Cinderella Castle, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle in Orlando
, Florida, is an icon millions of people visit annually. The castle features five distinctive mural panels and the Royal Table restaurant, which is open for a breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a beauty salon for children. But there is no gift shop at the castle. Disney characters perform daily in the forecourt; the backcourt has a fountain.
Wows and Woes
The murals are intricate and stunning depictions of Cinderella's story; they have one million Italian glass tiles; some are sterling silver or 14-karat gold. Dinner and lunch character meals include a free photo packet.
Meal prices are steep. In 2009, a child's meal cost $22 to $26. An adult's meal cost $32 to $41. Parties of six or more pay an automatic 18 percent gratuity.
It's impossible to eat at the Royal Table restaurant in the castle without reservations, which you should book three to six months in advance. Instead of choosing this overpriced eatery, choose Chef Mickey's Buffet for breakfast or dinner in the Contemporary resort. As of 2009, breakfast was $13 for children and $23 for adults. Dinner prices were $15 for children and $30 for adults.
Author's Most Memorable Moment
I took my granddaughter to Disney World for her fifth birthday in 2008. Her excitement about becoming a princess was palpable. I, however, was shocked at the awful hairstyle created by the stylist. My advice is to visit the castle to see the shows and the murals, eat at a different restaurant and dress your children up at home.
The shows outside the castle are delightful; however, the restaurant and salon are not worth the exorbitant prices.
Ellen Kendall has 15 years of writing and editing experience. Her travel and insurance articles have appeared in national magazines. Her book contributions include biographies and multi-cultural and Holocaust lesson plans. She has previously served as a real estate broker and interior designer and taught ESL in Korea and at Duke.