WDW Dining Review: Cinderella’s Royal Table

Cinderella

One of the most popular character dine experiences at Walt Disney World is Cinderella’s Royal Table. This table-serve restaurant is located inside Cinderella’s castle at the Magic Kingdom, and guests can dine with views onto Fantasyland while their favorite princesses visit each table.

We have dined at Cinderella’s quite a few times and have always had a wonderful time. In January 2015, the restaurant will be closing for refurbishment and renovations. We aren’t sure what the renovations will include, but it is at least a three month scheduled closing. **

Knight

If you will be visiting the Magic Kingdom this fall, consider getting a reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Reservations book up quickly though! All meals have similar character experiences. Cinderella greets guests in the lobby and families can take photos with her then. During the meal, you will meet other princesses that walk from table to table. The princesses that are typically there are Snow White, Sleeping Beauty (Aurora), Ariel, and Jasmine. Belle no longer is at this character dine as she can be found at Belle’s Enchanted Tales in Fantasyland. As of right now, none of the newer princesses are here (i.e. Tiana, Merida, Rapunzel, Elsa or Anna).

SnowWhite Aurora Jasmine

The meal is a traditional table-serve, not a buffet. The food is quite good and there are many options for children and adults. During the meal, princesses are given wands and princes are given swords. All princesses and princes are given wishing stars. They will do a wishing ceremony at least once during the meal, for everyone to make wishes with their stars and wands.

WishingStar

They used to give families a print copy of their photos with Cinderella, but that feature is no longer being offered. If you have Memory Maker added to your Magic Bands, your photos with Cinderella will be loaded to your account. You can also use your PhotoPass card for these photos. There are no PhotoPass photographers inside the restaurant for the other princesses.

Aurora

We have both princesses and princes in our family, and they both love dining at Cinderella’s. It is not just for girls, I promise. My son loved seeing the princesses and taking photos with them. It is a very magical experience. The decorations inside are medieval themed with hanging tapestries and family crests. There is lots of wood and stone decor as well as royal fabrics that frame the large windows overlooking the park. The stain glass windows are beautiful.

Cinderellas3 Cinderellas2 Cinderellas1

Any table-serve restaurant that is located within a Disney park, that serves breakfast, will offer reservations before the park opens. This includes Cinderella’s Royal Table. If you have reservations at a restaurant before park hours, they will have one entrance gate for special entry only for your party to use. Simply use your Magic Bands to show proof for reservation. I also advise having a backup reservation number or print out in case technology fails (that would never happen, right?)

We have always dined at breakfast, and here is a sampling of the food for adults and children:

BreakfastChild Breakfast2 Breakfast1

We highly recommend this table-serve restaurant if you are able to get a reservation. Space is extremely limited as there aren’t a huge amount of tables. I would suggest looking into lunch or dinner for this one if breakfast is not available.

Preschoolears Rating: Four (4 out of 5 stars)

**If you will be visiting the parks during 2015 and would like to dine with princesses, your other options until Cinderella’s is open is Akershus in Epcot. Cinderella also visits 1900 Park Fare dinner character dines, as well as Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Drizella and Anastasia.

I dedicate this post to my wonderful “princess” niece who is turning 21 today. She celebrated her inner princess with us at Cinderella’s Royal Table when she was almost 20 year old, and she had a fabulous time! It goes to show that you are never to old to dine with royalty!

Kayli

Character Greets at Disneyland

CharacterGreetsLogo

There are many character meet and greets at Disneyland, many of which don’t have schedules or set spots. This can make character spotting a little harder than at Disney World but also a little more magical and fun. One special thing about Disneyland is that characters sometimes just walk around and stop to take pictures occasionally. We have had many spontaneous encounters with characters that have been so much fun. Once we were making a wish at the ponds near the Wishing Well, and one of Cinderella’s mice, Perla, just came up and hugged my kids and took a sweet picture with them. It was very magical.

