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View Full Version : Cinderella's Royal Table - Is it worth it?


Brad Bishop
09-20-2007, 12:38 PM
I posted this in another thread but I think it got lost in the 'Is Disney gouging us or is it a business' - thread.

Anyway, I'm just looking for input from those who've been there, done that. Trying to decide if I want to call and place a reservation:

I'm heading to Disney in January. I'm taking my 21 and 13 yo daughters (I haven't decoded the DH, DS, DD stuff, yet except that I think it means 'husband', 'son', and 'daughter' - I don't get the extra 'D' unless it means 'Dear').

Anyway, my first instinct was, "oh, that would be cool to eat in the castle." Much like it was to eat at the Blue Bayou years ago.

I loved the Blue Bayou (Disneyland) because it was good food, in a a really neat setting, and fairly quiet. It was a really neat way to have a relaxing meal. There were no characters bouncing about (this was 10 years ago).

From pictures of the CRT I thought it'd be the same. Then I see these little girls dressing up as princesses (I really don't get that at all - apparently it's popular) for it and that there's the Character dining deal plus the word on the boards is that it's expensive and fairly crappy food (people paying $50/plate (when all is said and done) and then reporting that they didn't finish it and their kids barely touched it - that's pretty bad) and looking for something to eat afterwards.

In my mind, eating in the castle looks like it should be an elegant experience with good food.

I really get the feeling (and I haven't done it yet - these are just my impressions from what I've seen) that it's like having Hooter's girls serve you at Ruth's Chris (just using this example to illustrate the contrast of elegant dining and the character meals). Ruth's Chris is it's own thing (well known upscale dining). Hooters is it's own thing (beers, wings, watching the game). It'd be very odd to combine them.

Am I wrong in any of this? It really seems like it'd be really cool and I'm still on the fence about it.

Basically, I just don't want to blow $150, walk away hungry and think, "Wow - I just spent a bunch of money to not eat dinner (food being bad) in a nice room with a bunch of screaming kids and some intrusive (not meaning the characters would be constantly bothering me but more like they just don't belong in the setting - like a Hooters girl bringing me mine steak at Ruth's Chris - I hope I'm getting what I'm trying to say across here) characters."

I thought it was way cooler years ago when you'd happen upon the characters roaming about the park instead of having to meet them at some dining experience or in some line to get your picture taken with them.

sunlover13
09-20-2007, 01:03 PM
In my opinion, you should skip it. We had lunch there and I didn't think the food was worth the money we spent. It was worth it for DD (4) to eat in the castle and meet all the princesses. With the age of your kids & the fact you want great food for the money you are going to spend, I think you will be disappointed. I'm glad we did it once, but we probably will not do it again. I got a turkey sandwich that was not good for $30.........

D = Disney or darling or dear

Princess Erin
09-20-2007, 01:06 PM
I thought it was wonderful, the food was delicious for breakfast but I found it was just too rushed and you could not really enjoy it. Alot of wasted food.

Brad Bishop
09-20-2007, 01:17 PM
It's starting to sound more and more like a 'little girls get to meet the princesses' kind of thing. I think I'm going to pass.

One other question, though: Do I really need to make reservations for these other restaurants?

I'm pretty flexible as far as eating times go. My kids go along with me on the flexibility because they realize that we can just wait an hour and take advantage of the shorter lines for rides and then just eat mid afternoon when the lines are shorter for the restaurants.

I was there 3 weeks ago and the Crystal Palace (which I liked - it was like up-scale cafeteria food - not super great, but better than a cafeteria - I get that I'm going to pay a little more while on the property / in the parks) was crazy busy, we just hit it 2 hours later and waited 5 mins to get in.

Did we luck out or can you generally pull this off at WDW?

I'd really like to avoid, "Oh, it's 2PM, now we have to go (scramble) to <such-n-such> because we've got this reserved." I much prefer the approach of, "Let's just wander around and keep doing fun things as much as possible. When we're hungry, we'll find a sit-down place with a short line (off the normal schedule of others) and take a breather."

shovan
09-20-2007, 01:56 PM
It really is a little girl's princess heaven. But, we went for the first time on our last trip because we had our 4 yo neice along. We really enjoyed it though. We went for lunch & had an excellent meal. (The pork dish over the cheese grits was really good.) The room is very pretty & the server stuck with the theme throughout the meal. Of course the 4 yo old was the happiest.

January is a pretty slow time & you can get in to more places that time of year. But for better dining I would make reservations. Things are not the way they used to be. Our last trip in Jan. we tried to walk up to Chefs de France & they looked at us like we were insane!

