The Royal Banquet Hall is a table service restaurant in the Enchanted Storybook Castle. It is a character dining experience serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During your meal, you have the opportunity to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy, who are dressed in their finest royal clothing to satisfy the character fan in all of us. It’s hard not to want a photo with Mickey when he comes to your table.
Royal Banquet Hall is the only table service restaurant in Shanghai Disneyland Park, so making reservations ahead of time is highly recommended (bring your confirmation with you). If you’re staying at one of the Disney Hotels, you can make your reservation before or during your stay. Walk-ups and reservations made in the Park are accepted, but during our visit, it was hard to do, so your mileage may vary. Your dining experience is limited to 90 minutes, so don’t waste any time taking tonnes of photos and work instead at choosing your delicious entrée!
All right, let’s get to our full review of the Royal Banquet Hall and answer the question, “Is it worth it?”
Atmosphere & Decor
The dining area of this lavishly themed restaurant starts on the bottom floor of the Enchanted Storybook Castle, where the reception desk is. Once you are checked-in, you are seated in a beautifully decorated waiting room. Before you head up to the second floor, you have the opportunity to have your photo taken with one of the princesses! During our visit, we got to meet with Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. It wasn’t clear if the princesses changed during our stay or not.
After you say, “See you later!” to the princess, a Cast Member escorts you and your party up to the second floor of the castle. Above the staircase is a beautiful chandelier, and to your left are the restrooms (so you can freshen up for your dinner with the royals). You enjoy your banquet in one of five differently themed dining halls: Cinderella, Tiana, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Mulan. During our visit, we were escorted to the Tiana-themed room, which is near the back of the restaurant.
Each of the elegantly decorated dining halls is a mixture of subtle and not-so-subtle theming for the princesses. The photos speak for themselves.
During your banquet, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy make their rounds to your table while you enjoy your meal. You receive plenty of time with each character and ample opportunities for photos (including PhotoPass). Even with our large group of 6, taking photos was painless.
My favourite room is easily the Mulan dining area. It’s smaller compared to the rest of the dining halls and is intended for special occasions or larger groups.
The level of enthusiasm and professionalism portrayed by the Cast Members gave Royal Dining Hall that extra special touch. Before we even sat down at our table, some Cast Members were pulling out our chairs for us to sit down, followed by unfolding the napkins and placing them on our laps.
Now, while we never had any negative interactions with the Cast Members, there were a few instances where things were less than ideal. With that said, before I move on, I understand there are growing pains associated with a grand opening. But I want to share every piece of our experience with you.
We asked to change our reservation (made in April) from 2 to 6 people, if it was possible, which we did early in the morning. The Cast Member said it was no problem and made the change. When we arrived that evening, we were told that we cancelled our reservation, which was not the case. After about 15 minutes everything was corrected, but not without explaining the situation and insisting that we did not cancel the reservation. We are still not sure why that happened, but happy that the Cast Members corrected the mistake promptly.
When we received our drinks, they were given to the wrong people. When that happened, two other Cast Members would come over and start talking with the server who made the honest mistake, which made the person seem even more nervous. The same mistakes happened with our appetisers and entrée. They were quickly corrected, and the Cast Members were apologetic about the error.
One of our friends needed to use the restroom, so they asked one of our servers (we had about 6-8 at any given time), and they didn’t understand that we wanted to know where the toilet was. Instead of grabbing another Cast Member to help, they only said, “Sorry” and walked off.
Again, I want to reiterate this did not take away from our experience; it was just a little jarring for a “higher-end” dining experience. I am confident they will address these issues as the Cast Members gain more experience.
Each time I passed a Cast Member (towards the restroom or taking photos) they were smiles from ear-to-ear while waving hello. It made you feel warm and welcomed.
The dishes are a nice balance between Western and Asian cuisine (Vegetarian is available, too) that has options for everyone. We had the dinner menu, which gives you a choice of appetizer, entrée, dessert, and beverage. It worked out to 368RMB (~$55USD) plus a 15% service charge. I had the following for my dinner:
- Crab Cake Topped with Mango Salsa
- Slow Cooked Beef Short-rib with Garden Vegetables
- Cinderella’s Chocolate Slipper
- Pepsi Nex
The crab cake was delicious, and the added mango gave a nice sweet finish. The main entrée was by far the tasty highlight: tender and juicy beef with fresh vegetables. A feast for the eyes was Cinderella’s Chocolate Slipper, which came elegantly arranged on a gigantic (and heavy) glass plate. It was so beautiful, it made me feel bad for eating it. Eating the shoe was a little awkward due to its shape, but that is a minor detail. You also receive unlimited warm bread with butter during the meal.
There were enough people at the table to order one of everything on the menu. While everything was just delicious, a couple of items stood out as just “okay”:
- Braised Beef Ragout with Penne
- The Pumpkin in the Cinderella’s Pumpkin and Chicken Stew (We think the pumpkin was just for show)
I sampled the remaining desserts from others at the table (I am that kind of friend) and all are excellent choices, but the Cinderella Slipper wins for best flavour and presentation. The other desserts included:
- Prince Charming’s Chocolate Trio
- Elsa’s White Chocolate Dome
- Belle’s Banquet Dessert
Overall, the cuisine is well above average. You are paying for the experience with characters and the pleasure of dining inside the castle.
What can we recommend for to maximise your experience? You came to the right place:
- Check out the restrooms, seriously. They are the nicest ones we saw at the resort. Don’t worry; they have western-style toilets in there.
- For an Instagram-worthy photo, order the Cinderella’s Chocolate Slipper Dessert.
- Walk around the restaurant and soak in all the elegant details.
- Take a moment to realise that you are dining inside the Enchanted Storybook Castle!
- Take a peek outside if you’re beside the window!
- Do not miss the Mulan room.
- Freshen up in the restroom so you are picture ready for the Royalty that makes their rounds to your table!
- Make your reservations as soon as you can, either at the Disney Hotels or by phone.
With a few minor hiccups in the service, this character dining experience offers well above average cuisine and a fun meet ‘n’ greet for children and adults alike. Dining inside the Enchanted Storybook Castle and meeting the characters (and visiting the restroom) make it worth the price of admission. Make sure to book your reservation on your next trip to Shanghai Disneyland!
Planning your trip to Shanghai Disneyland? Then don’t miss our overview of the newest Disney Resort to help start your planning!