A review of the Royal Court Royal Tea
Cruise,  Disney,  Family Travel,  Travel

Why I Won’t Do The Royal Court Royal Tea Again On Disney Cruise Line

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Are you considering splurging on the Royal Court Tea for your children on a Disney Cruise? Consider this before signing up for this expensive experience. 

It is a tale as old as time; parents love to surprise their kids with special activities only to find out they did not meet expectations. We experienced this during our recent cruise on Disney Cruise Line aboard the Disney Magic when we signed our daughter up for the Royal Court Royal Tea. It ended up being a royal disappointment.

 Royal Court Royal Tea Review
A review of the Royal Court Royal Tea

Many of you may think, “I just don’t see how a world that makes such wonderful things could be bad.” While it may be true Disney exceeds in creating magical experiences, this one fell way short of the standard I was expecting.

What The Royal Court Tea Costs

In the words of Ursula, “Here’s the Deal.” The Royal Court Royal Tea costs $220 per child and $69 per adult. That’s right, angelfish; if you want to have tea with your child, you must pay a heavy price tag. Parents have no way around this excessive fee because kids have to have a chaperone.

The Royal Tea lasts approximately one hour and is for children between 3 and 12. All adults must be accompanied by a child as this is a child-focus experience.

Budget Tip: If you choose to do the Royal Court Royal Tea Party, only have one adult attend. The children are placed at the end of the table so only one parent can sit next to them. Another family is sitting across from you.

Spilling the tea on the Royal Court Royal Tea
Spilling the tea on the Royal Court Royal Tea

What Is Included With The Tea

After seeing that price tag, you would expect to sit down with Belle herself while the dishes brought out your tea. On the contrary, guests will be lucky to spend two minutes with each princess as they hastily make their way from table to table.

Here is what you get:

  • Your little princess or prince will get an abundance of souvenirs waiting at their spot when you arrive. These gifts include a purse, a charm bracelet and two charms, a Cinderella doll, Minnie Mouse Ears, and an autograph book and pen. Boys will get an Olaf Plush or stuffed bear, an autograph book, a cinch bag, and a sword and shield.
  •  You will get a souvenir photo of your child with all the princesses delivered to your stateroom.
  •  There is a three-tiered assortment of royal treats, including finger sandwiches and sweet treats.
  •  There is a little show with songs and dance. Later, scones for adults and a cupcake for the kids come out.
  •  Adults only get tea and goodies from the three-tiered tray. Where are my Minnie Ears??

What To Expect At The Royal Court Tea

Arriving At The Tea

The Royal Tea Party begins with everyone gathered outside of the dining room. Lady Chamomile comes out with a brief musical intro and invites the guests into the Royal Tea. Lady Chamomile is the Royal Tea Hostess that is there to help make this a magical experience.

At the hostess stand, they confirm your reservation and announce your prince or princess by name. Escorts show you to your table, which is shared with another family. The children are placed at the end of the table opposite each other so the princesses can greet them later. 

Note: I read somewhere that the children got crowns upon arrival. This did not happen at our tea, but maybe it does onboard one of the other ships like the Disney Wonder or the Disney Fantasy.

Gifts at the Royal Tea
Gifts at the Royal Tea

Once at the table, the children will find their name tags and gifts. Many gifts we could have done without. The Cinderella doll (I would have preferred to pick the princess we got), and the autograph book (which I could have snagged cheaper on Amazon!) I would rather have had a more affordable price tag on the tea than the cheap bracelet that broke hours later.

NOTE: The princesses did not give my child any additional charms for the charm bracelet. Everything was already in the purse in tiny mesh bags.

Personal Opinion

 Disney Magic picked the dullest dining room to host a Royal Tea. It is at Lumineer’s, which leaves a lot to be desired. The tea did not feature any special linens, napkins, etc. The children did get a polka dot tea cup at their place setting, but it was only for the tea, not a souvenir.

The Show

Once everyone is seated, Lady Chamomile and the Royal Pastry Chef, Chef Brulee, come out with a performance of “Be Our Guest”. Each princess makes her grand arrival one at a time for the tea.

Meet the princesses briefly
Meet the princesses briefly

Three favorite Disney princesses make an appearance at the tea. Typically they are Cinderella, Belle, and Ariel. On occasion, you may see Tiana or another princess, but it is that classic trio for the most part.

What Is Served At The Disney Royal Court Royal Tea

During part of the song and dance between Lady Chamomile and the Chef, tea is brought out by the waitstaff. Kids are served apple juice while the adults get hot tea.

A three-tiered tray of culinary delights is brought out for the guests at the table to share. The trays had tea sandwiches and pastries, but there is not an abundance of food. Later into the tea, scones are offered for the adult and a cupcake for the kids.

The three-tiered tea tray at the Royal Court Royal Tea
The three-tiered tea tray at the Royal Court Royal Tea

I need to be brutally honest for a second and state that throughout the whole performance, the Royal Pastry Chef is hyping up his “special” dessert. The special dessert is a cupcake with a chocolate topper of their favorite princess. I have seen better-looking cupcakes in our local grocery store than what was served at this tea.

The "Special" Dessert
The “Special” Dessert

You are asked before the tea what princess your child would like on their cupcake. The princesses do not bring the cupcakes through; the waitstaff does.

