I am often asked for my opinion on whether to choose Fairytale Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table or Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. In my opinion, both of these locations have good and not-so-good attributes so today I am talking about my recommendations on these two experiences.
I have found the service to be comparable at both of these dining locations. One can tell that they have developed the dining rotations to a science at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Akershus is not as efficient but the wait-staff is equally attentive in my opinion.
In this post, I will be discussing both dining experiences in three main areas: atmosphere and decor, food quality and price. If you want to jump ahead, I have made my recommendation for which dining experience to book at the end of this post.
First, let’s talk about Cinderella’s Royal Table. This is the iconic restaurant located inside Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom. Aside from that reason alone being enough, let’s look a little more in depth at this location.
Atmosphere and Decor
Guests are greeted by Cinderella in the majestic Grand Hall where a photo is taken of your family with Cinderella. She is not in the dining room as she meets you here. When it is time for your dining experience, you ascend a spiral staircase to the banquet hall above.
The dining room is like a storybook setting. It is very regal, in my opinion, with stone archways, majestic medieval flags and beautiful stained-glass windows.
Throughout the meal, princesses such as Ariel, Snow White, Aurora, sometimes Belle and sometimes Jasmine are formally announced and visit each table for autographs and photo ops. Children (ages 3-9) also get a surprise gift — a princess wand for girls and a prince’s sword for boys!
Breakfast includes American favorites such as scrambled eggs with sausage, bacon and potatoes; stuffed French toast; steak and eggs; shrimp and grits; and baked quiche. A pastry basket is also provided. Breakfast comes with your choice of soft drinks, coffee, hot tea, iced tea, hot cocoa, light lemonade punch, apple juice, 1% or chocolate milk.
Lunch and dinner both begin with the Chef’s Tasting Plate, which is a selection of assorted cured meats and cheeses. Entree choices include Slow-Roasted Pork Tenderloin; Spring Vegetable Couscous; Pan-Seared Chicken; Beef Tenderloin Salad; or Chef’s Fish of the Day.
The Children’s menu includes appetizer choices of Bite-sized Cheddar Cheese and Grapes or Garden Salad. The entree choices are: Chicken Nuggets; Beef Tenderloin or Macaroni and Cheese. Mickey Check Meals of Roasted Chicken Leg or Turkey Pot Pie are also offered.
I have enjoyed all the entrees I have eaten here. It is not the quality of a fine-dining restaurant, but the food is good.
For breakfast, the adult price range is $59.29-$64.13. For children (ages 3-9), the price range is $34.64-$38.98. This includes both tax and gratuity.
For Lunch and Dinner, the adult price range is $70.96-$79.25. For children (ages 3-9), the price range is $37.89-$46.45 This includes both tax and gratuity.
Now, let’s look at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. This is located in EPCOT’s World Showcase – Norway. It is right next to the Frozen Ever After ride and right across the walk from Elsa and Anna’s Somerhaus Meet N Greet location. Here are my thoughts on the restaurant.
Atmosphere and Decor
Guests are greeted by Belle at the entrance of the restaurant. Here, a photo is taken of your family with Belle. She is not in the dining room as she meets you here. When it is time for your dining experience, you will be seated at one of the tables in the large dining room.
This location is reminiscent of a European castle, but not nearly as regal as Cinderella’s Royal Table. The ceilings are lower and it is less impressive. Still, it is a large dining area with decor that does feel castle-like.
Disney princesses who may appear include: Ariel, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora, Mulan, or Mary Poppins.
Breakfast is an all-you-care-to-eat assortment of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potato casserole, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and fresh seasonal fruit. Also included is the buffet line foods which include: Smoked Salmon, Peppered Mackerel, Mixed Fruit, Glassmeister Herring, Tomato Herring, Jarlsburg Cheese, Muenster Cheese, Gjetost Goat Cheese, Assorted Yogurt, Granola, Dried Diced Fruit, Bagels, Assorted Cream Cheeses, Nuts, Raisins, Jellies, Cinnamon Rolls, Assorted Muffins, Donuts, Apple Turnovers, Cherry Danish, Bananas, and Assorted Croissants. For my family, this is our preferred meal at Akershus.
Lunch and Dinner consists of Norwegian-inspired dishes and desserts. It starts with a “Taste of Norway” which includes Scandinavian Seafood, Imported Cheeses, cured and sliced Meats, and a vast selection of Salads and Fruits. Entree choices include: Traditional Kjottkake (Norwegian Meatballs); Pan-seared Salmon; Skalldyrsgryte (scallops, mussels, and shrimp casserole); Brassert Biff – (red wine braised beef); Svinekotelett (pork chop); Gronnsaksgrateng (roasted fall vegetable terrine); and Kyllingbryst (slow-roasted chicken breast).
Children 3-9 may order Macaroni & Cheese, Meatballs served with Mashed Potatoes and Corn; or Pizza. There are also Mickey Check Meals consisting of Grilled Chicken Breast; Junior Beef grilled beef medalion; or Salmon. Each with choice of small lowfat milk or small bottled water.
The food here is good. Just as with CRT, it is not the quality of fine-dining but it is good.
For breakfast, the adult price range is $43.46-$50.85. For children (ages 3-9), the price range is $26.49-$29.68. This includes tax, but not gratuity.
For Lunch and Dinner, the adult price range is $66-70. For children (ages 3-9), the price range is $32-34. This includes tax, but not gratuity.
My personal recommendation on which experience to book depends largely on whether or not the guest has the dining plan. If the guest does not have a dining plan, I recommend Cinderella’s Royal Table because you get so much more for not much more expense. If the guest has the dining plan, I recommend Akershus (especially for breakfast) as it will only use 1 table-service credit as opposed to two. That being said, I do think every little prince or princess should experience CRT at least once while they are young enough to experience the magic!
NOTE: If you get a late reservation at CRT, it is possible to request a seat near the window to view the fireworks.
What are your thoughts on these dining experiences? Do you prefer one to the other? Let me know in the comments below.