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  • elizabethsmagicalw

Cinderella's Royal Table

I have a couple of questions for you. Have you ever dined in a castle? If so, then welcome to the club. If not, then I highly recommend it. What is more important to you: the food or the experience? For me, it’s the experience. I love a good dining experience, and Walt Disney World is one of the best places to get unforgettable dining experiences. I always get asked which of the amazing restaurants is my favorite. My answer is always the same, and hasn’t changed since I was about six years old. Cinderella’s Royal Table. The name says it all. It is probably one of the best regal and unforgettable dining experiences you will ever get. Not only is the food great, but you get to dine inside the most iconic castle in the world. You truly get the full royal treatment. Also, you get to meet Cinderella and her friends. It’s the complete package. No wonder it is one of the most sought after dining reservations. Now, it will cost you a pretty penny, but in my humble opinion, totally worth every cent.

I have had the pleasure of dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table four times over the course of my life, and each one has been a memorable experience. My first experience was when I was about six years old, and my family went there to eat during one of our Christmas trips. I was so in awe of the castle, and completely hooked. My second time was when I was ten years old, and my parents surprised me with breakfast during a surprise spring break trip to Disney. The giant chocolate muffins that I ate that morning have stuck with me to this day. My third trip inside the castle was on my eighteenth birthday. My parents surprised me with a trip to Disney for my birthday, and took me to my favorite restaurant on the day. It was a wonderful trip, and I even got to meet the Fairy Godmother. My most recent meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table was this past October. I went with a friend for lunch, and we had a wonderful time. This is the dining experience that I would like to tell you all about.

My friend, Christina, and I went to Walt Disney World in October during fall break. In an effort to save some money, and eat the largest variety of food possible, we decided to only eat one table service meal during our trip, and eat quick service the rest of the time. I let Christina choose the restaurant, and she wanted to dine in a castle. Well, that left two choices: Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Be Our Guest. After looking at the menus, she chose Cinderella’s Royal Table. I was charged with securing the coveted reservation. Let me tell you, that was not an easy experience.

Anyone who is familiar with the process of making Advanced Dining Reservations at Walt Disney World knows how stressful the process is. For those of you who are not familiar, allow me to enlighten you to the process. Advanced Dining Reservations are able to be made online at 6:00 am EST, sixty days in advance. You can also call beginning at 7:00 am EST. If you are staying at a Disney resort, you can make all of your reservations for your entire trip beginning sixty days from your check-in date. Now, reservations fill up fast, so you have to know before you go in which restaurants you want on which days; quick fingers are essential here. You also need to have a couple of back-up options in case one or more of your restaurants are not available. So, the morning that I was to make our reservation, I was out of town and in a hotel room, which I was sharing with my parents. That made things a little bit trickier. So, I pulled up the My Disney Experience app on my phone to make the reservation, but the app wasn’t working! Don’t panic, just use the web browser. So, I did, and I was finally able to secure the last available time on our first Magic Kingdom day, which was also the first day of our trip. I had a back-up plan to check later in the week, but I wanted start with the first available day and work out from there. I got the reservation, and that was when I learned something interesting. For reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table, you have to pay in advance for your meal, including taxes and gratuity. I was not expecting that, so be aware of that for future reservations here. After I paid, I was waiting on my confirmation, and I got stuck on the loading screen. After several minutes of mild panic, I checked my email and found a confirmation email. Then, I checked the My Disney Experience app, which was mysteriously working again, and found the reservation listed in my plans. After another forty-five minutes of loading screen, I closed out the browser, and hoped for the best. It all did work, by the way. Whew, crisis avoided, and I secured the reservation. Now, all I had to do was wait sixty days to eat there.