Tips for Meeting Characters

  1. Be prepared for unplanned character meetings. This means that you sort of need to keep your eyes out for characters and be ready to stop to snap pictures at any time. Since a lot of characters don’t have specific areas or schedules, there sometimes isn’t a long wait to get your picture with them.
  2. Visit set Meet and Greets early in the morning, right when they begin. The Princesses, Merida, Rapunzel and Tinker Bell can get a long wait later in the day, so plan on seeing them first thing in the morning.
  3. Many characters who walk around instead of have a set area, don’t have a Photopass photographer with them. Make sure to have your camera ready for the picture.
  4. If you plan to do autograph books, be prepared while waiting in line with page and pen ready. Characters are always ready to sign autograph books while they interact with your kids. For how to make your own autograph book, visit our popular DIY Disney post on Autograph Books.
  5. Take pictures of your kids interacting with them as well as posing. Some of my favorite pictures are the candid pictures.

Below is our list of character greets in the places you can usually find them. Some characters have set Meet and Greet areas, which is noted with an asterisk. Usually there is a schedule for when then will be there and Disney has that posted on their Times Guide or on their website calendar. Many characters do not have a schedule that Disney releases, so if it says you can find a certain character in Fantasyland, it could be anytime during the day. If you are looking for a specific favorite character, don’t be afraid to ask at Guest Relations on Main Street and see if they can point you in the right direction at the right time.

Disneyland

Main Street

(all these characters have been known to stop on Main Street to take pictures and walk around greeting guests but there isn’t a published schedule)

Cruella

Mary Poppins
Bert
Mad Hatter
Alice
Captain Hook
Cruella de Vil
Eeyore
White Rabbit
Pluto
Goofy
Pinocchio

Fantasyland

Merida

TinkerbellFawn

Fantasy Faire*(Aurora, Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Ariel) – princesses rotate who will pose for pictures, located left of castle
Rapunzel and Flynn Rider* – next to Pinocchio’s Daring Adventure
Pixie Hollow (Tinker Bell and one other fairy – they rotate who it will be) – right of castle near Tomorrowland
Mad Hatter
Peter Pan and Wendy
Fairy Godmother – usually in front of castle or near Fantasy Faire
Merida* – located near Small World

Adventureland

JasmineAladdin

Jasmine & Aladdin* – area just past The Enchanted Tiki Room

Frontierland

Pocahontas

Pocahontas

Critter Country

Area right next to Winnie the Pooh attraction is where Pooh Bear and one other friend take pictures; friends rotate between Tigger and Eeyore usually

TiggerPoohEeyore

Winnie the Pooh*
Tigger*
Eeyore*

ToonTown

MinnieHsPlutoMickey

Mickey Mouse* – inside his house (our photo he was outside for that day but that isn’t normal)
Minnie Mouse* – in front of her house
Donald Duck – sometimes he is walking around and sometimes he is inside his boat
Goofy – sometimes he is in front of his house and sometimes he is wandering around
Pluto – he likes to wander around mostly

California Adventure

Buena Vista Street

This street has some fun, unusual characters that mingle among the guests. You can usually spot them as they are dressed in vintage Hollywood costumes. They are very entertaining to interact with so don’t be afraid to say hello.

DonnaDog

Donna the Dog Lady
Molly the Messenger
Officer Calvin Blue
Phi Phi the Photographer

Carthay Circle

Chip and Dale
Pluto
Goofy
Mickey Mouse

HollywoodLand

IncrediblesJake

Mr. & Mrs. Incredible
Frozone
Sulley
Disney Junior Characters*: Jake or Sophia the First – located right outside the Disney Junior Live theater

Bug’s Land

Flik (He’s a hard one to find as he comes out for Greets less and less)

Paradise Pier

WoodyJessie

Duffy the Disney Bear* – located across from Ariel’s Grotto
Woody and Jessie – usually across from Toy Story Midway Mania
Buzz – usually across from Toy Story Midway Mania

Condor Flats

MinnieFly

Minnie* – dressed in pilot attire, she takes photos next to her plane after the Minnie’s Fly Girls show

Redwood Trails

Dug (from the movie Up)
Russell (from the movie Up)

CarsLand

Lightning

Lightning McQueen
Mater
Red the Fire Engine

Always be ready to snap pictures with characters at Disneyland since you may bump into one without even trying! Some of our favorite encounters with characters have been at Disneyland. It is one of the magical parts of Disneyland!

For more character information, please visit our Disneyland page on the Preschoolears website!

