Tokyo Disneyland banquet hall offers tasty food at better-than-theme-park prices
By LEON COOK | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 4, 2016
If you’re at Tokyo Disneyland and get hungry for something other than the park’s famed popcorn, you’d have to be Tweedledum to pass up The Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall, an “Alice in Wonderland”-themed restaurant inside Fantasyland.
Nestled between the Haunted Mansion and It’s a Small World, the Queen of Hearts offers a lot of bang for your buck — or yowza for your yen, in this case. It’s a cafeteria-style experience with five main courses available. Two of those are seafood, though, so that left three for my seafood-shunning family to choose from.
There is a picture menu hanging in the queue along with a display of the other meals on offer. The photos and displays are actually very accurate representations of the food you’ll get, so don’t fear ordering something that looks amazing on the menu but doesn’t match reality.
We chose the Flank Steak with Japanese Sauce, the Heart Shaped Meat Patty with Tomato Brown Sauce, Rotisserie Chicken with Garlic Seasoning and the Child’s Set and found the portions to be quite generous by Disneyland and Japanese standards.
The flank steak costs 1,450 yen (about $14.35) and turned out to be as delicious as it looked in the photo. You get two strips of medium-rare steak served with “Japanese sauce” that tastes like brown gravy mixed with soy sauce. It complements the steak quite nicely.
The rotisserie chicken for 1,380 yen (about $13.66), served with garlic seasoning, is probably the most normal item on the menu, so if you have finicky children, this is probably your best bet. It’s pretty good, but nothing unique.
The heart-shaped meat patty costs 1,380 yen (about $13.66) and is served with a slice of cheese on top, also heart-shaped, and comes with demi-glace and raspberry sauce. It looked like Salisbury steak, that low-quality mainstay of cheap microwaveable dinners and school cafeterias, but the flavor blew my mind. It definitely doesn’t taste like the school lunch of your childhood and is shockingly good.
The child’s set costs 920 yen (about $9.11) and is served on a Mickey Mouse-shaped plate; for 1,920 yen (about $19), you can upgrade to a full-color Mickey or Minnie plate that you can take home. It comes with a lump-shaped meat patty, creamed corn, mashed potatoes with peppers, broccoli, gelatin and a juice box. The meat patty turned out to be the same quality as the adult’s entree.
For dessert, the Unbirthday Cake caught our eye. It’s very good, big enough for two or three people to enjoy and a relative steal at 1,010 yen (about $10).
If you’re after keepsakes, you can buy a slice of creme de cassis cake that includes a commemorative Disney plate or vanilla milk mousse with a commemorative cup. Each of these cost 750 yen (about $7.42) and are unique to the location — a quality somewhat lacking in the park’s souvenir stores, which mostly carry the same merchandise.
The decor is quite nice and offers plenty of photo opportunities with the queen’s soldiers. The inner seating booths look like hedges outside the castle, and the outer seating areas include stained-glass windows featuring characters from the movie. If you go when it’s busy, you’ll have plenty of time to look at the decorations as you wait in line.
That said, don’t go during peak hours (11 a.m.-1 p.m., 5-7 p.m.). We went in right before the lunch rush when a parade blocked our route to Critter Country, and that worked out well. By the time we left, the line extended out of the building.
Overall, I was quite pleased with my experience at the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall. I was able to get a high-quality meal for four people, dessert for everyone, two keepsakes and a break from the oppressive heat for about $85. In Disneyland money, that’s about as good as it gets.
QUEEN OF HEARTS BANQUET HALL
Location: Tokyo Disneyland, 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, 279-0031
Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m., when park is open.
Directions: You’ll find the restaurant inside Fantasyland, between the Haunted Mansion and It’s a Small World.
Cost: Four entrees, three desserts and drinks cost about $85. Park admission is required for access to the restaurant.