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The Disney 21 Royal Private Dining Experience at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Disneyland is known as the Magic Kingdom, but what that name elides is the source of the magic: storytelling and attention to detail. Those two principles, elevated to their highest level, animate a new private dining experience that’s available to just a single party of 12 per night.
The 21 Royal private dining experience begins with specially trained guides greeting your party at the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and leading you to the most exclusive address inside the park: 21 Royal Street, a private apartment overlooking New Orleans Square. When you arrive, a butler from the skilled and unobtrusive staff admits you via an ornate, gated staircase into what was to have been Walt and Lillian Disney’s private residence within the park.
A cocktail hour gives you and your guests time to explore 21 Royal and be regaled by guides and sommelier Matt Ellingson with the lore and history of the space. Storytelling remains the theme in the just-completed dining room, and in the dishes too.
The seven-course menu is fully tailored for every group, whether your wish is for the chefs to delight you with untrammelled inventiveness or to design an entire meal from the starting point of sourcing a fondly remembered wine from a special occasion in your past. No matter what shape your menu takes, the chefs and Ellingson introduce each course and pairing with stories about their inspiration that draw you into their lives and help build the experience of communal connection that defines the most memorable shared meals.
As the evening draws to a close, you adjourn with coffee and desserts in the dining room or on the spacious private balcony for a view of the charm and lights of the park at night; if the skies are clear, you might enjoy the fireworks spectacular from your perch.
"Someone should do a study of the human brain and how quickly it can adjust to luxury."