Guests Slam Expensive Cinderella’s Royal Table Experience, “Abysmal”

in Walt Disney World

Cinderella's Royal Table little girl with Cinderella

Credit: Disney

The Disney parks are renowned for their enchanting attractions, entertaining parades, and captivating shows. However, a critical component of any Disney visit is the dining experience. From character dining like Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom or Tusker House at Animal Kingdom to the 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios or any of the marketplaces around the World Showcase at EPCOT, there’s no lack of dining options to be found.

From character meet-and-greets to immersive themed restaurants, Disney dining is an integral part of the Disney parks’ charm. As prices have risen and parks continue to make budgetary cuts, there have been increasing complaints concerning the quality of service and food at the most magical places on earth.

Guests during the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

One Disney fan took to the r/WaltDisneyWorld subreddit to discuss this problem. u/mycatiscuterthanuu asks “What’s the worst experience you’ve had in Disney food establishment?” Many of the comments stemmed from a common theme of food quality and taste not meeting the standards of the largest and most prestigious theme park company in the world. Some claimed food poisoning from certain spots in the park and the original poster added a comment later saying “Side note: A lot of you say you had food poisoning but it’s likely you had norovirus. (Which spreads rampantly at Disney in hotels and common areas).”

However, several recent Disney guests shared their less-than-magical experiences at perhaps the most magical dining experience at Walt Disney World-Cinderella’s Royal Table (CRT) in Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom. According to Disney

“Cinderella makes your acquaintance in the majestic Grand Hall before you ascend a spiral staircase to the banquet room above. (A gilded elevator is also available to transport you to the festivities.) Then, dine in a storybook setting surrounded by soaring stone archways, majestic medieval flags and spectacular stained-glass windows overlooking Fantasyland. During your time inside the castle, enjoy a visit with Disney Princesses. Tiaras and glittering gowns are optional, although young Guests are encouraged to dress up for the occasion. Character appearances are subject to change”

Cinderella's Royal Table in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, featuring a variety of beloved Disney princesses who wander throughout the hall and interact with the guests during each meal. Cinderella’s Royal Table is also one of the most expensive dining options at Walt Disney World Resort, with an adult breakfast costing $69 per person ($42 per child, ages three to nine) and dinner costing $84 per person ($49 per child). It’s also perhaps the hardest restaurant to get a reservation at, with spots booking up almost as soon as they open.

With that in mind, most guests would probably expect excellent service, food, and magical memories. However, according to u/MoulinSarah , her experience over this summer was anything but.

“Cinderella’s Royal Table with completely inedible food and our experience took 30 min longer than the rest of the grouping because gluten free threw them for a loop and/or they forgot about our food in the oven (meat was a hockey puck, GF options were abysmal especially for the kids – raw Brussels sprouts salad with the hockey puck). Anyways, I was there to see Jasmine for myself so whatever. We didn’t go to Disney for a food experience.” 

Cinderella meets young Guests at Cinderella's Royal Table
Credit: Disney

This is especially disappointing considering this is widely considered to be on the high end of the character dining experiences. Another user shared an also disappointing experience with CRT. User u/1VioletLuna1 recalls,

“The food was not my favorite but good enough. But unfortunately it was the cast members. One SCREAMED at me to ‘get out of the way!!’ When I was on the small narrow staircase….I just turned around right away and ran back to my table. Then the princesses come around and Jasmine was so rude me (oh… there are no little princesses here? And was SO annoyed to take a photo)!…I really just had a bad experience on something I really really looked forward to. I just remember trying not to cry the entire meal and I’m a grown ass adult 😂.”

u/Melpdic-Heron-1585 described a confusing dinner experience.

“CRT. Entrees came out before apps, sent back, and received the same portions- steak could not be cut with knife provided. Had family ask to switch tables since their children wanted window seats, and had an allergy- specific dessert delivered to a different table. All that said, it was the only time ever I got comped anything and the server brought me the largest pour of wine I have ever seen- an additional dessert, and a disney gift card.”

Cinderella's Royal Table sign, Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

It’s unfortunate that for such a highly sought after experience, any guest has a troubled time. While accidents do happen and even Disney cast members are only human, many of the comments citing Cinderella’s Royal Table shared a similar complaint: it’s “generally okay but not great, especially for what you pay.” While CRT may be the most shocking and egregious dining experience mentioned, one user mentioned another expensive, but disappointing time.

User u/copper_boom said

“Many years ago we once did a Star Wars dessert party in Hollywood Studios. It was lightly raining so it moved inside of the Disney Junior Dance Show space. We’re enjoying our food, and I see my husband looking over my shoulder with an absolutely disgusted look on his face. I turned and an older cast member had taken the top off the fruit punch dispenser and was using it as a tray to scoop ice from the bin of bottles sodas guest can grab from. I saw as he dumped the dirty soda bottle ice into the fruit punch dispenser and replaced the lid. My husband had witnessed the CM doing this with the lemonade moment prior – resulting in his initial disgusted face. I noted the CMs name and alerted the manager working the event. I still won’t drink out of those types of dispensers in WDW.”

Of course, these instances are unique and individual experiences and don’t reflect a typical Disney parks experience. However, it is disappointing that these guests experienced these situations, especially when they’re during expensive dining options. Prices at the Disney parks continue to rise all around, stirring concerns that the average family is being priced out of attendance. When a guest is spending additional money for the promise of a magical and unique experience, the standards should match that promise.

Have you ever had a disappointing experience at Cinderella’s Royal Table? Share your worst Disney dining experience with us in the comments below!

Please note that the experiences shared in this article are personal, individual, and unique experiences. They are not representative of the average Disney experience. The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the opinions of Inside the Magic.

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