Guests of the Magic Kingdom would be remiss if they did not wonder what exactly goes on inside that giant castle on the other side of the Hub. Cinderella Castle fills the role of the Magic Kingdom’s “weenie” with a majestic grace. It definitely draws the eye and acts as a beacon around the park, guiding guests back to the center. Nobody really cares that an ornate castle is visible from a futurescape or the American Old West. It’s one of the reasons millions travel from around the world.
When it comes to building an experience within that weenie, Disney’s Imagineers definitely did not disappoint. Guests at Cinderella’s Royal Table enjoy their meal surrounded by medieval architecture, stained glass, and tapestries. Every table within provides a majestic view, with tiers along the back of the room allowing everyone to see Fantasyland below.
The lavish setting inside one of the world’s most-photographed locations is nearly enough on its own to justify the price of lunch or dinner, but the quality dining seals the deal. An adult meal can cost over $60, but every seat can choose a full three-course meal, something most theme park restaurants cannot claim.
From the Beginning
In the earliest days of the park, the location was named King Stefan’s Banquet Hall. Don’t dwell on the fact that King Stefan was the father of Sleeping Beauty and had no interaction with Cinderella whatsoever! This location always served more sophisticated fare, but it sadly did not always have the reputation for pulling off these fancier meals.
Imagine wait staff dressed in colorful thirteenth-century French garb serving up a King’s Cut of prime rib. In the earliest days, guests could expect to pay $11.25. Kids could get in on the action for $8.50. Seafood Newburg, a dish of shrimp, scallops, and grouper in sauce was $6.25. Poulet Louise, a fancy name for fried chicken, ran $5.95. If you wanted a salad experience, King Stefan’s own Vegetable Salad delivered with tuna, lettuce, cheese, and low calorie dressing.
By the late 1980s, the restaurant still offered prime rib and chicken, but added in cuts of filet mignon. In 1984, kids could still order smaller versions of the main events like a filet for $6.25. By 1988 the kids menu shifted to more “normal” theme park fare with hot dogs for $3.25 and cheeseburgers for $3.75. Through the 1980s, dessert options focused heavily on different styles of crepes. Reviews at the time suggested that guests should pass on these in favor of ice cream treats elsewhere in Fantasyland.
The food has been well regarded through the years, but sometimes gave way to less expensive alternatives. Regardless of the restaurant’s occasional slips in quality, Cinderella’s Royal Table remained popular through the decades. A chance to see Cinderella and other princesses amid the lavish decorations of a medieval castle ensured that reservations would always be necessary in this place.
These days, the restaurant makes up for lost time with a pricey meal that delivers on its promise. That three-course meal goes a long way! Start with a charcuterie plate or a hearty mixed greens salad. For a main entrée, there are several choices including plant-based options. Seared duck with port wine reduction and carrot-orange purée is a very non-standard option for theme parks. Grilled beef tenderloin, pan-roasted chicken breast, and seared sea scallops are prepared to the highest standards. Crispy chickpea panisse (think fries) with tomato jam and a medley of vegetable sides will please the non-meat-eaters in your family. Kids choose from favorites like macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets or for the adventurous, the fish of the day and beef tenderloin.
Combine the experience of castle dining with fine food, and you have an experience your family will not regret! Reservations remain difficult to acquire even these days. Your ConciEARS planners are here to help! Reach out today and let us start planning your family’s first, next, or fiftieth Walt Disney World trip.