Review: D23’s “Off the Map” Event with Dinner at Club 33

When I heard about D23’s Off the Map event, I made sure to be home when tickets went on sale. A visit to the Disneyland Dream Suite, touring Walt’s Apartment, a ride on the Lilly Belle, and a super surprise dinner at one of the resort’s most unique restaurants (hmmmm, wonder where that could be)? Sign. Me. Up. 

I sat down at my computer at about 9:50am, tickets would be available starting at 10:00am. I literally sat and refreshed for 10 minutes straight. Yes, I’m that nerdy.  It paid off, because at exactly 10:01 (according to my computer’s clock) I had two tickets in my shopping cart and was checking out, credit card in hand.  By the time I finished checking out, the event had sold out. I was surprised that they went so fast, but I then realized that it must be a very small and obviously sought after event.

NOTE: This review is long and has lots of pictures of awesome things. There’s a whole meal and a snack in the write-up (of course, this is the Disney Food Blog), but we couldn’t help including pics of the rest of the tour as well! I hope you enjoy!

Checking In

We checked in at 9:00am on a Tuesday morning and were put into groups. We soon met with our uber fabulous D23 guide, Jeffrey (you may know him as the Disney Geek)!

Guess Who???

This is where we learned that there were only 72 tickets sold for the event and that it sold out in 30 seconds. Wow, so lucky to have scored two!  The crowd was very mixed, the age range spanned from teen to senior and some people traveled from across the country to be here.  We had 11 people in our group; most were southern California Disneyland locals, others were from Las Vegas, and there was one all the way from Georgia (Hi Andy!).

Off the Map Check In

Our group was scheduled to go to Walt’s Apartment at 10:30, so we had a bit of time to kill. Disneyland had just opened at 10:00, so it was fun to watch the park “wake up” as the horse drawn carriages emerged, characters came running from backstage, and the Disneyland Band marched right in front of us.  We met our apartment tour guide outside of the Disneyland Fire Department promptly at 10:30.

Disneyland Fire Department

Touring Walt’s Apartment in Disneyland

After given some history of Walt’s Apartment, we walked backstage and headed up the stairs (holding the handrail like we were asked) and entered the Victorian style apartment. Immediately I noticed the musty smell and got goosebumps knowing that I was in a room that Walt Disney spent many a night in, entertaining friends, playing with his grandchildren, and looking out the window [Read more…]

Free Disney Facebook Timeline Covers — Food-Themed!

How many of you are on facebook? And how many of you have switched to the new Facebook “timeline” feature? Well, this post is for YOU! It’s time to add some Disney Food Magic to your Facebook page courtesy of photographer extraordinaire Tom Bricker, from

Below, you’ll find fabulous food cover photos from Disneyland and Walt Disney World. These photos are all the optimal size to fit the new Facebook timeline. NOTE: See the instructions below for how to upload the photos into your Timeline.

Unlike most free Facebook Cover providers, Tom will not be adding watermarks to these Covers; in lieu of that, be sure to give him credit by adding a comment to the entry on your Timeline indicating that you’ve added or changed your cover stating “New Cover provided free, courtesy of Check it out for great Disney Facebook Covers!”

Dole Whip
It’s the classic snack found in both Disneyland and Disney World — we love the pineapple flavor!

Hollywood Brown Derby
The celebrity caricatures on the walls of the Hollywood Brown Derby are a great conversation piece while you’re enjoying your meal (or grapefruit cake!).

Main Street Bakery
This turn of the century decor in the Main Street Bakery is very welcoming. Also, inviting? The [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 1, 2012

Complimentary Champagne Toast at Victoria and Albert's Chef's Table

Happy New Year, everyone!! We hope your year is filled with delicious treats and lovely toasts, but most of all, we hope your year has a little Disney in it!

To start things out right, here’s a recap of the Disney Food news that’s been happening over the past week while we were all stuffing ourselves with fudge, cookies, and egg nog (oh, wait, that was just me?). ;-) Believe it or not, there were a LOT of developments last week!

Brand New Disney Food News

For more delicious food news, stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis! And don’t forget to follow along on our 2011 Holiday Dining page!

On to the Round-Up!

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups hangs out at the Dawa Bar in the Animal Kingdom. Sigh — so relaxing!! One of my favorite places!

