There’s a new doorbell at Walt Disney World, and it’s pushing some fans’ buttons. Internet buzz leads to this theory, which has its firm believers: This marks the entryway to a Club 33 at Epcot.
The ringer in question is in place in the American Adventure building in the World Showcase side of the theme park. It’s just kind of there without fanfare, built into the brick between the two doors that stand to the right of the attraction’s main entrance.
We know that beyond the door is an elevator. That’s also accessible from inside the building, where a sign on another door warns, “cast members only.” Right now it’s used to carry visitors in wheelchairs to the second level and the attraction’s theater. In theory, it could also lift Club 33 members to a former corporate-lounge section of the building that’s not involved with the historic-film-plus-animatronics attraction.
But while trolling for internet reaction to this door development, I found many folks who said: “Disney World is getting a Club 33?”
They can be forgiven if they missed the one day that Disney talked about Club 33 publicly. Last April, it was revealed that there would be clubs built in each of the Walt Disney World parks, that one membership would work across the board, and that they would open in fall 2017.
Some background: Club 33 started as a Disneyland Park thing, a subtle little exclusive club above the park’s New Orleans Square. It debuted in 1967. It serves meals and liquor, which is otherwise a no-no there. Its doorway is marked by a simple 33 plaque. And there’s a doorbell that alerts a worker, who then communicates by intercom. Club 33s also operate in Disney parks in Japan and China.
Among the facts not shared yet by Disney include the exact locations of the four Disney World clubs, the fees and an updated timeline. The hush-hush nature of the rollout reflects the secretive 33 nature.
Speculation about the WDW locations tends to follow the tucked-away model of Disneyland’s Club 33, preferably with a good view of the nighttime spectacular of the park. Upstairs at American Adventure fits that bill, although there are Epcot options.
Other buzzed-about — but unconfirmed — locations are in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland and near the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For the club at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there’s been talk involving Tiffins restaurant and its adjoining Nomad Bar, although when I’ve mentioned that potential spot to folks not in the Club 33 tax bracket, they tend to cry “No! I like that place!”
Also in the unconfirmed category is the cost of membership, which is said to be in the tens of thousands of dollars at Disneyland. So maybe the category is actually: “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”
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