Have you ever had trouble getting the ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation) you want? Maybe you missed the 180 day window or are planning a last minute trip or maybe you just changed your mind. No matter how you got here, you now find yourself without that ADR for Cinderella's Royal Table or Be Our Guest or 'Ohana. That happens to me all the time! So what do I do? Well, I have a 2-pronged approach. First, pull yourself together and book a close substitute. Second, keep watching the My Disney Experience Website or App for a miracle. They happen! While I cannot help you with the miracle step, I can help with suggesting some substitutes to the most popular ADRs. Since there are so many hard to get ADRs I'm going to break this down into several posts. Today's: What to do when Cinderella's Royal Table is Booked!
No Cinderella's Royal Table?
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
The first great substitute is Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. Akershus is located inside the Norway Pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase. The breakfast menu is an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet, while the lunch and dinner menus have a Norwegian flare. The kid's menus are standard Disney kid options of pizza, mac & cheese for example. However, if you have any picky eaters in your group, you may want to steer clear and look at 1900 Park Fare (see below). The real draw here as a substitute for Cindy's is the Princesses. While certain characters are not guaranteed, the usual princess are Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Princess Aurora, and Ariel. The decor inside Akserhus is also a great substitute as it mimics that of a German Castle (not sure why this is in Norway except for the food). So at Akserhus the food is not as good, BUT the characters and atmosphere are an almost perfect match for The Royal Table.
Bon Voyage Breakfast
So your family may not find the Norwegian cuisine to be enticing, or perhaps even this ADR is booked at well (it is also very popular, or Epcot may not fit into your trip planning, what then?? If any of those are the case, don't fret, there is still another great newer option at the Bon Voyage Breakfast. It is newer and therefore still popular. You may have a more difficult time finding an ADR here than at Akershus, but it is another one to keep in mind when booking those ADRs.
Located on the Boardwalk at Trattoria al Forno, the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast features Rapunzel, Flynn Rider (EUGENE!), Ariel, and Eric. The breakfast runs from 7:30am - 11am and offers a menu of prix fixe options. While the restaurant is definitely Italian in decor, the menu is not. However, it is also not a standard Disney character buffet! The options include several egg dishes, but the most enticing to me is the Royale Breakfast of steak, cheesy-egg torte, roasted potatoes and crispy onions! Oh and did I mention the adorable pasty basket? So at Bon Voyage you get two princesses and their princes with above average food, but definitely miss out on the regal decor and ambience of The Royal Table or Akershus. But you also get to be on the Boardwalk which is one of my favorite areas outside of the parks!
1900 Park Fare
So if somehow none of the above fit your needs or maybe they are ALL booked, there is still a great character option at 1900 Park Fare. Located in the Grand Floridian, it is a short monorail ride from the Magic Kingdom. In my opinion the atmosphere is a less than magical, but the characters can make up for that. At 1900 the characters vary depending on the meal. For breakfast you may meet the characters from Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, and Winnie the Pooh. Dinner is a bit fancier with the characters from Cinderella making an appearance. Both meals are buffet and are nothing amazing. BUT if you care about characters over all else, this is a good option.
Overall, if there is an ADR that you just have to have to make your holiday magical, then certainly plan well ahead! Know which days your want them and be ready at 6am EST on the 180 day mark. If that can't happen, be flexible. There are so many great hidden gems to discover. And lastly, keep checking. Look every single day if its that important. It might just work. How do I know? Because I just cancelled a coveted reservation at 'Ohana because I realized it just didn't work for our day's plan. Someone else probably got to nab that! So stay positive, keep checking for what you want, and book a substitute!
Tara is a Disney-obsessed Mom of two active boys!