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Arts and Entertainment

Longtime Disney Club 33 Member Throws A Fit After Getting Booted

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A man is suing Disneyland after the happiest place on Earth revoked his decades-long membership to their private club.Joseph Cosgrove said he had been a member of Disney's exclusive Club 33 for 47 years, the OC Register reports. At 84, that's more than half of Cosgrove's life. He's suing The Walt Disney Co. for breach of contract after they cut off his membership.

According to Cosgrove, it all started when he gave a guest-access pass to the club to a friend sometime last year. The suit claims that without Cosgrove's knowledge, the woman decided to put the pass up for auction at a children's charity fundraiser rather than use it to visit the club herself as Cosgrove had intended. Auctioning passes is explicitly not allowed, according to Club 33 rules. So, Cosgrove's membership was terminated.

Cosgrove's lawyer, Mark Corrinet, says that even though Disney was aware that Cosgrove didn't approve what his friend did, or even know about it, they still cancelled his membership without giving him a chance to defend himself. Typically, Corrinet said, a membership might be put on hold while Disney and the member sort out the issue. He also said that Cosgrove was one of the very first members of Club 33 and had been in good standing the whole time.

Disney, however, doesn't agree. Disney representatives say that Cosgrove didn't join the club until 1979, which puts him at 36 years, not 48. What's more, Suzi Brown, a Disneyland spokesperson, said the termination of Cosgrove's membership wasn't just about that single incident. She said that Cosgrove and his wife had "repeatedly transferred and sold their membership privileges" over the years and that they were ultimately left with no choice but to oust them to "preserve the integrity of membership."

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Being a member of Club 33 isn't an easy thing to achieve. The club itself is located in the New Orleans Square in Disneyland, and membership includes other perks such as occasional early access to the park and valet parking at the hotel. To gain access, you first have to be chosen, and it can take years before you're picked. Then, members have to pay an initiation fee of $25,000, plus a yearly fee of $11,000.