Planning Tip: “Try the gray stuff; it’s delicious,” which I would have if there were enough for the whole table. Don’t come with the expectation that you will be eating lunch here. The tiers consist mainly of a handful of sweet pastries, with the bottom layer being small sandwiches.

The Big Moment: Greeting The Princesses

This is the moment when the dream that your child has wished for finally comes true! Each princess will come around to each table to greet their guests. When they arrive, kids can ask them for their autograph in their new autograph book.

Getting autographs at the Royal Court Royal Tea
Getting autographs at the Royal Court Royal Tea

Each princess spends roughly 3-4 minutes at each table max, spending two minutes per child. Kids will get the opportunity to see them again briefly for their photo at the end of the tea.

Personal Opinion: You get more quality time with princesses at the character greetings and the Royal Gathering. If you thought a princess would be sitting down for tea with you, keep on believing because maybe someday that wish will come true, but not today.

A Picture Perfect Ending

The Royal Court Tea is an hour long, then the clock strikes midnight, and everyone has to leave. Tables are escorted to get their picture taken with all the princesses. Then later, a framed photo of your time at the Royal Tea is delivered to your stateroom. The photograph made the perfect souvenir which is now proudly displayed in my daughter’s bedroom.

What My 5-Year-Old Daughter Thought Of The Royal Court Royal Tea

As a parent, it can be hard to see things through the lens of a child. I needed to be sprinkled with a lot more pixie dust to see the magic in this royal tea experience. However, upon asking my daughter if she enjoyed it, she indicated that she did, but it wasn’t her favorite thing we did on the cruise. Experiences that ranked higher were the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and the Kids Club.

Royal Court Royal Tea onboard Disney Cruise Line
Royal Court Royal Tea onboard Disney Cruise Line

The show with Lady Chamomile and the Royal Pastry Chef bored her. Doodling in her autograph book, she would look up only when a princess made her arrival. Her favorite part of the tea: Eating all the desserts.

What To Wear To The Royal Court Royal Tea On Disney Cruise Line

The Royal Tea is a special experience for all your family’s little princesses and princes. Therefore, many of the children come dressed in their dresses or costumes. I recommend visiting the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique before the tea so that your little princess looks her best.

What to wear for the Royal Court Royal Tea
What to wear for the Royal Court Royal Tea

Parents, there is no official dress code for the Royal Court Tea. Business casual is the dress code I recommend going with. Many of the ladies were wearing sundresses or pants with a nice blouse. Men were in collared shirts with nice shorts or pants.

Get our complete Disney Cruise Packing Listso you come prepared!

Ultimately You Have To Decide What Is Best For Your Family

The Royal Court Royal Tea is ultimately a little girl’s dream come true. Dressing up in their fanciest attire, they feast on delectable desserts, get a distinguished assortment of gifts, and be entertained by popular Disney Princesses. Even though this royal high tea is expensive, many families may feel it is worth the splurge for their children.

The Royal Court Royal Tea will take a picture that you will get in your stateroom later.
The Royal Court Royal Tea will take a picture that you will get in your stateroom later.

The Royal Court Royal Tea is perfect for kids who would appreciate and adore meeting the princesses and feeling like a royal guest at the tea. It would make an ideal mother-daughter experience, and we even saw quite of few grandmothers there as well. In the end, you know your children best.

In my personal opinion, I thought the princess tea was not worth the money. Had the tea been half the price, I would say yes, but to pay nearly $300 for two people, it is a hard pass for the future.

It should come as no surprise that this exclusive experience books up quickly. Often the Royal Court Royal Tea isn’t offered to first-time cruisers as all the slots are full when their booking window opens. *The number of times you have sailed with Disney will indicate when you can book a special onboard experience.


Schedule your FREE Royal Gathering experience to meet and greet the princesses. Your child will get more one-on-one attention at the Royal Gathering than at the Royal Tea. Many families will walk by this princess gathering, thinking it is open to the public, only to find out they need a reservation. Make your reservation as soon as your booking window opens to secure a spot.

Once your Royal Gathering is on the books, get an appointment at the Bippiti Boppiti Boutique for your tiny princess. I would make the appointment for the boutique before they go to the Royal Gathering or schedule it the evening prior.

The Royal Gathering is a FREE event where guests reserve a time slot to meet the princesses.
The Royal Gathering is a FREE event where guests reserve a time slot to meet the princesses.

Transforming into a glamourous princess at the Bippiti Boppiti Boutique was one of my daughter’s most memorable experiences. Having the opportunity to be pampered, choose her fancy hairstyle, and be treated like a princess by her fairy godmother in training was all she needed. We did the cheapest package at $99, and the hairstyle lasted two days!

Order room service and have a tea party in your stateroom. Another alternative is go to Cabanas to get a bunch of desserts to bring back to your stateroom.

Planning Tip: The Royal Gathering and Bibbiti Boppiti Boutique are both experiences you will want to book before sailing. You can reserve them through your Disney Cruise Account.

Did you find this article helpful? Be sure to check out these related posts about Disney Cruise Line.

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Why I Won’t Do The Royal Court Royal Tea Again On Disney Cruise Line

An honest review of the Royal Court Royal Tea