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Auberge de Cendrillon (Disneyland Paris)

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      03.04.2013 15:59
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      An unforgettable experience

      My little girl is Disney princess mad, so before we visited Disneyland I did some research on the best way to meet as many as possible. The princess pavilion was the only attraction to meet a princess, and as it had waits of up to two hours a time I knew this was not possible with four young children. The other option was lunch or dinner at Auberge de Cendrillon where you are able to dine with Cinderella herself, as well as some of her friends. I decided this would be the best option and so even with the large price tag accompanying it I decided we would book.

      The Auberge de Cendrillon in located in fantasyland inside the main Disney park. You do need to make a reservation to dine, as you would expect it is a very popular meal. I actually booked ours three months before, and was still only given a choice of two time slots. We chose to dine at lunchtime which is between 12pm -4pm but a dinner option is also available. We found it very easily with it being situated behind sleeping beauty's castle, and had a reservation at 12.30. Upon arrival we were greeted by the staff all dressed in fancy ball dresses, and this theme run throughout even to the waitresses. The restaurant is very grand, modelled on a banquet hall and everything is perfect for a princess themed meal! We were seated within 5 minutes of arrival and were very lucky to be sat right next to the fireplace without having to ask. The reason I mention being seated in this area is Cinderella and Prince charming actually dance one an hour or so and we had first class seats to watch the magic.

      Food and service

      The service was slow but not in a bad way. As soon as we were shown to our tables we were given a menu. The children's drinks orders were taken and the waitress quickly disappeared. We thought it was strange that she had left without our drinks orders, but within two minutes she was back with their juice and a cocktail each for the adults. My husband asked if it contained alcohol (it states non-alcoholic on the menu, but just to be sure) and she said a little. I'm not sure if she understood what we meant, as I could not taste any included, but I had his just in case as we were on a self drive holiday. She then took our orders from the menu, and asked what we would like to drink. The service in-between meals were fair, with maybe a ten minute wait between courses. We were left a little longer than usual to finish each course, but again I suspect this was done for us to get a chance to see each Princesses. Our waitress did make sure she was around every five minutes or so just in case we needed drinks refilled or anything at all. Considering the restaurant was full the service we received was exceptional. Whatever we needed was granted very quickly, and the attention to detail was perfect. There were children's menus left on the table which doubled as a colouring book, and each child was left 2 packets of crayons. While my daughter was more interested in the restaurant this was perfect for my five year old son who kept telling me this meal was too girly.

      The menu was written in both French and English so we had no problem understanding it. The children's meal included a salmon paste with toast (only choice for starter), a choice of three mains and just one choice for pudding. I was a little disappointed there was little choice for starters as I knew my children would not eat the salmon paste provided. Next for mains there was a choice of yet more salmon, chicken or a burger. My children decided they would like the burger as they had chicken the previous night. We asked for it to be well done as with previous experience the French like their beef a little less cooked than we did. The mains were brought out and as we expected they were still pink in the middle. We asked for them to be cooked a little longer, and the waitress giggled saying it was a running theme for that day. Not too long after the mains arrived again, still a little pink, but a lot better than the first time. This was served with a small amount of mash and vegetables, but certainly more than a generous serving for my young children. They only finished around half of their food but as it was still early I was not surprised. The desert was by far my children's favourite. They were served with a small plate of three desserts. A lollipop white chocolate lolly, a cake, and a chocolate Cinderella slipper. Not only did they look amazing but my children really enjoyed them. They are small sized treats so not overly filling after a large dinner, and the perfect end to the meal.

      For the adults we had a choice of around four starters, four mains and just one pudding. The starters included a soup, Salmon (seems to be a running theme), and an Assortment of grilled vegetables with pesto sauce, served with a poached egg and rocket salad. All three adults chose this dish so I am unable to comment on the other options. To be honest I hadn't expected the vegetables to be cold by reading the menu, but they were not just cold they were freezing like they had been in a refrigerator. It mainly consisted of peppers and courgettes, and unfortunately was just not my type of thing at all so they went untouched. Again it was left by my husband and sister in law so not something I would recommend.