KirklandTutu
09-20-2007, 02:30 PM
The first time I ate there, I was about 25 yrs old. I had dinner with my husband and I was near tears the whole time. As a child I had always dreamed of eating there, that if I did, I would be a real princess. I felt that way when we did.

We went for dinner (got to see the fireworks from inside), the food for us was v. good. Food wise, I thought the value was right on for what we got. However, we normally will spend $150+ for the two of us including drinks.

I also don't recall there being a bunch of characters running around to ruin our time (honestly, for us they would have, I'd rather have a romantic dinner in the castle than warning Cinderella to back off my man!). I don't know how much they interact with dinner now, I hope they're not everywhere when we have dinner there in February. If they are, I'll ask them to let us be.

...EDT...Imagine sitting at the window of Cinderella's Castle, holding your Prince Charming's hand. They've dimmed the lights, the fireworks are going off, and 'a dream is a wish your heart makes' starts playing. He leans over and whispers, 'love you Princess'. To me that's the reason to go there, who needs Disney Princesses when you're one yourself! *sigh*
To be honest, I wouldn't take kids to Cinderella's Royal Table. Other than the princesses, they're just not old enough to appreciate it. I think I got the best deal in that my parents never took me, but I dreamed about it. Then, when I was an adult I got to experience it with my Prince Charming for the first time. It made it so amazingly special to me.

Ask your 21 year old if she'd like to go, watch her face when you mention it, judge by that if you should go or not.

Brad Bishop
09-20-2007, 02:32 PM
Thanks for the info.

I think we're just going to hit the various buffets when we get hungry. That way they can get what they want to get and as much of it as they like ( my older one really pack away the food - she's thin, too).

20 years ago you never would have thought that you'd have to make a reservation at a WDW restaurant. Then again, I remember 20 years ago just not eating at the Magic Kingdom because the good was pretty horrible and it was way overpriced.

I still enforce that 'don't eat at the park' rule with Six Flags. Not so with Dollywood - good food there.

Joanna71985
09-20-2007, 07:47 PM
I have eaten there 4 times now (once for breakfast, and 3 times for lunch) and I really enjoy it there. The 3 lunch ones have been for my birthday, and I prefer lunch to breakfast. The food is really good (I LOVE the pasta dish).

Gerweniel
09-20-2007, 08:04 PM
My two DSs (then 13 & 12) and I ate dinner at CRT last year. It was our first time eating in the castle and I knew about the show from reading the boards. I had always wanted to dine inside and my sons were willing to put up with me.

I found it very pricey and it is the only dinner show that we are ambivalent about. It was very loud, the food was good, but not exceptional, the show was fun but not great. The Fairy Godmother was a hoot. The atmosphere was awesome and my company, sublime :)

It was great to do it, not at all for the food but for a "only at WDW" experience. Someday, I hope to go again and bring my grandkids :rotfl:.

ElizabethB
09-20-2007, 08:25 PM
DH says . . . "and Hooter's waitresses bringing your steak is bad because . . ."

Seriously though, if you are looking for elegant dining at WDW, you won't find it at the castle or in the theme parks.

You'll really only find it at the Signature Dining places, and even then the restaurant will likely be full of screaming kids.

We enjoy lunch in the Castle -- but it is what it is -- mediocre food in a theme park.

ProudMommyof2
09-20-2007, 08:42 PM
Dinner is not all the princesses milling around. I thought the food was very good, the atmosphere was amazing, and the included picture is a great souvenir that is prominently displayed in our living room. If you schedule dinner right, you can be there while the fireworks are going off!

mickeymouse1017
09-20-2007, 09:00 PM
We always do CRT for lunch each and every trip. My DD3 (she will be taking her 8th trip in Feb) still enjoys seeing the princesses but we LOVE the food. The Major Domo's favorite pie is the best thing that I have ever eaten.

Markstudy
09-20-2007, 09:44 PM
You have to do it once!

Just to get a peek inside the castle.

Food was good, but price is pretty high.

Everyone has to do it once:wizard:

VandyFan10
09-20-2007, 10:00 PM
[QUOTE=KirklandTutu;20907350]The first time I ate there, I was about 25 yrs old. I had dinner with my husband and I was near tears the whole time. As a child I had always dreamed of eating there, that if I did, I would be a real princess. I felt that way when we did.

We went for dinner (got to see the fireworks from inside), the food for us was v. good. Food wise, I thought the value was right on for what we got. However, we normally will spend $150+ for the two of us including drinks.


