Cinderella’s Royal Table, or CRT, is one of the most sought after dining experiences in Walt Disney World. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to dine in Cinderella Castle?!?! The sheer idea of it makes me swoon. We’ve never made an ADR here though, simply due to the expense. This year we decided to take the plunge and see if CRT was really worth all the hype.
We decided to try breakfast here for two reasons. First, we love getting into the parks, especially Magic Kingdom, early. No crowds in front of the Castle, perfect time to take photos and just a nice calm in the air, like the calm before a storm. I recommend everyone make a breakfast reservation before the park opens at least once during their vacation. Secondly, breakfast is the least expensive meal here. At $58 for adults, its still very expensive. And since G hit the old age of 10, everything at Walt Disney World is more expensive. But I digress…..
Nonetheless, we were super excited to try out this magical place! We’ve been inside the castle before for the Bippity Boppity Boutique, but we’ve never seen the inside of the dining area. Or the second floor!!
The experience starts at check-in, like all of the table service restaurants at WDW. Once you receive your “invitation”, you are called back to wait in line for Cinderella herself! Cinderella makes a grand entrance down the spiral staircase and interacts with guests for a meet and greet and photo opps. Its a similar experience to dining at Akershus in Norway. Notice all of the details as you are waiting. The castle is beautifully appointed and really quite regal.
After chatting it up with the princess, its time to eat! After we headed up the spiral staircase, we were seated. The dining room is much smaller than I had anticipated but it is beautifully decorated for royalty. We loved that during this meal you get to eat on the second floor of the castle! Since we were here at breakfast, they brought out a plate of pastries to enjoy while waiting for our server. Its similar to the pastry plate at Be Our Guest with a few variations.
While I feel the menu is quite lacking for breakfast, keep in mind that all of the items are the same price, except the kids menu item, so choose wisely. I ordered the Beef Tenderloin and Egg and G ordered the Carmel Apple-stuffed French toast while Rochelle ordered the Healthy Choice.
Sadly, while I very much enjoyed my breakfast, G and Rochelle were both very meh about theirs. G actually didn’t like hers at all and only maybe ate a few bites. The French Toast here is more like a bread pudding and while we both thought it sounded delicious, I tried it as well and it just wasn’t to my liking either. Rochelle’s biggest complaint was that the meal itself, the Healthy Choice, would have probably costed less than $5 to make at home and was definitely not worth the $58 price tag.
Obviously the food is not the only reason we came here. Being able to meet all of the classic princesses in one, air-conditioned setting is always a plus if it can be managed. The princesses come out one by one, announced every few minutes and make their way around to the tables. Have your autograph books and cameras ready!
The ambiance of the restaurant was chaotic. I wish I could say otherwise, however I have to call it like I see it. That being said, I’m sure like any restaurant, that’s not a one-size-fits-all type of statement. We were there on a Saturday morning, with lots of small children who were undoubtedly very excited. So it was very loud and also very crowded mostly just due to the size of the dining room. I’m sure this is probably not the case all of the time and probably not the case for dinner when the meal price is even higher. So take that with a grain of salt. We were unable to even hear the wishing ceremony taking place due to the loudness in the restaurant but it looked like it would’ve been fun! The lights flash all around the castle which is kind of cool so at least we were able to experience that much of it!
Overall, we did like dining at CRT simply for the experience of being inside the castle. Its been a Disney bucket list item for us for a while and I’m glad that we were able to do it. Seeing how I spent almost half of my normal month’s food budget in a single setting on mine and G’s breakfast for one day, I doubt we will return any time soon, but I’m glad that it was something we were able to experience, even if it is just once.
Would I recommend it? Hmmmmm…..It really depends. I would hate to discourage anyone from trying this restaurant for the mere fact that it is an experience you can only have here. Being inside the castle and seeing the view from here is something that can really only be done if you dine at CRT. Just keep a few things in mind. First you need to decide if you’re willing to pay that much for one meal. Keep in mind that lunch and dinner are more expensive. You can view the menu here and decide for yourself if its worth the splurge. Breakfast will cost you $58 for adults and $36 for children; lunch $61 for adults and $38 for children and dinner $73 for adults and $43 for children. Prices can fluctuate with peak periods as well. Secondly, realize that you’re not paying as much for the food as you really are for the experience.
Every family has their own tastes and budgets, so while I can’t say that I wouldn’t recommend it, I can say that I think its important to weigh the cost vs the experience and make your decision based on that. I’ve heard good things about the food served at dinner, but I still feel like that’s a lot for one meal.
If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, this reservation will cost you TWO entitlements. Yep, two table service meals for this dining experience. Since we go often and usually on a budget, we aren’t really willing to give up that extra entitlement for one meal. On the flip side, its pretty expensive to eat here as well. So if you’re dining with your family, consider this quite the splurge.
Since Be Our Guest opened, CRT doesn’t seem to be as difficult to score a reservation. There have been multiple occasions that I would have been able to get an ADR here and simply chose not to. That being said, however, you will still want to stick to the 6 month reservation timeline if possible. Other reservations will open up, but its much easier if you simply plan well ahead.
While I did enjoy my breakfast, the portion sizes were actually considerably smaller than I’ve grown accustomed to at WDW. To me that’s fine because I think portion sizes are way too big to begin with, but for some people, they might find this disappointing.
I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant as a way to get a head start at Magic Kingdom unless you can get the 7:55 time. Even that could be cutting it close. It took an hour and a half for us to meet Cinderella in line, meet Jasmine, Ariel, Snow White and Aurora at our tables, and be served our breakfast so by the time we were done with the whole experience, we were really no more ahead than anyone else. If you’re looking to get an early breakfast and and early start at the parks, we recommend the 8 am buffet at Crystal Palace or as early as you can get a quick serve at Be Our Guest. Both will get you into the parks much faster.
If you do not have a dining plan applied to your account upon booking, you will be required to pay for this meal in full with your credit card on file when booking. Keep that in mind if you are booking for a large amount of people.
Have you been to CRT? Do you think its worth the splurge? Share your thoughts in the comments below!