Review: New Year’s Eve Dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table

Dinner inside the Magic Kingdom’s quintessential castle at Walt Disney World is a remarkable experience any night of the year!

But imagine hobnobbing with Cinderella and feasting inside the royal dining room at Cinderella’s Royal Table on New Year’s Eve. Last year, my family crossed this adventure off of our bucket list — right before the clock struck midnight!

New Year’s Eve Tips

First, make your Advance Dining Reservation as soon as possible. For the most popular restaurants (especially during holidays!!), you’ll need to book 180 days prior!

view of fireworks from Cinderella's Royal Table

You’ll find recommendations to arrive the Magic Kingdom early and stay all day and night. Without a break. In the massive crowds. This commando touring is not my family’s style. So I researched when the Magic Kingdom had closed and re-opened to guests for the past several years.

I found that the Magic Kingdom historically reached crowd capacity in the early morning and afternoon with re-openings by late afternoon/early evening. Even with our pre-paid dinner, we took our chances and it worked perfectly! Tip: You do not have to stay in the Magic Kingdom ALL day and night unless you must have a view of the castle forecourt for fireworks time. By 8PM on December 31, 2013, the Magic Kingdom had re-opened to all guests, including families staying off-site!

We spent the morning at the Animal Kingdom (late breakfast at Tusker House!!) and rested at our hotel the rest of the day. Arriving the Magic Kingdom about 6PM, we were admitted with no problems. Once inside, we experienced the thickest crowds that we’ve ever encountered anywhere. We formed a family chain by holding the back of each others’ shirts and somehow made our way to the back of the park.

Passing people sleeping on blankets as they saved their coveted spots in front of the castle for the evening’s fireworks display — we made our way to New Fantasyland. And the crowds were… gone! We practically had Big Top Treats and the area behind it all to ourselves. We got a snack and relaxed at an outdoor table. Tip: there were barely lines for the character meet and greets in this section of the park!

New Year's Eve Snack in New Fantasyland

New Year’s Eve Snack in New Fantasyland

Our advance dining reservation was for 9:30PM. It was especially crowded waiting to be let in to the castle; and believe me, we weren’t allowed to approach the podium even a minute before our reservation time. There was only a small area in which we could wait as the back of the castle was already roped off for the fireworks. Once inside though, we experienced pure magic!

Holiday Decor

Holiday Decor

After photographs with Cinderella, we waited in the lobby to be beckoned to the dining room.

Grand Hall

Grand Hall

Among the last diners of the night, we witnessed Cinderella playing with children. She actually played hide and seek with them all throughout the lobby. It was an intimate moment with a fairytale princess that we reveled in watching, and I’m sure the children and their parents cherished the experience.

Hide 'n Seek with Cinderella!

Hide ‘n Seek with Cinderella!

After our meal, we had to wait by the outdoor podium for the castle show to end. Once done, we were able to exit into Fantasyland. We found a place to sit on the pavement in front of Mickey’s PhilharMagic and waited for the fireworks. And they were amazing!

New Year's Eve Fireworks

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Ringing in the New Year at the Magic Kingdom was an amazing experience. We continued to walk around the park allowing the crowds to disperse. We found very few crowds in Frontierland where a DJ was still spinning tunes!

DJ Entertains on New Year's Eve

DJ Entertains on New Year’s Eve

So, let’s check out our meal…

Atmosphere

Cinderella was holding court next to a Christmas tree decorated in rich silver, gold, and blue!

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Once you ascend the winding red-carpeted stairway (or take the more modern elevator), you’ll step in to a medieval dining room with a vaulted ceiling.

Vaulted Ceiling at Cinderella's Royal Table

Vaulted Ceiling at Cinderella’s Royal Table

The table setting was enhanced with purple napkins and a gold table runner. The silver cutlery resembles crossed swords!

Table Setting

Table Setting

Gentlemen (young and young-at-heart) receive swords as souvenirs.

Souvenir Swords

Souvenir Swords

The menu’s cover echoes the jaw-dropping stained glass features found throughout the castle.

Regal Menu Cover

Regal Menu Cover

Eats

The bread basket and accompanying butter were delivered promptly.

