There are certain dining experiences that define where you vacation. You can’t go to Italy without eating some pasta. You can’t go to England without seeing Big Ben. You can’t visit Colorado without at least looking at a mountain. You get the gist.
Thus, Disney brings forth the quintessential dining experience – Cinderella’s Magic Table. Some may argue it’s not REALLY worth the money and time to dine, but I counter that in fact, as a once-in-a-lifetime, it is worth the money and time.
I can’t say that Cinderella’s will be the best meal of your life, or even the most memorable, but it is worth the hype and joy that it brings to you and others. Mostly it answers “what is the big deal anyway”?
The big deal is that the restaurant is IN the castle. The big deal is that you get to play pretend for a couple of hours and escape the heat and crowds to play princess (or prince). The big deal is that you have a multi-course meal in a fun setting. The big deal is that it breaks up the every day.
As most mid/westerners can attest, fine dining is hard to come by. While cities like Denver are moving into new directions, it’s still rare to have a fine dining experience in most parts of middle america. The benefit of Cinderella’s is that it’s a kid friendly introduction to fine dining, table manners, and the fun of getting to do something “fancy”.
First things first, and maybe the most important thing is to make your reservations exactly at the six month mark in Disney World (three month Disneyland). Even though I woke up RIGHT as reservations were becoming available, I still got a 2:00 p.m. versus earlier lunch reservation.
It’s important to know you HAVE to pay ahead for this reservation, good or bad. The cost for us was $350.00 for three “adult” meals (12 year old is considered adult) and one child meal. The current rate is at $75.00 per adult and $45.00 for children under 10 for lunch or dinner. Breakfast rates are $62.00 per adult, and $37.00 for children under 10.
What I failed to do in advance (lesson learned), that would have been helpful was to request a table with a view. While our corner table was nice and quiet, it didn’t allow for the same experience that a window would have.
How Does it Work?
The experience begins with walking into the castle for your reservation. Through a crowded corridor you will meet Cinderella and snap a few photos with the fabled Princess (or is she now a Queen?). She is in her very fancy ball gown and all smiles and blonde.
I personally was less interested in seeing the Princesses and more in the staging of faux Norman-influenced medieval castle, but we all come with different stripes.
Once you have snapped your pics, you are moved along, party by party to your tables. They come and retrieve you and take you up a very pretty winding staircase to the main dining room where someone will seat you.
What About Some Magic?
Magic is in the name, so no doubt that you will receive some little touches here and there. Our table was already gendered with magic wands and wishing stars (boys get swords). However, instead of bulking when my team of girls asked for swords, they just brought swords too, which left the girls overly delighted.
Our server was born and bred English, which added some quintessential charm. She also looked a little like Mrs. Potts, while a different movie, it made it all the more fun.
While a restaurant, one does not really go to Cinderella’s for the food. It’s good, not $350.00 a meal good, but enjoyable none the less. You will be served a starter such as a salad or charcutterie. The second course is a main entree, I loved my Garbanzo bean puffs and my aunt and stepdaughter were all about team steak. Finally, the dessert was nothing short of darling design and fun. The highlight for Miss Ivy was “decorate your own cupcakes” in which she got her fingers and face completely sticky and happy.
Also, they were fabulous about my food allergies. A chef came out and talked to me about what my best options were, they didn’t make a big deal about it, and they were very welcoming. It made my stress of eating out dissipate so I could just enjoy my time!
Finally, of course, are the princesses, which is a huge reason why so many families come. For us it was icing on the cake and a fun moment with characters we all have grown up with. My favorite was the actress playing Snow White, she did not flinch or drop character for even a second, which was nothing short of impressive!
Ivy, bless her, barely knew who anyone was (she’s a kid that loves dinosaurs). However, she had a blast meeting all these women dolled up in fancy outfits with smiles and hugs to share. I hope, all around it created some delightful memories!
Simply put – yes. While I would suggest that you take kids when they fully love and appreciate what they are doing, it may be worth it to go for the sake of going. Keep in mind that dining in Disney adds up quickly and is never an inexpensive venture. Thus, it may be worth paying a little more for something that is relaxing and better dining versus visiting another quick eats.
Final tip: enjoy a glass of wine with your meal, it makes the day feel special and it compliments your eats quite nicely.
HAPPY TRAVELS and EATS!
- Disney Planning – How to Plan
- Disney Planning – Getting Started
- Disney Planning – How to Save
- Disney Planning – What are we eating?
- Disney Planning – Do I Need This?
- Disney Planning – What Are We Riding?
- Disney Planning – What Are You Wearing?
- Disney Planning – Which Disney?
- Disney with Kids and Tweens
- 1st Visit to Disney World – part 1
- 1st Visit to Disney World – part 2