Dining at Disney: Cinderella’s Royal Table

For those of you who didn’t know, my husband and I are DISNEY JUNKIES.

Seriously, we’re at the parks almost every weekend. Epcot is our favorite – especially during the Food & Wine or Flower & Garden festivals – but we’ve been recently rediscovering the cuisine of Magic Kingdom and I have to admit we’ve been pleasantly surprised.

Last week was our ninth wedding anniversary (cue the “Awwwwws!”), so I surprised him with reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table, located in the beautiful castle the park is so famous for!

Let it be known, Cinderella’s Royal Table is not something you can do impulsively: you have to book reservations MONTHS in advance, and even then you can’t guarantee you’ll get an ideal time slot. I booked almost three months in advance, and managed to get a 10:15pm reservation for dinner. Not ideal dining time, but beggars can’t be choosers.

There are some caveats to keep in mind with dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table:

  • You pre-pay for dinner. It’s roughly $75 per person, but that covers a soft drink, appetizer, entree, and dessert, plus tax and gratuity.
  • It’s a pre-fix menu, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
  • If you don’t like being visited by Disney princesses in full costume throughout your meal, this is not the place for you.
  • NO ALCOHOL. (boooo)

That being said, I was very impressed by the food quality, presentation, and overall experience!

The Menu at Cinderella's Royal Table

The Menu at Cinderella’s Royal Table

The appetizer selection was a bit small – but the cheese tray was scrumptious and my husband said his sea-scallop compote was very nicely plated and surprisingly flavorful.

The dinner entrees, however, were STELLAR. We both enjoyed the filet and shrimp and, though again small portions, they were perfectly cooked and the tenderness of the steak was downright impressive.

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Seriously, this may be small, but it packed a ton of flavor. And the shrimp is almost as wide as the steak!

I was so tickled to see how many gluten-free and allergy-sensitive options they had! They offered vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and diet conscious choices, which was honestly very impressive.

Of course, since we were celebrating our anniversary, we didn’t really follow our normal diets (we both stick closely to Paleo), but rather we enjoyed the bread basket (so delicious!), and got whatever dessert sounded best.

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Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

I tried the flourless chocolate cake (I can’t resist chocolate) and he tried the seasonal dessert, which turned out to be a delicious strawberry cheesecake I ate too quickly to take a picture of – whoops!

All in all, I would definitely recommend Cinderella’s Royal Table to anyone looking for some fine-dining on Disney property with all the fun of a character meet-and-greet. The food was worth the expense (unlike some of the other dining options, which are egregiously overpriced), and the ambiance was lovely.

Naturally, we took lots and lots of photos with the princesses.

 

P.S. It’s probably not a surprise (based on these photos), but we did enjoy a few drinks at Epcot before heading over. Hey, we were celebrating, so it’s 100% acceptable.

On that note… bon appetit, my friends!

Tori

Dining Out on Paleo

So for the past four days, I’ve been sticking religiously to the Paleo diet.

No dairy. No wheat. No soy. No corn. No soda.

Basically, I’ve only been eating things that came straight out of the earth or had been consuming the earth just a few days prior.

I still can never understand why I strayed from this diet in the first place. When I was first introduced to it in August 2012, I immediately picked it up and lost almost 25 lbs with little to no effort. I exercised less, ate MORE food [both volume and in quality], and never felt deprived.

With the holidays came laziness, pecan pie, ripe cheeses, and lots of bad decisions. Yeahhhh. I had been on a downward spiral in my dietary habits pretty much from December until this past weekend. It was bad.

Needless to say, after four days of eating clean, I’m feeling much better.

Each morning my weight has gone down on the scale. Monday morning I was 143.2 [ouch!] and this morning I was back down to 140.2. Not back to the 134.4 I was last October/November, but I’m steadily working my way back to it.

Every day I’ve eaten until I was full with no feelings of regret, deprivation, or otherwise dissatisfaction.

Here’s the kicker —

Every day I’ve prepared all of my own food. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ve made sure to¬† follow the Paleo diet to the T. Today was the first major challenge which involved eating out.

Could I do it?

OHHHH YEAAAAAAH.

Baja Burrito Kitchen = Paleo Heaven on Earth

Baja Burrito Kitchen = Paleo Heaven on Earth

You know, most people think that dining out is challenging, but the Paleo diet is easy. Keep it fresh, keep it clean, and don’t eat anything that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. As you can see in the above picture, that’s not hard to do at most restaurants.

At Baja Burrito Kitchen, I just ordered the “Baja Burrito Kitchen Combo” and asked them to sub the rice and beans for onions and peppers and to double my guacamole instead of the sour cream and cheese. It was DELICIOUS. A few squeezes of lime, some fresh salsa, and lots of cilantro. LOVED IT.

So, this proved that dining out on Paleo is not only possible, it’s EASY. And I don’t see this being hard at pretty much all restaurants: seafood, steakhouse, Mexican. Really, the only challenge would be Italian [no noodles? sauce over veggies? hmmm] or Chinese [um, steamed veggies and seafood, no soy sauce?]

So, theoretically, I have no reason to cheat on Paleo. I can cook for myself or pick food up. I have a collection of healthy snack food options and I also know what I can safely pick up at a gas station if I’m in a rut.

I think I’ve got this.

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori