From all the photos I saw online about experiences at Magic Kingdom, I knew there was this awesome place inside the castle, and along with the kids were on a mission to explore it.
We arrived at Magic Kingdom early in the morning because we wanted to go on a few rides, have lunch in Cinderella’s castle, take some photos with the princesses, and then go to the other parks.
I’m sure you’ve seen the images of kids dressed up in Cinderella’s castle having the time of their lives; we did and thought it looked fantastic. We wanted to do it too. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much information on how TO do it when people posted online. My mistake, of course, is that I did not research this in detail before our visit.
This little story is about everything we did searching for this magical room.
When we arrived, I looked over the gate that takes you to this magical place, and it was OPEN. Woohoo! We decided we wanted to go to the castle at lunch when it would also serve as a break and a way to cool down after a busy morning on rides. Cinderella’s castle would be the perfect place to relax, and my daughter could take some photos with the princesses.
With this plan in mind, we happily checked out the rides.
Then we watched one of the parades, which is always fun with dancing and high energy. Ethan was quite excited to see Fantastic Mr. Fox one of his favourite characters. It’s actually Nick Wilde from Zootopia but we didn’t correct him because he was so excited.
When we returned around 11:30 am, the castle area was empty, and the gates were closed. The staff told us that it would be opening in about 1.5 hours. So we decided instead of waiting; we’d go on some more rides and then come back.
If you’ve been to Disney, you’ll know that the lines are long for certain rides if you don’t have a fast pass. However, we found some rides where the lines weren’t too long and even got on one of the water rides, which was great for cooling down. The app is great for checking which rides have the shortest lines.
We returned to the gate again and were told we just missed it; we were five minutes late. This staff then gave us a great tip. We can walk around the castle to get to the other side. I was like, YES! So glad there is an option to get to the other side; we’ll be inside the castle in no time.
When we got to the other side, the gate on that side was closed too, but we were the only ones there, and I could see into the castle and see that there were people inside; we were almost there. Some kids got manicures with the princesses, but what we wanted was the big ballroom.
It would be about 45 minutes of waiting, but we didn’t want to go back and forth again; the kids were getting tired and did not want to miss our chance again. We were done with rides for the day and were excited to finally get inside Cinderellas castle, eat, take some photos, and make our way to some other parks.
I happily sat down and waited, knowing we would not miss it this time.
Some other people started arriving and waiting behind us, which validated that this was something worth waiting for. At one point, someone went and sat closer to the gates with their back to the gate, and I went up to let them know we were here first, so they had to wait in line. They apologized and moved their stuff behind ours.
Then that magical sound we had been waiting for; the gates were finally opening. I was so excited with anticipation of what was inside. Finally, we were going to get inside the castle. Then the gate opened up, and in total disbelief of what was in front of my eyes, I realized it was just a gate. It was just the other side of the gate.
Its sole purpose is a shortcut from one side of the park to the other for those who don’t want to trek around.
The person who had apologized for cutting in front of me asked what I was waiting for. I was mortified that other people had started waiting in line behind me, thinking there was something there.
I can laugh about it now,
- Especially how indignant I was when I thought someone was cutting in front of me.
- The look of confusion on my daughter’s face.
- The excitement on my son’s face as he ran through and then stopped and asked “mommy is this the exciting thing?
- The annoyed look on my husband’s face because I had dragged them back and forth across the park all day for absolutely nothing.
No one had told me that to go inside Cinderella’s castle, you had to book tickets online and book them ahead of time. It turns out I was standing outside the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. At the time of our visit, packages ranged from $75-$200 USD
I was looking for Cinderella’s Royal Table, which needed to be booked WAY in advance because tickets are usually sold out.
Instead, this is the story of how I wasted almost 3 hours trying to get inside a gate that I thought was Cinderella’s dining room.
If I had known that I needed to do all this ahead of time, I could have spent that time exploring some of the fantastic things that DO exist like more time at the other parks Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, & Animal Kingdom.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The good news is now there’s an app for that but I wanted to share anyway if only to make you laugh and also to avoid making the same mistakes I did.