If you have a little girl between the ages of 3 and 10 and are planning a trip to Disney World, there’s a good chance that you’ll be on a perpetual princess hunt! There are many opportunities to visit with princesses in Disney World, but one of my favorite options is during a character meal. Disney offers several princess-themed dining experiences, and we’ve complied a complete list of all your options!
6. Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare
Cinderella and her entire entourage grace guests with their royal presence each night at this buffet-style meal in the Grand Floridian. Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine and the Wicked Stepsisters will all be on hand for some very memorable character interactions and photos. The characters are truly in “character” here, and it is not uncommon for the Stepsisters to behave in their characteristically garish manner, loudly carrying on as they move about the dining room. Food choices are extensive and very delicious. There is a carving station, a wide variety of fresh salads, and specialties like Guinness stew and sushi. Be certain to try the Floridian strawberry soup, but be warned; you’ll be tempted to smuggle some out for later.
5. Cinderella’s Royal Table
This location offers the ultimate princess dining experience. Guests enter the iconic Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom and, after taking a keepsake photo with Cinderella, climb the castle staircase to a magnificent dining room. During the meal, guests have the opportunity to have photos taken with Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, and Snow White as they walk from table to table. Breakfast offerings include both traditional and more indulgent fare (try the Lobster and Crab Crepes), and lunch and dinner are three course prix fixe consisting of an appetizer, entree and dessert (including the famous “Clock Strikes Twelve”, a white and dark chocolate mousse). This dining experience is among the most popular in all of Disney, and reservations can be hard to come by. Be certain secure your reservation as close to 180 days in advance as possible.
4. Be Our Guest
While there are no princesses present at this Magic Kingdom restaurant, Be Our Guest offers the opportunity to dine in the midst of a Disney movie come-to-life. Fans of Beauty and the Beast will immediately recognize the three distinct areas of the restaurant as locations in Beast’s castle. A massive chandelier hangs gracefully overhead in the main dining room, while “snow” appears to fall over the French countryside behind the castle. The enchanted rose sits on a pedestal in another room, as the portrait of the young and handsome prince changes to a beastly portrait in a flash. Lunch is quick-service and commands long lines beginning an hour prior to opening. The lunch menu includes several sandwich options, soups, salads, and the famous “strawberry cream cheese cupcake”. The dinner menu offers several French inspired dishes like ratatouille and Coq au Vin style braised pork. Following your meal, guests are invited to join the Beast in his study for a photograph. Dinner reservations for table service have become the most coveted of all dining reservations in Disney, and disappear within days of the 6 month availability window.
3. Hollywood & Vine
The restaurant is located in Hollywood Studios, right next door to 50’s Prime Time Café. Though not strictly a “princess” meal, this buffet-style character meal may appeal to the youngest Disney princess fans, as it features several Disney Junior characters including Sophia the First. Keep in mind that since Sophia is not a “face” character (she is in a full costume including a head mask), she will not be able to talk to the children but can sign autographs and pose for pictures. This is an interactive dining experience, complete with music and dancing, and guests are invited to join in the fun. Characters are only on hand during the breakfast and lunch, so be certain to make your reservations accordingly.
2. My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party
Little princesses and their escorts are invited into the Garden View Tea Room at the Grand Floridian Hotel by “Rose Petal”, the host of this truly enchanted tea party. Following the singing and storytelling of Rose Petal, Princess Aurora will make an appearance, and spend several minutes with each child at his or her table. Children are presented with a variety of gifts, most notably an 18-inch doll dressed as Aurora (or a Duffy Bear for the princes). The food offerings include lighter fare like tea sandwiches, fruits, cheeses, and cake. While this experience is pricey ($250 for one child and one adult), it offers a more intimate princess encounter than any of the traditional character meals. Children are encouraged to dress in their finest “royal” attire and are treated as such throughout this 90-minute experience. My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party is offered at 10:30am on select days.
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1. Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus
Located in the Norway Pavilion of World Showcase in Epcot, Akershus is probably my favorite princess dining option. Upon entering the restaurant, your little princess will be invited to take a photo with Belle, and then your party will be shown to a table. Ariel, Snow White, Aurora and Cinderella will circulate for photos and autographs while you dine. The meal is a three course all inclusive, featuring an appetizer buffet, a choice of several traditional Norwegian main courses, and a family style dessert platter with three very different options (truly something for every taste). Children will be invited to participate in a “princess parade” at some point during the meal, so have your cameras ready! I consider this dining experience to be the best value for princess interaction in Disney. The cost per person is less than Cinderella’s Royal Table, includes the photo package in the price, and the characters here seem to be afforded a bit more time with the guests.
Have you ever eaten at a princess character meal? What did you think? Tell us about your experiences below!