Anyone who visits Walt Disney World regularly has that one dining experience they consider a “must-do”. For my family, it’s the “Buffet with Character” meal at the Crystal Palace, an “all-you-care-to-enjoy” meal inside the Magic Kingdom. While we favor to show up hungry, extra early (before the park opens), and fill up on breakfast, The Crystal Palace offers three character meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring all your best friends from Hundred Acre Wood; Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet.

What keeps us coming back? The food quality, character interaction, extensive menu options, open-air atmosphere, location and wonderful Cast Member experiences make this dining experience, in my book, one not to miss. Plus, it’s got a magnificent view of Cinderella Castle!

Having dined here 7 times, I find the food is consistently very good and the selections are expansive. Children have their own buffet station, situated lower to the ground so they may help themselves, that includes many kid-friendly options. (Think nuggets, fries, mac and cheese, French toast sticks and mickey waffles). For the adult buffet, while menu selections vary, typical breakfast items include eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits, waffles, pancakes, breakfast lasagna, bacon, fruit and assorted pastries. Lunch may include pasta, chicken, ham, steak, potatoes, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, a variety of salads and a sundae bar. For dinner, you will likely find similar offerings to lunch as well as pork loin, prime rib, salmon and mussels along with a selection of breads. Complete menu selections can be found by visiting the official website here:

All of this wonderful food does come at a price though, and it’s not cheap. However, with all the options offered, you likely will only need light fare the rest of the day.

blog_disness_book_ad_small

The Disney Dining plan is accepted at The Crystal Palace and requires one table service credit-which is a great deal. Additionally, the Tables in Wonderland discount card for Florida Residents and Annual Pass Holders is also available to use here and will get you 20% off. Gratuities are not included, so please be sure to tip your servers.

If spending time with characters is your goal, then reserving a meal at The Crystal Palace is a must! While cast members will ensure characters visit each table at all the character dining experiences at Walt Disney World, I have never experienced better interaction with guests than that which occurs here. My family is not overly enamored with Winnie the Pooh and friends, but they really make you feel special and keep you wanting more…particularly Tigger! In addition to spending as much time as you need -and then some- with you at your table, there is also a character parade where children are encouraged to join in a march around the restaurant set to music. In many locations this would be hard to do, but The Crystal Palace is so spacious, it goes off without a hitch each time.

While the meal is an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet experience, Cast Members are on hand to take and deliver your drink orders and assist you with any allergy questions, special requests or celebratory occasions. For instance, if you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other noteworthy milestone, you may receive a cupcake and a greeting card signed by all your new Hundred Acre Wood pals. We have three! We’ve celebrated a birthday, an anniversary and a retirement. I told you we loved this place!

The Crystal Palace has been serving Magic Kingdom visitors since the day the park opened on October 1, 1971 and became it’s current reservations-only experience in 1996. With its architecture inspired by turn-of-the-century Victorian greenhouses, it’s only logical the characters featured here would come from the British children’s book series. There is light aplenty and a beautiful topiary of Winnie the Pooh and friends serving as the centerpiece of the restaurant.

Some recommendations:

  • Go for an early breakfast, reserving the earliest time. You will be allowed to enter an empty park and get some amazing photos down Main Street USA.
  • Always show up hungry no matter what meal you choose
  • Be sure to tell your server if you are celebrating something. Even if you’ve had it noted on the reservation, remind them.
  • Despite having a reservation, you should expect to wait approximately 15 minutes for your table. This location is large and serves many people.
  • If you book a late breakfast, there is a possibility you may be offered some of the lunch items as well as the buffet offerings begin to change over.
  • Be sure to get a photo of the amazing topiary in the center of the restaurant as you walk in!

No matter what meal you choose, or what time you arrive, it is almost certain you will have an incredibly magical time with some amazing characters while dining on a terrific variety of tasty dishes at The Crystal Palace. It is hands down the best value and character dining experience in the Magic Kingdom…perhaps in all of Disney World! Get a FREE, no obligation (no hard sell-ever) price quote on a Disney Vacation from an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner