The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace is one of the few places on Walt Disney World property where you can meet the beloved Winnie the Pooh. Located in the Magic Kingdom on Main Street it is in a prime location. The Crystal Palace has a reputation for poor food. We wanted to see if the reviews were right. We had to have breakfast and lunch at The Crystal Palace before giving our final opinion.
Our Breakfast Experience at The Crystal Palace
Breakfast was an interesting experience. We were seated after the character rotations had started. Tigger had already passed our table and characters do not change their course for tables that were just seated. Kaitlyn was a year old at the time and could not for the life of her understand why Tigger was snubbing her. He had clearly come to the table across from us but she didn’t even get so much as a wave from him. Kaitlyn cried, a lot. It was not an awesome beginning to our meal. After we were able to get her settled down (YAY Amazon Fire!) Elyse went to go check out the food. After bringing back plates for Adolfo and Kaitlyn characters started coming to the table one after the other. We meet Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh, and Piglet all within 15 minutes.
Meetings with the characters were super brief. Though brief the interactions were great. The Crystal Palace is always busy so expect interactions to be short. The max amount of time they will spend with you is about three minutes.
Having missed Tigger by a few minutes it was going to be a minimum 90 minutes before he was going to come back around. Expecting a one year old to make it 90 minutes is asking for miracles. 60 minutes into the meal Kaitlyn was beginning to fade and was becoming increasingly grumpy. Piglet, Pooh, and Eeyore walked by her several times more while we were waiting for Tigger. Tigger is the most popular character. It took Tigger much longer to do the rotation than it did any of the others.
At The Crystal Palace, once you have seen a character they will typically not return to your table. Kaitlyn was crying so hard about them walking past her without saying hello. Thankfully Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore took pity on her and said hello again even though they weren’t supposed too.
We ended up waiting so long for Tigger that Elyse went to go ask a character attendant how much longer the wait for Tigger would be. The character attendant was far from polite. She told Elyse that it would take as long as it would take. That we should have known that it could take up to 90 minutes to see each character. At this point we had been there for two hours. When Elyse mentioned that the character attendant said that if we really needed to leave we could walk Kaitlyn up to meet Tigger. The attendant made it very clear that she was not happy to be doing this but we had already been there longer than the time Disney tells you it will take to meet all the characters.
We understand that being a character attendant is a very stressful job. However, being rude to a guest is never okay. Especially when the guest didn’t come up to the employee with attitude. We just want to take a second to remind everyone to always be kind to the cast members. They often have no control over what is happening and usually will go out of their way to help you. In all the years that we have been going to the parks we have only had three negative experiences. In ten years of trips I would say that that is a near perfect track record.
The Breakfast Options at The Crystal Palace
This was a very basic breakfast buffet by Disney World standards. Options included fresh fruit, assorted pastries, mickey waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage. A few of the more unique items were Puffed French toast, which basically tasted like a beignet covered in cinnamon sugar. Along with a potato casserole, and an omelet station.
There’s not too much I can say about breakfast that is going to be positive. The food was flat out not good. The eggs tasted like powder and we couldn’t get Kaitlyn to eat them. The only good things available were mickey waffles and the puffed French toast.
Our Lunch Experience at The Crystal Palace
Lunch was by far a much better experience for us than Breakfast had been. Several factors played into this. Kaitlyn had just woken up from a nap and we were seated after a character rotation had just ended. We also had several months between dining experiences so we could go in with a fresh slate and not let the previous meal affect our opinions.
Getting seated after the end of a character rotation makes for a better experience. In fact, while eating here in the future we will ask them to seat us after the rotation ends. Getting situated at the table before the characters come around makes the experience much more enjoyable. Our camera was set up, drink orders were delivered and Kaitlyn had finished eating.
Feeding your child before the characters show up is a small blessing. We’ve noticed that if they come up to us as soon as we are seated we cannot get Kaitlyn to eat afterward. She’s on too much of an adrenaline rush to calm back down.
This meal went so smoothly we don’t have too much more to add. The character interactions were again great, though very brief. We actually had less time with them at lunch than we did at breakfast. Again, The Crystal Palace is a very busy restaurant and the characters need to say hello to each child there.
The Lunch Options at The Crystal Palace
Lunch was soooo much better than breakfast. Again this is a very standard buffet by Disney standards. Options will include salads, fruit, pasta, a few chicken and fish items and some rice dishes. Nothing is too over the top here and most dishes are simple. The stand outs to us were the Jambalaya (it was honestly quite good) and the Vegan Pesto. The salmon was also decent. We didn’t care for their carved meats as we found them much to fatty.
I can honestly say that we wouldn’t mind going back to The Crystal Palace for Lunch if Kaitlyn wanted to see the Hundred Acre Woods characters again.
Dessert was the only disappointing part of lunch. Nothing was appetizing from the baked good section. They do have soft serve ice cream though and that’s always a win.
Would we eat at The Crystal Palace Again?
Yes we would. We would definitely not be returning for breakfast. The Hundred Acre Woods characters are pretty difficult to find in the parks. Kaitlyn is still a toddler and the first character she ever said by name was Tigger. How can I not take her?
It’s a shame that the food is not better here and prices are very high. Lunch is $59.99 per adult.
Is there anywhere else to see the Hundred Acre Wood Characters at Walt Disney World?
Normally this would only be a dining review but I wanted to let you all know that there are other places to see a few of the characters. Next to the Winnie the Pooh ride in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom there is a Winnie the Pooh and Tigger meet and greet.
Have you guys tried The Crystal Palace? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!