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

With a choice of appetizers, hubby and son went with the Royal Tasting of Cheeses and accompaniments. Both of them enjoyed sampling the different options and gave it a thumbs up as a starter!

Trio of Cheeses

Trio of Cheese

For my picky palate, I requested a garden salad with ranch dressing (from the kids menu!).

Garden Salad

Garden Salad

For entrees, note that the accompaniments change up frequently.

The guys had no difficulty choosing the Beef Tenderloin. Again, they both found the steak to be a delicious option but not nearly as good as previous steak entrees at [Read more…]

Need A Last-Minute Gift? Disney Food Blog Dining Guide Gift Certificates Now Available!

Our popular Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and full line of DFB e-Books make great gifts for friends or family members planning a trip to Walt Disney World!

Give the Gift of Delicious Fun This Year with DFB e-Book Gift Certificates!

And now it’s easy to give the gift of dining planning through our Disney Food Blog e-Book Gift Certificates!

It’s a piece of cake to do — simply:

1. Purchase a gift certificate

2. Either print & give the details to the recipient, OR email the details to the lucky Disney fan!

Don’t let your friends and family go to Disney World unprepared. These e-books will ensure that your loved ones will get the biggest bang for their dining buck in Walt Disney World!

2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Pre-Order Sale

Looking forward to your best ever 2015 Disney trip? It’s yours! Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining today and use promo code SANTA for $5 off!

Time to cross those final names off of your shopping list…and no need to fight for a parking space while you’re at it!

The DFB Guide Gift Certificate

The DFB Guide Gift Certificate

Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and Enjoy $5 Off!

We know that when it comes to your Disney vacays, planning ahead is practically essential these days. And if you can save time and money in the process — even better!

And that’s why today, when you pre-order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and enter promo code SANTA, you’ll save $5 off of the already low cover price!

But the really cool part? This is a two-for-one deal! We’ll deliver the 2014 Guide to you immediately, and automatically email you the 2015 guide in late January 2015. PRE ORDER NOW!

Give…and SAVE…Even More with DFB Bundle Gift Certificates!

One book isn’t enough for the Disney fan in your life? We totally get it. That’s why we have a gift certificates for our super-saver Bundles as well!

EVERYTHING BUNDLE GIFT CERTIFICATE DISCOUNT
Give ALL of our DFB Guidebooks for $10 off the already discounted bundle price with code [Read more…]

Guest Review: A Teen’s Favorite Disney Restaurants

Today, join me in welcoming guest author Gigi M. for a unique teen perspective on Disney World’s restaurants!

You might be wondering “What are good restaurants to take my teen to at Walt Disney World”? Well, that certainly depends on your child’s personality and his or her attitude toward going to Disney World.

Below, I’ve listed several “types” of teen, followed by what restaurants might be enjoyed by that type of person.

I’d love to hear what you think! What restaurants does your teen love?

Child at heart, very excited to do the traditional things on your vacation

Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Sunshine Tree Terrace, The Plaza Restaurant, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, The Crystal Palace, Aloha Isle, Coral Reef Restaurant, Pizza Planet Arcade, 50’s Prime Time Café, Toluca Legs Turkey Co., Hollywood & Vine, Tusker House Restaurant, ‘Ohana, Chef Mickey’s, Gaston’s Tavern, and Whispering Canyon Café.

The Beast is Cool

The Beast is Cool

Dole Whips

Dole Whips

Not quite interested in children’s activities, would rather go to a more “grown up” restaurant

Jiko, Artist Point, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Columbia Harbour House, Liberty Tree Tavern, ‘Ohana (dinner), Biergarten Restaurant, Kabuki Café, La [Read more…]

DFB Deal of the Week: Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and Enjoy Big Savings!

Want a big discount on our most popular DFB Guide in time for your holiday gift giving needs? Or, you know, just cause you want to start planning your 2015 Disney trip TODAY? ;-D

dfb_guide_2015_3d

It’s yours! Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining today and use promo code SANTA for $5 off!

We are getting down to the wire!

And if you’re anything like us, you still have a few names to cross off that gift buying list before you can settle down to Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward Men time!

