One of the Castle's most famous members was the late Dai Vernon, an expert in sleight of hand, who often sat in the bar area entertaining and teaching. Vernon was the Magician-in-Residence at the Castle for many years, up until his death in 1992. Other famous magicians who have been regular performers at the Magic Castle include Mark Wilson, Jay Ose, Senator Crandall, Johnny Platt, Kuda Bux, and Billy McComb. Many "celebrity magic hobbyists" have also performed at the Magic Castle, including Cary Grant, Steve Martin, Johnny Carson, and recently Jason Alexander of Seinfeld. The top magicians in the world perform in several different formats, including an intimate close-up room, a larger parlour, and a grand stage. Informal performances around the 5 bars give magicians the opportunity to learn from and impress peers. Magician members interested in magical research have access to a substantial library of resources. The Magic Castle is also known for its Junior Program (the Magic Castle Junior Group). The Junior Group comprises highly skilled young magicians, many of whom have gone on to be well-known performers and professionals.The Junior Group consists of many members, some of which are: Edsel Chiu, Michael Stern, Aaron Rabkin, Kyle Eschen, Sean Trinh, Nathan Gibson, Mike Jacobson, Ben Jackson, Rmax Goodwin, Thomas Neal, Miles Santoro and there are also 2 auditions a year where magicians from around the world come and try out to be admitted to the program.
At the Castle, visiting non-magicians can see the best of magic being performed close up. The lobby of the Castle has no visible doors to the interior, and one must say a secret phrase to an owl to gain access, exposing the entrance to the club. Once inside, visitors can go to any of the five different shows, each of which changes weekly, where magicians exhibit their skills, and can listen to Irma, a piano-playing ghost that takes requests.
Magicians must audition to join the Academy of Magical Art and the Castle. Non-magicians can join, but only as associate members.