Should You Eat at These Magic Kingdom Restaurants?
Do you struggle to decide where to eat during a theme park visit?
You want the best tasting cuisine, but you also don’t want to blow your vacation budget on food rather than merchandise.
Sometimes, you’re ready to splurge on a memorable meal, though. Which places are worth it? Well, that depends.
Should you eat at these three Magic Kingdom Restaurants? Let’s evaluate the pros and cons.
Be Our Guest
This restaurant arrived on the scene almost a decade ago and immediately turned into the toughest ticket at the park.
Even now, fans struggle to book a dinner reservation at Be Our Guest, which astounds me, given the price of the meal.
Be Our Guest is probably one of the five most lucrative theme park restaurants at Walt Disney World. Is it worth the money, though?
The ambiance at Be Our Guest will blow your mind. Imagineers constructed Beast Castle as the stateliest of homes.
The entire interior looks regal. Even though Disney doesn’t enforce a dress code here, the vibe builds the illusion that you’re dining with the lord of the manor.
As for the food, I’d argue that breakfast is nothing special. The overwhelming majority of guests eat here for the prix fixe lunch/dinner cuisine instead.
These meals provide guests with a choice of foods for the early courses. Then, everyone gets the same dessert…which includes the Grey Stuff.
Folks, the Grey Stuff is the ultimate in Pros. That statement applies to most of the desserts here, though. It’s a high-end meal for sure.
Finally, the pictures you can take here will win you the day on social media. It’s a breathtaking place to visit.
Realistically, only two cons apply, and one of them won’t be under your control.
The process of booking a table here may prove overwhelming. However, I’ve had good luck, having dined at Be Our Guest roughly ten times.
However, I know people who are still waiting on their first turn. It books so quickly that its popularity has turned into a negative.
The other unavoidable con is the price. Be Our Guest was never cheap, but the price escalated when Disney turned it into a prix fixe experience.
You’ll pay $62 per adult to dine here, making it one of the priciest dining options at the parks.
Also, if I wanted to nitpick, I’d point out that Beast doesn’t come to tables and interact with guests. He’s far too busy for that. So, it’s not a character meal per se.
Obviously, I’ve chosen to return to this restaurant several times. So, I feel that it’s worth the price and aggravation.
Despite the royal atmosphere, I also feel comfortable in a regular shirt and shorts here. Not having to dress up means that you can build the meal into your park day.
For these reasons, the pros vastly outweigh the cons. Be Our Guest is a place where you should try to eat at least occasionally.
Pro tip: ask to sit in the main dining area near the “outside window.” You’ll enjoy a better view of the snow effects.
Cinderella’s Royal Table
When you walk through Cinderella Castle, you experience awe and admiration, right?
What many people never realize is that you can dine inside the castle! Disney built a restaurant within the castle walls decades ago.
While the name has changed, the premise remains the same. You’re eating at Cinderella Castle!
I just said the one that matters the most. When you enter the dining room here, you’ll feel a wave of personal satisfaction that’s otherwise inimitable.
On the date of your visit, you’re one of the lucky few Magic Kingdom guests who takes a seat within the castle.
Some tables even provide a view of exterior portions of Fantasyland, although that’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
If you look too closely, you may notice the tell-tale signs that Disney utilizes this space to shoot off fireworks each night.
Cinderella’s Royal Table is also a character meal, which makes it somewhat more desirable than Be Our Guest, at least in this regard.
You’ll sit with Cinderella for a photo op before you ever reach the dining room. Then, several Disney Princesses will visit your table during the meal.
Well, the rules have changed some during the pandemic, but I’m presuming that standard rules will apply soon enough.
Currently, only one Disney Princess appears, though.
Yeah, I can’t sugarcoat this. The biggest con is the food. The thrill of dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table won’t overcome your disappointment with the cuisine.
Also, the choice of entrees is shockingly small. You can pick one of five proteins, and vegans only have one plant-based option.
Then, there’s the not-so-small matter of the price, as Cinderella’s Royal Table also charges $62 per adult.
Even an adult couple without children will spend more than $150 here once we factor in tax and tip. That’s a LOT of money for mediocre cuisine.
My answer here is yes…but only on a contingency basis. For example, let’s say that you’ve never gone before and want to do something special.
Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table definitely qualifies. However, I’d only recommend eating here once.
At a minimum, save this option for memorable moments like engagements, anniversaries, and the like.
Even then, calibrate your expectations for the thrill of the environment, not the quality of the cuisine.
Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen
The latest Table Service offering at Magic Kingdom has persevered through the most changes.
Thus far, Skipper Canteen’s chefs have struggled to uncover the menu that will satisfy the most guests.
The conceit is that you’re dining at a stronghold for the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.), albeit one with Jungle Cruise puns.
So, you may not view it as a pro, but your server may really get into the proceedings.
In such instances, your entire meal will consist of Jungle Cruise spiel. Personally, I ate that stuff up. It’s not for everyone, though.
Thankfully, cast members will dial it back if they recognize you’re not really feeling the puns.
Still, you’ll love the style of this restaurant, as the S.E.A. style shines through the backrooms.
You should pay attention to the books and knickknacks. They hide plenty of secrets in plain sight.
The other pro here is similarly arguable. Skipper Canteen serves exotic cuisine, which has proven problematic.
Some unadventurous types struggle to find food that fits their flavor profile. There’s a delicious chicken dish for that reason. Not everyone will feel satisfied by that option, though.
Take the pros I just stated and turn them around from the glass-half-empty perspective.
When you’re not in the mood for the script, Skipper’s dialogue may seem excruciating.
You’ve had a lesser Jungle Cruise captain before, right? You wanted to throw them off the boat, right?
Sadly, there’s no escape when your server isn’t as funny as they think they are.
Similarly, if you’re someone who doesn’t want to eat exotic cuisine before/after a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean, this place is problematic.
Then, there’s the price. The majority of entrees cost $25 or more, which is a lot for cuisine you’re not confident you’ll enjoy.
Skipper Canteen caters to two kinds of customers: Jungle Cruise fanatics and foodies.
If you adore Jungle Cruise, you’ll delight in new dialogue, the kind you haven’t heard 100 times previously.
If you’re a foodie, the odd combination of African, Asian, and Latin cuisine will dazzle your palate.
This restaurant poses problems for the rest of us, especially if you don’t think a falafel pairs well with Char Siu Pork.
My family dines here because we love the Jungle Cruise spiel.
Also, I have a fond memory of my brother rediscovering his love of food after minor surgery. His taste buds returned during a Skipper Canteen meal, which was quite charming.
Still, this place isn’t for everyone. Picky eaters should look elsewhere unless you desire the server experience enough to risk a stomach-churning meal.