Menu Monday: Boys in the Castle

Cinderella's Castle - Frozen
Cinderella Castle – Frozen

If you are a parent of all boys, the question of whether or not to attend ‘princess’ events at Walt Disney World may not have an obvious answer. I am the mother of two boys, and the only princess items in our house are a wand and a tiara I bought for my Halloween costume, plus the Frozen DVD. In our house, ‘princess’ toys would be turned into makeshift weapons. On my family’s most recent trip to Disney World, I decided that I wanted to have dinner with Cinderella. So I got up early on the first day I was eligible to make dining reservation and was lucky enough to get a time I wanted for Cinderella’s Royal Table (CRT). My next step was telling my two boys and husband that we were going to have dinner at Cinderella Castle. I was not sure what sort of response I would get; however, I was more than pleased. My boys were ecstatic! The news was greeted by cheers and animated jumping up and down. I suppose I could have predicted this enthusiasm. Who would not be excited about eating dinner in this truly iconic Disney symbol? After all, it is the symbol you see at the beginning of every Disney movie (including the future Star Wars movies). It is the piece of architecture in the Magic Kingdom that makes you stop in your tracks and realize you really are at Disney World. Everyone pauses to take a photo in front of Cinderella Castle.

Cinderella Castle Photo Shoot
Cinderella Castle Photo Shoot

The night of our scheduled dinner finally arrived. After checking in with the outdoor reservation desk we entered the foyer of the castle and stood behind velvet ropes waiting to meet Cinderella, herself. Dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table includes a photo with Cinderella. The photo session goes quickly and is a little rushed, so you don’t actually get much time to talk with her. My boys were a little star struck with Cinderella, so they forgot all of the questions they had been planning to ask her about the castle. After photos, you wait for the hostess to call for the Lord or Lady of your party and to escort you upstairs to dinner. Once you are seated at your table in the dining room, there is a lot going on – princesses visiting tables, wands, swords, special birthday cakes being delivered (this is an extra, but more details later). Plus there are the decorations of the castle itself – flags, stained glass windows, stone archways and columns. My boys had been longing to see what the inside of this place looked like. They were fully entertained and sat absorbing everything surrounding them. It was hard to focus on the menu to decide what to eat for dinner. While they were watching everything going on, our waitress quietly slipped a sword to each boy. She also gave them wishing stars. All boys receive a plastic sword “engraved” with the letters CRT. All girls receive a wand. All children receive sparkling wishing stars.

CRT Swords
CRT Swords

 

Cinderella's Royal Table Ceiling - Flags and Coats of Arms
Cinderella’s Royal Table Ceiling – Flags and Coats of Arms

The highlight of the evening was having all of the princesses visit our table while we ate. The night we were there, so were Snow White, Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty), Ariel, and Jasmine. I wondered what each princess would talk about with my boys. Jasmine was probably the best. She asked the boys if they were good princes or mischievous monkeys. She asked them how they were enjoying their visit, and then she made both of them stand and pose in her signature stance with crossed arms for an excellent photo opportunity. My boys loved all of the attention from the princesses.

Jasmine at Cinderella's Royal Table
Jasmine at Cinderella’s Royal Table
Cinderella's Royal Table Wishing Star
Cinderella’s Royal Table Wishing Star

Towards the end of our meal the wishing ceremony took place. Lights sparkle around the room, and all the children are asked to hold their wishing stars and to make a wish.

As for the food, it is secondary to the surroundings and entertainment. I did enjoy the all courses of my meal, which was a pleasant surprise because I have read mixed reviews about the food at CRT. One of my boys is a Disney adult at 10 years old, so he ordered off the adult menu. He eats as much as an adult, especially after a full day of walking, so he was happy with steak and shrimp from the adult menu. My younger son is still on the children’s menu, and he was pleased to have the chicken nuggets. They do have better options than chicken nuggets on the children’s menu, such as beef tenderloin, chicken pot pie, or roasted chicken. Dinner for both children and adults includes an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert.

For my family of high energy boys, this character meal was definitely worth it. All day in the park, they ran from one ride to another, not taking the time to meet any characters. This character meal gave us a chance to stop and to savor one of things that makes Disney so special – the characters. I really feel that the experience added a lot to our trip. It was definitely one of the highlights of our vacation.

So if you think your boys might be open to a dinner to Cinderella’s Royal Table, go for it. There is so much going on they will be entertained. Since our visit to CRT, each time we see the castle, our boys point to a window in the middle and say, “We ate right there.” I imagine I will be reminded of our experience a year from now when I see the castle at the beginning of the next Star Wars movie (due out in December 2015).

