Monday, July 06, 2009

Club 33, part 6

The s’mores parfait is quite good.

It has a light chocolate mousse on a bottom layer of graham cracker crumbs, and is topped with mini-marshmallows and dark chocolate shavings. Very tasty indeed, but not quite to the same level as the tiramisu cup or the layered mousse-cake.

I, for one, am stuffed, but very pleasantly so. They may have to carry me out of here, or I may just become as permanent a fixture to Club 33 as the audioanimatronic vulture that sits quietly in the upper corner of the Trophy Room.

Our bills are brought out – park admission price for the food, plus drinks (even non-alcoholic ones), plus tax, and an automatic 18% tip. It’s… not cheap. I’m thinking it helps to quietly chant to oneself, “This got us into the parks, this got us into the parks” as the credit cards are passed to the server.

Once the financial part of the experience is handled, we thank our server and reluctantly stand from the table. I think we’re ready to get back to the park, but who knows when, or even if, we’ll ever be able to experience this again?

We do have one more task before we leave the club. A friend on Facebook suggested we purchase one of the exclusive Club 33 pins before we go, as they are not sold elsewhere. Again, the boys and I aren’t pin traders as much as collectors, and this would certainly be a unique and rare one to own.

We ask a cast member if there are pins available, and she says that she doesn’t think so, but if they are, they’ll be in the merchandise display case.

There’s a large (and, of course, elegant) dark wood and glass hutch in the hallway just before the turn towards the buffet, which contains assorted Club 33 merchandise for sale. We’ve glanced at it as we’ve passed by it to and from the buffet, but now we turn our full attention to it. There are hats, glassware, golf towels, and more, all sporting the Club 33 logo, and each accompanied by a simple white card with a two-digit number (no bothering with those déclassé dollar signs or cents amounts!).

But there are no pins, and the cast member is certain that if it isn’t in the case it isn’t currently available, and she does not recall having pins for some time.

Okay, plan B. What else is available? Hey, in the top left is a nice navy ball cap, with the Club 33 logo embroidered in a light brown or gold thread. I like caps, and I usually try to get a new one on each Disney trip. The price of these? Thirty dollars each. That’s twice as much as I normally spend for a cap, but hey, I didn’t get one on the last trip, so this averages the cost out, right? Besides, they don’t sell these anywhere else, and it’s not like they will let me back in later, even just to buy stuff. This will be something tangible to prove (mainly to myself, when the memory fades) that we once actually dined at the fabled Club 33.

Brandon wants to buy a cap, too, so we place our order for two caps and the CM ducks through a door to retrieve them. While we are waiting, a nicely dressed man – the club manager? – stops by to ask if we have been assisted. We have, we tell him, and then Brandon thinks to ask him about the pins. Good call.

“We don’t sell them any more.” Really? “Yes, I stopped ordering them about a year ago. We’d rarely get any in, and they’d run out quickly. It just became too much of a hassle.” Huh. Oh well.

The other CM returns with our hats in a bag and a bill portfolio with the sixty dollars plus tax amount on a bill slip. I hand her my Disney Rewards card and she goes to run the charge. We quickly take the tags off of the new caps and put them on. Mine fits perfectly.

When she returns and I sign the paper, our time in Club 33 is officially over. Brandon, my mom & I take the French lift down while the others descend the stairs. After one last glance around this fantastic, magical, historic place, I follow the others out the door and onto Royal Street – back to the real world.

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