Club 33 Policy Changes…and Introducing Club 1901

Club 33 Sign

The Mouseplanet column in USA Today recently brought to my attention some proposed Club 33 policy changes, along with the mention of Club 1901, the new VIP lounge that will be built into the Carthay Circle Theater in the new Disney California Adventure revamp.

Club 33 Policy Changes

Proposed changes for Disneyland’s famously exclusive, members-only Club 33 are causing a stir. The Club offers different levels of personal and corporate membership, and most of the policy updates center around changing the levels.

According to the article, the Gold membership (estimated $3,600 annual dues) for the club will be phased out in 2012, leaving only the new Platinum membership (estimated $10,000 annual dues). The differences in the membership levels are significant not only in price, but also in what you get for your money:

Reported Platinum Membership Benefits
Premier Annual Pass (admission to all parks at both Disney World and Disneyland)
Four Additional Premier Annual Passes for family and friends
Access to Club 1901, the new VIP lounge in Carthay Circle Theater in Disney California Adventure (see more details below)
Book up to 5 VIP guided tours per year

Reported Gold Membership Benefits
Annual Pass to Disneyland Resort
(These members LOSE the past benefit of admission for a guest into the park for the day when not dining at Club 33)
(These members do NOT receive additional annual passes)
(These members do NOT have access to Club 1901)

Existing Gold level members will have the chance to upgrade to Platinum. All new Club 33 members will be required to join at the Platinum level.

In addition to the membership level changes the following policies may also change in 2012:

  • Free valet parking at the Grand Californian Hotel is now offered only when the member is dining at Club 33
  • When dining at Club 33, members may still request guest passes for those dining with them. However, regular members are now limited to 50 guest passes per year; corporate members are limited to 100 passes. Once the allocated guest passes have been used, members can purchase additional tickets at a 20 percent discount.

The official club member booklet will be released in a few days. Until then, these changes are just “proposed” and may or may not come to fulfillment.

Club 1901

Over the past two years, we’ve reported about a VIP Club/Restaurant in the Carthay Circle Theater in Disney California Adventure; and Disney execs mentioned [Read more…]

Christmas in Disneyland: Santa’s Cabin & Storytellers Cafe Gingerbread House

Heather Sievers is the Disney Food Blog’s Dining in Disneyland columnist. See more of her columns here!

There are two awesome holiday experiences in Disneyland Resort that are not to be missed this year. Nope, I’m not talking about the homemade candy canes or the yule log (though both of those are definitely not-to-be-missed!), I’m talking about visiting Santa’s Cabin at Big Thunder Ranch in Disneyland and visiting the gingerbread house at Storytellers Cafe in Disney’s Grand Californian Resort!

Santa’s Cabin at Big Thunder Ranch

Every year my family visits Santa at his Disneyland home away from the North Pole.  His lovely cabin in Big Thunder Ranch is the perfect escape from the harsh winter back home. He even brings along Mrs. Claus and his reindeer too!

Santa's Just Around the Corner!

Santa's Cabin at Big Thunder Ranch

Santa is one lucky guy, because Mrs. Claus has been busy in the cabin’s kitchen.  All of these yummy goodies are waiting for him when he’s done listening to Christmas wishes.

The Cabin's Kitchen

Someone's Making Cookies!

That dough looks good enough to eat!! Check out a [Read more…]

Reader Poll: Rather Eat Thanksgiving Dinner at Home or at a Disney Restaurant?

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family is considering having Thanksgiving in Disney World next year, and I wanted to hear some opinions about that! So we asked our Facebook Page Fans:

Would you rather have Thanksgiving Dinner at home, or at a Disney restaurant?.

Our readers chimed in with their holiday preferences! While dining at home was a strong contender due to family traditions, leftovers, cost-savings, aversion to holiday crowds, and a palate for a real home-cooked meal, ordering Thanksgiving dinner at a Disney restaurant was the clear winner!

And these voters didn’t care where they ate at Disney — they just wanted to be in the middle of the magic for the holiday. In fact, we think some of you might be happy with one of these!:

Disney Turkey Leg

Here are some of the other suggestions we received!: [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Storytellers Cafe and the Happiest Haunts Tour

Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers reviews a fun Halloween-y evening: dinner at Storyteller’s Cafe followed by the Disneyland Happiest Haunts Tour!

Located inside The Grand Californian Hotel, Storyteller’s Café is usually one of our go-to breakfast/brunch stops. This trip, however, was for dinner. With tickets to the Happiest Haunts Tour in hand, we needed an early, low-key meal. We wanted to take care of business and get out of there so we could get over to California Adventure’s Tower of Terror to start our “haunting.”


Storyteller’s is known for its buffets. They have a breakfast/brunch buffet as well as a dinner buffet. But we opted for the menu/table service action this time around.

Dinner starts off with a bread basket overflowing with freshly baked cornbread muffins and loaves of white bread. And if you’re sitting at our table, there are usually mojitos involved. Our party included 3 adults and 2 children, so there were quite a variety of dishes to examine!


The menu options are not aplenty, but as far as I can tell, there isn’t a bad one on the list. As a starter, I had the Charred Nebraska Corn Chowder. This soup is one of my favorites. It’s creamy, sweet and savory, full of chicken, and topped off with bacon. Yum!

