Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Is Disney's Elite Club 33 Coming to Disney World?

By Rick Munarriz - Apr 19, 2017 at 9:09AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Disneyland's elite membership club may be adding some Florida outposts.

Disney's (DIS 3.69%) largest theme park resort may soon find a way to coax more money out of its biggest spenders. A Disney spokeswoman has confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel that it will be rolling out Club 33 -- a big-ticket membership program with exclusive lounge access -- across all four of its Florida theme parks in the fall.

The original Club 33 opened in Disneyland in 1967, becoming a trendy hangout for well-heeled Disney fans and visiting celebrities. The ritzy restaurant-lounge would eventually open at Disney parks in Japan and more recently China, but Disney World had yet to embrace the concept until now.

A Mickey Mouse topiary at Disney World's EPCOT.

Image source: Disney.

It's a small world for deep pockets

Pricing hasn't been made public, but the original Club 33 isn't cheap. We're reportedly talking about a $25,000 initiation fee the last time it offered an open window to join five years ago, and then it's $12,000 a year to remain active. Disneyland's pass offers some meaty perks including four premium annual passes and several VIP features like escorted tours, tickets for guests, and instant access to expedited attraction queues. Despite the stiff rates, the waiting list is so long that even spots on the list haven't been made available since 2012. 

Disney could have a feeding frenzy with Florida's version of Club 33, even with offering a lounge in every park seemingly quadrupling its capacity. The lounges would have to be as high end as Disney's Club 33 product elsewhere, especially since Disney World's closest rivals offer in-park lounges at no additional cost for pass holders or folks using a certain credit card for admission. It will also need more of a hook than Club 33 as being the only place in Disneyland to grab an alcoholic beverage as libations are readily available across all of Disney World's parks these days.

Club 33 will generate buzz, and it will also be a big revenue driver. Disney has gotten pretty astute at milking more money out of its visitors. Revenue has moved consistently higher for Disney's theme park division, even with attendance falling in three of the past four quarters.

The new lounges will also help cultivate a broader following among affluent guests. Disney markets its resorts to various categories of potential visitors, but the mere presence of Club 33 will help fortify the upscale nature of Disney's theme parks. The club's wide net across all four parks will also encourage more big-ticket after-hours events. Club 33 is apparently coming in a few months, and with it, a new upper tier to the theme park experience in Florida.


Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

The Walt Disney Company Stock Quote
The Walt Disney Company
$97.78 (3.69%) $3.48

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/26/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.