Photo Credit: http://www.disneyfoodblog.com
Are you vacationing at Walt Disney World Resort and looking for a memorable and most magical dining experience? Today I thought I would share with you my thoughts on dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table! In fact, it just so happens to be one of my favorite dining experiences in all of Walt Disney World Resort. (So much so that when many of my friends headed off to Vegas for their 40th birthday, I chose to dine in Cinderella Castle instead!) Whenever a friend or family member is planning a trip, it is my must do restaurant recommendation, especially for first time visitors. From the moment I walk down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella Castle beacons me. Perhaps it is because I dined there on my honeymoon, or because I have introduced both of my princesses to their favorites there? But to me, there is magic in the Castle. And what better way to explore it than to reserve a table in the majestic Banquet Hall for you and your family to see for themselves! Whether you choose breakfast, lunch or dinner, you just cannot miss out on this amazing dining experience. Here are my 10 things you need to know!
- You need to plan ahead, most likely 180 days ahead.
CRT is one of the toughest ADR’s (advanced dining reservations) to score at Walt Disney World Resort. Rarely will they accept walk-in’s. So if dining with the princesses is a must do for your next trip, your best chance of grabbing an ADR is to call or book online 180 days prior to your chosen date. (If you are staying on-site, you have the added benefit of booking 10 days worth of ADR’s beginning 180 days prior to your arrival date. This is obviously a huge advantage in helping to get the most coveted reservations on property.)
- Don’t arrive starving!
Upon arriving to Cinderella’s Royal Table at your designated ADR time, there will most likely be a bit of a wait (as it is with most Disney restaurants.) Then once called inside, you will enter a beautifully medieval themed Grand Hall to meet Cinderella. At that time you and your family can ask for autographs, chat with the famous princess and then have your photograph taken. (The photos will be added to your My Disney Experience Account as the printed photo packages have been discontinued.) You are also encouraged to explore the Hall which boasts a huge fireplace that is flanked by crests of nobility. Don’t forget to look up; there are several little surprises to uncover throughout the room. This entire process takes somewhere between 15 and 45 minutes, in my experience, but could take longer during peak seasons.
Photo Credit: http://www.celebrationspress.com
- You will be immersed in a medieval castle setting; it’s more fun if you play along!
“Lords and Ladies, Princes and Princesses… subjects of the Royal Kingdom!” From the royal décor, to being greeted as royalty, Disney goes all out at Cinderella’s Royal Table! To add to the fun, this is a great spot to continue the magic after a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique visit, of if your little Princess is decked out in her own gown and tiara! Disney encourages guests to dress up for the occasion! (But you will not be out of place in any manner of dress, there is no dress code.)
Photo Credit: http://www.disneytouristblog.com
- Don’t rush climbing the spiral staircase when your name is called.
The grand staircase is to be “ascended” one red-carpeted step at a time, and certainly not in a hurry. How many times in one’s life do you get to climb a spiral majestic staircase case and peak out of beautiful stained glass windows? (There is also a gilded elevator available to transport you as well.) Before you head into the Banquet Hall though, stop and peek at the view of the Grand Hall below and look at the amazing view. It’s breathtaking. Now that you are ready to enter the dining area, stop and look around. From stone Gothic archways, leaded glass windows, banners with coats of arms and views overlooking Fantasyland- every detail is meticulous.
- It’s pricey, but worth it!
So yes, the cost to dine with the princesses is not cheap. Breakfast currently ranges $45.00 – $65.00 for adults and $35.00 – $45.00 for children ages 3-9. And lunch and dinner ranges from $65.00 – $80.00 for adults and $45.00 to $65.00 for children. (Please note; prices are subject to change and sometimes increase during peak periods.) There is little doubt that you are paying a premium price. Included in that price though is exploring an expertly themed castle, interacting with at least five characters and princesses and the enjoyment of upscale quality food. Dining at CRT is an experience, not just a meal- and in my opinion, a worthy splurge. (Some things to take note of: when scheduling your ADR you will need to pre-pay for the entire meal, including tax and an 18% gratuity. If you are on the dining plan, note that CRT will cost two table service credits. And lastly, don’t forget about Disney’s 24 hour cancellation policy!)
Photo: Me and my hubby during my 40th birthday day dinner!
- The menu is prix fixe.
Although the menus change periodically, the one constant is that you will be given a menu with a fixed number of categories and you make selections from each one. Since the price is per person, there will be no surprise coming your way when the check comes! Also, you can easily find the menus online to make sure you won’t be disappointed in what is offered.
- CRT is considered a character meal; it is one of the best ways to meet many popular princesses.
One of the biggest reasons I think CRT is splurge worthy is there is no time spent waiting in line for princesses! Although there is no guarantee which princesses you will see, each time I have gone there have been at least five and they have included: Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, Belle, Snow White and of coarse, Cinderella! Others have also seen characters such as Mary Poppins, Suzy and Perla and the Fairy Godmother herself! Think about the time saved having these characters come to you, as opposed to you waiting for them! And let me say, they are all wonderful! On our last trip Ariel tried on my daughter’s Glow With the Show Ears and acted like she had never seen such an amazing device. She must have spent 10 minutes trying them on and making us laugh, I don’t think we have ever spent that much time with any character in the park!
- Why dinner is my favorite!
Cinderella Castle is magical any time of the day, but there is something amazing about it lit up at night. My opinion is that if I am going to splurge on the experience of dining in the castle, I want it to be the most amazing memory I can have. And there is something special about dinner. The candle light, the elegance, it all just seems a bit grander in the evening. Now, if you are lucky enough to experience CRT every trip, I say, mix it up! But if this is a special memory you are making, as it was for me on my 40th birthday, then I say, do dinner. As a bonus, you may even catch a fireworks view depending on what time you eat dinner!
Photo Credit: disneyworld.disney.go.com
- Speaking of celebrations, Cinderella’s Royal Table is the perfect place to celebrate!
Whether it’s a special birthday, a wedding anniversary, or anything worth celebrating, let your server know! They love to add special touches to your meal at CRT. Also, you can order special personalized cakes and other items to be delivered to your table by contacting https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/celebrations/customizations . Lastly, there are princess and engagement packages you can add once you have made your dining reservation, go to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/magic-kingdom/cinderella-royal-table for more details.
Photo Credit: fairydustvacations.com
- Cinderella’s Royal Table is fun for boys too!
During my meals at Cinderella’s Royal Table, I have seen countless boys, even grown ones, enjoying the experience and visiting with the characters and princesses. From suits of armor, to the grandeur and magic of it all, the experience definitely appeals to a wide audience. And to add to the magic, each child is given either a magic wand to cast a spell with or a light saber to defend a maiden! However they use their gifts, they are a highlight of any child’s day at Walt Disney World Resort!
So there you have it, my 10 things you need to know about Cinderella’s Royal Table. From the magic of exploring the castle, to interacting with the characters and enjoying the dining experience, I am positive that dining at CRT will be an experience you’ll want to try at least once! Lastly, if you are debating between Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest, I highly recommend both! They are different experiences and really cannot be compared. So if your vacation allows, by all means, go see the Beast too!