A Los Angeles couple who said they were banned from Disneyland’s pricey and private Club 33have sued the park, contending they were retaliated against for criticizing sexual harassment and other problems that arose as a result of new management.
“There is a waiting list to become a Club 33 member. It’s our belief that new management has been told to force the older members out so they can bring in new members and charge them more with less benefits,” says Sean Macias, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys. “They’re looking for any excuse. If you complain, you’re out. If you’re ill your membership will be suspended.”
Disneyland issued a statement late Thursday in which it said the termination of the couple’s membership was terminated “due to multiple violations of Club 33 rules.”
“Like other private clubs, Club 33 has rules and regulations that address, among other things, member conduct,” the statement said. “All members must abide by these rules and regulations so that all members may enjoy Club 33 benefits without disruption.”
Club 33 is Disneyland’s worst-kept secret, an exclusive private club located behind an unmarked door in New Orleans Square. With a dining room and lounge, the club is a retreat for people willing to shell out the high price of membership. Strict rules keep the secretive nature of the club intact.
There’s a waiting list to join, even though initiation fees are now $50,000 and annual dues are $15,000, according to the lawsuit filed Dec. 4 in Orange County Superior Court by Carlton Enterprises, Inc., an Arizona-based company run by married couple Scott and Diana Anderson.
According to the breach-of-contract lawsuit, the Andersons bought an executive membership to the club through their consulting company in 2012, a membership that includes the Club 33 venues Le Salon Nouveau and Le Grand Salon. It also includes the right to go to the private 1901 Lounge at Disney California Adventure, and to invite their guests to use the club even when the members aren’t present.
The complaint alleges that new management in 2016 caused a “tattletale atmosphere and … hostile environment” that led to sanctions against the couple for complaining about what they perceived as wrongful treatment of guests.
“When Scott Anderson sent an email to management regarding a member verbally attacking a terminally ill fellow Club 33 member, it was the Andersons who received a suspension letter. The atmosphere has become toxic. It’s a ‘good old boys club’ that’s out of control. The Andersons aren’t the only members who have been targeted. Others are just afraid to speak up.” according to a written statement by the couple’s lawyer.