During my family’s recent trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, I wanted to try restaurants that we normally wouldn’t even consider. Since we were on the Disney Dining Plan, we felt like our budget was not a hindrance, so we pulled out all the stops, and each person got to choose one place to dine. Being the only girl in my family, my choice of Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom was met with tortuous groans from the boys, but I stuck to my decision, and when it was all said and done, my son actually thanked me for choosing such a fun place to eat!
Cinderella’s Royal Table is found in the Magic Kingdom theme park, which is on Walt Disney World property in Orlando, Florida. This is truly a dining experience like no other, and the prices reflect that fact. Guests actually experience dining in the world-famous Cinderella’s Castle, making you feel like you are part of some exclusive club; guests are called from the lobby by castmembers ringing chimes and announcing, “Cinderella would like to invite the Smith Family to her Royal Table!” While waiting in the lobby, Cinderella is available for family photos. The dining price includes a family photo package that contains a 5×7 of the castle, a 5×7 of your family with Cinderella, and four 4×6 photos; the photos come in a decorated folder that makes a beautiful souvenir.
Since my family knew ahead of time that we wanted to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table, we made advanced dining reservations, which is highly recommended for this meal since it is so much in demand. Reservations for this particular restaurant require a credit card to hold your place, but if you are on the Disney Dining Plan, the card is not charged unless you do not show up for your reservation. We were able to get a reservation for lunch, and we still had to wait about 30 minutes until we actually went upstairs to be seated.
Cinderella’s Royal Table serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but only breakfast and lunch are character meals. During those meals, Cinderella and other Disney Princesses visit guests at their table, signing autographs and posing for photos. Lunch is served from 12:00 to 3:00pm daily, and the price for lunch is $35.99 for adults, and $23.99 for children 3-9. Kids under 3 are free. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, Cinderella’s Royal Table is considered a signature dining meal, which requires the use of 2 table service meals, so make sure you plan accordingly when deciding where you will be dining.
Upon walking into Cinderella’s castle, all of my son’s (and my husband’s) fears of the meal being too “girly and princess-y” were immediately put to rest. The lobby is gray block, just like you would expect in an old castle, with ornate benches covered in red velvet. When guests arrive, there is a castmember that helps to guide groups into the velvet rope lines to get your photos with Cinderella- my son was beside himself when Cinderella called him her “young prince,” and he chatted up a storm with her. As soon as we were done with our family photo, my son was approached by another castmember who gave him a special “magical sword.” His eyes lit up with delight when he held his plastic sword that had “CRT” engraved on it. Boys all receive swords at this meal, and little girls get plastic “magic wands.” My son entertained himself by pretending to slay the suits of armor that decorated the lobby while we waited.
Once our name was called, we were led up 2 winding flights of stairs that were covered in bright red carpet- they way the stairs were winding in a circle just added to the excitement, because we knew we were actually in one of the castle turrets. When we got to the top, we stepped into the dining area. While I was rendered speechless, my son simply summed it up with one word; “Cool!” The castle was decorated in rich tapestries, stained glass windows, and a vaulted ceiling. There were no frilly pink and purple “princess” decorations to be found; the theme is definitely that of a medieval castle, and it was stunning. We were seated, and my son found another little surprise under his plate- a wishing star. The castmembers periodically do a “wishing ceremony” which is a magical experience that only Disney World can pull off!
At Cinderella’s Royal Table, guests choose an appetizer, entrée and dessert at the beginning of the meal when the drink orders are taken, which we thought was a little strange. The menu for Cinderella’s Royal Table lunch can be found on Deb Will’s unofficial Disney site here: I had the salmon, my husband had the Major Domo, and my son had chicken strips- all of our meals were served hot and rather quickly. The food was done perfectly for all of us, and was quite tasty- in fact we all ended up sampling each other meals, and I must say, all of it was delicious!
During our meal, the Disney Princess characters were making their rounds. We saw quite a few families with little girls dressed up in their favorite princess costume, and we also saw a lot of families with little boys who were enjoying themselves just as much. The first princess that visited us was Princess Jasmine, from the Disney movie “Aladdin.” She went straight to my son, gushing over the handsome prince seated in front of her. She asked if she could give him a kiss, and promptly left a big red lipstick print on his cheek. My son blushed, and suddenly the kid that will talk an ear off of any stranger who will listen, was SHY! As each princess visited, my son just became increasingly smitten. We were visited by Snow White, Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Belle, and Jasmine, and every single princess was wonderful at interacting with my uncharacteristically shy son. I thought his face would start hurting from smiling so hard; I think he secretly felt like the king of the castle!
Cinderella’s Royal Table is a meal that is all about the experience- it’s charm lies in the fact that you are eating in the castle itself, and can look out the window to see Main Street below you. The characters are a wonderful addition to the delicious meal, and the castmembers were all very friendly and helpful. After dining here, we can certainly understand why reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table are so much in demand- we would absolutely love to dine here again on future trips!