WDW Dining Review: ‘OHana’s Character Breakfast

Sign

‘Ohana is located at the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World. This restaurant is hawaiian themed and for breakfast, there is a character breakfast hosted by Lilo and Stitch. Our family was able to go to ‘Ohana’s on our last vacation and we absolutely loved this breakfast. The ‘Ohana restaurant has a very relaxed atmosphere that is cheerful and friendly.

Entrance

The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. The entire restaurant circles around the open grill, but for breakfast that is not being used. For dinner, that is where cooking takes place.

Kitchen

Restaurant

Hawaiian music plays while the kids get a chance to do a sort of conga-line with instruments, led by Mickey and the other characters. They weave through the restaurant as everyone watches and shakes their maraccas.

Mickey2

While the mood is festive but relaxed, families will enjoy the family-style serving. Food is brought to the table for everyone to share. It is basic breakfast fare – eggs, bacon, sausage, rolls, hawaiian toast, and fruit. Our kids liked all of it, and we (the parents) enjoyed not having to get up and down for a buffet. The food is all-you-can-eat so you can simply ask for more and they will bring it to you.

Food1

The highlight, of course, was the characters. Mickey and Pluto are there, dressed in their hawaiian outfits.

Mickey

Pluto

My family was most excited to see Lilo and Stitch. While you can meet Stitch in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom and on occasions at Hollywood Studios, this is really the only place Lilo is found with Stitch. My kids were very excited to meet both of them. The server also gave us a sharpie pen so one of my daughters could have Lilo and Stitch sign her Stitch stuffie on the ears.

Lilo

Stitch

And in true form, Stitch is a lot of fun and goofs around with everyone. We had a wonderful morning at ‘Ohana and found it to be one of our most relaxing character dines of our trip. We highly recommend this restaurant for families. And if you are planning to go, make sure you have seen the movie “Lilo and Stitch” so that it is even more fun!

Preschoolears Rating: FourHalf (4 1/2 stars out of 5)

For more character dining information and ratings, visit the Preschoolears website.

Character Greets at Disney World

CharacterGreetsLogo

Part 4: Animal Kingdom and Beyond

The last part in our Character Greets series is Animal Kingdom, and this park has the least amount of character meet and greets. But you won’t mind not having as many character opportunities here, because there is so much to see! Here are a few specific tips for Animal Kingdom character greets:

1. The main area for character greets is at Camp Minnie Mickey and there are usually lines for each character. These characters take 15 minute breaks so keep that in mind when getting in lines. This is a great place to “tag team” the lines if you can.

2. The newest greet is Mickey and Minnie in their explorer outfits. This is NOT in Camp Minnie Mickey but in theri own location near It’s Tough to be a Bug. This is the only Meet and Greet with both Mickey and Minnie taking pictures together (besides special events). There is an inside queue for this greet and no fastpass. Expect a bit of a wait during crowded park times.

Animal Kingdom is the one park that we as a family have done the least amount of character greets. But here are pictures from the ones we have enjoyed:

BalooLouie

Baloo and King Louie were lots of fun! And King Louie gave great big hugs!

Pocahontas was a great face character. My kids really liked her, but our posed picture was not the best. I enjoyed the candid moments better anyways.

Pocahontas was a great face character. My kids really liked her, but our posed picture was not the best. I enjoyed the candid moments better anyways.

Pocahontas2

Inside the Mickey and Minnie queue are cute pictures of them as "explorers".

Inside the Mickey and Minnie queue are cute pictures of them as “explorers”.

MickMin2

While not a character, meeting DaVine is always a surprise treat and she does occasionally pose with guests.

Beyond the four theme parks, you can occasionally see characters in other places. We just happened to run into Goofy at Blizzard Beach and took this very impromptu picture on our way out of the park. Such a fun picture though as Goofy is dressed in his bathing suit and life jacket!

Goofy at Blizzard Beach

Goofy at Blizzard Beach

Here is a list of all the Character Greets at Animal Kingdom:

Adventurers Outpost: Mickey and Minnie
Camp Minnie-Mickey: Pocahontas, Baloo & King Louie, Chip & Dale, Donald
Dinoland: Goofy & Pluto
Discovery Island: Dug and Russell from Up!, Winnie the Pooh & Tigger
Rafiki’s Planet Watch: Rafiki

At the two water parks, there is a character greet at each.

