Review: Lunch at Crystal Palace in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

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.

Entrance to Restaurant

Entrance to Restaurant

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.

Artwork and Framed Photos

Artwork and Framed Photos

The soaring atrium above is gorgeous — especially on a sunny day!

Crystal Palace Atrium

Crystal Palace Atrium

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.

Dining Rooms

Dining Rooms

Tons of windows and glass domes allow for plenty of natural light in the two dining areas.

Dining Room from Another Angle

Dining Room from Another Angle

And really — look up. Because the windows are really stunning. I love the beautiful stained glass detail.

Stained Glass Windows

Stained Glass Windows

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.

Evening Light

Afternoon Light

Crystal Palace is, of course, a character dining experience, and you’ve stumbled onto a party!

Center Atrium -- Up Close

Center Atrium — Up Close

In fact, visit here, and you’ll take part in a Friendship Day Celebration with Winnie the Pooh and his friends.

Banner -- Up Close

It’s Friendship Day!

Just check out these gorgeous flower topiaries of the whole gang!

Pooh and His Hunny Pot

Pooh and His Hunny Pot

Eeyore Topiary

Eeyore Topiary

The sweet little figures appear to be made of dried roses, and foreshadow the characters you’ll meet while you dine.

Piglet Topiary

Piglet Topiary

Bouncing Tigger Topiary

Bouncing Tigger Topiary

And beautiful hanging arrangements of tropical flowers complete the classic conservatory feel.

Fresh Flowers

Fresh Flowers

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 for Two

Seating for Two

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…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 22, 2014

More tidbits (menu items and booths) were announced for the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We’re digging into every morsel of news as it trickles in!

Seafood Mac and Cheese

Seafood Mac and Cheese

This week, we also sampled some tasty new eats at the Magic Kingdom. Find out if we gave a thumbs up or thumbs down to the Seafood Macaroni and Cheese at the Columbia Harbour House.

Check out these news items and more by clicking on the links below!

Disney Food News

Of course, there’s more!

Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including restaurant closures, and more!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Disneyland is home to some of our favorite Disney food. This week, readers shared some awesome desserts with us! First up, DFB Reader Emily sent in a picture of a cake pop with these comments: “A red velvet cake pop from Pooh Corner in Disneyland! (With one marshmallow ear bitten off lol) Delicious!”

Take a bite!

Take a bite!

At Ariel’s Grotto, opt for this fun dessert plate shared by DFB Reader Terry.

Dessert Platter at Ariel's Grotto

Dessert Platter at Ariel’s Grotto

Thanks for sharing your treats with us!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 e-Book Deal

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 450 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.


It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next trip! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2014 to get a $4 discount for a limited time! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

Here Are Just Some Of What You Get With Our 2014 Guide:

  • Over 450 Pages of Disney Dining and Planning information, tips, reviews, and recommendations!
  • An in-depth Disney Dining Restaurant Reviews section, covering all Disney restaurants, food kiosks, bars, and lounges
  • An updated Disney Dining Plan section and price analysis for 2014
  • NEW Disney food and restaurant photos
  • An updated Disney Snacks chapter, including our list of dozens of must-try snacks AND our Top 11 Must-Have Snacks for 2014.
  • An updated section on birthday parties and specialty cakes in Disney World
  • A comprehensive, 10-page chapter of What’s New in Disney World in 2014, including new restaurants, menu updates, and more
  • Details about how the My Magic+ Planning System and FastPass+ will affect your vacation planning
  • Our picks for the 11 Great Snacks you must try this year
  • Scavenger Hunts, Trivia, and Top 5 List updates
  • Bingo Cards
  • Updates on all pertinent facts such as dining hours, prices, resources, phone numbers, and restaurant closures/openings
  • All new restaurant additions, closures, refurbishments, and added dining experiences
  • And much more!

But, of course we’re offering a discount for our Grand Launch week!! Again, to celebrate the launch and to thank you for your support of the blog, we’ll be offering the Guide for $4 off its standard rate for a limited time! Order your copy now at and use code: [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Sandwiches!

Anytime I’m longing for a getaway to my favorite place to enjoy some fun and fabulous food, I love hopping onto the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza on Flickr! It’s a great way to make plans for my very next trip. Thanks so much to all of you who submit photos to the group!

Today, I have a hankering for sandwiches. And you know that some of the best meals between two pieces of bread (or what have you) can be found at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Open-Faced Chicken Sandwich at Norway’s Akershus

Whoa! It is seriously time for me to get myself back to Akershus! This Open-Faced Chicken Sandwich and Garden Vegetable Soup combo look incredible! And check out the awesome Henna in the background!

Photographer: Nancy RK

Open-Faced Chicken Sandwich at Epcot's Akershus in the Norway Pavilion

Holiday Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich

Earl of Sandwich is the place to go for sammiches in Disney World and Disneyland, and an all-time favorite menu item for many of us is the Holiday Sandwich. Thanksgiving Dinner [Read more…]

“Sweet Dreams”: The Scratch & Sniff Nightshirt

Walking through the merchandise section of Pooh Corner in Disneyland, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by a giant t-shirt with a scratch & sniff sticker on it.  When I noticed it was a “sleepy” Eeyore with a cup of hot chocolate, I immediately assumed that the “sniff” would be chocolate — because who wants to smell Eeyore all night long?

Scratch & Sniff Eeyore Night Shirt

Seriously? A scratch and sniff t-shirt?

Of course I immediately scratched and sniffed.  And yes, into my nose went a hint of chocolate.  The special ink used to print this shirt is infused with a chocolate scent; when you scratch it, it smells stronger.  The areas that were the most potent were the cocoa jar and Eeyore’s mug.  How do I know? because I tested out the [Read more…]

Snack Series: The Take Along Treat Pack

Wandering through Disneyland the other day I spotted a fun new item I’ve never seen before. The Take Along Treat Pack.

Take Along Treat Pack Front

Reasonably priced at $8.95, you can pick up a trio of yummy snacks that will provide something for everyone: salty Mickey Pretzels, savory Mickey Cheddar Crackers, and sweet [Read more…]