Secret Societies: Yale and Disneyland

Disneyland Club 33

June 21, 2007, 12:46 pm

By Mike Nizza

Skull and Bones spent what must have been an excruciating day or so on news sites across the Web this week when The Associated Press put out a story about the Apache quest to retrieve Geronimo’s remains, a legend fortified with a few pieces of evidence.

Then, just like that, the story disappeared (or, just faded away on the Web, like everything else).

Today, another secret society was dragged out into the light by The Los Angeles Times. For years, this one has been sitting right before our eyes — if your eyes were focused on Disneyland.

Club 33, which was “created by Walt Disney himself,” has 487 members who “can request the presence of Mickey Mouse or any other Disney character at their meals.” The article goes on to reveal that they lock their doors (just like the Skull and Bones!) and require reservations (like … every restaurant in New York!) Freaky, The Lede knows, but keep reading.

To get into Skull and Bones, you need to get into Yale University first, and then reportedly lie naked in a coffin to confess your sexual experiences. At Disney’s Club 33, all it takes is patience (a loooong waiting list) and a $9,500 check. Either way, “strange cries and whispers” may be provoked, depending on the size of the bank account and intensity of sordid admissions.

The magic number of the Bones is 322; Disney’s is 33, which a forum on says refers to one or more of the following:

The year prohibition ended.

The age of Jesus when he died.

The rank of Walt Disney in the secret Masonic cult.

The internet is filled with myths about both of them, none quite solid enough to ever report as fact. Just Google Skull and Bones for all of its secrets. As for Club 33, the Los Angeles Times said “a vulture that can talk” hangs around the Trophy Room.

“Walt Disney intended to spice up dinners by having the vulture converse with guests,” the paper wrote. Genius.

Finally, The Lede will throw out the completely obvious question: Is there a connection between Walt Disney, Club 33 and Skull and Bones?

Bonus points for further connections pointed out in the comments, but only if they are proposed with a complete lack of seriousness.

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