We have ressies our first night at 8:50 and I'm trying to decide if I'm going to keep....that's really late for me to eat, and the :tinker: fireworks will be going off at 9p

Do you have to sit somewhere special to see the fireworks or are there several windows you can see them out of?? This would be a biggie for me b/c I feel like they will be going off over our head, won't be able to see them, and sound like WW3 :eek:

I'm with you on the princess princess: thing...I think I want to go eat there just to eat in the castle!! I'm just not so excited about the late time, and being our first night since we are driving in......

Thanks for any info!!

Erica princess:

SereneOne
09-20-2007, 10:52 PM
I have wanted to eat at CRT my entire life and I FINALLY aquired lunch ressies for this trip. My daughter who turns 4 just before the trip and we also made her an appt. at BBB. We are both very excited, she is having heart surgery next year and we are going all out on this trip.

If you are going in with such a negative attitude towards it already...as in, not getting little girls wanting to dress as princesses:confused3 and thinking that princesses, esp. Cinderella whose castle it is have no place in it, you should probably try another restaurant.

karylrocks
09-20-2007, 11:54 PM
Since ADR's for CRT need to be made 180 days ahead of time and usually sell out within minutes, you may not even have that option at this point unless you get really lucky. We ate there for dinner in 2001, and my 15 year old son's only dining request for our next trip is that we eat in the castle again (hence I will be on the phone at 4am my time 180 days ahead). Yes, it is overpriced. Everyting in WDW is overpriced. You either accept that and embrace the magic or you don't accept it and don't go there (or you pray for free dining :goodvibes ) .

KirklandTutu
09-21-2007, 12:02 AM
[QUOTE]


We have ressies our first night at 8:50 and I'm trying to decide if I'm going to keep....that's really late for me to eat, and the :tinker: fireworks will be going off at 9p

Do you have to sit somewhere special to see the fireworks or are there several windows you can see them out of?? This would be a biggie for me b/c I feel like they will be going off over our head, won't be able to see them, and sound like WW3 :eek:

I'm with you on the princess princess: thing...I think I want to go eat there just to eat in the castle!! I'm just not so excited about the late time, and being our first night since we are driving in......

Thanks for any info!!

Erica princess:

When we were there a couple of years ago, they dimmed all the lights and everyone gathered around the windows. We were lucky that we were actually sitting right by the windows so we didn't have to move, it was like everyone was our subjects and we were allowing them to watch.

You can see them, but it's in a different way. It's not the big show, of course, but to me it's actually more magical. Most of the fireworks go off from behind the castle, actually. I don't remember them being v. loud.

Don't change your plans, you'll love it.

Brad Bishop
09-21-2007, 06:00 AM
I made reservations last night.

I really wasn't trying to be super negative about it. Just from the comments I had read here from searching for it (and I was trying to weigh that out with people who just didn't like it and were more likely to complain or just the restaurant having an off night) and then there was my concern for what seemed to be like a neat place to eat (the castle) being possibly ruined almost a circus of activity with kids, princesses, etc. It's not that the princesses just being there would do it or kids being there, it just seemed like it could go from a nice meal in a nice place to something Chuckie-Cheese like (but no beer for the dad's) fairly easily.

Anyway, I'll give it a shot and in four months report back.

jennifer293
09-21-2007, 06:58 AM
I still enforce that 'don't eat at the park' rule with Six Flags. Not so with Dollywood - good food there.

We always pack a cooler for the car for Six Flags :goodvibes , but I have been to Dollywood several times and I think the food there is kinda BLAH...I have been to several places at WDW that were just Ok, and I have been to some that were AMAZING...if you have not already and you are a steak eater you must try the filet at Kona Cafe...it is YUMMY!!!!

We are taking my girls (7 and 3) to eat in the castle in March, but it doesn't really matter to me if it is good or not because this entire trip was free so I am doing whatever they want to do this time around. princess:

Brad Bishop
09-21-2007, 07:18 AM
We always pack a cooler for the car for Six Flags :goodvibes , but I have been to Dollywood several times and I think the food there is kinda BLAH...I have been to several places at WDW that were just Ok, and I have been to some that were AMAZING...if you have not already and you are a steak eater you must try the filet at Kona Cafe...it is YUMMY!!!!


Sorry - I should have clarified. By 'Good Food' I meant, "Doesn't upset my stomach / make me sick." Maybe a lowest common denominator of 'good food'. I've never been to a Six Flags, had a meal, and it didn't screw with my stomach afterwards. I just stopped eating there after a few times with that years ago. To be fair, they may have changed - I don't want to take that chance, though. We always leave, go take a break at a Wendys or something, and then head back in.

