So I'll say it right from the start: we were two adults, traveling without kids, and we went to Cinderella's Royal Table for dinner. Did I feel like I had to justify this to others repeatedly? Yes. Did I care? No, and I will tell you why.
The first time I ate at Cinderella's Royal Table was five years ago when I visited Walt Disney World with a friend. It was our only character meal that holiday and we had a brilliant time. It was actually a non-park day for us and we only came into Magic Kingdom for character meets and the meal. We had such a brilliant time, feeling like little princesses really, so I knew this trip I wanted to go back. And my partner luckily did not mind going; he'll deal with my princesses & castle obsession as long as he can have good food.
Late dinner slots were sadly already fully booked, as I was trying to get one during the fireworks, therefore we ended going during the early dinner phase. For me, just getting to eat in the castle at any point is already brilliant.
On the day of our reservation we showed up early. Don't do it. This is one of the few places on property where they will literally tell you - politely - to go away and come back spot on for your reservation. So about 10 minutes later we returned. From then on, it all went smoothly and quickly.
For those who don't know the procedure, here is a quick overview. To get to Cinderella's Royal Table, you walk around the castle and enter near Castle Couture, across from Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. There is a reception desk outside of the restaurant. Once you have checked in, they will call your party through. Inside there will be a short queue to meet Cinderella. Each party gets their photos taken with Cinderella - which get uploaded to your PhotoPass account. After that, you are lead upstairs where you will be seated for your meal.
It is not a large restaurant and only consists of one big round room, with a lower and upper circle. There are very few window seats, so try not to pin your hopes on one. Especially larger parties will often be seated in the inner circle. Upon being seated, you will receive the beautiful 'stained-glass' menu and either a magic wand or miniature sword. For your three courses you get to pick from a few different options on each course, with kids having their own little menu to pick from as well. Drinks are all served in lovely dark blue, be it plastic, goblets.
We opted for the Charcuterie Plate as a starter. It offers a variation of cheeses, meats, breads, sauces, as well as smoked salmon and olives. The plate was nice and had a decent selection on it. We felt it was the right amount for a starter.
I picked the Beef & Shrimp for my entrée, my partner chose the chicken. I felt I got the better deal here but he really enjoyed his choice. Both meats were cooked on point, particularly the beef, and while the portion-sizes were smaller than what we had received in other restaurants on property, we still felt well fed.
Finally, of course, the dessert. Jaq & Gus and The Clock Strikes Twelve. Very fancy names yes, but they did taste very nice. Although they looked so pretty, I felt reluctant to eat them - for a few seconds.
Overall, the food was lovely. We really enjoyed all our picks and felt neither hungry nor too full when leaving. Of course, there is another big part to eating at Cinderella's Royal Table: meeting the princesses.
The princesses get announced one after another with a little story, so you can try and guess who will be coming to visit. They then make their rounds across the tables. As this is not a buffet, you don't have to worry about not being there when they do reach your table. They will take the time to sign your autograph book, take a few photos and have a quick chat. It is a very relaxed atmosphere to meet them in, compared to the long queues in the park itself. Do remember to bring your own camera or phone at least, as there is no photographer upstairs, only in the entrance. The princesses do rotate, so there is no guarantee whom you will meet - except Cinderella.
Finally, the bill. This is a fix price location. Either you can spend 2 table-service credits, or up to around $70 adult/dinner. Prices vary on meal time and even season; peak season can be more expensive. You can argue whether this is a good or bad way to pay for this type of meal.
If you are not a big eater and maybe only coming here for your child, the price is probably quite steep - although I believe once you see your child's eyes light up, it won't really matter that much anymore. I saw so many boys and girls dressed up for the occasion, and loving every minute. However, you could also argue that a fix price has the benefit of knowing exactly what this meal will cost you. Drinks, food and gratitude, all paid for. Once you're finished, you're good to go.
There are many reason I love this experience so much. For me it is more than a meal. You get to meet Cinderella in her castle, without a wait. You are dining in The Castle. There is a special atmosphere in the restaurant. While I have had plenty of character meals, this one feels just that little bit more special. As adults, you can appreciate the food and service. As kids at heart, you'll love meeting the characters and being called Lord & Lady.
This is not the place to go if you are craving signature dining but this is, in my opinion, the place to go for a special experience. And to pick back up where I started: do not feel awkward going as an adult-only party. Yes, you will see mainly families, but there are also friends and couples enjoying their meals and laughing with princesses.
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