Our kids always get an experience as their big Christmas gift. This year, I had to figure out what in the world to give my two-year-old daughter. What kind of big special experience do you get for a toddler? We finally landed on a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort and boy, am I glad we did.
My princess-loving girl was absolutely enthralled and now asks to eat breakfast with Cinderella on a daily basis. Unfortunately, that probably isn’t happening again soon, so I suppose that is one big drawback to this decision. Still, it was the perfect gift for her, so I have no regrets.
Those who are considering a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the near future might be wondering if it’s a worthwhile investment. As I just said, the two-year-old princess fanatic approved 100%. However, you and your party might not agree with her. For this reason, I’ve done my best to present the details of our meal in a way that will help you decide if it’s the best decision for your group.
Generally speaking, getting an advance dining reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table is incredibly difficult. Eating here is currently the only way to get inside Cinderella Castle. It’s also the only way to dine with a Disney princess in a Disney Park at the moment. These things make it a super desirable advance dining reservation. On top of that, seating in the dining room is pretty limited, meaning these sought-after Disney dining reservations are few and far between.
I got incredibly lucky, as I just happened to be in the app one day in November when a whole slew of January breakfast Cinderella’s Royal Table reservation slots were being released for some reason. I snagged one, of course, with the thought that I could always cancel later. Then my husband and I decided it would be the perfect gift for our little princess.
Now, not everyone is going to get so lucky. If you’re hoping to get a dining reservation at CRT, we recommend staying on Disney property for several days and attempting to make your CRT Walt Disney World dining reservation for the last day of your trip as soon as your booking reservation opens up (i.e. 60 days before you check into your Disney resort). If you don’t happen to snag one at that point, keep watching the app in the days leading up to your visit, as Disney World restaurants sometimes open up a bit when your actual Disney vacation date draws near and you might just get lucky.
The check-in desk for Cinderella’s Royal Table is in Cinderella’s castle breezeway outside the entrance. We found this easily enough and checked in about 15 minutes before our reservation time. This turned out to be a great strategy, as it gave us plenty of time in the waiting area so we could snap some photos and take in all the details.
Believe it or not, the toddler was the first one to spot Gus and Jack from Cinderella hiding high on a wall in the waiting room. We loved the stained glass and the suits of armor and made sure to take some photos in the very royal-looking seating area. There was also a restroom in this waiting area for Guests to use. We didn’t use it, but I did peek in. It looked pretty typical, but it could be good to know it’s there.
The hosts stayed in character quite well, playing a lovely little ditty on a sort of chime before announcing each party and inviting them into the dining hall. This was all very grand and definitely added to the immersive experience.
When our name was called we were handed an “invitation,” but we weren’t really given any instructions, which I thought was odd. Fortunately, we had been watching this process long enough to know to go upstairs, so we did. We found the stairway to be quite tight, so be aware of that. We wanted to stop to admire and photograph the Cinderella stained glass, but there were far too many people using the tiny staircase (heading up and downstairs) for us to do that without being rude, so we moved on.
It should be noted that there is a small elevator as well. So if you have mobility issues, you will be able to reach the upstairs dining area without a problem.
Once we arrived upstairs, we were unsure what to do since we hadn’t been given any instructions, so we just stood awkwardly for a few moments. Fortunately, a passing Cast Member saw us pretty quickly, asked for our “invitation” and took us to our table.
Like at Chef Mickey’s, we ended up with a window seat. This provided an awesome view of Fantasyland, and we loved looking down at all the people milling around the theme park below. That said, the window seats did come with drawbacks, which we will address in a bit.
The restaurant is busy, but not overly noisy since seating is more limited, meaning fewer guests. The stained glass, banners and tapestries, and high ceilings really make you feel like you’re in a castle. Additionally, everyone is given royal titles by the servers, making you feel like a very important guest of the princess.
Aside from the aforementioned lack of communication at the very beginning of our visit, the service at this restaurant was phenomenal. In true Disney style, every Cast Member we talked to went above and beyond to ensure we felt like VIPs. Our server was especially wonderful and did much more than she really had to to show us a great time.
She brought everything out quickly, gave our toddler her own plate of eggs and bacon-even though she was supposed to be sharing off our plates-and brought out a second round of pastries before we even had a chance to ask for them. She even took note of which pastries we seemed to be enjoying most and brought extras of those the second time around. I’m pretty sure the lady was reading our minds.
Honestly, we didn’t eat here for the food. We expected an awesome atmosphere and a chance to meet Cinderella while eating a mediocre meal. As it turns out, the food was much better than expected!
Our son ordered the Mickey waffle, sausage, and home fries. The waffle and sausage were pretty much the same as what you’d get at any other Disney restaurant. They were fresh and hot though, so that’s a good thing. The potatoes, on the other hand, were not only different but 100% delicious. These are fried up with onions and peppers. They were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and oh, so flavorful. Definitely, something we’d order again.
My husband and I both ordered the Beef Tenderloin and Egg. This is a piece of beef tenderloin cooked to your liking and served on top of an egg-and-potato frittata with broccolini on the side. It was fantastic! On both plates, the meat was cooked to medium-rare, just like we asked, and it was tender enough to cut with a butter knife.
The frittata could have used more spice — or at least a bit more in the flavor department — but it went very well with the beef, as well as the crazy-delicious cheese sauce that was drizzled over both, and the texture was spot on. I also really enjoyed the broccolini, which was perfectly cooked and had a buttery taste to it. Oddly, I think this broccolini might have been the toddler’s favorite thing on the table as well.
As mentioned before, the little one had bacon and eggs. That said, she ended up munching on strawberries from the pastry plate and eating all of my husband’s broccolini instead. What can I say? She has an unusual palate for a two-year-old.
The Character and Extras
Technically, Cinderella’s Royal Table isn’t one of the few character meals available right now. That said, Cinderella does make a showing. The princess comes out once every 30 minutes or so to wave and blow kisses. She even chats with a few nearby diners.
Unfortunately, because we were seated near the window, opposite from where the princess was standing, we weren’t amongst those nearby diners. Those seated on the upper level of the dining room seemed to get the most attention. However, our little one did get a special wave and kiss blown her way and that seemed to satisfy her need for attention.
Besides Cinderella’s appearance, there are a couple of other things that happen that make this an extra special meal.
First, every child is given a wishing star. This is used at a certain point during the meal when everyone is led through the wishing process over the restaurant speakers. After the wish is made, magical sparkles fill the room, something my son thought was amazing.
Finally, on the way out of the restaurant, there is a basket of swords and wands that diners are welcome to take. Of course, these are meant for the kids, and you are only supposed to take one per person.
Payment at this Disney restaurant is different. You have to prepay at the time of booking, and this prepayment includes tax and a tip. This meant that at the time of our meal, we didn’t have to provide a card or sign a receipt or anything. While it was a bit nerve-wracking to make a reservation that we had to pay for in advance, it was nice that we didn’t have to think about money during our special meal.
I think it should be noted here that Passholder discounts are available at this restaurant. If you are an Annual Passholder, be sure to let your server know. We got a refund for the discount amount, which came out to be a little over $10.
Was It Worth It?
As I said before, for my family, this experience was 100% worth it. After the Passholder discount and with tax and tip, we ended up spending about $128 for two adults, a kid, and a toddler. This is about the same amount we’d spend at any other character breakfast.
Some would argue that we shouldn’t be paying that much since we only get to see one character, but my whole family thinks the better quality food and amazing atmosphere help balance things out. Of course, you’ll have to decide for yourself if this is an experience that will be worth your family’s time and money.