Extra Notes about Dinner at CRT:

  • Reservations can be made 180 days in advance. If you are staying on Disney property, you can make reservations for your whole stay, starting 180 days from your first night. Reservations for CRT are highly recommended.
  • As mentioned earlier, for special occasions, you can order a special dessert to be delivered to your table. This is an extra upgrade, of course. For children there is “Her Royal Highness” package, which includes a princess-themed cake. I am not sure if the boys would go for this, but it is fun to watch others receive the fancy cake. If you are interested in this upgrade, first make your reservations, and then send an email to wdw.crt.special.events@disney.com.
  • CRT is one of the more expensive options at the Magic Kingdom. If you are using the Disney Dining Plan, CRT requires two table service credits per person (although that includes the gratuity, which is unusual).
  • There are only a few Disney table service meals that automatically include a gratuity in the price (most are dinner shows). CRT is one of those restaurants. We used the Disney Dining Plan, and I was slightly confused after dinner because I was waiting for the waitress to have me fill in the tip amount. Nope, that was already included.

KimT

Kim has been visiting Disney since the mid-1970s and can sing “If You Had Wings”, the song from the defunct ride, to prove it. She still gets excited every time she sees Cinderella’s castle, but now she shares the joy with her children.

10 thoughts on “Menu Monday: Boys in the Castle

  • December 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm
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    I am a Mom of 3 boys and I have always wanted to eat at Cinderella’s castle! Glad to know that if I do decide to go that they will actually enjoy it. I need to throw some girly into my life 🙂 (Plus they do like Princess movies – they just won’t tell anyone)

  • December 29, 2014 at 4:26 pm
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    Did they ask you or the boys which toy they would prefer, wand or sword, or just assume they wanted swords? I’ve only been with adults, so sadly didn’t get a toy at all.

    There might be lots of little Meridas out there who think swords would be great, and I know my nephew wants to BE Elsa and would probably prefer a wand if given the option.

    • December 30, 2014 at 10:50 am
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      Our waitress quietly gave the boys swords without asking their preference. However, my guess is that Disney will accommodate whatever you wish. I know my best friend’s daughter would definitely prefer a sword over a wand.

  • December 29, 2014 at 7:55 pm
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    Actually, I would say that the question about whether or not to attend “princess” events applies if you have *any* boys. I have girl-boy-boy. Obviously everyone needs to learn to make accommodations for things that are special for only some members of the family, but character meals are not cheap even though I vastly prefer them to waiting in lengthy lines. In the past we’ve tended to spend our character meals in places that appealed to everyone because of this, so it’s great to know that the Princesses are skilled at making boys enjoy the experience too. Thanks!

  • December 29, 2014 at 9:05 pm
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    my son picked Cinderella’s Royal Table for his 4th birthday. He still shouts when the castle appears before a movie “that’s Cinderella’s Castlewhere I had my 4th birthday”. We had an expensive but awesome looking Sugar Rush inspired cake. Both boys (2 yo brother) loved meeting the princesses. I certainly would consider this dinner for boys.

    • December 30, 2014 at 10:56 am
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      Thanks for mentioning that there are cake options other than ‘princess’ cakes. Good to know.

  • December 30, 2014 at 10:53 am
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    Gratuity is included in the price. I made this correction in the article.

  • December 30, 2014 at 5:30 pm
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    I do wish there were a few more characters dining experiences geared towards boys. A Pixar character meal would be amazing!! We took my son when he was 2 to the princess breakfast at CRT and he had the time of his life. He got extra special attention from all the princesses got to walk around holding Cimderellas hand and even a kiss on the cheek from Snow White! After that he cried because he wanted his Snow White back! Our entire family still talks about it today. I was wondering if he would still enjoy this venue as he gets older as we would love to go back with his sisters.

  • January 1, 2015 at 8:58 pm
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    I am headed there for lunch with my two boys. We are going to the bibitibobiti salon before for the prince make-over. Do you know if the do the star wishes at lunch? I was also going to order the chocolate glass slipper!!

  • January 6, 2015 at 7:08 am
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    It’s really great to hear that the princesses make the boys feel included. On my upcoming trip each member of the family is allowed to choose a table service restaurant, being the only girl in our household (even the dog and hamster are male) I have chosen Akershus. When my family (husband, boys aged 10 and 15) asked what that was I told them it was a buffet in Norway, knowing full well the word ‘buffet’ (code for all you can eat)always goes down well. I know it’s not quite CRT but I hope they will be pleasantly surprised by their princess interaction there.

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