Cinderella's Royal Table Breakfast: A Dining Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 6/11/2009
There used to be a time where getting a breakfast reservation at Cinderella's Royal Table was one of the hottest tickets on Disney property. I remember phoning up one day at exactly 7:00 am EST at 90 days out and being able to nab one of those coveted tables.
The Foyer of Cinderella's Royal Table (Photo by BradK)
These days, it's still one of the most popular places to eat, but it is a bit easier to get in there. Despite that, I do remember smiling broadly when my friend informed me that she'd managed to snag a place there for breakfast for my most recent trip. This one saw me flying solo -- literally -- as my husband couldn't get the time off work to come with me, so instantly I went for the restaurants that I knew he wasn't a fan of and one of those was Cinderella's Royal Table.
We ate together here in 2002 and were distinctly unimpressed by the quality of the food. We came away feeling underwhelmed and, when the prices increased dramatically, that finished any prospect of us returning there for some time.
Finally, it was time to go back and give it another go. My first feeling when we booked this was that it is overpriced for a breakfast at $34.99 for adults and $23.99 for children aged 3 – 9. Compare it to some of the other character breakfasts on Disney property and it's almost double the price. Even Chef Mickey's and the Princess Storybook Dining at the Akerhaus Royal Banquet Hall, which are the next closest in price, both come in a lot cheaper at $22.99 for adults.
Therefore, Cinderella's Royal Table had some very high expectations to meet on my part. Certainly, when you arrive, it's a lot more orderly now than the last time we were here. You check in and then wait to be called in. Once you are called forward, you line up to have your photo taken with Cinderella, which is a much better system than when she used to circulate around the tables upstairs. It gets perhaps the most important part for a lot of little princesses out of the way first, meaning they can then perhaps settle down a little and concentrate on the food when they get upstairs.
As soon as your photo is taken, there's a Cast Member on hand to direct you towards the stairs at the back of the hall, which take you up to the dining area. Once there, you're shown immediately to your table, or at least we certainly were.
Disney seemed to have the arrival of the princesses very carefully worked out and, within moments of being seated, we had seen all who were at the breakfast. Our selection was Princess Aurora, Snow White, Mulan, and Belle and they literally all came one after the other, rather than you having to wait to see them. That was a definite improvement on some character meals, with the distinct feeling that they had planned this perfectly for us.
Then it was time to move on to the food, the other reason I had come back here. I was interested to see whether the quality had improved in the last few years or not, but the first problem was attracting our server's attention, so I could tell him that I didn't eat meat. This was probably the biggest downside to our meal here. We found him very slow to come to us in the first place and, when he did appear, he was gone just as quickly. It took about three attempts to get the message through to him.
Sadly, that message obviously didn't get through very well, as the person who brought out our meals, not our server, turned up with two plates loaded with bacon and sausage, one of which was immediately sent back to the kitchen. A few minutes later, the vegetarian version arrived and I was not disappointed. It consisted of two pieces of French toast, which was a very pleasant surprise, a mixture of potatoes, tomatoes, and vegetables, and some form of pastry with a red currant sauce. I can't comment on the latter, as it didn't appeal to me at all, but the other parts of what was served were excellent.
There was certainly no chance of me leaving here hungry, as in addition to this (very full!) plate, they also provided us with a fruit salad and another set of pastries. If you're curious, the normal plate comes with the same pastry I had with the red currant sauce, eggs, sausages, and bacon. I wondered why there were no eggs with my dish and it's obvious that this is suitable for vegans, as this is why they didn't add the eggs. A quick word and they did come out as a side dish and they were excellent.
Cinderella's Royal Table has certainly improved in leaps and bounds, as far as the quality of food goes, and the way the whole meal is organized. It's much better value than it used to be, although I can't help but feel that it's still overpriced for what you get and I would love to see Disney being a bit more reasonable with what they charge. I can't imagine that changing in the near future though or for as long as it remains such a hot ticket for guests.
Dining at the castle has certainly become a more pleasurable experience than it used to be and, based on what I found there, I'm sure it won't be another seven years before I return.
Princess Hugs at Cinderella's Royal Table (photo by lukeandbrookesmom)
About the Author: Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!
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