Tokyo Disneyland Club 33 Pins!

RocketNews24 shares six reasons Tokyo Disneyland’s secret restaurant Club 33 is awesome! I’m LOVING the pics in this one!

SamLand Disney takes a power lunch at The Brown Derby restaurant. Check out the vintage phones!

Gorillas Don’t Blog shares a vintage Disneyland photo of the Red Wagon Inn, Walt’s personal favorite restaurant in 1955. celebrated 15 great years at the beginning of December, and did so with some delicious Disney food.

Main St. Gazette celebrates the season with some Pumpkin Fudge! Great pic, Ryan!

Disney Parks Blog shared recipes for two of Trader Sam’s holiday cocktails! If you can’t make it to Disneyland, make one at home!

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…]

Review: Disneyland’s Club 33 (Part 2 of 2)

After touring the history, mystery, and myth of Disneyland’s Club 33 in Part 1 yesterday, I hope you’ve worked up an appetite!

Join us at Club 33

Let’s dive into the food at Club 33 lunch! (Heather will be around with a Club 33 Dinner Review in a few weeks!)


We left you in our post yesterday as we were taking our seats at the table in the Main Dining Room. After we sat down, we were [Read more…]

Review: Disneyland’s Club 33 (Part 1 of 2)

As one who writes about Disney food, I’m so pleased to finally bring you my own personal review of what many consider to be the Mecca for Disney food-lovers — Club 33 in Disneyland Park.

Club 33 Sign

Seeing as I had over 100 photos to share with you (taken by myself and Ms. Heather Sievers), and that the history and atmosphere of Club 33 are almost as important as the actual food served here, I wanted to split this post up into two separate parts. Today, we’ll walk through the Club from the mysterious doorbell to the Trophy Room, and all the way to the main Dining Room and balconies. And of course we’ll take a side trip to the restroom…

In tomorrow’s post, we’ll focus on the food, beverages, and even a special birthday surprise!

History of Club 33

You’ve all heard the myths and stories about this exclusive restaurant tucked into an unassuming address on 33 Royal Street in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. Walt himself describes his vision for New Orleans Square in this video…

It was designed by Walt and a shortlist of hand-picked experts to be a quiet and tranquil location for important business meetings and meals, and a place for Walt to entertain friends and visiting VIPs without leaving the park.

Club 33 Bar Area

The restaurant was outfitted in the finest period antiques, lush fabrics and decor, original artwork and concept art created by Disney Imagineers, and authentic props from Disney films. And, of course, there were a few Disney touches that you wouldn’t expect to find anywhere else — like microphones hidden in the chandeliers and an audio-animatronic vulture who was meant to interact with guests!

What many people don’t realize is that Walt passed away before he was able to use Club 33 for its intended purpose. You can see the full history of the Club, including a few special secrets, in this history sheet… .

History of Club 33 - click image for larger version

But the secrets don’t stop here! We actually had the opportunity to speak with a few cast members at Club 33 who shared a more interesting facts with us…read on! [Read more…]

5 (New to Me) Disneyland Discoveries I Couldn’t Wait To Share

Well, I’m going to be honest with you. I’m looking through the thousands of pictures I took over my 6-day trip to Disneyland and I want to write about ALL of it RIGHT NOW!

The Hungry Bear Blueberry Pie is a Thing of Beauty

Since I obviously can’t do that, and I can’t bring all of you over to my living room to look through a slide show (we don’t have enough Doritos), I’ve decided to highlight five of my favorite discoveries here. I know that some of these are already near and dear to you lucky local Disneylanders, but they were new to me on this trip, and I loved ‘em.

Each of these will be showcased in detail in longer review posts coming up over the next few months, but I couldn’t wait to share some of my personal new favorites with you ASAP!

Red Velvet Roulade

Over at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen we found plenty of new favorites. From the beignets to the garlic cheese bread, almost everything we tried was a winner.

But I have to say we were very pleased that we switched our dessert order last minute to this Red Velvet Roulade. Moist, rich red velvet cake stuffed with incredibly creamy, tangy cream cheese frosting. The perfect ending to a great meal.

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen Red Velvet Roulade

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

I know — you’re shocked that I’ve never tried this before! I am, too! What an incredible piece of poultry this is.

