Q: Is there a place to dine with Princesses other than Cinderella’s Royal Table?
A. Yes. This is actually a question I get asked a lot by families visiting the parks with princess lovers. Nestled in Magic Kingdom’s iconic Cinderella’s Castle, Cinderella’s Royal Table is the first place that families think of when it comes to adding some special princess touches to your Walt Disney World vacation. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner options, diners will not only have an opportunity to bask in the luxurious surroundings but also will get to rub shoulders with much-loved Disney royalty including: Ariel, Aurora, Jasmine, Snow White, Cinderella and sometimes even Fairy Godmother. However with a price tag in excess of $60.00 per adult or 2 Dining Credits and with reservations pretty darn hard to come by, admittedly Cinderella’s Royal Table is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Yet even for those not wanting to part with the cash or the dining credits or those who didn’t manage to nab a coveted Advanced Dining Reservation for Cinderella’s Royal Table, all is not lost. There are options still available in the princess dining department. Here’s our list of worthy alternatives to Cinderella’s Royal Table.
1. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – If I’m being honest, I actually prefer this princess dining option over Cinderella’s Royal Table. Located in the Norway Pavilion, this banquet hall is styled in a similar regal fashion to Cinderella’s Royal Table albeit slightly smaller. It’s Epcot location means that reservations are slightly easier to come by and the fact that it now sits next to Frozen Ever After , Disney’s newest Frozen-themed attraction, makes it a hot piece of Disney dining real estate. The breakfast at Akershus is one of my favorites on Disney property. Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast buffet with cheeses, cured meats, fruit and salmon with a skillet filled with eggs, bacon and utterly fantastic breakfast potatoes delivered family-style to your table for your party to share. The lunch and dinner offerings are more distinctly Scandinavian with plenty of seafood as well as Norwegian meatballs. Princesses are on hand at each of the meals and the royal line-up typically consists of Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Princess Aurora and Ariel. Mary Poppins has also been known to make an occasional appearance. Prices range from $39.00 – $59.00 per adult depending on the meal. Those on the dining plan will be delighted to know that this meal only takes up 1 dining credit, making it a great option for those wanting to conserve their Table Service Credits. Reservations can be made online or at 407-WDW-DINE.
Quick Tip: If you have Frozen fans in your family. book your reservations at the 180 day mark and try to nab a coveted 8am Akershus Dining Reservation. This means that when your breakfast finishes at 9am, you’ll be in a prime position to line straight up for Frozen Ever After and can save your beloved Epcot Category A Fastpasses for another headline attraction.
2. Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea – Let me preface this by saying that this is more of a luxury add-on then it is a dining experience (particularly since dining plans are not accepted.) Also with a price tag of $234.98 for one adult and 1 child it is not a practical budget option. However, it is an amazing experience for those looking to celebrate a birthday or other notable occasion with their little princess and who weren’t able to get a Cinderella’s Royal Table reservation. Held late morning at the Garden View Tea Room at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, princesses get treated like royalty with a high-tea that includes, tea (that tastes an awful lot like fruit juice) dainty finger sandwiches, fruit and a very special princess cakes. Honorary guests of Princess Aurora, the little ones are led through a fun series of songs and activities by (a flower-turned-friend) Rose Petal. Princess Aurora makes a grand entrance midway through the activities and takes time visiting the table of each of the children (definitely more time than during the character dining meals). The hefty price tag is justified by a stash of amazing gifts that each princess is given to celebrate their special day. Those lucky enough to take part in this event will receive a 10″ Princess Aurora Doll w/ Best Friend Certificate, Princess Tiara, Silver Princess Bracelet, Princess Necklace, and a fresh rose. There is no dress code but little ones are encouraged to don their princess finery so participants may want to bring along a costume for the event. Tea parties take place every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday starting at 10:30 am. Advanced reservations can be made by dialing 407-WDW-MY-TEA.
3. 1900 Park Fare – Each evening 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa plays host to the delightful Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner. This character dining experience takes up 1 Table Service Dining Credit or around $59.99 per adult. The meal features buffet dining with options ranging from soups and salads to carvery items like pork or beef loin. But what really makes this dining experience worthy of your little princess-in-the-making is that the event is hosted by Cinderella and Prince Charming. Dining guests can watch as the royal couple share their first dance of the evening and may even be lucky enough to join in. But the real fun starts when the event is crashed by none other than Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drizella. You won’t be able to help but laugh at their loud-mouthed antics. Though this reservation is slightly easier to nab than Akershus or Cinderella’s Royal Table, booking as far out as possible is strongly recommend and can be done via My Disney Experience or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
4. Be Our Guest – Okay. So I know this isn’t technically princess dining but hear me out. There is something so magical about walking up to Beast’s Castle for a meal. The setting is so fantastically done and so quintessentially Beauty and the Beast that it’s hard not to feel like you are in a scene from the movie. Visitors looking to conserve their Table Service dining credits will be pleased to know that during breakfast and lunch Be Our Guest only takes up a Quick Service Credit. However, the meal isn’t strictly counter service with your food being brought to your table by one of the delightfully costumed attendees. At dinner, the castle is transformed into a slightly more formal Table Service Restaurant where guests can enjoy a French-inspired menu. The evening is also hosted by Beast himself. For a truly immersive experience I recommend sitting in the Gothic West Wing where visitors can view the enchanted rose. Beauty and the Beast fans will also enjoy ordering the Grey Stuff from the desert menu. Prices range from $14.99 per adult to $34.99 per adult depending on the meal. Advanced reservation (even for the Quick Service Meals) are essential and should be made close to the 180 day mark). Reservations can be made online through My Disney Experience.
Those looking for a breakfast reservations should note that Be Our Guest is one of a select few restaurants in the parks to offer breakfast before the park opens. Try and nab an 8:00 am reservation and you’ll find yourself beating the crowds and walking down a delightfully empty Main Street.
Not Princessy Enough? Last time I was at the parks and couldn’t get a Cinderella’s Royal Table Reservation, I took my little Belle-in-the-making to Be Our Guest. but coupled it with a visit to the neighboring Enchanted Tales with Belle. It’s a great attraction where your little ones can actually be in a play with Belle and help her re-create key scenes from the movie. Those participating get to meet the famous Princess and even get their photo taken. From there we walked over to Gaston’s Tavern where we met the man himself. It’s a fantastic character interaction with lots of brilliant banter. With a little creativity our meal and character interactions rivaled those of any princess meal we’ve had.
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