But with this great deal, you have a quick, easy option to finish your holiday shopping (and maybe snag something for yourself, too) from your cozy spot in front of the fireplace! (Or, more than likely, the carpool lane.)

Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and Enjoy $5 Dollars Off!

We know that when it comes to your Disney vacays, planning ahead is practically essential these days. And if you can save time and money in the process — even better!

And that’s why today, when you pre-order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and enter promo code SANTA, you’ll save $5 off of the already low cover price!

But the really cool part? You get two books for the price of one! We’ll deliver the 2014 Guide to you immediately, and alert you as soon as the 2015 Guide is available early next year.

Here are a couple of sample pages for you — just click to enlarge!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Sample Page

Samples Pages of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013

What’s in the DFB Guide?

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is stuffed FULL of helpful features to help make your trip go smoothly, like:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from [Read more…]

News! Booking Begins TODAY for 2015 Star Wars Weekends Dining Packages

Booking for Star Wars Weekends Dining Packages will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in 2015 and booking begins December 3, 2014.

Star Wars Character Meal Backdrop

Dinner at the Hollywood & Vine restaurant and breakfast at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater will offer these galactic experiences May 4th through June 14, 2015. Note that the character meals are available all week — not just on weekends!

Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine

At Hollywood and Vine, Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine will feature Disney characters wearing their Star Wars best as they celebrate the greatest saga ever told! See our review from this year’s experience here!

You may get the chance to meet Ewok Chip & Dale, Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, and/or Stormtrooper Donald. Star Wars décor, themed foods, and music create a galactic experience. Advance Dining Reservations will be offered from 4:15-8PM.

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Ewok Chip and Dale welcome you!

Cost: [Read more…]

Save! Announcing the DFB Guide 50% Off Thanksgiving Day Sale

Happy Turkey Day, everyone!! Whether you love holiday shopping or you’d rather avoid the madness altogether, we can agree on one thing: Saving money is a win/win!

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So we are super excited to announce our DFB Guide Thanksgiving Sale!

Get The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book TODAY for 50% Off!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 450 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

Our team of Walt Disney World food experts have put together the most comprehensive guide to Walt Disney World food and dining available. With more than 25 years of experience eating and drinking our way through the Parks and Resorts, we’ve learned a thing or two — and we love sharing our secrets with you!

So What’s the Big Deal?

Order today, and you’ll get our 2014 Edition as an immediate download, AND we’ll email you our 2015 Edition (for free!) as soon as it’s published in late January 2015! That’s a two-for-one deal right there…

…But it gets even better! This weekend only, we’re offering this great deal for 50% off the regular price! Get BOTH guides for under $10 — just use code TURKEYLEG for that 50% off discount.

DFB-Guide-Screen-Shot-6

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next trip! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBStore.com to pick it up!! Don’t forget to use code TURKEYLEG today for the 50% off deal.

And with a brand new, completely updated edition releasing in early 2015, you can get started enjoying the current guide right away, and have the new one at your fingertips as soon as it drops!

What Do You Get with the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book?

With the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, you’ll enjoy so many fun and useful features that were created with saving you time and money. We know your Disney dollars are valuable; we want to help you to make the most of them!

Here are just a few of the things you’ll find in our DFB to Walt Disney World Dining: [Read more…]

Join the DFB Newsletter TODAY for Exclusive Holiday Deals!

It’s almost here!! I’m super excited about all that turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce day after tomorrow, but I’m even MORE excited about what comes next. SHOPPING! ;-D

DFB Newsletter

And speaking of…now is the perfect time to sign up for the Disney Food Blog Newsletter if you’re not already a member! We’re going to be exclusively revealing some great DFB holiday deals to our newsletter subscribers very soon (like…TODAY)!

Why Join?

Let’s be honest: there’s so much happening that sometimes it’s hard to fit it all in on the Blog. That’s why we send out the DFB Newsletter twice a month.

Included are special deals, recipes, the latest Disney food news and reviews, and more!

Chock full of color photographs and exclusive content, it’s like your own private portal into everything DISNEY FOOD! We bring you fun extras, like our Munch of the Month, and we also keep you updated with important breaking news, like free dining, discounts, or big event announcements, in special mailings!

