Home » 6 Things You MUST Know About Eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table

    6 Things You MUST Know About Eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table

    The moment you enter Walt Disney World, Cinderella Castle is there waiting to grab your attention.

    As you walk down Main Street for the first time, your eye is drawn to it. This architectural marvel has an unmistakable magnetism to it, which is why it has performed so admirably as the centerpiece of the main hub at the world’s most popular amusement park. At some point in every theme park tourist’s life, you’ll want to eat at the restaurant that you know is there. It’s the pinnacle of Disney eating, not because of the food itself but because of what it represents.

    Here are six things you should know when you eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

    1. You’ll need a reservation

    As I mentioned in a prior article, this restaurant was once the most difficult reservation to attain at Walt Disney World. Since the introduction of Be Our Guest in Fantasyland, it’s fallen to second place in this race. That means it’s only slightly easier to book in advance and almost impossible to visit without an Advance Dining Reservation. If you try to take that route, you’ll wind up waiting so long that you’ll waste your entire day at the park.   

    The safest way to assure yourself a seat at Cinderella’s Royal Table is by calling 180 days in advance the moment the phone lines open, which is 7 a.m. EST. Note that you’ll have to pay the full price of every individual’s meal when you book the reservation. If you’re not someone who likes to plan your vacation that early, you may be in trouble. The best suggestion I have is that if you don’t book early, you should become relentless in checking the various online reservation search options. People can cancel trips at any point, and they’ll immediately get rid of their ADR for Cinderella’s Royal Table since that means money back in their pocket.

    2. You’ll have to wait outside

    Even when you have a reservation, you’ll have to wait outside and possibly for quite a while. Your ADR guarantees you a seat around the scheduled time, but there are a lot of ways this time gets delayed. There’s a surprise right when you enter the building, so while you stand in line, the cast member will inform you that you may need to wait for a time. Don’t get grumpy about the delay, which could take as long as a half hour but will probably be in the 10-15 minute range. The explanation is beyond their control, and it’s magical. During your delay, others are having a dream come true.

    3. You’ll get your picture with Cinderella first thing, even before you enter the dining area

    This is the explanation for having to wait outside. The instant you enter the building’s (exquisite) door, you’ll discover a queue. Presuming that the place is crowded – and it usually is – you’ll stand in line while you watch one of the true joys of Disney. You’ll have the best view of other people interacting with the hostess of the royal palace, Cinderella!

    She stands in front of an elegant drape backdrop in the Grand Hall and poses for pictures with all the guests attending her royal meal. You’ll get a contact high from the energy level of the children living out one of the greatest dreams. Plus, your photographs will provide a keepsake that you’ll enjoy for the rest of your life. Standing in line for pictures with Cinderella is one of the best parts of the Royal Table experience. Savor every moment of it.

    Pro tip: if you’re bringing children with you, make sure to pick up an autograph book for this experience. Watching Cinderella sign her name sends kids into heightened stages of euphoria.

    4. Chimes announce your presence

    After you take your picture with the ultimate Disney princess, you’ll wait for a few brief moments. Once a regal chime sounds, you’ll know that it’s your turn to trek up a few steps on a curving staircase to your dining table. Note that there’s also an elevator if you want/need to reach the top floor that way. The wait for a table is rarely lengthy, as the feeder queue for pictures cleverly delays the arrival of each new party to the seating area. Disney’s Imagineers really do think of everything. If you do climb the stairs, take your time and enjoy the red carpet aspect of the moment. You’re royalty for this meal, and royalty never rushes!

    Note that some seats are better than others. If you wind up with a window view, you’ll have a dramatic view of Fantasyland. There aren’t many of these, so if you want one, you should request it when you check in. Make sure to tell the cast member that you’re willing to wait longer to get one. This is particularly important if you’re enjoying a late night meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table. The restaurant does offer a once in a lifetime view of Wishes if you’re sitting in a position where you can see out the window.

    5. Expect to eat like a king…well, princess

    There’s a liberating aspect to eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table. You already paid for the meal, perhaps as long as six months ago. Now that you’re dining at the centerpiece of the world’s most popular theme park, you should enjoy it. If you’re counting calories at this point, you’re doing it wrong, and I say that as someone who has been on a diet for two years and counting.

    Your meal is prix fixe. There will be a set of menu groups. You’ll select your favored item from the list. Interestingly, the menu changes occasionally, so if you go back in a year, the food you loved last time may not be available. The structure of each meal is the same, though. At breakfast, you’ll have an assortment of pastries as an “appetizer” followed by your choice of Entrées Royale as the primary component of your meal. These include traditional breakfast items plus more exotic fare such as lobster & shrimp, baked quiche, and beef tenderloin with egg.

    Lunch and dinner are a bit more elaborate in terms of meal options, but both meals have the same structure. Your regal dining experience starts with the Chef’s Tasting Plate, a series of Specialties of the Castle that everyone receives. These include cheeses, dips, and a salad. After that, you’ll have a choice of Entrées Royale followed by Finales. The delicious flavors include a mouth-watering braised short rib, pan-seared chicken, and seasonal items such as fish of the day and gnocchi.  Then, you’ll finish with your dessert preference, which the restaurant’s signature dessert, a seasonal offering, or a marvelous batch of flavors named Gus and Jaq’s favorites. I personally recommend the dessert trio if it’s an option for you. Whatever you prefer, remember that you’ve already paid for everything. Keep asking for more until you’re full! This is a special occasion where gluttony is perfectly acceptable.

    Whatever you choose, it’ll be one of the best meals of your life. Disney employees understand that Cinderella’s Royal Table is their show-stopping restaurant. Their finest chefs work tirelessly to ensure that if someone selects this establishment to celebrate an unforgettable moment such as a birthday, an engagement, or an anniversary, every detail of the meal will be perfect. You can even level up the affair by buying a specialty princess shoe or prince crown to give to that special someone in your life. These options aren’t cheap, as they cost almost $100 each, but if you’re trying to create some magic for a special event, such a splurge is more than justified.

    6. You’re the star of the meal

    From the moment you enter the dining area of Cinderella’s Royal Table, you’ll feel special. The elegance and pageantry of the presentation is unforgettable. A who’s who of Disney princesses will appear during the procession, and you won’t have to lift a finger to get autographs and pictures with them. They’ll come to you. Best of all, the cast of characters changes. If you eat here multiple times, you’ll meet that many more of your Disney favorites.

    Finally, if you’re worried about keeping your children entertained during the meal, Disney has you covered. They provided children with a choice of magic wand or sword to enjoy. The entire time you’re eating, children will be casting spells and play-fighting. Since the seating area is multi-tiered and spacious, however, you’ll never notice anyone else’s kids but your own.

    Eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table is everything you’ve dreamt it might be and more. If you know you’re heading to Walt Disney World, plan ahead to get a table. Then, have the time of your life during the meal, when you’ll learn what it’s like to slip on a magic slipper and become the belle of the ball.