Behind the Scenes at 21 Royal, Disneyland’s Most Luxurious Dining Experience

21 Royal Disneyland Residence Courtyard
Legendary Disney service is on display from the moment guests are welcomed by the 21 Royal staff. Signature cocktails are served by professional butlers in the courtyard, then everyone is invited out to the patio for a casual reception.

Photo Courtesy Disneyland Resort.

In 2017, Disneyland debuted 21 Royal, a first-of-its kind experience combining the best of its culinary and service talent to create an extraordinary dinner experience. But what can you expect from dinner here?

Once you leave your car with the valet at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, you are privately escorted to the restaurant, locating in a space which was intended to be Walt Disney’s larger apartment in the park. Then the “three-act” bespoke dinner event begins. 

You start with ‘white glove’ service. Butlers offer drinks and hors d’oeuvres in a serene courtyard, and when ready, you head to the elaborate dining room located at the fictional New Orleans address for which the experience gets its name. After your multi-course, one-of-a-kind menu is served and enjoyed, you’ll then be ushered to a private patio high above the crowds of Disneyland where you’ll enjoy the dessert course and get a perfect view of the nighttime fireworks and shows. If that all sounds like something out of a storybook, that’s because it was designed that way. 

21 Royal Disneyland Residence Dining Room
21 Royal is decorated in the Empire style made popular in 19th century New Orleans. At dinnertime, guests take their seats around a lavish table covered in white linens, fresh flowers and set with gold-plated dinnerware and fine crystal.

Photo Courtesy Disneyland Resort.

The reopening of Disneyland after the COVID shutdown brought 21 Royal a chance to refresh its menus and try new things—“but still memorable and executed to the highest quality,” says chef Andrew Sutton, culinary director of Disneyland’s Signature Dining Experiences.

Sutton saw the shutdown as an opportunity to reflect. “I felt like we all could do better, especially with this (21 Royal) experience. The downtime allowed all of us to be curious, study, and look deeper into our craft so that we could come back with something that would even surprise us.”

When the Disneyland Resort reopened, so did bookings for 21 Royal. Sutton co-authored the reopening menu with Clint Chin, chef de cuisine for 21 Royal as well as Club 33.

Sutton began crafting the monthly menu as he always does—with a story. “The actual 21 Royal dinner also means that you have us telling you why we did what we did. From how we prepared the immaculate Kobe beef (for) our Kobe Pastrami to the wine that pairs with it perfectly, it all has a narrative.” 

21 Royal Disneyland Fine Dining Course
Citrus Cured Hamachi Yellowtail, Avocado, Red Fresno Chilies and Minneola Vinaigrette is an example of one of many courses guests may enjoy during the fine dining experience at 21 Royal. The menu is created by a culinary team of Disneyland Resort Signature Chefs and an expert sommelier who pairs wine with each dish.

Photo Courtesy Disneyland Resort.

Each menu includes premium ingredients and uses a handful of different global cooking techniques that you won’t find anywhere else on the Disney property, including other signature restaurants such as Napa Rose and Carthay Circle Restaurant.

Even if guests haven’t had a fine dining experience before, Sutton assures that even though this is a luxurious occasion, they also wanted to make it welcoming and warm, as if you were invited to his house for a family dinner.

The all-inclusive price tag per person is $1,250 with no discounts, even for annual passholders. 

Though certainly a splurge, in Sutton’s view, it’s one of the most memorable and best things to do at Disneyland. “I’ve been with Disney (for) 21 years, and this is it! This is magic, food, and Disney all rolled up into one.”

Bookings for 21 Royal are available for parties of up to 12 guests. Reservations can be made by calling 714-300-7749. 21royaldisneyland.com

21 Royal Disneyland Residence Balcony
Guests of 21 Royal will end the evening with a grand finale: dessert on the private balcony with a spectacular view of the Rivers of America, and on certain nights, prime viewing of the park’s nighttime entertainment.

Photo Courtesy Disneyland Resort.

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