Find out the latest deals and updates about Disney Food with the Disney Food Blog Newsletter!

Find out the latest deals and updates about Disney Food with the Disney Food Blog Newsletter!

There’s [Read more…]

2014 Disneyland Candy Cane Dates Announced!

Tis the season! As the holiday decor goes up around the parks and resorts, the Disneyland bakeries are busy mixing up traditional recipes! The highly-anticipated Hand-Crafted Candy Canes from the Disneyland Resort can soon be yours! That’s right; we’ve got the dates.

Haven’t heard about the candy canes? Check out this post that showcases our awesome Disneyland candy cane adventure.

Hand Made Candy Canes from The Candy Palace

Just like last year, Candy Cane making will alternate between Candy Palace on Main Street USA in Disneyland and Trolley Treats over on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure.

HOW IT WORKS

Technically you are not supposed to line up before park opening, but guess what people do? We recommend arriving 30-45 minutes prior to park opening and your best bet is likely to line up for a morning extra magic hour.

Wristbands may be picked up at park opening.

During the 2012 and 2013 holidays, there were 40 wristbands per batch and three batches per day. This means that 120 wristbands were given out at park opening.

The earlier you are there, the earlier your batch. PLEASE NOTE that [Read more…]

Review: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Treats

I can say this much about our pal, Mickey Mouse

"Celebrate the Season" with Mickey and Minnie!

“Celebrate the Season” with Mickey and Minnie!

He sure knows how to throw a Very Merry Christmas Party!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

"Celebrate the Season" stage show

Celebrate the Season stage show

Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Jack Skellington Sandy Claws character meet

Jack Skellington as “Sandy Claws” character meet

Frozen Holiday Wish

Frozen Holiday Wish

Frozen Holiday Wish

Frozen Holiday Wish

From the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, to Holiday Wishes Fireworks, to all the fun in between, including character dance parties and appearances, special stage shows, and a whole, huge [Read more…]

“The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014″ Grand Launch and Discount

Tis the season to eat, drink, and go to Walt Disney World! And that means it’s time for the Grand Launch of the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2014 e-Book!

We’ve been busy updating all the latest holiday tips and brand new info you NEED to know before you hit the parks this November, December, and January! (Yep — we cover EVERYTHING in this one — not just food!) With 310 pages of detailed information and multiple bonus extras, it WILL save you time and money during the busiest season in Walt Disney World! And it’s here just in time!

miniguide_holidays0714

And since we want you to save some cash right NOW, we have a steep discount for DFB readers (as always!). Get the brand new guide today for $3 off the regular purchase price for a limited time! How? Use code JINGLE at the check-out!

The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014 e-Book Is Here!

The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014 e-Book features 310 pages of all the info you need to know before you head to Walt Disney World for the holiday season, including NEW events and holiday happenings, over 250 photos, and an informative FAQ section. It includes:

  • Detailed descriptions and photos of every holiday event and activity happening at the parks and resorts this year — including tips on how to make the best use of your time and money when visiting!
  • A fully comprehensive holiday dining section with listings of holiday snacks, treats, meals, and menu items offered this year — from popcorn kiosks all the way to Signature Restaurants.
  • New chapter on where to dine with no advance dining reservations.
  • New chapter on 10 must-eat snacks this holiday season.
  • A clickable 3-Month Schedule of Holiday Events so you can see at-a-glance what looks interesting to you.
  • Comprehensive listings — with color photos! — of Disney Resort holiday decor and gingerbread displays
  • Our recommendations on ways to SAVE while you’re in Disney World this holiday season.
  • A full chapter dedicated to all “New for 2014″ events, dining options, and activities, including what’s new at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, The Celebrate the Magic Castle Show, and the Epcot Candlelight Processional.
  • Updated Scavenger Hunts
  • Disney Cruise Line Chapter
  • A Preview of the 2015 Holidays in Disney World
  • And more!

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Holiday Fun!

You’re probably paying a lot of money for your Disney holiday vacation…and we’re here to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck! And with the holiday season already here, the time is now!

Holiday Guide Sample Pages

Holiday Guide Sample Pages

Booking early for holiday events and dining is critical, and our exclusive [Read more…]