A huge portion of golden brown fried chicken is supplemented by [Read more…]

Carthay Circle Restaurant and More Food News From D23 Expo

Some exciting (and, unfortunately, vague) news came out of the D23 Expo Disney Parks and Resorts event today! Here’s what we heard about food and restaurants:

Carthay Circle Restaurant
As we reported back in 2009, the Carthay Circle Theater replica, which will soon take center stage in Disney California Adventure, will house an exclusive restaurant. Acclaimed Napa Rose Chef Andrew Sutton is in charge of menu development for this new dining spot, and we expect it to be extremely high end.

Carthay Circle Theater Will House a New Restaurant

Possible Club 33 Program Extension
In fact, in that long-ago reporting, we mentioned that Disneyland was looking to extend its exclusive Club 33 membership program and that the Carthay Circle Restaurant could be a new exclusive club option (“The Carthay Circle Club”, or Triple C). Today, Disney execs again mentioned a teaser about [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 24, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade at Enchanted Grove in Magic Kingdom

It’s been a sizzling hot week, so we hope you’re keeping cool! Maybe you have access to some delicious strawberry lemonade like the one to the right (in the Magic Kingdom). We’re counting down the days until we get our next fix of that stuff!

There’s lot of fun Disney food news this week as well as some awesome articles in the round-up, so let’s get started…

Disney Food News

Let’s review the latest news from this past week!

New Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide Just Around the Corner…

Just eeking out the final updates to the brand new Mini-Guide e-Book! (Thankfully, one of our fabulous columnists is in Disney World this week and has agreed to do a little extra recon for us!)

As you know, our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book covers a wealth of information about Disney World food. But after hitting 250 pages, we reserved some of the more detailed info for our upcoming series of Mini-Guides.

The first in the series will be the Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and it will be debuting very soon.

Detailed reviews, photos, prices, and snack-credit-worthiness of over 70 snacks in the Magic Kingdom are packed into this Mini-Guide, but, as always, we’ve included a few extras and bonus items as well!

We’ll have more information for you very soon; we can’t wait to hear what you think!

Here we go…On to the Round-Up!

Meet the World in Progressland shares the fabulous views seen only from Club 33!

Disney Contemporary Fan Site compares the Grand Floridian’s Citricos with the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill. Which would you choose?

DisneyTouristBlog reviews Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. Yee-Haw!

Main Street Gazette shares with us a canyon skillet at Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Kokocooks takes us along on their cupcake crawl in Disney World — inspired by our DFB challenge!

Disney Contests and Sweepstakes gives us the scoop on the Rainforest Cafe Orlando’s summer photo contest. Good luck!

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 3, 2011

Happy July 4th weekend! We hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful weekend no matter where you are! Be safe, and if you’re in a Disney park or resort and eating something wonderful, let us know!

Also, here’s a fun tip for this weekend: Disney Food Blog t-shirts are 17.76% off through Monday over at the Disney Food Blog Store! Just use code: LANDOFTHETEE at check-out! :-)

One of our personal favorites is that I <3 Mickey Bars shirt to the right, but there are plenty of styles that will fit everyone’s taste, including Disney Food Blog logo shirts.

Latest Disney Food News

Check out the latest!

I also want to let you know that our very first Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide is right around the corner! It should be available very soon, so stay tuned!

Until then, if you don’t already have a copy of our 250-page Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book, you can get yours right here! Click the link for reviews, testimonials, sample pages, Bonus gifts, and more!

2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival News

We have continuously updated, in-depth coverage of the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival here! This week, Raglan Road announced its Signature Dinner, which will take place on October 18th!

Now, On to the Round-Up!

WDW for Grown-Ups discusses healthy eating options at WDW.

Stuff From the Park shows us Mickey next to a Pepsi machine!

AKL Resort has recommendations for Animal Kingdom Lodge drinks.

Main Street Gazette takes us to Pleasure Island and reviews Raglan Road.

It’s A Dramaful Life gives us a personal look at the Dine With An Imagineer program including the menu and keepsake gifts.

Disney Parks Blog highlights an exclusive bottle of Cognac delivered to the Disney Dream via limo!

DisneyTouristBlog offers a glimpse of Club 33, complete with his outstanding brand of photography.

Touring Plans demonstrates how you can stop for breakfast and still stick to a good touring plan!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July, all!