If you can’t get a membership to Disneyland’s uber-exclusive Club 33, the House of Mouse is dangling another swanky dining option: 21 Royal.
The name refers to the address in New Orleans Square, above the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, where the park has expanded a private apartment to include a dining room that is now available for rent.
But the price is pirate-trove steep: For US$15,000, up to 12 people get a seven-course meal, paired with fine wine and a balcony that offers a prime viewing spot for a nighttime extravaganza.
“We are always looking for new ways for our guests to experience the park,” Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said.
The new dining room may be a way for the park to attract big-spending visitors who can’t get into Club 33, the members-only restaurant that has a years-long waiting list, said Robert Niles, a theme park expert and founder of Themeparkinsider.com.
“They can leverage this to appeal to new people,” he said. “This allows them to grow the luxury market.”
Brown’s description of 21 Royal as “a new luxury experience” is borne out by the exclusive first look given to the Robb Report, a magazine that touts itself as the “definitive authority on connoisseurship for ultra-affluent consumers.”
The dining room is decorated in aqua blue with gold trimming, a fireplace and paintings that depict old New Orleans life. It is connected to a two-bedroom suite, dubbed the Dream Suite. The suite was the brainchild of Walt Disney himself, who had a small apartment built above the fire station on Main Street.
But Disney envisioned a larger apartment where he could entertain VIP guests. He died in 1966 before the project was completed.
From 1987 to 2007, the space was turned into the Disney Gallery and used to display Disney Imagineering artwork. In 2008, the gallery was overhauled to realise Disney’s idea of a luxury apartment, which was offered to guests as part of special promotions.
The 21 Royal dining room includes a balcony that overlooks Rivers of America, offering a prime spot for watching the “Fantasmic” water and light show.
The food, served on gold-trimmed plates, is prepared by two master chefs and accompanied by wine chosen by a dedicated sommelier.
The dining room represents only one of several high-priced options at the theme park.
Also located in New Orleans Square is Club 33, an exclusive club conceived by Walt Disney as a place to entertain dignitaries, investors and other VIPs at a cost to most members of more than US$11,000 a year. Disney officials refuse to divulge how many members are allowed into the club, but Disney experts say the waiting list is probably several years long.
The park also offers VIP tours that start at US$2,400, plus the price of admission. The deal includes a private tour guide who chaperones up to 10 guests around the park, getting them into more than 30 attractions without waiting in long lines. VIP seating for shows and parades is included.