Sunday, April 28, 2013

Club 1901 at Disney California Adventure

Yes, we have had some really awesome adventures and are totally aware that we're incredibly lucky.  On Saturday April 27th, we were invited to experience Club 1901 at Disney California Adventure Park. 

What is Club 1901?  It's a very exclusive club inside California Adventure, similar to Club 33 inside Disneyland, but only Platinum and Executive members of Club 33 are allowed to go into 1901. 

Unlike Club 33 though, members can not make reservations for others to visit 1901.  At 1901, the member must be with you when you enter. 

And this is what's greeting you behind those double doors!  There are two different cast members at the desk.  Shirley is from Disney Guest Services and has worked as a VIP tour guide in both parks.  She has worked the desk of 1901 since it opened.  Brittany is the Club 33 representative at the 1901 Lounge.

The front desk of 1901.  You can enter on the lounge on either the left or the right of the desk. 

After we entered, we set down our bags and were taken on a short tour of the club by Brittany.  I'll share some of her comments as I go through some of my pictures.

After our tour, we sat down to chat with the members who made this all happen.  To start, we ordered drinks.  I decided to try a Rose soda.  After a few sips though, I was done.  I don't particularly like the flavor or roses I guess.  Scent yes, flavor no.  It was what I imagine drinking perfume would be like. 

Here the bartender is mixing one of their signature cocktails.  The ice sphere was interesting to see being created.

We then spent the next 2 hours, chatting with the members, and sharing our stories of some of our favorite Disney adventures.  We were able to see the Club 33 access card.  This card not only allows you to get into the club, it also acts as a Premiere passport that gets you into Disneyland and Disney World in Florida.  Another nice perk of the card: 6 immediate use fast passes for any ride in the park with fast pass!

They also showed us the Club 33 Mickey ears that had just come back in stock at the club. Pretty cool!

Those 2 hours chatting passed way too quickly, and by 7pm they had to head off to dinner reservations at Carthay Circle.  But, luckily for us, we were allowed to stay in Club 1901 to order dinner and explore. Time to break out the camera!  I tried to do my best to get photos without people in them.  I don't want to upset anyone for thinking I'm trying to take their photo. The club is divided into two different lounges.  We'll start with a 360 view of the bar lounge.  This lounge is located directly behind the welcome desk  Once you click below hit the "F" button to go full screen and see it even bigger.    

Looking at the bar inside Club 1901. On either side of the bar are chairs dedicated to Walt and his wife Lillian, and Roy and his wife Edna.  The chair currently dedicated to Edna was previously dedicated to Ub Iwerks, the animator who along with Walt Disney brought Mickey Mouse to life.  Ub was the animator who produced all the drawings for Steamboat Willie.

Above the bar are the numbers 1901.  The club was named 1901 because that's the year Walt Disney was born.

Of course we had to pose for a group picture at the bar.

Jacob and Ruston.

And me and Theresa.

Caricatures of Disney's Nine Old Men by animator Mel Shaw.  Mel Shaw was one of the animators on the Walt Disney classic Bambi.  The last film he worked on was The Lion King.

Here's a closer look at the cart used to make cocktails right beside your table.
If you enter to the right side of the front desk, you'll find yourself in a hallway with this tribute to a young Walt Disney.  The Time Magazine cover is from the December 27, 1937 issue and shows Walt posing with 7 porcelain dwarfs.  While these aren't the dwarfs in the photo above, they're from the same period.

On the opposite end of this hallway close to the door, Walt occasionally makes an appearance.  Every 5 minutes or so, Walt will either walk by the hallway.
Or you'll see his profile as he looks around the club and then rubs his chin.
The second lounge looks pretty comfy.  Here's a 360 view of it.
I like that most of the photos on the wall show Walt is his very early years. 

A close-up of a few of the different items inside the lounge.

Including a Mickey Mouse doily.

And an Inter-office Communication directing the animators to no longer draw belly-buttons on the characters.

On the left is a very young Walt Disney on his first birthday.  On the right is Ruston's grandmother Rhoda.  Check out the chair they're both sitting in.  Maybe they used the same photo studio!
Here is a model of the Gulfstream II that Walt had on his desk. For pictures of the original, stay tuned to an upcoming post of our visit to the Treasures of Walt Disney Archives exhibit at the Reagan Library.

We were told that these Minnie and Mickey dolls were created by fans and given to Disney before official merchandise was created, thus Minnie with a white skirt and red polka dots instead of vice-versa.

A newspaper clipping the Snow White showing at the Carthay Circle theater.  On the left is a clipping about Fantasia.

Not knowing if we'd ever get this opportunity again, of course we wanted to order dinner here.

Since there's four of us, we got to order and sample a little bit of everything. 

After reading about all the different options on the DisneyFoodBlog, we chose the Twice Cooked Beef Tacos, Spicy Chicken Roll, Duck Confit Sliders, then off the kids menu we got the Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Mini Hot Dogs in Puff Pastry. 
Out of all of them, I enjoyed the Duck Sliders and Mini Hot Dogs the most.

The four of us enjoying dinner in the bar lounge.

If you looked at the 360 photo above, you've already seen this wall.  This is what is immediately behind the welcome desk.  On it, there are photos from Walt's early life.  On the far right of the wall is a digital display showing Walt and at the top is Mickey with his back turned.  Every so often, Mickey turns around and does a little dance, and then before you can blink, he's finished and turns back around.

Now that's an interesting lamp.
Caricatures of the production staff of the Silly Symphonies and Walt Disney.

There was one more special treat the club member had arranged for us to experience; a viewing of the World of Color from the VIP section!  We've seen the show quite a few times, but it's always from the front section.  This is the first time we've watched from the back and been able to see the entire show without turning our heads.

With the night complete, we stopped by the front of the club to take a couple more photos.
And we happened to run into someone we've met before!  JP!
She was one of the members of The Sound of Color at Minnie's Moonlit Madness.
Making a funny face at the camera.

So in all, we had a totally amazing time.  A huge thanks to the Club 33 member for the invitation to join them for drinks.  Thank You!

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