive club set in the Mayfair area of London.
The new gaming and entertainment venue will feature a restaurant, lounge, members club, table games and high-limit salon prive gaming rooms.

The original Playboy Club London opened in 1966 at 45 Park Lane. At that time, the club attracted some of the most influential clientele in London including Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Joan Collins, George Best, Jack Nicholson, and Muhammad Ali.

“When we first opened the Playboy Club in London it was one of my favorite times for the brand,” said Hugh Hefner, Playboy Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Chief Creative Officer. “With Playboy now more popular than ever, I look forward to our return to London and again sharing the notions that are celebrated in the magazine, the concept of good food and drink, pretty girls, and exciting entertainment.”

Creatively designed to incorporate influences from the original Playboy Club London that opened in 1966, the new venue will integrate gaming with contemporary nightlife in a property that combines the sexy and sophisticated feel of Playboy with the international allure of London. The 17,000 square foot property spread over two floors is being designed by London-based architects Jestico + Whiles.

“When Hugh Hefner opened the original London Playboy Club it redefined class and luxury, setting a new nightlife standard around the world,” said Michael Silberling, Managing Director, London Clubs International. “LCI is honored to partner with Playboy to return the brand to London and create a club and casino experience for a new generation of Playboy Club members.”

There were more than 30 Playboy Clubs at the height of its success, and today Playboy London will join Playboy Club Las Vegas at the Palms Casino Resort, as well as future Playboy venues planned in Cancun, Macao and South Beach, Miami.

[Image via Playboy historical file]

The spooky Stanley Hotel celebrates the 30th anniversary of ‘The Shining’

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park
Everyone knows Stephen King’s The Shining as a terrifying tale of isolation and horror, and Kubrick’s epic interpretation featuring creepy twins and the freakiest Jack Nicholson moments of all time (so far), but did you know that the novel which inspired the film was actually based on The Stanley Hotel overlooking Rocky Mountain National Park (above)? This legendary Colorado hotel, located about an hour from Denver, was built in 1909 and openly boasts the presence of “otherworldly residents.”

“Flora Stanley, the first owner’s long-deceased wife, can still be seen and heard, late at night, either tinkling the piano keys in the music room or wandering around the lobby. Plus, the entire fourth floor (once the servants’ quarters) teems with strange after-dark commotion: if you stay in room 418, you might hear children playing outside your door, but find nary a soul in the hallway. For the ultimate scare (or inspiration), stay in room 217 — where [Stephen] King himself laid his head.”

Room 217 at The Stanley HotelThe Shining was released 30 years ago, and to celebrate, you can take a Historic Ghost Tour at The Stanley Hotel for $15 per person. You’ll visit the hotel’s most haunted places (like room 217, right), hear tales of actual sightings and the connection to The Shining, and take a tour of the hotel’s spooky underground tunnel (reservations required, call 970-577-4110).

For the more adventurous thrill-seekers, the hotel also employs a professional paranormal investigation staff, and for $50 you can join them on a five-hour ghost hunt using all the equipment you see the pros use on TV: K2 meters, cell sensors, real time EVP recorders, a spirit box and a laser grid. Now that’s a Halloween plan.

Rates for those brave enough to stay at The Stanley Hotel start at $199 through October 31, then drop to $99 per night for the off-season.

Let us know if you find out what was up with that bear suit.