Guest Review: Crystal Palace Restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Join us in welcoming guest author Katie McFarland with a guest review of the Crystal Palace in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

The Crystal Palace is a restaurant that holds a special place in many Disney fans’ hearts.

For me, it was where I discovered Breakfast Lasagna, had dinner with my husband right before he proposed, and where we ate the very first night of our honeymoon.

For many people this is where they first met Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, and Piglet.


The décor is Victorian elegance with a 1904 World’s Fair-feel. It’s “old fashioned” without feeling stuffy, which is probably in direct relation to the enormous amount of windows in this restaurant.

Crystal Palace Signage

They offer wonderful views of Cinderella Castle, Main Street USA, and the entrance to Adventureland (and also lots of ducks if that’s your thing).

Outstanding view from our seat of Cinderella Castle

In addition to the soaring windows, there are stained glass windows all around the restaurant, most notably in the buffet area. And be sure to check out the bathroom – it’s very [Read more…]

Guest Review: Thanksgiving at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, Fort Wilderness

Welcome to Guest Author Ann Bennett with a fun photo tour of the Thanksgiving at the Fort event held at Fort Wilderness this past November. See if this is something you’d like to try this year!

Our family had thanksgiving at Disney World’s Fort Wilderness in the Pavilion dedicated to Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. The event title for reservations is Mickey’s Thanksgiving Feast at the Fort. It cost us 2 Disney Dining Plan dining credits per person.

I was worried after we booked this event and I was unable to find reviews and/or pictures, but it turned out to be wonderful!


You can get to Fort Wilderness by bus from any Disney World theme park or Downtown Disney, or by boat from the Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary Resort, or Wilderness Lodge.

Fort Wilderness Mickey's Backyard BBQ Pavilion Entrance

A rustic and outdoors setting, the pavilion usually serves meals when the weather cooperates! At this particular meal, you’ll find plenty of Disney characters and entertainers to celebrate Thanksgiving with!

Pavilion Dining Area


The food was wonderful! The Turkey breast, which was sliced, was moist and juicy.


And for those who didn’t want the traditional turkey, there was also [Read more…]

Guest Review: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall Dinner

Welcome James Hummel with a review of the Storybook dinner at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot’s Norway!

Having now traveled to Walt Disney World twice with our 4-year-old niece, we decided that it was time she experience dining with her favorite princess characters. We wanted to experience a new restaurant at the same time, and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (a.k.a. Princess Nirvana) was the hands-down winner.


Akershus is located in the Norway pavilion in EPCOT. The design of the restaurant reminded me of a European castle banquet hall. The entrance room is decorated with medieval style wooden chairs fit for Princes and Princesses.

Entrance Hall

Upon entering Akershus, you are welcomed by a Princess; our hostess for our meal was Belle. All guests had the chance to take a picture with Belle. Later in the meal, a Cast Member presents you with a package of your picture with the princess AT NO EXTRA COST! This was a pleasant surprise, as with most other character dining restaurants the pictures are an extra charge.

Belle and her fan

During the meal, there is a princess and prince parade. The Host Princesses ask the little princesses and princes to get up and walk around the room. Since many of the little princesses are dressed in their finest, this gives them the opportunity to show of their dresses.

Our niece loved the experience. She was able to meet [Read more…]

Guest Review: Akershus Princess Storybook Dinner

A huge thank you to Katie Drake for offering to document her family’s experience at the Akershus Princess Storybook Dinner in Disney World’s Norway Pavilion! I can’t wait until you see her pic of her daughter hugging Snow White…classic. Take it away, Katie!

Character meals are some of the toughest reservations to come by in Walt Disney World, particularly breakfasts. If the princess breakfasts are all booked and you can’t be first in the park, or you just want to sleep past 6 a.m. on your vacation, a character lunch or dinner is a great option. Akershus is one of the few restaurants at Disney that offers [Read more…]

My Photo Shoot With Tigger

One thing I love about Disneyland character meals is that they always have such a variety of characters present! In WDW, you often have a set cast of characters who are all associated with one another in some way — the fab five, the 100 Acre Wood characters, princesses, etc… . But in Disneyland, many of the character meals are haphazard in a fantastic way! Captain Hook is hob-nobbing with the Fairy Godmother; Minnie’s hanging out with Rabbit; Baloo is leading a dance party with Aladdin — it’s so much fun!

Also, because Disneyland table-service restaurants aren’t quite as packed as Disney World’s (you can get a reservation for most of them a week ahead of time) you can often spend a good amount of time with the characters themselves!

For example, at a recent visit to the Minnie and Friends Breakfast at the Plaza Inn in Disneyland, Tigger and I had plenty of time to get to hang out and goof off!

Plaza Inn -- Disneyland

First, I got to watch him dance with a new friend…

Then he showed off [Read more…]

Play and Dine at Hollywood and Vine

When it’s time to break bread with giant, plush Playhouse Disney characters, it’s time to go Play and Dine at Hollywood and Vine.

That’s right folks, this is your opportunity to make your kids’ favorite TV stars come to life…and eat breakfast, too!

Hollywood & Vine is located in the beautiful Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Shades of mauve and aluminum chairs are the most descriptive decor, but there are some great photos of old Hollywood, along with some pretty fantastic murals [Read more…]

Akershus Review: Princess Storybook Breakfast

You are cordially invited to join your favorite Disney Princesses for a breakfast straight out of your favorite storybook at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall!


Located in Epcot‘s Norway Pavilion, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall offers a magical escape from the heat and the crowds of the World Showcase.

A Princess character meal, you could encounter any combination of the following at your meal: Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Mulan, Cinderella, and/or Mary Poppins. Many Disney World guests consider Akershus’ Princess Storybook Breakfast a preferable [Read more…]

Liberty Tree Tavern Character Meals Available January 3-February 14, 2010

Liberty Tree TavernWDWMagic is reporting that Liberty Tree Tavern will open as a character meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the Crystal Palace refurbishment closure.

Character meals will be available from January 3, 2010, through February 14, 2010. Meals will be family style. Update: The characters at the meals will be Minnie, Pluto, Chip and Dale (thanks Dan!). All characters are subject to change, of course.

You can book online at or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.