Gather, Subjects of the Royal Kingdom! It’s time to head to the castle for the dinner feast at Cinderella’s Royal Table!
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Eating INSIDE Cinderella Castle is a quintessential experience for guests who visit Walt Disney World. After all, the castle has served as the icon for Disney itself in the past, and is the symbol for Disney World’s flagship park, Magic Kingdom.
Any guest visiting Magic Kingdom, whether they are 4 or 94, has dreamed of seeing inside the majestic building. Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table gives you the best taste of the royal residence itself. Plus, you get an audience with Cinderella herself as well as her Princess friends.
This is the type of experience that Disney dreams are made of. As such, an advance dining reservation here continues to be a tough one to score. While it may be a little easier to get now that Be Our Guest Restaurant is open and pulling lots of guests in, you should still plan to call 180 days out if you hope to secure a table.
We thoroughly enjoyed breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table a while back. Time to see if dinner still measures up to that experience (I hadn’t been here for dinner in ages)! But first, let’s take a look around.
Inspired by some of Europe’s most beautiful castles (plus the fortress from a certain animated feature film we all love), the interior of Cinderella Castle is every bit as grandiose as the outside.
The Grand Hall and waiting area lends a great deal of happy anticipation to the experience. Only guests with advance dining reservations — apologies, but no prying eyes permitted — are allowed beyond the heavy double wooden doors that lead into the Grand Hall.
And once you’re there, you’ll have an opportunity to visit with Cinderella for a bit as she welcomes you into her home.
We were really fortunate to capture some great shots of the hall while it was empty. Here, you can see the weaponry and shields that adorn the stone walls. Heavy chandeliers and Gothic arches punctuate the scene. Seating in the hall is available while you await your visit with Cinderella and your admittance into the dining room.The low benches are plush and comfortable.
Here’s your chance to explore a bit and take in the details. The ornate fireplace, topped with its heavy hood, is flanked by plaques that show the crests of nobility throughout the kingdom. Is your family’s coat of arms featured?
Take your time here, folks. The detail is incredible. And oh — be sure to look up every once in awhile. You never know just you you might spy.
Soon, Cinderella joined the gathering. Before you ascend the staircase (or elevator) to the Banquet Hall, you’ll have the opportunity for a meet and greet with Cinderella.
Remember, Cindy doesn’t come up into the dining room, so this is likely your only chance to meet her during your meal.
Not only will you have a chance to chat with Cinderella, get her autograph, and take a pic, but the photo will be professional quality. As part of your dining experience, you’ll receive a photo package containing one 6×8 and four 4×6 prints for a party of four. (Parties of 5-8 guests receive two packages, and parties of 9-12 receive three packages.)
All of the photos are placed in a special, Cinderella-themed folder. Guests also receive a magic wand (girls) and/or a sword (boys).
When it’s time to eat, chimes will sound as your party is called, and you’ll head upstairs to the Royal Banquet Hall.
The romantic, red-carpeted spiral staircase twists and winds around the elevator. You can choose to take the stairs or the elevator — whatever floats your boat!
This guy guards the staircase so that no one goes up without proper permission!
As you follow the royal red carpet up the staircase, pause for a moment to see the castle’s namesake immortalized in a stained glass window.
The royal restrooms are located on your way up as well.
Also, be sure to check out the view of the Grand Hall from the landing above. It provides a great vantage point to take in all the rich detail of the room’s decor, especially those fantastic arches.
As you finally walk into the Banquet Hall, the scene that unfolds is really incredible.
If you didn’t know better, it would be very easy to think that you’ve stepped back in time and across thousands of miles to a European castle.
Really, the detail here is exquisite! The stone Gothic archways and windows are just stunning, and I love to study the beautiful banners as well. Wouldn’t you like to know the history behind them?
Seating throughout the dining room is cushy and comfortable. High-backed, heavy upholstered chairs feel luxurious as you pull up to dark stained wooden tables. Tables to accommodate various numbers of guests are available, and there is also some mixed banquette and chair seating.
Leaded glass windows overlook Fantasyland, and there are a (precious) few tables situated by the windows. For a stunning view, be sure to request one of these tables. You’ll see why in just a minute.
We were lucky enough to snag one of these fancy schmancy tables ourselves!
Throughout your meal, Disney Princesses will visit your table, sign autographs, and take pictures with you. This is one of the biggest draws to Cinderella’s Royal Table: princesses coming to you, not the other way around.
The evening we visited, we were happy to encounter several of Cinderella’s friends: Ariel, Aurora, Jasmine, and Snow White. Princesses will vary at each meal, so you never know who you’ll be able to meet.
But something else to note that we’ve never really mentioned before: it is possible to see fireworks from inside Cinderella Castle if you time your advance dining reservation just right!
Can you believe this terrific shot over the Carousel? So fun — especially with Beast’s Castle in the background!
