My party of two spent $133 at Crystal Palace in Disney World for a character-dining experience.
Even in my 20s, I’m still a fan of character dining and think it adds to the ambiance of the meal.
The food was limited and lackluster, but meeting Pooh Bear and his gang was a magical time.
The intricate glass building offers a view of Cinderella Castle.
During a visit to Magic Kingdom, I decided to stop by Crystal Palace for a character-dining experience.
Crystal Palace is located at the heart of the park, right next to Casey’s Corner at the end of Main Street. Its distinctive glasswork provides a Victorian-style feel, and it was inspired by the conservatory in Kew Gardens, England.
Depending on where you sit, you can see Cinderella Castle outside the front window. It’s also a great spot for parade-watching, especially if you’re seated around the perimeter of the restaurant.
The topiaries and banners throughout the restaurant are a nice thematic touch.
Upon entering, there’s a picturesque topiary of Winnie the Pooh and his friends next to a celebration banner. It’s a great spot for a family photo.
The entrance can get a bit crowded, but if you ask a server to take your photo, they’re usually more than happy to help.
Expect to be at Crystal Palace for roughly 90 minutes if you want to see all the characters.
Crystal Palace is made up of two gigantic rooms on each side of the buffet. The characters worked their way through the rooms over the course of our dining experience.
Since the restaurant is so big, it can take up to 90 minutes to see all of the characters. But the wait is worth it if you want pictures and autographs from Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet.
The restaurant was very chaotic and crowded.
Similar to most places in Magic Kingdom, Crystal Palace was crowded.
If you’re looking to spend lunch trying to plan the rest of your day, you may want to dine somewhere else. Crystal Palace is full of hustle and bustle from kids, characters and servers moving around. And it’s nearly impossible to have a normal conversation without shouting, especially when the character parade starts.
Our table was also within arm’s reach of the one next to us. It’s nice to have a neighbor if you need help with photos, but it can be a bit awkward.
The food is decent at best, but there’s nothing drool-worthy on the menu.
In my opinion, Magic Kingdom is not the place to go for memorable food, especially on days when you’ve been running around the parks.
The buffet-style restaurant has rotating classic comfort foods like mashed potatoes, country-fried chicken, glazed rainbow carrots, cheesy broccoli, shrimp creole, and smoked-cheddar grits. There was also basmati rice, vegetable chana masala, oven-roasted chicken, sausage and peppers, spinach ravioli, and seared mahi-mahi.
For kids, there’s pizza, macaroni and cheese, and chicken nuggets. I thought the mac and cheese was pretty good.
Our server was friendly and made sure our experience was enjoyable.
When we sat down, our server took our drink order, and she cleared our buffet plates throughout the meal.
My only concern was that she seemed to be working too many tables. There were long periods when I was left without water and felt bad asking for more since she was running around trying to manage everything.
I wish there were more dessert options.
Aside from cookies and ice cream, the dessert section of the buffet was pretty lackluster.
I thought my sugar cookies were pretty good, but they weren’t anything extraordinary.
I wish there would’ve been themed treats based on Winnie the Pooh.
The characters are very interactive and spend a good amount of time with each table.
Although I’m in my 20s, I’m still a fan of character dining. There’s something so nice about having characters walk around as you eat.
The characters work their way around the restaurant and stop at every table, so you can give hugs and high-fives, take photos, and get autographs.
Since I was dressed like Piglet, he showed me so much love and gave me the absolute best hugs. Tigger was super energetic and happy to see me as well, which was a memorable moment.
Crystal Palace is expensive, especially for larger parties.
Lunch and dinner are $59 for adults and $38 for children ages 3 to 9, and breakfast costs $45 for adults and $29 for children. That’s a pricey meal, especially if you’re a family of four or more.
After applying my 10% annual-passholder discount, the bill for my party of two came out to $133, including tax and tip.
I’d come back for the characters, not the food.
The price of Crystal Palace is definitely not worth it for food alone. But if you’re a fan of the Hundred Acre Wood characters, you can still get a lot out of the experience.
The interactions aren’t rushed like the standard meet-and-greets. And it’s the only place at Disney World where you can meet Eeyore and Piglet during normal park hours.
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