5 Best Reasons to Eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table
Every child dreams of visiting a castle. At Walt Disney World, you can turn your child’s fantasy into a reality. Here are a few reasons why you should book a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
5. The Theme Park Ultimate
The primary reason why you’ll want to eat at Cinderella Castle is the obvious one. It’s there. I could create fanciful justifications for basic desires, but what’s the point?
From the moment that you reach the Magic Kingdom area, you see the castle off in the distance. Visionary Imagineers built the entire campus with this intention in mind. They wanted tourists to feel a sense of safety and comfort when they first witnessed that fairytale building.
Guests can see Cinderella Castle from Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, the beaches in these areas, and boats out on the lake. They can see it from the monorail system, and it’s the focal point of the park entrance at Magic Kingdom.
Technically, Cinderella Castle is a wienie, an Imagineering term that means it grabs the eye from anywhere. Disney’s constructed many of those over the years, starting with Sleeping Beauty Castle in 1955. While Walt Disney World has many others such as Space Mountain, Spaceship Earth, and the Tree of Life, Cinderella Castle is the ultimate. It garnered the most attention during the park’s planning phase. For this reason, you’ll sometimes feel like all roads lead to the castle.
At Magic Kingdom, that’s factually accurate. The park employs a hub-and-spoke design like a wagon wheel. The “spokes” are the paths that lead to the various themed lands throughout the park. The “hub” is the castle and its courtyard. It’s fair to say that every step that you take at Magic Kingdom takes you toward or away from Cinderella Castle. As such, it’s understandable why you would want to visit this building. It’s the center of the Walt Disney World universe.
4. The Satisfaction of a Castle Invite
Of course, anyone with paid admission can walk into Cinderella Castle. The importance of Cinderella’s Royal Table is that you get to stay. You’re an invited guest of the royal hostess. She’s placed you on the guest list for this gala event.
You’ll feel ten feet tall when you check in for the first time at Cinderella’s Royal Table. A host/hostess will greet you at the desk, located just inside the castle walkway, technically in the New Fantasyland area. This person will call your name when your time has come.
You’ll receive an escort past all the riffraff, the Disney casuals who aren’t royal diners. You’ll relish the sensation of going behind the ultimate velvet rope at Walt Disney World. You get to see what’s inside the castle, the special décor that’s only available to friends of Cinderella.
The regal décor will take your breath away. You’ll appreciate how the other half lives as you wander through the corridors. These are the moments when you’ll fully understand just how much pride Disney designers take in decorating and maintaining Cinderella Castle. An invitation to see these superlative touches is the strongest form of Disney wish fulfillment.
3. The Entrance Photo
Once you’re past that velvet rope, you want to commemorate the occasion, right? Disney knows the deal here. At Cinderella’s Royal Table, they’ve set up one of the most impressive photo ops on the Disney campus.
After you’re checked in, a cast member will escort you to the photo line for Cinderella’s Royal Table. As an invited guest of this Disney Princess, you’re expected to stand with her and take a picture. It will become one of your most treasured keepsakes after the fact, a reminder of that wonderful day when Cinderella welcomed you into her home.
This photo op is more grandiose than other Disney character meetings. Frankly, you may feel a bit underdressed if you don’t prepare for the occasion. I’m in a t-shirt in one of mine, and I feel like a dork whenever I look at it.
While the picture isn’t a requirement, most diners take this particular photo. So, the line gets a bit long. You have the right to skip it, but doing so doesn’t help you any. You’ll still be seated in the order that you were called into the castle. Since you have the time to kill anyway, you should take the picture even if you’re not excited about it. The photo may turn out better than you expect.
Oh, who am I kidding? Almost everyone dreams of their picture getting taken at Cinderella’s Royal Table. It’s the photo that you’re most likely to frame to commemorate your vacation. YOU ATE IN CINDERELLA’S CASTLE!!! AND YOU HAVE PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF OF IT!
2. The Food
Cinderella’s Royal Table doesn’t serve fit for a king. That would be a misnomer. It serves food fit for a Disney Princess! Five of them appear at this meal, but when you’re eating, you’re not worried about the company. You’ll be too focused on the delicious cuisine and the view. Some sections of the restaurant have windows that overlook parts of New Fantasyland. You can even see the fireworks here if you’re lucky.
The meal is prix fixe, a fancy way of saying that you’ll have several courses, and you’ll pick an item from each one. While you can eat three meals here, the perception is that lunch and dinner are better than breakfast. I’ll focus on these foods. I will say that breakfast has one hidden advantage, though. By timing the situation well, you’ll already be in the middle of the park when Magic Kingdom opens. You’re almost assured to be first in line for anything at New Fantasyland, which has several of the longest wait queues. But this conversation is about royal cuisine, not park strategies!
Lunch and dinner’s prix fixe options start with your choice of soup, salad, or a charcuterie plate. I’ll be honest. I only see the charcuterie plate on my menu…and it’s exquisite. The next course is the Entrées Royale, which features several protein-heavy items plus vegan and salad choices. You can also order the Fish of the Day most of the time.
Afterward, you’ll finish with the empty calories of your dreams. Cinderella must have a sweet tooth. How else do we explain the luscious morsels available for dessert? You’ll have a choice of “Finales” like The Clock Strikes Twelve (a chocolate mousse), Jaq & Gus (an American cheesecake), and Lady Teralyn’s Citrus Chiffon Cake (you can guess this one). I can safely say that you’ll get your just desserts at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
Overall, the meal is elegant and refined but definitely rich. On a heavy park day, you’ll have to watch what you eat. Otherwise, you may feel bloated for a couple of hours. No matter what you eat here, you should avoid any rides that are likely to cause motion sickness. The “problem” with royal meals is that you’re expected to sleep off the food coma, not board Mad Tea Party. Pick your post-meal attractions wisely, my friends.
1. The Princesses
The character interactions at Cinderella’s Royal Table happen in quick succession. During an interlude between meal courses, you’ll hear a trumpet play. It’s musical fanfare that signals you’re about to stand in the presence of Disney royalty.
At this moment, several Disney Princesses enter the royal dining room and talk with you, their new best friend. While any princess could attend this particular meal, Disney has a core of primary participants. In addition to Cinderella, whom you met earlier, you’re likely to encounter Ariel, Aurora, Jasmine, and Snow White. That’s a rare chance to hang out with five princesses for the price of one meal!
The wonderful aspect of the character meetings is that they’re individual. Each Disney Princess will visit your table at some point during this session. You don’t have to fight others for the attention of these characters. They’ll come to you, and they’ll give you plenty of time to interact. That’s four different princesses who will talk and take pictures with you. It’s a wonderful opportunity.
The one thing that you should understand about this restaurant is its intense popularity. For all of the reasons listed here, people covet the opportunity to dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table. It’s one of the hardest Advanced Dining Reservations to book. You should plan to book 180 days prior to arrival to give yourself the best chance of eating here. You should also know that it’s a Signature Dining experience, which means that it costs two Table Service dining credits on the Disney Dining Plan.
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