Welp, boys and girls — it’s time to head into Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and take in lunch at Crystal Palace! This is a beloved character spot for many Disney fans, and a must-do character experience for lots of you.
Me? I hadn’t been to Crystal Palace in foreva…not since an ill-fated late-night visit a couple of years ago when the food was AW-FUL! Yep, it was the end-of-the-night dregs of the buffet and we were pretty much just grossed out. (Have you ever seen a buffet about 15 minutes before a restaurant is about to close? Not pretty.) We ate very little and left as soon as we could. Sad, since we do love dining with Pooh and friends.
But it was time to revisit the 100 Hundred Acre Wood — after all, we’d had lots of great meals here previously — and I made reservations with some friends for lunch.
We have tons of shots to show you, so let’s get started!
You’ll find Crystal Palace to the left of Main Street USA’s end, just as you approach Cinderella Castle. The beautiful glass building, inspired by ornate conservatories of the late Victorian Age, is a slice of Disney history as well. The restaurant has been around since opening day in 1971.
And here’s a tip if you’re looking for an extra-special experience during your Disney vacation: try and book Crystal Palace for an early breakfast. You’ll be one of the first guests into the Park when you do this, and visiting a nearly empty Magic Kingdom is an event to remember.
Once you step inside, you’ll see whitewashed walls that carry the bright, light decor throughout. Artwork depicting inspiration for the architecture as well as photos of lush palms cover the walls.
The soaring atrium above is gorgeous — especially on a sunny day!
After you check in, you’ll wait for your table outside on the shaded veranda. But once you step in, pause a moment to take it all in.
Tons of windows and glass domes allow for plenty of natural light in the two dining areas.
And really — look up. Because the windows are really stunning. I love the beautiful stained glass detail.
The decor puts you in mind of a Victorian conservatory, with its outside-but-inside feel. Lush flowers and what reminds me of patio furniture finish the area.
Crystal Palace is, of course, a character dining experience, and you’ve stumbled onto a party!
In fact, visit here, and you’ll take part in a Friendship Day Celebration with Winnie the Pooh and his friends.
Just check out these gorgeous flower topiaries of the whole gang!
The sweet little figures appear to be made of dried roses, and foreshadow the characters you’ll meet while you dine.
And beautiful hanging arrangements of tropical flowers complete the classic conservatory feel.
Seating is standard and fairly comfortable. Heavy, padded chairs share the space with booths, but some tables are situated a bit too closely for our comfort.
Seating along windows gives you a glimpse of guests waiting to be seated! But beyond them, you’ll also see a beautiful view of [Read more…]