There's a Secret Club at Shanghai Disneyland
Club 33 is for Magic Kingdom's elite
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2016 8:31 AM CDT
Mickey Mouse entertains visitors on the opening day of the Disney Resort in Shanghai, China.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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(Newser) – Unless you've got close connections to Mickey or Mao, you're going to have a hard time getting into Club 33. A private members-only club by that name exists at the Disneylands in Anaheim and Tokyo, and the Los Angeles Times has discovered that the brand-new Disney park in Shanghai also boasts a Club 33. Disney reps weren't keen to discuss the existence of the exclusive club—where membership fees in the US are believed to be in the neighborhood of $12,000 a year after paying what Travel + Leisure says is a $25,000 entrance fee—but early design documents signaled that the club would be included, and so the LAT's Julie Makinen did some sleuthing. Earlier this month, an Instagram post from senior Disney exec Michael Chase featured a menu cover with a 33 on it—and was tagged with the location "Club 33 Shanghai Disneyland."

Makinen spotted an arched doorway with a 33 on it near the Enchanted Storybook Castle in the Shanghai Disney resort, though VIPs were seen being turned away from it after last Thursday's opening ceremony, suggesting other entrances lie elsewhere. According to the Laughing Place blog, the entrance is unassuming, as "the street numbers appear natural to the casual observer—31, 32...33." It's not clear how many members the secret Shanghai club will have, though membership is said to be limited to just 500 at the Anaheim park, where the original Club 33 opened in 1967 five months after the death of Disney, who was the driving force behind the club's creation. At that location, the $100-a-head menu has included items like sassafras-dusted duck breast with morel mushroom sauce. Last year, one longtime member went so far as to sue after his membership was rescinded, noted the OC Register. More on the club here.