Monday, August 3, 2015

Cinderella's Royal Table: Photo Tour & Review!

John and I had dinner in Cinderella's castle last week! So who's up for a virtual tour?


We were there to celebrate our friend Christie's birthday, so that's her & her hubby Chris with us. Christie also *just* had hip surgery, so this was her first time out of the house... in the 100 degree heat... and pouring rain... on crutches. (Hey, the worst day at Disney is still better than most days anywhere else, right?)

We checked in a good 20 minutes early, but were still shown right in. Yay no waiting! The check-in is outside in the castle pass-through, with the entrance just behind. Once through that door, you see this:

This tiny passage serves as the queue for your pre-dinner photo op with Cinderella. It curves sharply to the right at the end, so you can't see the room beyond until the queue moves forward.

 I took the opportunity to try and capture the lovely gold light hitting this suit of armor.

A few minutes more, and we could peek around the corner into the room beyond:

I spy Cindy!

But most impressive was the view straight ahead:

[Click 'read more' below for the rest!]

A closer look at the doorway at the far end:

...which I just realized is the accessible/companion restroom. Aha - so THAT'S where it is!

This area is all one large room, with Cinderella's meet and greet taking place on the right side.

You guys know I'm not a big fan of self-portraits, so I just took one for Chris & Christie - who's apparently an expert at balancing on one leg:

(Did I really bring a child's "Birthday Princess" sash and make Christie wear it? Yes, yes I did. :D)

Also on the right, this fabulous copper verdigris fireplace:

You can't see them in that shot, but if you look closely on the wall above the fireplace...

 Jaq & Gus!

You can also see some of that fabulous fireplace detailing there. 

Up above there's a tiny second floor balcony, which I later discovered is the staircase leading up to the restaurant.

Here's the staircase entrance, right below it:

There's also a small elevator on the right.

If you take the stairs, though, you get to see this pretty stained glass window:

There's also a landing midway that houses most of the restrooms, which is an odd design. (But also explains the disabled facilities on the ground floor.)

Peeking out of that second floor balcony:

And I couldn't resist a shot of the crown on the chandelier:

Would you believe we're not even in the dining room yet? Eesh!

The first thing you notice upon stepping into the actual restaurant is this amazing ceiling:

My poor camera couldn't fit the whole thing in frame! Note to self: next time, bring the wide-angle.

There's lots of beautiful natural light streaming in from all the windows up there, plus from an entire wall of windows over on the right side:

This was taken around 4PM, which is why it's so bright.


I forgot to take a picture of the menu (I am so not a food blogger), so here's the one Chris took with his phone:

I got the Pork Belly Confit appetizer, which was phenomenal. I didn't know you could pack that much flavor into so few bites:

I worried the raspberry Habanero sauce would be spicy, but there was no heat at all - just sweetness.

Another stand out was the Shrimp With Grits, which Chris ordered and insisted I try:

The grits were pureed like the smoothest, creamiest mashed potatoes you've ever tasted. So good.

For entrees everyone except me had the steak:

Although John got his with mushrooms instead of shrimp, since he's not a seafood fan:

I didn't try the steak, though, because my entree was CLEARLY the best thing on the menu:

This is the vegetarian option: Seasonal Gnocci with Roasted Vegetables. It's topped with breaded & fried leeks, ie, fancy onion rings. And holy WOW was it amazing.

To give you an idea of how tasty this dish is, John the Carnivore preferred this to his own tenderloin, and ended up polishing off everything I couldn't finish. (It's a surprisingly large portion.) He's also declared his intention to find the recipe so we can try making it at home. And we don't cook. So, yeah, amazeballsawesomesauce.

And finally, desert!

Once again, the other 3 all ordered the same thing: the seasonal Strawberry Cheesecake:

The bite I tried had an oddly synthetic aftertaste, and I didn't like it at all - but the other 3 assured me they liked it just fine. So... [shrug]

Fortunately my own "Chocolate Tart" was better than it sounded:

It's basically a dense cake with a layer of crunchy hazelnuts and toffee-like caramel chips in the middle, topped with ice cream. AND I APPROVE.

I should mention this IS a character dining experience, so every 10 minutes or so there was a muted announcement over the sound system, introducing the next princess to arrive. She would then work her way through the tables for photos.

