One of the prettiest places to dine in the Magic Kingdom is the Crystal Palace. Bright colors, lots of light, a nice buffet, and some of the most classic Disney friends, the gang from 100 Acre Wood, make this a must stop at least once when visiting Walt Disney World.
Crystal Palace is right up there with Cinderella’s Royal Table as a top notch character dining at Disney World for me. We had lunch there over our recent Spring Break visit. The beautiful dining room is inspired by Victorian greenhouses of the 1800’s and is filled with light from all the windows and high ceilings.
Everywhere you look the room is in bloom. Beautiful plants and flowers create a rainbow while you dine with some of your favorite Disney characters. The restaurant is in Magic Kingdom right off Main Street.
There are even fun yet pretty topiaries of the characters in the dining room’s grand entrance. This is the only place at Walt Disney World where you will find Pooh and friends.
The dining room is bright and spacious and even though there is room for a lot of people and it’s buffet style, it is set up so that we never felt crowded. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the Disney Dining Plan is accepted (which is what we used.) This is a popular one so reservations are recommended but there was a line for walk ups when we went. The menu varies so you can check WDW here.
We ate there for lunch and there are a ton of options. Mostly classic traditional dishes like brisket and collard green’s (Pooh knows what’s up and the greens were the bomb.), soups and carved meats. There’s also lots of salads and pasta salads. The kids buffet is low to the ground so they can make their own plate with a little help which I thought was a wonderful touch. The kids’ options included whole grain pasta, sweet potato tots, and fruit. Their dessert selection was out of this world ranging from chocolate chip cookies that my kids made two trips for and a coconut flan that I just wanted to scoop up the whole tray of. The food was fairly consistent and something I would definitely visit again. 3.5 out of 4 stars.
While you’re enjoying your delicious buffet, Pooh and friends make their way to each table so bring your autograph book and a large pin to accommodate the character’s paws. At the Crystal Palace you can meet Pooh (of course), Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. It’s a big dining room and the characters take their time with each table so it takes them a while to come around. Allow yourself at least an hour during peak meal times to meet all of the characters. Pooh was the first character to stop by and of course little Caitlin latched right on like a long lost friend as she does with all of the characters. Ethan my autism warrior wasn’t so sure at first but did get in the photo which was a big step from the beginning of our last visit when he hid under the table.
This may be my favorite photo from this experience. Tigger was just as fun and bouncy as you would think he would be and both kids were all about the bouncing. Some people try to leave their table and approach the characters out of turn presumably trying to make a Fast Pass but the cast members are pretty good about keeping it fair so be prepared to wait.
Precious P-p-piglet. A tip I learned after our Spring Break lunch visit is that Crystal Palace takes early break reservations for before the park opens. Make an early reservation and you will be one of the only ones allowed in the park before it opens. Before you head inside the Crystal Palace you can snap a few photos of the castle area with an almost empty park. These are popular reservations so definitely try to snag one as soon as they become available which is what I’m going to try to do for our December visit.
Eeyore is the only character at Crystal Palace that mom needed a photo with too. Eeyore has always been my favorite. Here’s my Disney Confession: During college I took a second job at the Disney Store but had to quit because I was actually paying them to work there because I was spending more than I was making on Eeyore (and other characters but mostly Eeyore….thanks for noticing me. :-)) merchandise. I still have a lot of it and will pass it to the kiddos.
When Disney does a better job of remembering your husband’s birthday than you do. Well, that’s not entirely true. We did celebrate my husband’s birthday at home, but then when we got to WDW Crystal Palace the cast members kept telling us “Happy Birthday” and we’re side eyeing each other “Who’s birthday is it??” and then they brought a card and cupcake and sang Happy Birthday and then it dawned on me- Ian’s birthday had been only about 9 days before! Neither I nor our travel agent told the Crystal Palace. They just saw his birthday on his guest profile and set up the little celebration. Now that’s Disney Magic!
If you’re visiting WDW any time soon I highly recommend the beautiful, delicious, and magical dining experience at the Crystal Palace! I can’t wait to go back.
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