This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table is Worth Your Time and Effort. One of the most coveted dining experiences at Walt Disney World is Cinderella’s Royal Table (CRT). Even with its high price tag ($58.15 for adults, $35.86 for kids, or two table service credits on the Disney Dining Plan) this restaurant can be a challenge to get into, especially for breakfast. Is CRT worth the hype? I believe it is, but to get the best possible experience it is going to take more than just money. It is going to take a decent amount of planning, a little bit of patience, and maybe just a pinch of luck to get the opportunity, but you and your family are worth the effort, right? Remember that clicking on any picture will bring up the full size version, and let’s get to counting down what separates Cinderella’s Royal Table from everything else, starting with….
# 6 – An empty Main Street, U.S.A.
This won’t come easy, but it is a wonderful reward to some hard work. To be able to get an early morning walk down Main Street, U.S.A., you’re going to have to get up even earlier 180 days ahead of time to book your CRT reservation. With Disney on-site guests getting “180 days + 10” for advance dining reservations, it certainly wouldn’t hurt your chances to be staying a night or more on Disney property. I recommend using this Priority Seating Calculator (not affiliated with TouringPlans) to figure out when you’ll be 180 days out from the date you’d like. On the day you are eligible to book your advanced dining reservation, you need to be prepared to go online or call (407) WDW-DINE at 6 AM. I would recommend the phone call and make sure you are ready by 5:45 AM. The earliest seatings at CRT are one of the hardest reservations in the Disney system, but luck favors the prepared and your chances of scoring an elusive 8:05 AM reservation will increase tenfold if you go into this with a plan.
# 5 – A photo in front of Cinderella Castle without anyone else in your shot
Getting pictures in front of Cinderella Castle is good, but getting those photos without anyone else in them is about as good as it gets. The early bird gets the worm, and the early reservation gets the photo.
# 4 – The atmosphere of being inside Cinderella Castle (and all the little details)
Unlike other character dining experiences on property, Cinderella’s Royal Table is more than just meeting the characters, it’s an experience. The level of theming throughout the entire breakfast is top notch with more than a few surprises along the way. The downstairs area, where you meet Cinderella and take in the elaborate setting (including suits of armor, chandeliers, and hanging coats of arms), leads you to red carpeted stairs that feel special in a way that no other stairs in Orlando do. While Disney may overuse the term “story” when talking about everything from an attraction to Disney Springs, Cinderella’s Royal Table is where it nails “story” on every possible level of immersion.
Once seated, the story continues as princes and princesses (i.e., children) are not only given a wishing star, but also a wand or sword, all of which tie into the Disney’s Cinderella movie. Later these are used in a “wishing ceremony,” a true piece of Disney Magic that would be nice to see used in other character venues.
# 3 – A billion dollar view
In real estate there are three important factors: location, location, location. The same applies to seating at Cinderella’s Royal Table as there are many of seats with a window view of Fantasyland down below. Request one of these, and hopefully you and your family will experience the same wonder Remy had when he looked up and saw the view in Linguine’s apartment in Ratatouille.
# 2 – A jump start on Fantasyland…
Having an early reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table also means you are already at the Castle when the Magic Kingdom officially opens for the day. So while all the other guests are making their way up Main Street, you have the ability to pop right out ahead of them and enjoy pretty much any Fantasyland attraction you want to yourself.
# 1 – Princess wise, more bang for your buck
Character meet and greets are obviously a huge part of the Disney theme park experience in 2014, and this only looks to be getting bigger in the future. If you and your family plan to meet the Disney Princesses, Cinderella’s Royal Table is a good way to check several off your list at once without having to wait in any long lines to meet them as they come to you. CRT has its namesake Cinderella, along with Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White, and Aurora. You can also meet several princesses at Epcot’s Akershus (and for less money,) but here are two reasons I’m going to recommend CRT over that.
- While CRT’s food is not going to win any Michelin stars, many people (especially kids) are going to enjoy it much more than the Norwegian based offerings at Akershus. CRT has french toast. Akershus has peppered mackerel. CRT has cinnamon buns. Akershus has Glassmeister herring. To be fair, Akershus does have some American-style selections on its breakfast menu, but I’ll take CRT any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
- CRT is in the Magic Kingdom while Akershus is in Epcot. Not only does Epcot have fewer things for kids to do in general, it has even less in World Showcase, where Akershus is located. Meeting the princesses in both of these breakfasts is fun, and the entire family will be leaving on a euphoric high. One has you exiting into Fantasyland and everything that entails; the other leads you out to Nine Dragons. As for price, we’re not talking the difference in price between a room at the Contemporary and a room at Pop Century, we’re talking at most $20 per person. The choice is clear.
Remember that Cinderella’s Royal Table will be going through a refurbishment and is thus unavailable from January 15 through March 6, 2015. It will reopen for dining experiences on March 7. Check out TouringPlans’ Disney World Refurbishment Schedule page to see the dates for all WDW dining venues and attractions scheduled for refurbishment.
So there you have it: Six Reasons Breakfast at Cinderella’s Table is Worth Your Time and Effort. See you next weekend for the latest edition of the SATURDAY SIX, where we are going to take a peek at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and check out all of our favorite parts of what your humble author considers Disney’s best hard ticket party. Candy, Boo To You, Candy, HalloWishes, Candy, the Headless Horseman, and more Candy. If you had fun, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out Pardon the Pixie Dust podcast.
Special thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover, the “Band Leader” herself Morgan Crutchfield, and grammar cop MegS for their invaluable assistance in this article. And a special shout out to two of the most adorable children in the world, Annabelle and Cohen.