As far as Dollywood. It's OK food (to me) as far as taste goes. It doesn't make me sick, though. Never has.

One other comment on Six Flags / Disney World: I hadn't been to Disney since 1997 (Disneyland) and hadn't been to WDW up until 3 weeks ago since 1990. I had been to various Six Flags plenty of times and other local amusement parks and Dollywood, of course.

A couple of things I noticed / thought about while at WDW:

- Wow is that park nicely kept! It really is.

- Six Flags, by comparison, look pretty bad. Overflowing trash cans, random cups and other trash no where near the trash cans, things needing painting, kind of poor landscaping. They've tried to clean it up somewhat recently but I just stopped going (used to be a regular Season Pass holder). The price kept going up and they'd add a new coaster every so often but the basics of the park (paint, trash, landscaping, etc.) kept being ignored.

- Dollywood, by comparison, while not quite up to par with the Magic Kingdom, is a very nice park. Clean and well-kept. I always enjoy going up there.

- My one bad comment about Disney: The kids. There were a lot of obnoxious kids there when I went 3 weeks ago. My only guess is that maybe Disney appeals to the more affluent crowd and these folks have both parents working and no one is disciplining the kids or they've signed off on some 'positive reinforcement'-crap (like if the kids are bad they only get 1 slice of cake). It's just a guess, I don't really know. It also could have just been one of those odd days where families with jerk kids all descended upon Disney. Obviously, not every single one of them, enough to where it was quite noticable compared to kids in other parks. Basically, there were a bunch of kids just being little jerks. I hadn't noticed that in the any other parks I had visited. You get the odd kid or teenager being a jerk every so often, but not quite in those numbers.

The parents (when they were around - it was odd that sometimes they were completely absent) would discipline these jerk-kids with, effectively, "If you don't stop doing that I'm going to tell you again not to do it.." (repeat again and again).

shovan
09-21-2007, 12:07 PM
Sorry - I should have clarified. By 'Good Food' I meant, "Doesn't upset my stomach / make me sick." Maybe a lowest common denominator of 'good food'. I've never been to a Six Flags, had a meal, and it didn't screw with my stomach afterwards. I just stopped eating there after a few times with that years ago. To be fair, they may have changed - I don't want to take that chance, though. We always leave, go take a break at a Wendys or something, and then head back in.

As far as Dollywood. It's OK food (to me) as far as taste goes. It doesn't make me sick, though. Never has.

One other comment on Six Flags / Disney World: I hadn't been to Disney since 1997 (Disneyland) and hadn't been to WDW up until 3 weeks ago since 1990. I had been to various Six Flags plenty of times and other local amusement parks and Dollywood, of course.

A couple of things I noticed / thought about while at WDW:

- Wow is that park nicely kept! It really is.

- Six Flags, by comparison, look pretty bad. Overflowing trash cans, random cups and other trash no where near the trash cans, things needing painting, kind of poor landscaping. They've tried to clean it up somewhat recently but I just stopped going (used to be a regular Season Pass holder). The price kept going up and they'd add a new coaster every so often but the basics of the park (paint, trash, landscaping, etc.) kept being ignored.

- Dollywood, by comparison, while not quite up to par with the Magic Kingdom, is a very nice park. Clean and well-kept. I always enjoy going up there.

- My one bad comment about Disney: The kids. There were a lot of obnoxious kids there when I went 3 weeks ago. My only guess is that maybe Disney appeals to the more affluent crowd and these folks have both parents working and no one is disciplining the kids or they've signed off on some 'positive reinforcement'-crap (like if the kids are bad they only get 1 slice of cake). It's just a guess, I don't really know. It also could have just been one of those odd days where families with jerk kids all descended upon Disney. Obviously, not every single one of them, enough to where it was quite noticable compared to kids in other parks. Basically, there were a bunch of kids just being little jerks. I hadn't noticed that in the any other parks I had visited. You get the odd kid or teenager being a jerk every so often, but not quite in those numbers.

The parents (when they were around - it was odd that sometimes they were completely absent) would discipline these jerk-kids with, effectively, "If you don't stop doing that I'm going to tell you again not to do it.." (repeat again and again).

I hope you enjoy CRT! I'm sure you've found this in your research but dinner does not have all of the princess characters visiting the tables. ( Just the Fairy Godmother I think. ) So your group should enjoy it!

I hope you haven't opened yourself up for flaming with the comments on kid behavior in the parks! People have some very strong feelings on that! I would recommend less time in MK for y'all & more time in Epcot & MGM. More adult oriented attractions. Hope you have a good trip!

