For the money that it would cost to buy a four-door hatchback — say, a Kia Rio or a Ford Fiesta — you could treat yourself and 11 friends to a meal at Disneyland’s extravagant new boîte, 21 Royal. The big draw of this brand new, ultra-deluxe experience is the chance to spend a night hanging out (and being pampered) inside of an apartment overlooking the theme park’s New Orleans Square — right above the Pirates of the Caribbean ride — in a space that was designed to be a private residence for Walt and Lilian Disney right before the mogul’s death in 1966. Dorothea Redmond, the production designer behind Gone with the Wind and Rear Window, put together plans for this space while she was working for Disney as an Imagineer.
The meal kicks off with cocktails in a courtyard lined with lanterns and firefly lights, followed by a seven-course dinner in the main dining room prepared by executive chef Andrew Sutton and chef de cuisine Justin Monson. Guests can have coffee and dessert inside the dining room or out on the balcony, which has a view of the park’s fireworks show. Certainly, that sounds like a nice evening, especially if you’re a Disney buff. But is it worth $1,250 per person?
That’s really hard to say. But one of the other unique things about this meal, which might account for the steep price tag, is the fact that 21 Royal is staffed with a butler, a sommelier, and servers who also double as tour guides. The Robb Report notes that many of the staffers have “experience in estate management and domestic service in private homes.” The meal is also bespoke and designed around a theme for each party. According to the 21 Royal homepage, the dishes will “tell a tale that is uniquely yours.” So in addition to dining in a supremely exclusive space rich with Disney history, guests will also get a bit of Downton Abbey-style treatment from a trained foot staff (minus all the class rage and smoldering sexual tension, probably). The price tag also includes park admission for 12 guests — which in itself would cost more than $1,200 — plus tax, tip, parking, and valet service from the Grand California Hotel.
Disney is no stranger to high-end dining experiences: The Florida theme parks house a slew of fine-dining restaurants that Eater’s critic Bill Addison endorses, and the original California park also has a ritzy private club/restaurant where membership costs more than $10,000 per year. But in terms of single-night extravagance, 21 Royal smokes the competition — it’s for Magic Kingdom ballers, only.
Reservations are now available for 21 Royal via phone at 714-300-7749. If you happen to get an invite to a blow-out meal here, please let us know what you think.
• 21 Royal [Official]
• New Private-Dining Experience in Secret Disney Location [The Robb Report]
• Start Here: The State of Disney Dining [E]
• The Eater Guide to Surviving Disney World [E]
• The Baller Guide to Disney World [E]