Disneyland in California was originally built with a private luxury apartment inside for Walt Disney himself. After his death, it was made into an art gallery, then an exclusive lodging experience called the Disneyland Dream Suite. It's now called 21 Royal, the setting for a posh dinner offered for $15,000. Don't faint; that price covers 12 people and includes park tickets, so dinner itself is in the realm of a grand per person. As a theme park journalist, Carlye Wisel got to try it out, and she gives us a blow-by-blow description of the evening.
After a seemingly brief cocktail hour, we’re ushered into the dining room. It’s neoclassical by way of New Orleans, all jewel-toned wainscotting and aquamarine velvet chairs with idealized murals of the park’s Mark Twain Riverboat churning through open waters and the famed Haunted Mansion in all its antebellum glory. A floral eruption of sunset-hued ranunculus, roses, and sprigs of rosemary on the table would almost have you forgetting you’re a stone’s throw from mouse-shaped beignets until a candelabra on the mantle is magically lit by, what else, fairy dust.
Sommelier Matt Ellingson does most of the talking throughout the night, with lengthy backstories for every pour, including our first — a Dom Ruinart champagne named for, as we’re told in detail, the 18th-century inventor of “wine with bubbles.” The first course lands, Osetra caviar offset by an acidic yellow tomato sauce and Alaskan king crab with a delicate potato mousseline crepe. The wine and food pairing isn’t just nice, it’s nearly unprecedented: Save for Club 33, nowhere at the original Disneyland Park sells alcohol, for now.
You might never have an evening at 21 Royal, but you can read about it for free at Eater.
(Image credit: Frank Wonho Lee)