Where to eat: Breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Published: October 15, 2013 at 4:31 PM
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I have always wanted to go into Cinderella's Castle. Yes, I've walked under the archway to cut over to Fantasyland; but I mean go deep within the inner walls. I know that unless Disney brings back a promotion such as A Year of a Million Dreams, I will never ever see the coveted Cinderella's Suite. So, I must content myself to eat at a restaurant with one of the most difficult reservations to make: Cinderella's Royal Table
. I have tried in the past for reservations, even at the 180-day mark, and failed miserably. My husband would try and comfort me by saying things like, "Hey, we have sons, so no big deal if we don't eat there." Then my inner child would poke at my conscience and remind me that it needed to be a little girl again and get in that castle. So for this trip, which was booked 300 days ahead of time, I marked every calendar in the house, my phone, the computers; and made sure to be awake and coherent at 6am on day 180 to make this reservation. It had now become a quest to see what all the hubbub was about.
After studying all the menus and such, I decided for my picky eaters that breakfast was the meal most likely to please everyone. I was able to book a breakfast for 9am on the last day of our trip, Oct. 4th. In order to secure your reservation, since this place is the equivalent of Fort Knox, you must pay for the meal when you reserve your time. I knew we would be on a dining plan (which takes two table service credits from each member of your party), so I rested in the fact that the $175.86 would be refunded. I also was quite proud of the fact that I had finally made a reservation at the Castle. I can't believe I was able to reserve Be Our Guest when it first opened easier than the Cinderella's. There must be something to the slipper losing princess.
My boys are such good sports. They truly are very thoughtful and understanding, sometimes, to remembering that their mother is (when the room is divided between the sexes) a girl. And sometimes she needs a dash of princess frills in what is otherwise her male-centered world. They were ready to sacrifice their manliness to see what the inside of the Castle looked like, and was even brave enough to face a few princesses. Of course being the evil parents we are, we teased them by saying that this was probably the perfect place to meet a future wife. Pure evil.
We arrived and made our way down a deserted Main Street U.S.A. and entered into the Castle. We were ushered into the drawing room for a photo with the hostess herself, Cinderella. We allowed our sons to have that honor. After the photo we were given the choice to take the red velvet stairs or the elevator up to the dining hall. Since we had enjoyed a great many desserts on our trip, we opted for the stairs.
We were greeted at the top and shown to a table. Once seated our boys were given toy swords. Drink orders were taken and a plate of breakfast pastries were brought to our table, complete with Mickey blueberry muffins.
Even though they were shaped in his favorite character, Luke had already decided in his stubborn six-year old way, that these muffins were not good. I'm here to attest that yes, they are quite tasty, along with the strawberry tart I tried. Sam swore the cinnamon rolls were wonderful. Chuck and I were given menus to choose our entrees. I decided to go with the steak and eggs, while he chose the lobster and crab crepes. Our boys were brought the standard children's breakfast which consists of French toast sticks, bacon, and scrambled eggs. I'm pretty sure that I have the only two children on the planet that do not like scrambled eggs or French toast. Our waitress was very understanding and brought out more items that they did like such as the bacon and cinnamon rolls.
The Royal Children's Breakfast, with scrambled eggs, bacon, and French toast sticks (and a cinnamon roll)
Chuck stated, that after all the places we ate during our vacation, this meal was his favorite and best by far. His crepes were warm cheese-filled with spinach, sautéed lobster and blue crab meat. These crepes were topped off with a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce. Chuck said that he could not eat them fast enough. They were beyond fantastic and some of the best food one could find at a character meal.
I ordered my steak cooked medium. It was a beautiful filet on a frittata that had a slight chipotle flavor, with caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, and rosemary potatoes.
My filet mignon was very tender, cooked as requested and was very flavorful. This was definitely something that belonged in a signature dining restaurant. The frittata added just enough heat to the filet. I've never been a big fan of rosemary, but the potatoes were very tasty and were not heavily seasoned with the spice. I was along the same mindset of Chuck, in that this was by far the best meal we had eaten on our vacation. Our sons were not as thrilled with not being able to choose a different breakfast, or the inability to change the way their eggs were cooked. They prefer eggs cooked over-easy. This was the only complaint we had with Cinderella's Royal Table. For adults, and probably the normal child, this is by far the best breakfast in Walt Disney World, especially the Magic Kingdom. I now see why it is such a coveted reservation.
While we ate, and our boys examined their swords, princesses began to descend upon our table. We were visited by Snow White, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, and Jasmine. Along with the swords, our boys were each given a wishing star. During a period of time where the princesses went away to do whatever princesses do, the children were asked to take their wishing stars, hold them up, close their eyes, and make a wish. It was cute to see many little ones wishing as hard as they could with their little plastic stars. These along with the swords (girls get magic wands) and photos with Cinderella are yours to take home. Chuck and I made ourselves leave our fabulous plates and began the long walk back to the resort to being the process of our return home.
Cinderella's Royal Table is a beautiful place. I love the huge windows which overlook Fantasyland. Banners and shields adorn the stone walls and help give the illusion that you are in a castle of old. The tapestries in the drawing room depict the story of Cinderella. I would love to try and eat here for dinner. I have always loved how the back of the castle looked at night all lit up. My inner child was more than satisfied with my experience here. My mature side thoroughly enjoyed the food. It is by far a special dining experience.
Published: October 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM
Thanks for sharing, Amanda! I'm just amazed how much things have changed..... Twenty (cough) years ago, we ate at Cinderella's during our honeymoon. (Yes, believe it or not, this Universal fan girl spent most of her honeymoon at Disney....). We simply picked the day we wanted to go there for lunch, showed up as soon as they opened, and walked right in. No reservations and certainly no paying in advance for the meal.