Blizzard Beach: Goofy
Typhoon Lagoon: Lilo or Stitch

For more character greets, visit the Preschoolears website, and read our other posts on Disney World greets:

Magic Kingdom Character Greets
Epcot Character Greets
Hollywood Studios Character Greets

Character Greets at Disney World

CharacterGreetsLogo

Part 3: Hollywood Studios

At Hollywood Studios at Disney World, there are some great photo opportunities with characters. And if you are a Pixar fan, this is where you can find most of the character greets for those movies (with the exception of Buzz at Magic Kingdom and Dug and Russell now at Animal Kingdom).

While most of our previous tips and advice for character greets still apply for Hollywood Studios, here are a few extra tips for meeting your favorite characters at this park:

1. The Magic of Animation has the largest collection of characters all in one place but waits can be 20-45 minutes for each. We found that lines almost disappeared during meal time, like lunch. So eating earlier and then getting pictures might help with lines, OR snacking in line and eating lunch late.

2. Magic of Animation is a great time to “tag-team” the lines – meaning, put an adult in the line and have another adult take the kids to play at the interactive displays until it is almost time for the character. Then kids don’t get bored waiting in line.

3. The queue area for pictures with Buzz and Woody is a great place for lots of pics, which is good because the line is slow. Expect the wait to be a bit longer than they estimate as the greetings are slow. Good idea to grab a fastpass for Toy Story Midway Mania and then get in line for pictures.

The new Character Palooza is once a day, right now in the late afternoon, where a group of characters come out for meet and greets at a designated location. The location has changed once but at the time of this post, it is at the Streets of America. The group of characters changes daily so you never know who you will meet.

Here are some pictures of the characters greets we have enjoyed:

Buzz and Woody in “Andy’s Room”

WoodyBuzz

Buzz1

Hugs from Buzz are always great!

BuzzWait

One of the many fun pictures in the queue area

BuzzWoody2

Magic of Animation Character Greets

Wreck It Ralph & Vanellope

Ralph2

Details in the queue are fun, like this game with the ‘Out of Order’ sign backwards so it seems like you are inside the game.

RalphSign

More queue details – it is a digital sign that has the Bad Anon Meeting on it that Ralph goes to in the movie.

RalphVan

The Incredibles

Frozone and Mr. Incredible

Frozone and Mr. Incredible

Sorcerer Mickey

SorcererMickey

Mickey’s Pals

Goofy

Minnie

DonaldDaisy

New Monsters University Character Greet

MonstersSign

MonsterFrat1

Queue detail of pictures of the different Monster Fraternities. If you have seen the movie, these are very cute.

MonsterFrat2

Mike & Sully’s Fraternity at Monsters U

Sororite

My girls loved the Monsters Sorority, and this picture was in the queue as well.

Monsters1

Sully playing ‘peek-a-boo’. So fitting for his character!

Monsters2

Who wouldn’t want a hug from ‘kitty’?

Here is a complete list of all the character greets and locations at Hollywood Studios:

Magic of Disney Animation: Mr. Incredible & Frozone, Sorcerer Mickey, Ralph & Vanellope, Daisy & Donald, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy
Animation Courtyard: Jake, Handy Manny (Sofia the First to arrive in late summer)
Backlot Tour Exit: Mike Wazowski & Sully
MuppetVision Exit: Lightning McQueen and Mater, Phineas and Ferb
Sorcerer’s Hat: Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy, Minnie, Chip & Dale, Stitch
Pixar Place: Woody, Buzz, Army Men
Indiana Jones Stunt Show: Indiana Jones & Marion
Streets of America: Character Palooza (mix of characters that come out – list unknown)

As noted, Sofia the First will be arriving as a greet near the end of August, near the Disney Junior Live show. So if your kiddos are fans, you may want to try to get a picture with the newest princess!

For more character greet information at Disney World, visit the Preschoolears Disney World tips page. And also see our older blog posts for the other parks:

Magic Kingdom Character Greets
Epcot Character Greets

Come back to read our last post on Character Greets at Disney World!

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