Nebraska Corn Chowder

For my entrée, I chose the Margherita Flat Bread with grilled chicken. I do have to say that [Read more…]

Disneyland Resort Restaurants and Chefs Win Awards

Traveling to Disneyland soon? You’ll want to add these resort restaurants to your dining list! We give a foodie shout-out to the winners of the Southern California Restaurant Writers awards!!

With a 36 year history, the Southern California Restaurant Writers, Inc. selects winners from south Santa Barbara to the border of Mexico. With such a large region, it’s a testament to the food quality at Disneyland that so many awards were presented to Disneyland restaurants at the annual banquet Sunday night.

Join me in congratulating Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Marc Viallet named the Pastry Chef of the Year! For the last ten years, Viallet has been dreaming up creative pastries for Disneyland guests.

Jean-Marc Viallet, Executive Pastry Chef, Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort received top honors in five categories! The Golden Bacchus is presented to restaurants with an extensive wine collection. The Golden Sceptre is considered the “top restaurant” award.

Special Award Category

* Pastry Chef of the Year: Jean-Marc Viallet, executive pastry chef, Disneyland Resort

Golden Bacchus Wine Award

* Napa Rose (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel)
* Steakhouse 55 (Disneyland Hotel)

Golden Sceptre (Five Star)

* Napa Rose (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel)
* Steakhouse 55 (Disneyland Hotel)

Gold (Four Star)

* Ariel’s Grotto (Paradise Pier, Disney’s California Adventure park)
* Blue Bayou (New Orleans Square, Disneyland park)

Sterling (Three Star)

* Goofy’s Kitchen (Disneyland Hotel)
* Storyteller’s Cafe (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa)

Source: Disney Parks Blog
Chef Photo copyright Disney

Tables in Wonderland Accepted at Several Quick-Service Spots and Lounges

This update in from DFB columnist Erin Foster, who’s walking the World right now!

Disney World’s Tables in Wonderland discount program (formerly the Disney Dining Experience program) is available to Florida Residents and Annual Passholders for a fee, and offers a 20% discount on food and beverage at select locations.

Tables in Wonderland Membership Card

You can now get your Tables in Wonderland discount at the following quick service locations and lounges. There is no gratuity charged at the quick service restaurants, so the 20% off is pure savings.: [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Breakfast at White Water Snacks

Our Dining in Disneyland columnist, Heather Sievers, shares breakfast with her family — and a guest! — at White Water Snacks in Disney’s Grand Californian Resort.

Looking for a tasty, quick, and affordable breakfast while staying at the Disneyland Resort? Head over to White Water Snacks at the Grand Californian and you won’t be disappointed. My family stays at the Disneyland Resort a few times a year, and when we do, we always have at least one breakfast at White Water Snacks.

The atmosphere is very casual; it’s walk up with no table service. You can order hot or cold meals, you pay the cashier, you’re given a number, and when your meal is ready, they bring it out. Although the restaurant is located on [Read more…]

Review: Storytellers Cafe at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort

Tucked into Disneyland Resort’s premier Grand Californian Resort is a restaurant eager to pay tribute to the art that made Walt Disney and the animators who followed him so critical to our lives today: storytelling.


Just as the Grand Californian is themed in the Craftsman architecture style, Storytellers Cafe boasts broad, dark wood-scapes, milky stained glass and metal cut-out decor, earthy colors, and solidly [Read more…]

Disney’s Famous Blue Glow-tini

While you can find those snazzy glow-cubes all over Disney parks these days, the signature “Glow-tini” is the one light-up drink you know you can find pretty much everywhere. Packing quite a punch with Citrus Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Blue Curacao, Pineapple Juice, and occasionally some Sweet and Sour, the Glow-tini may look like a weak cocktail, but it could really knock your socks off!

I was lucky enough to have one of these radiant drinks on a visit to the [Read more…]

DIY Disney: Disney Recipes for Your Summer Picnic

I’m thrilled to announce the first, official Disney Food Blog column — Chef BigFatPanda’s DIY Disney Recipes! Every month, our resident Chef BigFatPanda will put together his amazing step-by-step, photo-filled posts where he and Chef Mickey show you their adventures in the kitchen cooking up Disney goodies! Today, we launch the column with three great recipes that you can pack up and take on a Disney-inspired picnic (perfect for 4th of July!). Enjoy…

Hello! Chef BigFatPanda here! How are you? Don’t answer cause I can’t hear you, but I’ll assume you’re reading this with peachy vigor. I like that. Peachy Vigor! I’m going to use that from now on.

So, did you hear? I am so excited to get my own column here on the Disney Food Blog. No longer am I a guest, but a cast member (or whatever AJ wishes to call it). Thanks so much to everyone!

I wanted to do something a bit different for this post, so I chose some fairly simple yet overlooked Disney recipes that can truly be incorporated into a delicious summer meal. I am going to make the Barbecue Sauce from the Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, grilled Asparagus just as they make it in Disney’s Grand Californian Resort’s Storyteller Café, and Coquina cookies, originally from the Cinnamon Bay Bakery at Disney World’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Add these Disney recipes to a rice, pasta, or potato side and you have a complete and colorful summer meal just in time for Summer Nightastic!

Flame Tree Barbecue Sauce

As usual, the recipe’s instructions will be bolded for easy reference should you wish to print this out and skip my banter.

Ingredients for Flame Tree Barbecue Sauce

You will need:
1 cup Ketchup
¼ cup Rice Wine Vinegar
¼ cup Water
¼ cup Packed Light Brown Sugar [Read more…]