Each of the four Disney Parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios) hosts a character meal at one of their table service restaurants. The Magic Kingdom, being the largest park, has several options. Cinderella’s Royal Table, serving Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, is one of two character meals served in a castle, but it’s the only meal served in THE castle.
Somewhere inside that gorgeous castle, someone is enjoying a dessert and getting a hug from a princess. Probably not at the same time.
For character dining newbies: you must have park admission if you plan to eat a meal in the parks. Park Hopper tickets will allow you to bounce around as you please, but if you have a base ticket, your reservation must be for the park you’ve spent the day in. So if you’re wanting to dine with Cinderella and her princess pals, you must have admission to the Magic Kingdom.
No park tickets? No problem. There are some great character meals at many of the Disney Resorts as well.
Disney pros use breakfast character meals in the parks to get access to the park before it opens, giving them a little extra time with rides once they’ve finished their meal. They hit up a character meal at lunch to get out of the heat and the most crowded time of the day. Dinner character dining can get you the perfect view for fireworks, or even a super exclusive character meet. Character meals are a great way to meet multiple characters at once without waiting in line or using a FastPass.
A few quick tips:
- These meals are in demand so it is highly recommend that you take advantage of the 180 reservation day window and make your reservations as soon as possible.
- Characters are subject to change. While it’s pretty certain you will get the character whose name is in the meal description (Ie Cinderella’s Royal Table) the rotating secondary characters may alternate.
- You can meet characters at breakfast, lunch, and dinner at character meals in the Disney parks.
- The prices of meals will vary by time of the year (peak vs regular vs value season) and by day of the week (weekends tend to be a little pricier than weekdays) and also just cuz Disney’s gonna do Disney. The prices listed are an estimate based on recent menus. These prices do not included gratuity, though an automatic gratuity of 18% will be added for a table of 6 or more.
- Times for the meals may vary depending on opening and closing times for the parks. Be sure to look into park hours before you make your reservation.
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World
Delight in a regal banquet that includes appetizer, entree, and dessert, chosen from a menu and brought to your table. Dining in Cinderella’s castle not only gives you amazing views of the Magic Kingdom, it gives you amazing views of the princesses. A rotating cast of princesses will come to your table to engage while you enjoy your meal. Children will be part of the magic with a special souvenir they’ll get to take home. Incredibly popular meal because of the once in a lifetime location.
*Because of the hard to get nature of the Cinderella’s Royal Table reservations, this is one of the few meals where you will be required to pay at the time of the reservation.
My Take: I’m going to be real with you, because that’s what the internet is for. The food here is decent, and there are a few standout dishes at very meal (what’s up, Beef Tenderloin and Egg!) but what you are paying for, hands down, is the experience. From the intricate details in the receiving area of the castle, to the winding steps laced with stain glass windows, to the dining room itself, everything here is themed to perfection. This is Disney Imagineering magic at its finest. Not to mention: princesses! All the princesses! You’ll meet Cinderella downstairs, when you first enter, and have a photo op with her, and then you’ll be visited during the meal by four of the princess on the princess rotation. These princess are subject to change, but have been known to include Aurora, Snow White, Jasmine, Ariel, and Rapunzel. Ok, more real talk right quick. Rapunzel is on the roster here, but neither I, nor anyone I know, has seen her at CRT. But you can talk frying pans with her over at Bon Voyage Breakfast if she’s a must meet for you.
As a special gift that helps them with an interactive part of the meal, little princess will take home a magic wand and little princes get a sword. Each child will receive a magic wishing star as well. I personally am a huge fan of being given gifts when I go out to eat, so this is a plus in my book.
Cinderella’s Royal Table is a very hard to get reservation, and Disney is trying to get in as many diners as possible, so guests often report feeling rushed at this particular restaurant. Wishing stars and princesses aside, you paid good money for this meal, so if you want to take your time, then you take your time. You paid for it and no one is going to kick you out. That efficiency comes in handy, though, if you have one of the early breakfast reservations. Because you are required to pay beforehand for this meal, as soon as you’re all done, you can skedaddle without worrying about a check and get in a ride on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Peter Pan’s Flight.
It may not be budget friendly and there sure are a lot of stairs, but you’re got to give this meal a chance. With off the charts theming, the best location at Disney, and the posse of princesses, Cinderella’s Royal Table is a must do experience. At least once.
Is Cinderella’s Royal Table one of your favorite? What do you love most about it? Have you seen Rapunzel there? Tell me in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!