Take a look inside a dinner experience so exclusive, most have never heard of it and those who have, don’t talk about it publicly. For years, 21 Royal was only available to members of the exclusive Club 33, until the room was opened to all guests in January of 2017. Today, we finally have a look inside the exclusive dining experience, which is designed to offer guests up to a party of 12 one of the most enchanting nights of their lives.
21 Royal was originally built as a living quarters for Walt and Lillian Disney, created to exact specifications set in place by the couple themselves. However, after the media mogul’s passing in 1966, the area was abandoned. In 2014, it was announced that the venue would become a dining area. However, the area wasn’t available to the public until the beginning of 2017. Now, any guest who can afford it has the opportunity to book the suite for their own private dining experience, but it will cost you $15,000.
Recently, OC Register caught up with some guests who got to attend 21 Royal themselves, to give their own viewpoint on the enchanting experience. Spoiler: according to the news outlet, nearly everyone who got to experience 21 Royal would do it again.
“It stands as the signature meal of my entire life,” said Todd Regan, who uses the pen name Dusty Sage while running the popular MiceChat.com fan blog, who’s no stranger to fancy meals. “It’s a culinary extravaganza.”
The OC Register reports, to book the experience, people call up Disneyland and tell them they want to reserve a private dinner at 21 Royal, held in a well-decorated suite in New Orleans Square. After the date is agreed upon, the party’s host will take part in a consultation with a chef and make a decision about the menu for the dinner, which is designed specifically for each party.
Then, on the appointed day, dinner guests are instructed to arrive at Disney’s Grand Californian hotel, from which valets escort them by private minibus to Disneyland and New Orleans Square. Their destination is the Disneyland Dream Suite, above the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which was designed to become Walt and Lillian Disney’s private suite within the park. OC Register reports, the spacious two-bedroom suite wasn’t finished until 2008, long after Walt Disney’s death.
On arrival, butlers offer up trays full of craft cocktails and appetizers and the chance to learn about the historical 21 Royal room.
“You get the run of the apartment,” Steve Sarley said. “You can sit anywhere you want and make it your own. Walt was never in that place, but you can feel him there.”
According to OC Register, after cocktail hour, guests are invited into the 12-seat dining room, where they have a lavishly prepared meal, accompanied by stories spun by special Disney chefs, wine stewards, and servers.
Food is served on gold-plated dinnerware emblazoned with the 21 motif, accompanied by crystal goblets, on linen tablecloths. The event is overseen by Disney gourmet chef Andrew Sutton. Organizers can invite a total of 12 people to the dinner, which comes out to $1,250 per person, toward the total cost of $15,000.
“Beyond the food and drink, they love the storytelling and the chance to live the 21 Royal ‘lifestyle,’ if only for one magical evening,” Sutton said in a statement about the dining experience.
Costly wines are poured with each course if desired, curated specifically for the meal and told with a story. Matt Ellingson, a sommelier and project manager for 21 Royal, said in a prepared statement, the chefs and sommeliers who form the 21 Royal team are “a pretty imaginative and curious group of people. We’ve spent our careers exploring flavors and ingredients from around the world and we have the honor of sharing that experience with our guests. This is so much more than a dining experience; this is Disney at its best.”
Disney does not allow weddings during the 21 Royal dinner, although other celebrations are generally permitted.
After dinner, guests are then given the chance to walk out on the private balcony and have coffee or after-dinner drinks. The dream suite is located overlooking the Rivers of America and provides a perfect viewing for the Fantasmic! show when it’s operating.
OC Register reports that the event generally lasts around five hours and afterward, diners can join the rest of the crowds in the park or be escorted back to the Grand Californian.
For more information about the 21 Royal dining experience, be sure to visit the official website or call 714-300-7749.