Since we had no kids with us, these visits were mercifully brief. A quick hello, and then I took pictures of each one with Chris & Christie. Easy-peasy.

The princesses included Ariel, Jasmine, Aurora, and Snow White.

In closing, the food at Cinderella's was miles better than I expected, the surroundings are stunning, and the atmosphere is... well, theme-parky, with plenty of screaming kids. Heh.

OH! But they DO give everyone a free plastic pirate sword or fairy wand. Naturally our waitress gave the swords to the boys and the wands to the girls, but John and I immediately swapped, which garnered him some amused looks from the princesses. That's my man.

One more shot of that stellar ceiling:

And the downstairs chandelier:

And some me-having-fun shots of the second suit of armor, which turned out to be my favorites of the day:

Hope you guys enjoyed your virtual visit!


  1. SO funny...I was actually just in Florida this past week visiting my family. We took my niece to have breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table on Thursday! I actually thought about you, because I assume you go do Disney every day, lol! (I know I would if I had season tickets and lived nearby!)

    Oh, and thanks for the post on Gods and Monsters- I made sure to stop by before we headed back to Boston and it was AWESOME! I also found out that my musician brother plays gigs at Artegon Marketplace. He's a big geek too and surprisingly didn't even know the store was there!

  2. Sounds lovely!. I do find Disney's (an many other's) insistence on gender roles strange for 2015. I'd want the sword too!

  3. Ah! Cindy's! I was so lucky when I was on the college program with my then psuedo-boyfriend. We got walk up reservations once! We went to the park early on a day off and just asked if they had a spot. THEY DID. I consider that my greatest triumph.

  4. Just FYI, Jen, I would totally wear the heck out of the birthday princess sash, should we just *happen* to meet up for dinner in, say, February. Also, I have my own tiara. :-)

  5. Thanks for the tour!

    Is it just me, or does Cindy look like she's holding an invisible cocktail in the photo with Chris and Christie? Or, is she pointing at Christie's princess sash, as in, "See that sash, Charming? I need one of those."

    -Just Andrea

    1. At first I thought Cindy was pointing at Christie, too, but upon closer inspection I think she's just doing a "princess hand" thing. Just, you know, not very well. ;)

  6. Wow the ice cream on your "Chocolate Tart" looks so magically smoooooth.

    1. Right? I didn't believe it was ice cream until I tried it; still not sure how they managed that perfect finish.

  7. Wow!! That place looks fantastic!! And that chocolate looks to die for.

    Okay, I may be crazy but Cindy looked like she had too much makeup on.

    And I adore (and need!) Christie's shirt. :D

    1. I didn't notice the shirt until you said something and now I must have it. (starts googling frantically).
      Jen- would you ask where she got it?

    2. Found it!!

    3. Aha, thanks for the link, Lisa; it was the first thing I asked Christie, too!

      And Harper Fam, John completely agrees with you, but I told him to be nice, so he didn't comment here. All of the princesses have to wear quite a lot of makeup, but some are better at making it *look* subtle than others. (Plus the low lighting & my terrible photo didn't do her any favors.)

  8. Thank you for sharing. I love hearing about all the restaurants in the Disney-verse. I always visit the same places to eat when I visit Disneyland and I'm not sure when I'll ever make it to WDW.

  9. Thank you SO much, Jen! I've been waiting for these pics! Jen and John and Chris and can so much cute fit into one photo?!

    I'm so happy to finally see what the inside of Cinderella's castle looks like, and of course the vegetarian option was the tastiest! It always is! Go, veggies!

    Based on your review, we're going to Gods and Monsters in a couple weeks. I'm pretty excited because I know my son and husband will love it. Thanks for showing us all the cool geeky stuff to see and do in the Orlando area. Sadly, we're only spending a day there and only doing cheap/free stuff. Gods and Monsters in the morning and Kelly Park tubing in Apopka in the afternoon. Ever been there? Fun? Cold? Crowded?


    1. I haven't been tubing, no, so 'fraid I can't help there! Glad you're checking out G&M; that's a fun spot to waste a few hours, if you roam the Artegon market outside, too. If you weren't going in the morning, I'd be tempted to join you! (Mornings, boo, hiss... ;))

  10. You might try to see if the recipes you want are in any of the Cooking With Mickey cookbooks. Those look delicious!

  11. thank you, thank you! i have zero desire to go to disney, but have always wondered what the little details were like in such a place. this was a wonderful tour. very appreciated!

