I am a strong believer that you are never too old for the magic of Disney. With this fact (yes, fact!) in mind, I made the decision to book Aaron and myself a Character Dining experience at Crystal Palace, located in the Magic Kingdom, during our most recent trip to Walt Disney World.
Although I worked at Disney World for 6 months, I had not experienced Character Dining since I was a kid, travelling with my parents. I wasn’t sure how Aaron and I, two grown adults without children, would like the experience. Would be we bored? Would the characters skip over us or spend less time interacting with us? Would the food be worth the price? I had a lot of questions going into the experience, but I can happily say that we had a great time!
The Crystal Palace is located at the end of Main Street USA, right before you enter Adventureland.
“Inspired by Victorian greenhouses of the late 1800s, The Crystal Palace brims with light, topiaries and tropical palms—and is an enchanting spot to meet some favorite Disney Friends! Feast with some favorite friends from the Hundred-Acre Wood at this whimsical, all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet.”
Reservations are highly recommended for dining at Crystal Palace. While the restaurant is not as hard to get into as Be Our Guest, or some of the other high-demand eateries, it is still important to book your reservation in advance.
Our breakfast reservation was for 9:25am, but Disney suggests that you arrive up to 15 minutes prior to your reservation for check-in. We were sitting at our table and ordering our drinks by 9:30am. Our table looked right out to Cinderella Castle, it was such an amazing view! I’m really not sure how we got so lucky with that one.
As you walk into the restaurant, you are greeted by topiaries of all your favorite characters from the Hundred Acre Woods.
Our waiter was very fun and friendly and was always quick to refill our orange juices. Once you are seated, you are able to fill up at the buffet. Fair warning – pace yourself! There is a lot of food here and it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the deliciousness.
“Bountiful buffets feature American favorites prepared before you in the onstage kitchen. Start your day with puffed French toast, made-to-order omelets, freshly baked pastries, fruit and more.”
Aaron and I took full advantage of the “all you care to enjoy” buffet and stuffed ourselves. Let’s just say I wouldn’t have wanted to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for a good hour or two after we finished eating.
The puffed French toast is something truly magical. It’s like a cinnamon-sugar donut – but with extra Disney magic. Seriously, try one! So good! Now that’s all I’m thinking about…
The made to order omelet station provides all the favorites – bacon, ham, cheese, peppers, onions, and mushrooms, etc. – nothing too exotic here, but definitely something for everyone.
Of course, Mickey shaped waffles are a must eat during any Disney vacation, so we made sure to grab at least one of these as well. We also grabbed, bacon, sausage, hash browns, breakfast casserole (omg – the casserole!!). You get the idea – there is a ton of good food here – come hungry!
As you are eating, friends from the Hundred Acre Woods mingle with guests and take autographs and pictures. That day we saw Pooh, Eeyore (my favorite), and Piglet. Tigger was in the building, but he did not make it to our table during our meal. I’m sure if we would have asked a Cast Member, he would have come over, but we decided to let the kids in the restaurant enjoy some extra time with him instead.
Our breakfast reservation here was actually a surprise for Aaron. I booked it months in advance, but I didn’t tell him until we arrived at Disney. Partly because I wanted to surprise him with something fun, and partly because I didn’t know how he would feel about doing a Character Dining experience.
Well, he loved it! We both agreed that it is a great way to meet a lot of characters in a short amount of time, and get some great food while you’re at it.
I would most definitely eat at Crystal Palace again, and I highly suggest this experience to any fans of Pooh and the gang, or anyone who likes a nice, big breakfast.
Have you dined at Crystal Palace before? Where is your favorite breakfast at Disney World located? Let me know in the comments.