One thing we have learned about each and every Disney trip – no matter whether you are on land or on the sea, there is Disney magic around every turn. I’m back with the second post in my Disney Cruise series (you did read about Tiana’s restaurant, right?). This time I want to tell you about an extra special event onboard – the Disney Cruise Royal Court Royal Tea!
Now Available On All Disney Ships
While guests onboard the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream have been able to enjoy this exclusive event for a while now, just recently was the Royal Court Royal Tea offered on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. In fact, because we were on the 2nd cruise on the newly re-imagined Disney Wonder this November, we were one of the first to experience the event on the ship.
The Disney Cruise Royal Court Royal Tea is hosted by Lady Chamomile and Chef Brule. Now, we may have never heard of these characters before, but let me tell you they were just who you’d imagine would host a Disney-themed tea party!
Full of Disney songs, humor, sweet and savory treats, gifts, and a few princesses, this is one experience I’m glad I got to share with my daughter.
Extra Cost Experience
Unlike many things onboard a Disney cruise, this experience does cost additional money, similar to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. It’s one that gives your little princess (or prince) some one on one time with the Disney princesses, and when time with them is much-limited to photographs in the lobby, it can be hard to get that on a ship.
Each family must decide whether it’s worth the cost (detailed at the end), but I want to show you all the happens during the experience and what gifts are bestowed upon your kiddos, so that you can make an informed decision. As for me, I’m all about experiences more than gifts – the Disney Cruise Royal Court Royal Tea is a great combination of both.
Book in Advance
When the magical date opens up for your particular cruise, where you can log-in online and select any additional activities and dining options (you will be notified of this date), you need to do so right away.
Everything can fill up incredibly quick, and while many of them don’t cost an additional fee, they are hard-ticket events. You must sign up BEFORE your cruise departs for things like meet and greets with princesses, character breakfasts with your Disney Junior friends. All free, but you need tickets.
The Disney Cruise Royal Court Royal Tea does cost an additional fee AND also needs to be booked BEFORE your cruise departs (as soon as that magical date opens online).
What Day to Book the Disney Cruise Royal Court Royal Tea?
While I’m not familiar with all ships, on the Disney Wonder, the Royal Court Royal Tea happened promptly at 3:00pm, as you can see from the invitation above. This invitation arrives in your cabin and can be a special surprise waiting for your child if you want to keep it all a secret.
We were on a 7-night, 8-day cruise with many days at sea. Depending on availability, your best bet is to book the Disney Cruise Royal Court Royal Tea experience on those days at sea when you won’t be in port and possibly roaming an island. That said, days at sea are probably more popular and likely fill up quicker.
We were forced to book on a day when we were in port. This particular day we were in Nassau and had to be back onboard the ship by 4:45pm. Since we weren’t planning on any port excursions and were just going to walk around the island a bit, we planned on making it back onboard the ship for a light lunch (I say “light” because a little girl didn’t know the Royal Tea was planned and I didn’t want her tummy too full!).
What Happens if there are No Spots Left Before our Cruise Departs?
This actually happened to us. If this happens, on Embarkation Day (the day you initially get onboard the ship), go directly to the Guest Services Desk and ask if they have any spots available. Ask to be put on the waiting list. That’s what we did and were surprised to find a message waiting in our cabin a couple days later – an opening! I imagine it’s common for families to change plans, especially on a port day.
NOTE: If you get an invitation by being on the waiting list, just make sure your child gets an invitation sent to your cabin. We didn’t know about this and saw that all the other girls had them when we headed to the tea. A quick chat with Lady Chamomile and it was remedied real fast!
The Big Day
All the kids and adults met just outside Triton’s restaurant in the lobby. There was a helper there to sprinkle pixie dust in your hair, though my daughter didn’t particularly want to try and get it out later (I can’t blame her).
For our tea day, it was an all-girl affair, though if boys attend there are appropriate gifts for them as well throughout the event. Some girls dressed in princess costumes while others, like my daughter, dressed in simple dress.
Lady Chamomile along with two royal pages introduced each girl as they entered Triton’s and presented each with a crown. Gift number one.
There were six tables in all, each with four place settings and gifts galore! A large blue backdrop with the Royal Court Royal Tea logo on it had been brought into Triton’s to partition off some of the restaurant. It looked beautiful.
There were only two of us, my daughter and I, having left my husband to enjoy some time watching sports (yes, live-streamed). It appeared that we would be sharing a table with another mother-daughter duo.
Two of the chairs had a special friend waiting for us…a unique Cinderella doll. But I quickly spied other gifts adorning the table.
Look at that smile!
She was beyond excited to meet her new Cinderella doll, who came wearing a special Disney Cruise Royal Court Royal Tea sash. Too cute! The details on this doll are impeccable right down to the piercing blue eyes, gloves and earrings.
Wouldn’t you know it, but the real Cinderella showed up too!
She wasn’t the only one. In fact, we were able to enjoy the company of three princesses on the Disney Wonder that afternoon:
Though Princess Tiana was on the ship and found both at the hard-ticket Princess Gathering event and in Tiana’s restaurant, she didn’t make an appearance during the tea. Too busy with her restaurant is my guess! After all, it wouldn’t be long before the first seating for dinner.