      Mains included Goose, Veal, Scallops, Mushroom tart (vegetarian option), and the chefs suggestion, which on the day we were there was a sea fish (waitress was unsure of the name.) My husband and I both chose the Veal and I have to say it was cooked perfectly. The flavouring of the mushroom accompanying it was subtle but definitely noticeable. This by far was the best meal we had the whole time we were at Disneyland Paris, and I would go as far to say it is the best meat based dish I have ever eaten at a restaurant. Finally the dessert was a chocolate cake that again was amazing. It had a crispy chocolate outer, a gooey chocolate centre and a chocolate sponge to finish it off. It is a huge chocolate overload but so very tasty. From reviews I had read prior to visiting the restaurant I thought the portion sizes were going to be tiny. In actual fact each dish we received was overly generous, and I actually struggled to finish my main and dessert despite not eating my starter. We were served 2 large pieces of meat, a large bowl of vegetables and a healthy portion of mash.

      Character interaction

      This was absolutely fantastic. You are not guaranteed to meet any princess but Cinderella so it really was pot luck. My little girl was looking forward to seeing sleeping beauty but unfortunately she was not one of the princesses present on our visit. This is no way ruined the experience, and she really thought it was magical. Within five minutes of sitting down Belle visited our table. She approached my eldest daughter first, greeting her with Hello princess. My little girl instantly became shy and just stared at this real life princess in front of her. Belle continued by asking my daughter her age, but it seemed she had lost her voice and she just continued staring. Belle did not give in she continued by saying "Oh, I know your name it's Aurora." My little girl was dressed in a sleeping beauty dress and this worked a trick, she began to giggle and finally spoke up telling Belle her name. Belle then continued to talk to her for five minutes making general conversation about her age, what princesses she liked and really brought my little girl out of her shell. Belle then went on to talk to the boys, and then approached my youngest daughter stroking her face. Then she politely said goodbye after a good ten minutes when she noticed our drinks arriving at the table.

      Next we were visited by Snow White. Again my little girl was the first approached with Hello princess. This time my little girl had no problems and began chatting away to snow white without any problems. A few times Snow white whispered into my little girl's ear and her face just lit up. It was a very magical moment and I was close to tears. After my daughter explained to me Snow white had asked if she would be her best friend. Now she tells everyone she met the Princesses, and that she has a new best friend in Snow white! Suzy and Perla the two mischievous mice entered the room a number of times while we were dining. They would run around stroking children's heads, and generally causing small mischief much to the children's delight. They also visited the tables posing for pictures, and giving cuddles to the children. Also we were lucky enough to be sat right next to the fireplace so every hour Cinderella and prince charming would make their way to the dance floor and waltz around much to my children's amazement. As we were right next to the dance floor Suzy would grab my children's hand and lead them across to dance with her at the same time. This for me was another magical moment and my children will not stop talking about her.

      I loved that each character spent a good 10 minutes at our table making conversation with my little girl. They tried to involve the boys, but both were uninterested. My youngest son who is two was amazed at the princesses, but very shy so he would hide in the background. They were happy to pose with each child, and sign their autograph books. On the way out Snow white approached my daughter, and remembering her name thanked her for taking the time to visit. This made my daughters day and she literally leaped out of the restaurant with the biggest smile I have ever seen. We were visited by Cinderella and Prince charming just as we were leaving the restaurant. Again they spent a good 10 minutes talking to my children and it finished the experience off nicely. I would say it is aimed at young girls more, but anyone can enjoy a meal here, and it is one of the finer restaurants in the resort. This was a perfect escape from the fast food options available in the rest of the parks.

      Summary

      This was the second character meal we had booked. This was the most expensive with the meal costing £250 for three adults, two children and two infants. The food was very nice, but without the character interaction I would have been unhappy with the amount we paid. The service in the restaurant is fantastic, and although it was on the slow side this was done purposely to enjoy the interaction from the princesses. We visited while it was full which meant it took some time for all the characters to reach our table, but it was certainly worth it. The prices are set at 64 Euros for each three course meal for an adult and this includes the cocktail when you first arrive. For children 3-11 it is 29 Euros and this again is for a three course meal and a soft drink. While this is overpriced for the food you receive, the service is good and the princesses really do make sure you feel special. My little girl was mesmerised by the characters, and it really made her whole trip. I was close to tears on a few occasions, so I would highly recommend it as you can never put a price on the memories this meal has left.

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