When Christina and I got to Cinderella’s Royal Table for our reservation, we walked up to the host stand, which is outside the restaurant, on park level. If you’re standing in Fantasyland facing the castle, it’s just inside the castle on the left. Look for the sign pictured at the top of the post. There we were given instructions on how to check in on the app, and then we had to wait to be called. Once we were called, we went inside the castle, where we were escorted to meet Cinderella. This was our first character meeting of the trip, and it was every bit as magical as you would expect from Cinderella. I had intentionally worn my favorite Cinderella shirt, which she loved, and said that she couldn’t wait to tell Prince Charming all about, since he was also featured on it. I was very excited to be able to hug her and have her sign my autograph book. I had missed being able to do that the last couple of times that I had been to Walt Disney World. After meeting and getting pictures made with Cinderella, we waited to be invited upstairs for our meal. Fun hint, while you’re waiting to go upstairs, have a good look around the grand hall. See how many references to the Cinderella film you can find. Look hard enough, and you might spot some of Cinderella’s friends. Jaq and Gus are hiding there somewhere. Once our name was called, and we were invited to dine upstairs, we headed up the spiral staircase. There’s a lot to see here as well, but we’ll cover that on the way back down.

Once we got upstairs, I think we both gasped when we walked into the dining room. It never ceases to amaze me. The intricately carved wood details, the high vaulted ceiling, the banners hanging all around, it all serves as a reminder that you truly are inside the castle. We were taken to our table, which was over by the window. I had never sat by the window before, and I was amazed at the view of Fantasyland from our table. I also got to see part of the lighting and speakers used on the castle, which for a Disney nerd like me, it’s always interesting to see how the magic works. Anyway, our server was amazing, and we adored her. We had both been looking at the menu before we got there, so it didn’t take long to figure out what we wanted to eat. Once we ordered, we just absorbed as much of the views and atmosphere as we could before our food got there, which didn’t take long.

Since we were there for lunch, we got a full three course meal, just like at dinner. For our Appetizers of the Court, I chose the Castle Salad, and Christina chose the soup of the day, which was Mushroom Bisque. The salad was very good. My favorite part was the passion fruit vinaigrette. The salad now comes with a green goddess dressing, which I’m kind of sad about. The passion fruit gave such a bright note to the salad. We loved the presentation of Christina’s soup. It came out as a bowl of mushrooms, and the server had a container of creamy bisque that she poured around the outer edge of the bowl at the table. The bisque ran down the sides of the bowl and mixed with the mushrooms below. Christina loved the soup, and said that it was very good. For our Entrées Royale, I chose the Tangled Pasta with chicken, and Christina chose the Grilled Tenderloin of Beef. The Tangled Pasta is now simply called Grilled Chicken, but when I got it, it was actually braised chicken with the pasta. I absolutely loved the presentation of this. The pasta came out twisted together to look like Rapunzel’s braid, complete with edible flowers woven in. It was in a cast iron skillet with the pesto underneath. The pesto was fantastic. The chicken wasn’t my favorite, but mostly because it’s a chicken thigh, which isn’t my preferred cut of meat. It had a great flavor, and I would definitely order it again. Christina beef came out very well cooked, and she said that it had a great flavor. We both loved our meals. Finally, we got to the best part of the entire meal: the Finales. We both chose The Clock Strikes Twelve, which is the dessert for chocolate lovers. We agreed that this was the highlight of the meal, and by far our favorite thing. It’s a dark chocolate mousse with a caramel and crunchy praline center, which chocolate sauce and hazelnut gelato. We savored every bite, and it was the perfect ending to an incredible dining experience.

When we finished our lunch, we went back down to the ground floor. On the way down, we took the opportunity to take some pictures and enjoy the different views. There is a landing which is a great place to get a unique view of the grand hall down below, and gives a great look at the medieval chandelier illuminating the hall. If you haven’t found Jaq and Gus yet, this may be your chance to find them. Inside the stairwell, you will find a stained-glass window depicting Cinderella. It is her castle, after all. If the lighting is right, this makes a fantastic picture. Once you get back to the grand hall, you will exit out the same door you came in. On your way out, you will pass a basket with wands inside. These wands are for all guests who dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Cast Members encourage you to take one per person, if you would like one. You better believe that we each took one. We wanted something to remember our experience by, and what better than a plastic wand that says Cinderella’s Royal Table on it? They’re really fun, but it was interesting figuring out how to carry them around all day, since they stuck out of our bags so far. Just be aware of that if you choose to dine here.

We loved our time at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and I personally can’t wait to go back. It will probably always be my favorite restaurant, and I’m not sure how anything else could top it. The level of detail is matched by few restaurants at Disney, and the experience is like nothing else. If you have a princess lover in your family, dining here is a dream come true.

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