Well, if you've got 15 grand to spare, Disneyland's got you covered.
The resort is promoting its 21 Royal private dining experience, located in the former Dream Suite (and before that, Disney Gallery) apartment above Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square. Disney got a story about the experience in Robb Report, a luxury-lifestyle magazine for the one percent of the one percent. It's the perfect PR placement. At this price point, there's no sense wasting time with a post on the Disney Parks blog, or inviting mere newspaper and website reporters for a taste.
If all this sounds familiar, OC Weekly wrote about 21 Royal a couple of years ago. At that point, the experience was in the planning stage and envisioned as an upsell for Club 33 members. (Yep, an upsell for even Disney's most exclusive club members.) Now, it's available to anyone. Well, anyone with $15,000.
The experience accommodates up to 12 guests in the one party that gets it for the evening. Participants are welcomed by valets at the Grand Californian, then escorted into Disneyland and the New Orleans Square apartment for the evening. The experience continues with cocktails before sitting down to a seven-course, customized dinner, overseen by executive chef Andrew Sutton and chef de cuisine Justin Monson. Then it's out to the patio for coffee, desserts, and maybe fireworks (or a showing of Fantasmic!, when it returns).
Obviously, this experience will be out of sight and out of mind for the average Disney guest, for whom a $50 meal at the Blue Bayou downstairs might represent a once-in-a-long-time indulgence. It's an aspirational evening for someone who's grown just a little bored with the routine of yet another dinner at Club 33. Or a write-off for a high-level Disney executive looking to impress a Hollywood dealmaker or prospective corporate client.
Or maybe, just maybe, a thrill for a Theme Park Insider reader who hits the lottery and wants to bring along 11 of her or his closest theme-park-fan online friends. If that ever happens... well, you know where to find me.Tweet
It's not clear if you can just reserve a couple of seats and Disney will fill the room with other paying guests or if this really is renting the whole thing only. With the crazy money in Hollywood and Orange County this will probably be a success either way.
Anywho, this is insanely expensive for the other "99.9%" of us. But being that this is L.A, I can definitely see it getting some business by way of Hollywood execs looking to close a deal with a client, or perhaps Steve Ballmer taking Chris Hanson to dinner to discuss moving the Clippers to Seattle, or any number of businesses looking to wine and dine representatives of other states for possible relocation of headquarters out of state. Or heck, Justin Bieber might go to dinner by himself.
Could I ever afford it? Nope. I'll just stick with Victoria & Albert for those super rare, special occasions in my life. I'll leave the Pirates of the Carrob Bean dining experience to the .01%
At $500 a plate all inclusive (tip and tax) it would be very reasonable for the experience. At $501-$700 it's something I would still seriously consider. Anything north of $700 its just not realistic, even for a business dinner to "WOW" clients.
Most don't know, but in recent years Disney would rent you the Dream Suite for about the same price per night and I'm sure you could've negotiated to have that include dinner.
I love that Disney is starting to offer premium VIP experiences, but I think the folks in charge are out of touch with what a premium experience should be priced at. Just look at the soon to disappear cabanas at the Magic Kingdom. It was a looney idea to begin with as offered, but the biggest issue in my opinion was the price point. It was ridiculous.
One doesn't become or stay wealthy by throwing away money. Yes, I like premium experiences, but there still has to be value delivered for the money paid.
With Southern California full of movie stars and the rich, it isn't too surprising.
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