Whenever I am planning a trip to Disney World, I often get asked by my party if we can snag a spot at Cinderella’s Royal Table. This is the place where you can “eat inside the castle” and get what many consider to be “the Princess treatment” – including a fancy meal, character (princess specific) meet and greets, and a wand (or sword) to take home. Though that all sounds nice and a dream come true, the ability to get a reservation at Cindy’s is almost as crazy as winning the lottery. So for those of you who were unlucky with snagging a slot for this place, here are a few restaurants I feel give a similar (if not better) experience for the same price or less. So without further ado, let me grab my pixie dust and give you a list of the best alternatives to Cinderella’s Royal Table!
If there was one place that truly gives that excellent combination of both relaxing and magical, The Grand Floridian’s Garden View Tea Room always wins in that category. This tiny little sunset location serves a traditional Tea Service, where you are served sandwiches, scones, various pastries and (of course) tea! Though the food might seem small, this combination of tiny delicious treats becomes extremely filling towards the end of your meal, to which you question, “What sorcery is this?” The answer is quite simply that after nibbling on a bunch of gourmet “snack” sized things, you’re bound to get full. As for the “Princess Feel” aspects, there’s a lot to be had here. For starts, the decor around the entrance is themed to Beauty and the Beast mixed with Victorian accents, and features beautiful images of Mrs. Potts, Chip and company at your feet. The windows look out onto a rose garden, and the wait staff (particularly the dashing Kit) are beyond professional and friendly – making you feel as if this is your home. And if you are having a tough time deciding on which desert option to go with? Strawberries and Cream is always the best choice.
Personally, when I think of fairy tales and princesses, France always comes to mind. And at Epcot’s World Showcase area devoted to the country, there’s one restaurant that defines that whimsical charm for me: Chefs De France. I don’t get to go to this place too often, but when I do, I sure feel like I entered my ultimate fantasy. From the simple but beautiful decor, to the classic French details in every dish that is offered, this place offers a lot of the food that Cindy’s has, yet it tastes much better and is a bit cheaper, depending on the time of day you choose to eat there. Sadly there are no characters at this place, but if you snag a Dinner reservation at just the right time, you’ll be able to see Illuminations from the window, and you’ll feel like your own personal Fairy Godmother is sprinkling pixie dust over your party as you dine the night away.
When people think of current Disney World dining experiences, the one that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue is Be Our Guest, and for good reason. Though some will debate whether this is a restaurant that is worth the hype, I’m one of the believers that the hype train is legit. Unfortunately, much like Cindy’s, Be Our Guest during the Dinner segment can be a hard seat to snag. But if you go for Breakfast or Lunch, you can easily get a reservation. This means you’ll be having a Quick Service style meal, but don’t let that fool you – Be Our Guest is one of the best meals around, no matter what time of day you go. And if you’re looking for that “stepping into a fairy tale” like feeling that Cinderella’s Royal Table gives, Be Our Guest delivers in that department – and even better, might I add. Featuring a mostly French-inspired comfort food menu, most eaters will find something to enjoy here, along with desserts that rival many of the offerings within Magic Kingdom. If you’re looking for the ultimate (and cheaper) fairy tale treatment than Cinderella’s, Be Our Guest is definitely worth it. And trust me, the famous Grey Stuff is actually delicious.
Though this isn’t a Princess themed meal, if you’re looking for a Magic Kingdom character meal alternative, Crystal Palace will definitely have you covered. Featuring Pooh and his friends, The Crystal Palace is one of the prettiest restaurants in any of the parks, and continues to bring guests year after year with a smile on their face. Though the food can be a bit hit or miss at times, there is usually something for everyone and the character interaction is known to be one of the best. And it has the added benefit of location, since it is a hop, skip and a jump from the castle. Though it might not have royals inside, you will definitely get a similar feel here at The Crystal Palace.
If you’re looking for a perfect Cinderella experience just a monorail ride away, Grand Floridian has got you covered. 1900 Park Fare has a lot to offer, in both decor and a very lively buffet assortment. Unfortunately, Cinderella and her friends (including Prince Charming, who is very rare to find) are only available for Dinner reservations, but this spot is definitely easier to snag than Royal Table. The decor is not as “fancy” as Royal Table’s, but definitely will fill in your Princess fix big time, with lots of vintage carousel theming throughout. The only downside to this spot is that, unlike Cindy’s, this is gonna involve you go to get your food rather than having the food brought to your table. But if your family is really itching to meet Cinderella and her crew, while having a decent meal that is a bit cheaper than Royal Table, this is probably your best alternative.
These are just a few ideas of where you could go, but what do you think? What are your favorite alternatives to the famous Royal Table? Any Disney Springs choices in your list? List your favorites in the comments!