I mentioned that there were plenty of gifts, all included within the cost of the Royal Court Royal Tea. In addition to the crown and Cinderella doll, two more favorites were the Disney Cruise Royal Court Royal Tea Necklace and matching bracelet.
Both the necklace and bracelet were adorned with charms, some unique to the Disney Cruise and some unique to the event. You’ll spy in the picture above that there is a Disney Cruise charm with pink Mickey head on both. There is also a Cinderella carriage charm and a Royal Court Royal Tea charm on each. The necklace comes with four gem charms, each representing a Disney princess based on color.
The charm bracelet arrived with only the 3 charms mentioned above, but something magical happens during the Royal Tea – the princesses arrive with more gifts! When each princess arrives, they are introduced then leave to greet their guests, followed by one of the royal pages. The royal page has a basket of little fabric gift bags, each one contains a charm to add to the bracelet. So much fun!
Of course, where should you keep all this jewelry they have bestowed upon you? In a Disney Cruise princess jewelry box of course. And it’s not just any jewelry box, but a musical one as well.
When you book the Royal Court Royal Tea, you are asked for your child’s favorite princess. This is important because though all the girls received a Cinderella doll, the other gifts (like the jewelry box) and a special cupcake will be based on that favorite princess.
NOTE: If you happen to decide the Royal Court Royal Tea isn’t for you or it happens to be all booked up, you can find this jewelry box in the gift shop onboard. It does make a great souvenir because of the Disney Cruise ship image on the side of the box.
Also waiting for you at your table is a gorgeous autograph book and princess pen. Exactly what you need when princesses will be visiting your table.
The thick princess-themed autograph book is adorned with jewel images all over the front cover and filled with pages for autographs, special memories (as there are printed questions inside), and photographs too.
NOTE: These are the same autograph books found in Disney Parks, but with the addition of a special Royal Court Royal Tea image attached inside.
To sum up, the gifts your child receives as part of the event:
- Cinderella doll with special sash
- Princess Crown
- Charm Bracelet (with additional charm brought by each princess)
- Musical Disney Cruise Princess Jewelry Box
- Princess Autograph Book
- Princess Pen
- …and there’s one more surprise you’ll receive later in your cabin (more details below)
What about Boys?
Boys receive a Royal Court cinch bag, sword and shield, pins, autograph book and Duffy the Disney Bear plush.
Now, let’s talk about FOOD:
In addition to several choices of tea for the adults, the girls are served “tea” or shall I say lemonade? Then the food arrives, and it feels almost as if you were part of the “Be Our Guest” scene in “Beauty and the Beast”.
A three-tiered plate featured small finger sandwiches and pastries. Delicious, though I thought it odd that all tables had 4 people, yet there were only 3 of everything on the plates.
Though you’ve just tasted some of the most delightful treats (like mini fruit tartlets and chocolate dipped marshmallows covered with Mickey sprinkles), there’s one more round – Dessert!
A plate of scones arrive for the adults – oh my!
For the younger crowd, remember what I said about telling Disney about your child’s favorite princess? Now is the time where that princess will be decorated atop a special cupcake, served in a teacup of course!
My daughter’s favorite princess – Belle!
There was so much food, too much to enjoy in such a short amount of time. The time really will go by fast and unlike many teas you may have experienced before, this is a show and it runs on a tight schedule. Songs, princesses arrive, more songs, princesses greet guests, more songs, princesses say farewell, more songs…then one last photo opp.
When it’s over, it’s over. There is no staying around to enjoy the rest of the treats. That did make it hard as there was so much interaction with the princesses and watching the performances, that eating was secondary. That’s really my only complaint as I would have liked for it to have lasted a bit longer, or to at least have been able to enjoy a few moments at the end to finish eating. That said, I know why it didn’t last longer – DINNER was about to be served in that very restaurant.
WARNING: The Royal Court Royal Tea for us was held from 3-4pm. This is really close to the first seating of dinner. So if you are assigned the first seating, this might be a night where you don’t attend the formal dinner, but instead opt for a quick bite at one of the quick service places later in the evening like Pinocchio’s Pizza, Daisy’s de-Lites, or Pete’s Boiler Bites.
One Last Gift
As for that very last gift, the one that is a surprise? Well, you see, at the very end of the Royal Court Royal Tea, there is a photo opp with all the princesses together. I certainly took my own photos, but there was an official photographer there as well. To be honest, I assumed it was so that people could buy the photos at Shutters, the company who handles all the Disney Cruise photography. I was wrong.
Later in our cabin, we discovered a beautiful black leather folio which opened to reveal an 8×10 of this picture with the princesses and a picture of a Cinderella mosaic next to it. Beautiful and apparently included in the price of the event.
Cost is $210 per child and $69 for each accompanying adult. While not inexpensive, I would count it high among my daughter’s favorite Disney experiences so far!
Tell me, have you ever been on a Disney Cruise? Dreaming of one?
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