We got some great shots of the fireworks over Fantasyland! More about those in a few, but now it’s time to check out the food!
Pricing at Cinderella’s Royal Table is prix fixe. You’ll choose from a selection of items available for each course for a set price. Dinner includes three courses. Standard, non-alcoholic beverages are included in the price as well. Keep in mind that even though you can now order beer and wine at dinner within Beast’s Castle at Be Our Guest Restaurant, Cinderella still presides over a dry dining room.
It is also of interest to note that the restaurant’s menu is touted as an “all you care to enjoy banquet.” While we didn’t have enough stomach space to get refills of anything, we did request to try three of the appetizers and weren’t turned down. Weigh in below in comments if you’ve enjoyed more than three courses here!
The menu has changed a bit since we last offered a dinner review, so it was exciting to see what’s new. I’ve been pleasantly surprised during my last few visits here at the quality and interesting nature of the food. You’re definitely seeing some hot food trends represented, like quinoa and farro.
Our meal began with complementary bread service, consisting of fresh Water Rolls and Butter.
For a starter, I chose the Soup of the Day. The minestrone was hearty and flavorful — it was a great beginning to the meal.
My husband and I also shared A Royal Tasting of Cheese, the restaurant’s answer to a cheese tasting plate.
While the selections weren’t outlined on the menu, they were a semi-soft Goat Cheese with Fig Jam, Sharp Cheddar, and a Bleu garnished with Honey. Nut Breads accompanied the cheeses.
The serving sizes were TINY, so if that whole “all you can eat” thing is really true, consider ordering two of these.
My husband chose the Crawfish and Rock Shrimp with Grits. The shrimp and grits trend is big at Disney World right now, and I was impressed to see it on the menu here at Cinderella’s.
Served with a New Orleans-style Barbecue Sauce, the Shrimp and Crawfish were well cooked. The rich sauce complemented the tangy Goat Cheese Grits perfectly.
Again, the serving size was teeny-tiny here, so be prepared.
For dinner, we went with the Oven Roasted Chicken Breast. Served with Farro Wheat Risotto and Wild Mushroom and Leek Ragoût, the flavor of the Stone Ground Mustard Jus really worked well with the chicken.
The meat was actually pretty juicy — not dry, as I actually expected (bad AJ!). And we thought the farro risotto was an interesting and healthy alternative to the arborio rice customarily used in the dish.
The fresh leeks gave the dish a fun pop of flavor as well!
We also decided on the Beef Tenderloin. While the presentation was a simple one, the Roasted Asparagus was well prepared, and the Tarragon Demi-Glace was wonderfully flavorful. I love bearnaise, which is normally flavored with tarragon, so this was a fantastic stand in!
The winner in this dish was the potatoes, though! We fought over them. Be sure to ask for extra if this is on the menu during your visit.
To be honest, the tenderloin wasn’t the largest serving of beef that I’ve enjoyed at Disney.
Still, it was well cooked, and the flavor was fine.
Soon it was time for something sweet AND tart. The lemon-blueberry combo that we’ve seen on so many menus is here, too, in the form of a No Sugar Added Lemon Sorbet with Blueberries. It was a good, light dessert, and it was super-tart!! We both loved this and kind of wanted more… .
We also had to try the Chef’s Dessert Trio. There was no description of the selections on the menu. I assume this is so that offerings can be changed up as needed.
I feel certain that the chocolate cake was the Flourless Chocolate Cake from the menu. It was dense, chocolatey, and delicious. The Timbale Cheesecake was a lovely presentation, as was the Mousse with Berries.
And while I really appreciate the small-bite, taste-some-of-everything approach to the desserts these days, the portions here were miniscule!! That mousse with berries is in a tiny shot glass, so you can just imagine how small the other two dessert were. One bite, that’s it. It all tasted good, but there was just so little of it.
I’ve said it before and it still holds true: the big reason that dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table is so expensive is the experience of eating within the castle. That’s the big draw here, and the one-on-one time with so many princesses is royal icing on the cake. The price also represents some nice add-ons, like the photo package, which normally costs a significant amount extra.
Having said that, I feel the food here has come a long way, and the chefs seem to be interested in continuing to offer a good balance of common favorites and cutting-edge, trendy ingredients. I personally think this is a great balance to strike, especially for guests who measure the value of the meal based solely on the quality of the food. That said, the portion sizes are seriously tiny — especially in a resort where the big complaint is often how MUCH food you get at each meal.
Just keep in mind, if you book dinner in the castle, you should consider it an experience rather than just a meal. That’s the point of this venue, quite possibly more than any other Disney restaurant.
Oh, and if at all possible, try and book that ADR to coincide with Wishes.
I thought viewing the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian was the pinnacle of awesomeness — until I saw rockets exploding through Cinderella’s leaded glass windows over Beast’s Castle.
Pretty awesome, eh?
Have you had the chance to dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table? Tell us about your experience!