Brad Bishop
09-21-2007, 01:31 PM
I hope you enjoy CRT! I'm sure you've found this in your research but dinner does not have all of the princess characters visiting the tables. ( Just the Fairy Godmother I think. ) So your group should enjoy it!

I think that works to our favor.


I hope you haven't opened yourself up for flaming with the comments on kid behavior in the parks! People have some very strong feelings on that! I would recommend less time in MK for y'all & more time in Epcot & MGM. More adult oriented attractions. Hope you have a good trip!

We'll see. I didn't call anyone's kid on this board, in particular, a jerk - just that the percentage of obnoxious kids seems to be noticably higher at WDW compared with other theme/amusement parks.

shovan
09-21-2007, 01:44 PM
I think that works to our favor.



We'll see. I didn't call anyone's kid on this board, in particular, a jerk - just that the percentage of obnoxious kids seems to be noticably higher at WDW compared with other theme/amusement parks.

I get it! But every time children's behavior in DW is mentioned things seem to get ugly! Just a friendly head's up! :goodvibes ( I've noticed it too, but not just in WDW but everywhere we go. )

abbybeth
09-21-2007, 01:49 PM
I hope that you enjoy your meal. We went there for breakfast on our trip last week. Let me just start out by saying I'm 23, but was still looking forward to eating in the castle and meeting princesses.

Our breakfast food was very plentiful and I thought had pretty good variety. There was a breakfast potato casserole-type dish that we all enjoyed. The pastries were your normal, sweet breakfast pastries, the eggs were cooked well and were hot and fresh as were the sausages. The service was very good as well. All 3 of us had plenty of food to tide us over well into lunch time and really enjoyed the ambiance of the castle. Was it mind-blowing gourmet food? No. But it was very tasty.

As to the types of people in attendance, probably 70% of those there were families with children. Of that group, maybe 1/3 of the little girls were decked out in princess attire. The princesses made their rounds quickly and efficiently and didn't interfere with our dining. We enjoyed their visits to the table and they all signed a congratulatory card for my parents' anniversary.

I would definitely recommend a meal in the castle, at least for breakfast and certainly plan to do it again. I can't speak to the lunch or dinner meals.

VandyFan10
09-21-2007, 02:46 PM
Serene....looks like you are leaving the day before me!!!

I'm SO EXCITED!!! Can't WAIT!!!!!! :cheer2: :yay: :cheer2:

SereneOne
09-21-2007, 03:10 PM
Serene....looks like you are leaving the day before me!!!

I'm SO EXCITED!!! Can't WAIT!!!!!! :cheer2: :yay: :cheer2:


Oh my goodness, I am so excited I can't stand myself! :rotfl:

If it was not for the Disney boards I would have died of overexcitement by now, seriously! :woohoo: :love: :cloud9:

Brad Bishop
09-21-2007, 03:54 PM
I get it! But every time children's behavior in DW is mentioned things seem to get ugly! Just a friendly head's up! :goodvibes ( I've noticed it too, but not just in WDW but everywhere we go. )

Oh, wasn't trying to pick on you there.

I'm really ok with kids, in general. Maybe I hit an off day. Some of them were driving me up the wall there. I just happened to notice it was more prevalent than other places. Screaming babies don't even bother me. Kids clowing around - no problems. It's when the kids are out of control and parents do nothing.

As far as the families at CRT. I'm not saying adults only or anything like that. It's just that, with the obnoxious kids bouncing off the walls on my last visit plus the whole appeal and expense of CRT - well, I'm really hoping the two don't mix (I hope the obnoxious kids stay outside).

There were kids / families at the Blue Bayou years ago, too. No problems.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to the trip. With my kids age this is likely the last time we'll all be going together. We're staying at the Contemporary (always wanted to - up until this trip I was always a "stay at the HoJo down the road"-kind of guy) and I was trying to give them something that would stick with them. It's kind of a last get-together as a family blow-out. It's possible we'll do another trip together before my oldest goes on to start her own family but there aren't that many years left.

scrump
09-21-2007, 08:29 PM
I don't think I've ever thought the food itself was worth it, but we don't really don't go to Disney restaurants for the food, least of all the castle. It's neat to go in there at least once - and we had a lot of fun! Enjoy your meal!!!

Racemom17
09-21-2007, 08:52 PM
We just ate at the castle a couple weeks ago and probably would not have and won't again unless we are on the dining plan...

We did have a later dinner so we were in the castle when the fireworks were going off...and it was a neat experience...I was not impressed with the food, service was very good.

The best meal I had at Disney was the Liberty Tree Taverns Liberty PotRoast...and their apple tart...I would take some of that right now.