  12. This is all very nice, but the real question is WHERE DID CHRISTIE GET THAT SHIRT? #want

  13. Thank you for sharing this. When I was 12, my mom took me on a trip to Disney World and this was the one splurge she allowed for us. We had dinner at the castle and I still remember it. Some of the aspects have changed, like the photos with the princesses and the menus, but the visuals have taken me back to a very sweet memory of my mom. And those are kind of hard to come by, so thank you.

  14. As an advocate for people with disabilities, I appreciate you pointing out the accessible features. Generally speaking, Disney does it right.

  15. Funny. I was looking at the menu saying to myself, "if I were to go there, what would I eat?"
    I picked the gnocci because the description sounded the best. haha. Guess I picked correctly. :)

    Cinderella's castle looks amazing! Like a real castle! I feel like I'd have to dress to the nines just to be let in the door! So glad you had fun!
    If I EVER go to Florida, that place is on my bucket list... If you don't mine me asking, what were the prices? I noticed the menu didn't have any listed.

    Such a cool place, Jen! I bet Christie had her best birthday yet!
    --Piper P from Washington State

    1. We actually paid when we made the reservation 6 months ago, so I had to look it up! It's a set price for the whole meal, somewhere around $75 each. So, 'spensive. Happily we got to use Christie & Chris' cast discount, though, which made it a little less painful.

    2. Not too terribly expensive if you think about it... Gourmet meal with Disney princesses! :)
      I think it was close to that price when I went to Knights of the Round Table, and they didn't even let us use utensils!

      --Piper P from Washington State

  16. I love Cinderella's Royal Table! My sister and I went in 2013 to celebrate her engagement as a sort of bachelorette party, and we were seated right by the window overlooking the park! They had this amazing stroke-of-midnight themed dessert then, but I didn't see it on your photo of the menu. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos! And happy birthday to your friend!

  17. ok, I just have to point out that, put her in the right dress, your friend Christie could easily pass for Cinderella!

  18. Yay, I was so hoping for a virtual tour! Love all the photos! And that chocolate dessert looks way better than the cheesecake. ;) I get so jealous when I see all your amazing pictures from Disney and just dream of getting there someday. I'm sure my entire visit would be never going on any rides and just wandering around, my camera glued to my face.

  19. Rock on to Christie for going to Disney post hip surgery. I took my husband to King's Island in Cincinnati just 2 weeks after he had double partial hip replacements, because he would not missing going with our friends kids. I only let him ride the Viking Ship, the Carousel, and the swings, but I think it was really good for him to get out of the house and be social with other people. Now I remind him that I must really love him since I pushed him around in a wheelchair all day! :)

  20. Christie is the mermaid right? I guess tail flipping is hard on hips...

    1. Yes, good memory! I post her cosplay a lot here, too; most recently she was hipster Elsa (with her sister Robyn as Anna.) Here's their FB page, if you want to see more.

  21. maybe you need a suit of armor in the steampunk room? just saying...

  22. Oh, you're not making it any easier to wait for our trip at the end of the year - and I'm not doing very well waiting as it is! (Most of my pre-trip projects are already done!)
    We have breakfast reservations for Cindy's, so I'm all the more excited. I haven't been since it was King Stefan's - still have the glass! - so I can't wait to see it now. I'm also a fan of the suits of armor! I can't remember from previous posts; Have you seen all the suits in the hall at Be Our Guest?!? The details are spectacular! I have so many pictures of them!
    Thanks for the preview! Maybe we'll see you down there!

    - And I can't wait to see a post about that pic you tweeted yesterday! Yeah, I couldn't help but notice - something about it just struck my imagination... ;-)

  23. You and your husband personify #relationshipgoals for me <3

  24. You should come to the UK were we have real castles and real Princesses, here in Wales we have the most castles per mile in the world! 4 in my home area alone....You would swoon at Cardiff Castle.

  25. I thoroughly relate to your appreciation of the ceiling! I traveled to Spain during college and I have so many pictures of cathedral ceilings :) Glad someone else enjoys them too!


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