The restaurant itself was gorgeous and I remember loving the atmosphere. But I also remember thinking the food was only "meh". I was glad we had the chance to eat there, but wasn't dying to ever go back. Maybe that's the flip side -- now you have to really have your act together to get a reservation there, but at least it sounds like the food is worth it once you do :-).
Published: October 15, 2013 at 9:54 PM
I just have to say this to you Amanda: you are a gifted writer. First of all, I was thrilled to see another column from you so soon. It was like Christmas came early. But when I read your writing you have such a strong and positive voice and you describe things so well I actually find myself excited to find out what happens next...and I even try to guess what you and your family will order before I get to that part where you have the pictures! Oh, and thank you for the pictures...because you take such good ones and I love seeing what the food looks like.
Between your excellent columns on the restaurants and Robert Niles' terrific analytical essays the last few days, this has been the most wonderful week of reading on TPI. The only thing missing is a Bobbi Butterfield column (another favorite writer of mine). Keep up the great work and give us more of your amazing restaurant columns!!! I am officially a big fan!!! :)
Published: October 16, 2013 at 3:32 AM
We ate here for my parents 25th wedding anniversary (11 years ago) and from memory we were a walk up at park opening and booked for around a 5pm dinner.
Crazy to think that this would be pretty much impossible now!
It's a lovely place (feels very far from the maddening crowd) and even with the short notice my parents were presented with commemorative celebratory glasses to keep on the day too!
Glad you got to be Princess Amanda among all those swashbucklers! :-)
Published: October 16, 2013 at 11:35 AM
We ate CRT for dinner about 8 years ago, and it was a pretty cool experience. However, for the "princess" experience, I think I liked Akershus better, and for breakfast, Chef Mickey's is a great way to start the day. However, CM does not have the advantage of getting into the park early like CRT does.
Published: October 16, 2013 at 7:12 AM
Annette, you are right - ANOTHER article from Amanda is like Christmas has come early!!!
Okay, so, it has been a Disney dream of mine for a while to take my wife to the Castle for dinner so that she can feel like a princess, too (and of course that woul dinclude a night in the Dream Suite)! But, yes, it is so very hard to get reservations to this place and I have not been successful to date (although, I do not go to Disney World as often as I would like - yet). It is wonderful to hear that it is more worth the effort than I thought.
One question I have though, Amanda - you say that as an adult it appealed to you as a restruant and that your inner child was "more than satisfied" But did the experiance - for you - bring out YOUR inner princess? is this a place that - despite being a "character meal" - you would go to without your sons?
Please -- write more! I can be a tad selfish at times. :)
Published: October 16, 2013 at 11:27 AM
@Tad. It did bring out the princess in me. All that was missing was a beautiful ball gown and a tiara. If I were to go for a romantic meal with my husband, I think I would prefer dinner. I can only imagine how lovely it is then. Plus, I can't feel all lovey dovey early in the morning ;)
Published: October 16, 2013 at 2:31 PM
That Muffin looked disgusting to me (so I agree with your son). Glad you enjoyed it though and it does offer a great view into Fantasyland.
THROW THIS ONE WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE:
Speaking of MK Restaurants, recent chatter over the phone came to me a couple days ago stating that what Stitch Kingdom reported on September 11th is indeed going to become a reality. That report stated that a concept of Club 33 is coming to the WDW resort (MK). This won't be as private as the clubs in DL or Tokyo DL, so think Semi-Private. Contacts from inside the park have spoken to me that THERE ISN'T A SET LOCATION for this dining establishment YET (other than it will be in the Magic Kingdom), but Phil Holmes and crew are strongly considering a location in Adventure land between where Tinker Bell's Magical Nook is, expanding down towards Aloha Isle/Adventure land Veranda area. Meaning this will be the larger of the three. For folks on here who are not quite familiar with the location site in play, look at the map on the My Disney Experience app. So the said contacts informed me that Tink and her fairy friends should be scheduled to move into the side opposite of Mickey in Town Square Theater sometime late spring/early summer of 2014. Once that task has been performed/accomplished, work will commence immediately on designing/constructing the concept and management wants to have this up and running by fall 2015. One more thing: it won't be called Club 33. They want to develop a more "Adventure" theme/feel, so they'll likely give it a name that fits that concept. I just hope/pray that Kim Irvine works on this or at the very least is "involved in the process" with this.
As ususal, this is not officially confirmed and plans can change (they practically always do for Disney), but the main idea itself is indeed true.
Published: October 16, 2013 at 11:48 PM
That last comment about a "Club 33" kind of thing in Adventureland sure sounds exciting. Let's just toy with this for a second. It's going to be in "Adventureland" and it's a "Club". They want a name that has "Adventure" in it. And I assume they want the word "Club" in it, so people know it's a "Club". A Club for Adventurous People...who love Adventure in their Club...and who are Adventurous Adventures who have a Club. I am inclined to call that an "Adventurers Club". Tee-hee. :)
The semi-private things is interesting. Maybe if people have to pay some kind of dinner theater fee to eat there that they will be able to afford to bring back the actors of the old Adventurers Club. Semi-private could mean that it's not a restaurant that guests could walk up and eat in, but that they must have a reservation and that there is a special entertainment surcharge in there. I know of a lot of dinner theater places like this. You pay a ticket price to sit at the table and you have to then order a minimum of something.
I think realistically this is the only way the financials would ever work out to bring anything like the Adventurers Club back. I know I would be thrilled if I could experience that place. i never got to eat there but have heard such great things.
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