Walt had a second apartment built above Pirates (first one was above the Fire House), but Walt died before it was finished. It is now the Disney Gallery. You can see "RD" and "WD" in the ironwork on the balcony (for Roy and Walt).
REPORTED: Maddy 26 NOV 95
CONFIRMED: Eric B 25 FEB 96
CONFIRMED: Jim Kocher 18 DEC 96
CONFIRMED: Becky 22 MAR 99
CONFIRMED: Yoda Nation 27 JUL 99
I went to buy some posters at the Disney Gallery, and I ran into a worker there named Beverly. She had worked here for 34 years, and my family and I struck up a converstation with her. Before we left, she let us see Walt's private apartment! And there were all the changing pictures from the mansion, but there was one that didn't make it. It was a boquet of roses in front of a window, and the roses wither and the window cracks. That was originally going to be there before the ship was added in, because I didn't see the ship, only that one, and the rest. It was really cool!
UPDATE: DISNEYDUDE 04 APR 01
You can buy the stretch pictures in the Disney Gallery
CONFIRMED: dave 08 JUN 01
While we were on the Mark Twain steamboat, there were some workers on top of the Disney Gallery. They were working on one of the chimney tops, and when they took the chimeny cover off, there was a hidden camera. The camera is in the chimney closest to the corner of the building. I imagine that it is remote controlled and can keep tabs on guests as they walk through New Orleans Square.
REPORTED: Mike Chan 17 DEC 97
The Disney family private apartments over Pirates of the Caribbean were once considered as a possible expansion to Club 33. The last two pages of the original booklet given to new members of Club 33 in 1967 (and reissued for the 30th anniversary in 1997 - $20) shows two of Dorethea Redmond's watercolors originally done for the design of the Disney family apartments (Now The Disney Gallery). The text states that the designs depict concepts for a possible expansion of Club 33 should membership demand warrant more dining space. Club 33 opened only 6 months after Walt's death with the apartment space never used, but already completed. The two paintings are of the living room and the open-air courtyard.
REPORTED: Jim O'Connor 04 JAN 98
The best place to watch Fantasmic is actually at The Disney Gallery. I was able, thanks to some kind Disney Cast Members, to view it from a bench on the balcony, overlooking The Rivers of America. No one sits in front of you, and you get to see all of the show from all angles. If you sweet-talk them, maybe you'll get to watch it there, too. (P.S. It's a great spot to videotape the show).
REPORTED: Dynara 22 DEC 96
They usually don't allow people to view the show from the Gallery and usually will tell people to leave if they are not looking at the art work. They never allow people to go on the balcony as it is used at a viewing for paying guests. You have to pay $35 a seat to sit out there and you get a piece of chocolate pie with the show. I would not recommend trying to watch the show from up there for free because you will mostlikely be told to leave.
CONFIRMED: Eric B 30 DEC 96
It's true! There's practically nobody on the New Orleans Square and Critter Country rides during the Fantasmic shows. This is probably the best time to go on Pirates, Haunted, and Splash. If you want to have good seats for Fantasmic there is a dock where the Tom Sawyer's Island ferries usually pick up and drop off passengers that offers great a great view. There isn't a lot of people there so you don't have to save you seats for hours and you are close enough to feel the warmth of the flames when the water catches on fire. Watch out, if there's a wind you'll get wet.
CONFIRMED: Stacy Hartman 04 APR 97
There is a balcony where you can watch Fantasmic. We entered through the Art Gallery. There is a very obvious door, then you go over a balcony, and you are right there. There had a full dessert buffet and comfortable chairs.
CONFIRMED: Joe Gullo 07 AUG 98
The Fantasmic dessert now costs $39. You must make reservations at Guest relations, just to the right of the entrance at the main gate. They can seat up to 20 people. I got in line at 6:30 am was was 4th in line. I got seats 19 and 20. Go for the 9 am showing and you can stay and watch the fireworks. Definitely worth the money. FYI: During fantasmic no one can stand on the stairs leading to the Disney gallery.
CONFIRMED: Chris Wiles 29 MAY 00
You can eat in the Disney Gallery. They actually let you. Just bring your food up there and they'll show to a seat on the patio in the center of the gallery.
REPORTED: brian 13 MAY 00
While not a big secret, the small square in in the art gallery is a great place to eat. You dont have to bother finding a table. I learned this on the tour i traded for the character breakfast. Good trade.
CONFIRMED: falco 21 JUN 00
The Disney Gallery's Patio, which is part of Walt's original apartment, is a wonderful place to take your food, particularly on a very hot day or cool night. It allows you to get away from the crowds for a short time, and will always be comfortable, because Walt had it designed with vents all around the edges of the roofline - heat will be provided if it's cool, and air conditioning if it is too hot. As an evening spot with food from the French Market, it's especially romantic, too...
UPDATE: Steven Deer 30 JAN 01
I was a Cast Member in the mid-70's and thought I'd add some detail about the Disney Gallery/Club 33 area. What today is the Disney Gallery was leased back then by the Insurance Company of North America, who was a major Park sponsor. It was called the I.N.A. Royal Suite and was even swankier and more exclusive than 33. It was also the second place inside the Park that served alcohol. I know this because I was in the sound department and was in 33 almost every day, setting up the sound for the 33 harpsichord and the French Market stage. I also ran the sound for the MSEP ('74), America on Parade ('75) and the live concerts on the Tomorrowland Stage (remember the Four Tops?... the Spinners?... how about the Monkees?). By the way, the back entrance to 33 is the staircase inside the Blue Bayou restaurant that goes up to what looks like a balcony, not the curving blue staircase in the courtyard, which went to the INA Royal Suite/Disney Apartment. The INA Royal Suite was only available to INA executives and was operated independently by their own people, not Disney Cast Member's. The front entrance was just to the left of the Pirate Ride entrance and was just an unmarked door opening onto a staircase. The back entrance was the famous curving blue stairs in the middle of the shops which is always cordoned off by a red rope. There is a door that connects the now Disney Gallery space with 33, but the last time I was at the Park that door was covered by an armoire. The Cast Member-Hostess of the Gallery seemed pleased and surprised to chat with someone who knew about the old INA Royal Suite. The existence of the INA Royal Suite was almost a secret inside the Park. Very few Cast Member's knew of it. Even Disney executives didn't have access to it. It was a little spooky, you never saw anyone come or go, and no one knew anyone who worked there.
REPORTED: Chip Corbin 22 JAN 02