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Where to Eat: Lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

June 23, 2015, 11:07 PM · Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table is one of the most highly coveted experiences at Walt Disney World. Guests often book their reservation months in advance for the opportunity to dine on delectable dishes while enjoying picturesque views of the Magic Kingdom. For those who have the chance to partake in the magic it offers, it is a magical experience.

The view

Ours began with checking in for our lunch reservation. Our daughter had just received her princess makeover at the adjacent Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique as part of her third birthday celebration. Shortly after checking in, she and her royal entourage (a.k.a. her family) were escorted inside the castle. The entrance and waiting area is adorned with majestic decorations. We were greeted by her royal highness, Cinderella, and posed for pictures. As we thanked her for her kindness, the hostess rang the chimes and announced our name.

We made our way up to the restaurant via the staircase, as the elevator was broken, and were shown to our table. We had a table by the window with a lovely view of Fantasyland. The theming continued upstairs in the form of flags, crests, and other noble decorations. Our hostess presented our daughter with her magic wand and wishing star and introduced us to our server. Our beverage choices included soft drinks, coffee, hot and iced tea, hot cocoa, Minute Maid light lemonade punch, apple juice, and white or chocolate milk. The menu resembled a royal proclamation and offered a tasting plate comprised of hummus, chips, cheddar cheese, and a pear salad. We had a choice of six entrees and three desserts.

Inside the restaurant

Our server’s departure was followed by the introduction of Snow White, followed by Aurora, Ariel, and Jasmine. Each princess arrived several minutes apart and visited each table. Greeting guests in this manner allowed them to spend more time with each family than at other meet and greet locations. Our daughter happily posed with each princess as they signed her birthday picture frame.

Our meals arrived shortly after we had placed our order. I selected the gnocchi with roasted vegetables. The gnocchi had a hint of pumpkin which blended nicely with the eggplant, mushrooms, onions, and squash. The dish was complimented by arugula, brown butter sauce, and finished with sage, shaved drunken goat cheese, and leeks. I found there to be plenty of gnocchi in the bowl.

My wife enjoyed the slow-braised beef short rib, parsnip mashed potatoes, and wilted spinach. The meat was very tender with just the right amount of seasoning. My in-laws both ordered the pan-seared chicken served with Black Diamond Cheddar Mac & Cheese, wilted Swiss chard, and sherry reduction. The chicken was moist and the mac & cheese, which is our daughter’s favorite meal, was delicious. It wasn’t listed on the children’s menu; however, our server presented it to her as she tends to pass on more traditional child friendly offerings (in this case, chicken nuggets and roasted chicken leg).

The Clock Strikes Twelve

Dessert was delectable; I relished every bite of their signature offering of “The Clock Strikes Twelve,” which resembled a clock striking midnight presented in white and dark chocolate. They also offer a seasonal cheesecake and lemon sorbet. The meal culminated with a wishing ceremony that incorporated the wishing star delivered earlier.

Prices include tax and gratuity and range from $58.04-$63.88 for adults and $35.89-$39.45 for children. I wish that they offered more options to choose from, as well as larger portions. Sadly, the restaurant forgot to deliver our daughter’s specialty birthday cake. We were pleased with the overall experience and our daughter’s smile and excitement from “dining with ‘rella” outweighed the few negative aspects we experienced.

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Replies (7)

June 24, 2015 at 5:29 AM · Was the castle restaurant closed for renovation? Is it back open now? If so, can anyone say what changes have been made? The pictures in this article look like the same to me.
June 24, 2015 at 8:00 AM · You didn't remind them to bring your specialty birthday cake? You can't leave things to work themselves out.

My daughter went to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Downtown Disney in the morning. She was princess for the whole day. The lunch at the restaurant capped off a beautiful day.

They gave away a free wand and you can take the placemats (if you can find them by the restrooms - hint). Sadly, they could not customize the food. Everything you ordered must be "as is". Nonetheless, the food was plentiful and quite delicious.

June 24, 2015 at 10:29 AM · If anyone is looking for an alternative Disney princess dining experience, you might consider the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot. Last I checked, it was cheaper and required fewer credits while using the Disney Dining Plan, too.
June 24, 2015 at 12:31 PM · My family went to both Cinderella's Royal Table and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall last May. I was on the dining plan. Cinderella's Royal Table does cost two sit down dining credits and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall cost 1 sit down dining credit. If you are not on the Dining Plan and are on a budget Cinderella's Royal Table can be quite high. For a family of four it would have cost us $174.00. had we not been on the dining plan and keep in mind our girl who was two ate for free. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall would have been around $100.00. I guess I should also say since I was on the dining plan I was ordering some of the most expensive stuff on the menu. So if you are on a budget and want to have the princess dining experience Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is a better deal especially if you like seafood.
June 24, 2015 at 2:47 PM · It's fun, but certainly not worth the cost, and as per usual Disney's food is subpar. Also, as the author noted, if you have any dietary restrictions--or heaven forbid, are a vegetarian, like the people in my family--you're basically screwed. We have yet to eat at a number of Disney's high-end restaurants (like the Blue Bayou) because their veg options are just atrocious.

Of course, kids don't care because they're getting to meet the princesses, so this is one where the parents have to take one for the team.

Final note: At Ariel's Grotto in DCA, where you also meet all the princesses, they serve adult drinks. So while I knew there is no booze in the Magic Kingdom, I nearly flew out of my seat when the server offered "beer" as an option.

"BEER!?" I shouted, in ecstatic dad glee.
"Yessir, we have ginger beer."
*cue Price is Right "you lose" horn*

June 24, 2015 at 5:05 PM · Happy birthday to your little princess, Eric :)

I've considered eating at Cinderella's Royal Table, but it's always so expensive! I guess I should really take a look at that dining plan.

June 25, 2015 at 7:01 AM · It should be noted the reason why reservations are so difficult to secure for CRT. The dining room in the castle is extremely small (I'd say maybe 50-60 guests at a time). Compare that to the 100+ guests that can be seated at Akershus or the 150-200 guests that can be seated at Be Our Guest, and it's no surprise getting a reservation to dine in the castle is next to impossible. With such a small capacity and high desirability, Disney can pretty much charge whatever they want, leading to the extremely poor value of this experience. The low capacity also leads to the feeling of being rushed while dining as staff are brisk in moving table from course to course and striving for a 30-45 minute turnover rate.

But, as many other have noted, if you have a little princess (or prince) that absolutely must dine in the castle, there is no substitute. However, if they don't know there's a restaurant in there, you can easily substitute one of the other princess dining experiences.

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