If you want to see the inside of Cinderella's Castle, the only way is to dine at Cinderella's Royal Table in Magic Kingdom. This is one of the most popular dining locations at Walt Disney World with a price tag to match. Pre-covid, this dining experience included a few Disney princesses making it one of the best character dining experiences in the parks. Now the only princess you'll see is Cinderella and she'll make an appearance during your meal from a distance. We recently dined at Cinderella's Royal Table and have our honest review to help you decide if this popular, yet pricey, experience is worth it. Keep reading for our Cinderella's Royal Table review!
Note: all of our dining reviews at Mickey Visit are based on our real vacation experiences in the parks and we pay out of pocket for anything we enjoyed.
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Cinderella's Royal Table Review
To give a quick overview, the pricing for Cinderella's Royal Table is $62 per adult and $37 per child ages 3-9. The lunch and dinner menu currently are identical and the same price. There is no breakfast option at Cinderella's Royal Table. You also must pay in advance at the time you make your reservation. You can get a full refund if you decide to cancel as long as it's 24 hours prior to your reservation time. You can make reservations online on the Walt Disney World dining website up to 60 days in advance. If you miss out and don't find a reservation, I recommend trying Mouse Watcher which will search relentlessly for a variety of days/times for your chosen restaurant for $5 per restaurant search. While many free services like this exist, I've found this one to be the most successful.
Pre-COVID, Cinderella's Royal Table used to be a full character dining meal that included at least 4-5 Disney princesses which always at least included Cinderella. Since COVID, it's no longer referred to a character meal but you will see an appearance from Cinderella. During the meal she will come out and move around the room waving and posing at a distance. Eventually, Disney will likely return all the princesses to this dining experience to make it a full blown character meal again but for now you can only expect to see Cinderella. No official word on when the rest of the princesses may return.
There's usually two main reasons people are interested in trying Cinderella's Royal Table: to dine inside of Cinderella's castle and to see the princesses. Not to say this meal isn't known for its good food, it really is since it's a higher level dining experience, but usually these themed experiences draw guests for other reasons. For my family, the draw was to eat inside Cinderella's Castle which has been on my to-do list since I first started going to Walt Disney World. Here is my honest Cinderella's Royal Table review!
You will check in right inside Cinderella's castle, you cannot miss it. They will bring you into a main room first which used to serve as a place to have a royal meet and greet with Cinderella. Since this is not currently offered, you can take pictures and explore the details of the room.
You have the option of using the elevator or the spiral staircase to the top floor where the restaurant is. If you can do stairs, the spiral staircase is pretty neat as you can admire the stained glass windows and other details.
You will be seated once you arrive to the top floor, if you like you can try to request a window seat upon check in but that's not guaranteed. It's not the largest dining space so really any spot offers a good view of Magic Kingdom outside and Cinderella when she comes out to greet guests.
As is the case with many restaurants now, you will be given a QR code to scan the menu and read it on your phone. We also looked at the menu in advance so we knew what we wanted.
If you have picky eaters, the kids menu is pretty standard so kids shouldn't have a hard time finding something they like. My challenge is my son is over the age of kids meals now but is still a picky eater. It wasn't a problem at all! Our waiter told him he could have whatever he wanted so he ordered adult sized portions of the kids meal options. The waiter even let him get additional sides which I appreciated considering the price I was paying for him to just eat mac and cheese!
My son's opinion of the kids meal was pretty lackluster aside from the mashed potatoes which he said tasted homemade. He didn't like the salad since it's mainly just shredded lettuce and not really a typical garden salad. He said the mac and cheese tasted like the same they serve for kids meals at most places. Again, to be expected from the kids meal list which is there to make things easier for kids… and parents.
For my starter I had the castle salad which I enjoyed, it definitely was much better compared to my son's garden salad option on the kids menu. The castle salad consisted of hearty mixed greens, toasted pumpkin seeds, riesling-marinated golden raisins, pink lady apples, and maple-balsamic vinaigrette, according to Disney's menu. The salad was a bit dry and could have used more dressing but overall had a great flavor.
I ordered the vegetarian option chickpea panisse for my entree which seems to be a common option for vegetarians at most of these higher end dining experiences. If you like chickpea, that's great but if not, you may be out of luck. The one thing I've always noted at all Disney experiences like this is the chef will make you whatever you want if they have it on hand so don't be afraid to ask to be accomodated. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of chickpeas but I did enjoy this dish, it was easy to see how well made it was.
The dessert was hands down both of our favorites! We both had the Clock Strikes Twelve which is described as dark chocolate mousse with a caramel and crunchy praline center, served with chocolate sauce and hazelnut gelato. The theme of the dessert was cute but it was also delicious. The chocolate is very rich so keep that in mind if you're not a big chocolate fan.
All of the interactions with Cinderella take place at a distance so you must remain in your seat as she walks around the restaurant. Despite that distance, she interacted with the guests as much as possible especially with the kids. She would get close enough to talk and pose for pictures. During our meal, Cinderella came out about three times so you have plenty of opportunities for pictures with her during your experience.
We all miss the old character dining but you can still get great pictures even with the distant character interactions. Since the restaurant is in a rough circle regardless of where your spot is at the table you should get a good picture with her as she makes her way around the restaurant.
At the end of your meal you will be given a postcard with a picture of Cinderella and an autograph on the back as a keepsake which is a nice touch since character dining is so constrained still.
Overall, we had a great experience at Cinderella's Royal Table. I loved being able to see the inside of Cinderella's Castle. My son enjoyed it too, even though he isn't exactly into princess dining, but he wanted to see the inside of the castle as well.
Is Cinderella's Royal Table Worth the Price?
The main question lately is Cinderella's Royal Table worth the price? This is a tough one especially considering there is no longer a large princess meet and greet- you only meet Cinderella at a distance. And despite that, the price still remains the same. If your Walt Disney World trip is one you know you will take again, I would recommend waiting until the full experience returns. If your trip is likely going to be a one and done, then it might be worth spending the money if you are really interested in seeing the inside of Cinderella's Castle.
If you have picky eaters then you better be ready to stomach high prices for food your group may not enjoy. But you can also opt for kids meal options at adult portions, like my son did. If your group is not picky then you will enjoy the food, it's really top notch as far as Disney restaurants go.
So I think the answer is subjective. Until the experience returns to normal and brings back full character interactions, I wouldn't say it's worth the high price. But I knew going in that we wouldn't have the full princess meet and greet and I really wanted to see the castle. For me, that made the price worth it but it's not an experience I would do again until it returns to normal. Personally, I actually prefer the Be Our Guest experience in Magic Kingdom just because the interior of the restaurant is much more impressive when it comes to theming. But I also had to eat inside Cinderella's castle, at least once.
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