Welcome back guest author Catie Hiltz! Hundred Acre Wood fans will love this review of the Crystal Palace Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Read on…
I have been going to Crystal Palace ever since I was a little kid – they have been serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner with “character” for years from their prime location near Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.
My husband and I were lucky enough to get to visit Walt Disney World last year at Christmas time – and we couldn’t miss out on the chance to dine at this character buffet featuring Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet.
We had a 9:40am Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) for breakfast at the Crystal Palace, and we arrived a bit early so we could leisurely stroll down Main Street before heading over to the restaurant (and we took time to pose for a photo or two of course!).
The week of Christmas is a busy time at the Disney Parks but I was pleased to see that the level of service I had come to expect from Disney was still upheld. We were led inside promptly at 9:40am and our waitress appeared right after to take our drink order (soft drinks, coffee, teas, and juice are available here) and explain the buffet to us.
The atmosphere of the restaurant was pretty upbeat overall; it was loud and crowded and full of kids running around, but it was a high-spirited kind of chaos, where everyone seemed happy – which I am convinced had to do with the amazing food options!
The menu is pretty standard as far as Disney breakfast buffets go; it’s advertised as “traditional fare with American flair” – which means there will be plenty of options to choose from, and that everyone will find something they love!
The kids’ area featured puffed french toast and Mickey waffles.
There’s a selection of Assorted Pastries.
At the Fresh Fruit Station, you’ll have plenty of choices, including Honey Yogurt and Strawberry Yogurt.
OK, this probably was my favorite part of the buffet. I LOVED the potato choices (Potato Casserole, Grits, Corned Beef Hash, and Breakfast Potatoes). The delicious potato casserole was crisp on top and creamy/cheesy inside, and the classic breakfast potatoes were made with peppers and onions. The hash with potatoes (NOT the kind from a can – it was awesome!) rounded out the choices and I was in spud heaven!
There was sausage, bacon, biscuits, and sausage gravy too. My husband is a HUGE fan of sausage gravy and MUST try it whenever a menu offers it – and he really loved this one. The biscuits were on the dry side, but the gravy made it all better; creamy and just the right amount of spice!
Made to order omelets with tons of different filling options were also available. There’s definitely no lack of protein here. In addition to the above, there were hard boiled eggs and a western omelet pizza, too – so you can load up on enough eggs to fuel your day full of Disney Park fun!
I call this the piece de resistance – Pooh’s Breakfast Lasagna can only be found at the Crystal Palace, and it alone is worth eating here for! (Check out the recipe here!)
It’s kind of like bread pudding that’s loaded with berries and peaches — and it’s served warm with bananas and creamy custard on top. It’s a must have item for sure.
My husband opted for two plates (a smart choice I think!).
The Mickey Waffles may have been on the “kids” station – but that didn’t stop me from grabbing one!
After we grabbed our (first) plates of food, it was time to hobnob with some characters!
It takes about an hour for all of the characters to make it to your table, and every so often the characters march around and do a “friendship parade” with all the kids at the restaurant following them – which I love. I mean, what kid wouldn’t want to march around and be friends with Winnie The Pooh?!
We sampled just about every item on the buffet that morning (in the name of research, of course!) and I can honestly say that there wasn’t one thing I didn’t like. Everything was fresh and warm, and even though it was busy, they were quick to refill empty buffet dishes and replenish drinks, which I definitely appreciated.
After the “parade” and a few more plates of delicious buffet offerings, we were ready to pay our bill – which was super easy with our Magic Bands — the server just scanned them and then brought out our receipt to sign and then we were done!
During our visit, the buffet cost was $26.99 for an adult and $14.99 for a child, or 1 Disney Dining Plan credit per person – and I definitely think the Crystal Palace is worth every penny! I am not the only one who thinks so. It’s definitely a popular place to eat, and I highly recommend you make an Advance Dining Reservation as they rarely have openings for walk up diners.
Overall, I really enjoyed this visit to the Crystal Palace. There’s a reason I have been coming here for years, and will continue to come here on future Disney trips – it’s the great food, perfect setting, and fun character interaction that will keep me coming back for more!
Catie Hiltz has been a Disney lover since age 4 when she was tall enough to ride Space Mountain and cried the whole time. Luckily, she got over that fear and loves visiting Disney as much as possible and writing about why Walt Disney World is fun for adults at her blog, Living in a grown up World.
What’s your favorite breakfast item at the Crystal Palace? Let us know in the comments below!
Jenn @ Fairest Run of All says
Awww, I was there at my last trip in December and now I feel all nostalgic. 🙂 Don’t forget the lox – it’s my favorite part of every Disney buffet!
Thanks for the great review! My family and I have a breakfast ADR in a few weeks. I’ve never been to the Crystal Palace for breakfast but I do go quite frequently for lunch. I’ve always found the same wonderful Disney service you mentioned as well. Your pictures make me realize we made a good choice for a character breakfast! (I’m the youngest at 21, and we still love character breakfasts. 😉 If its wrong, I don’t want to be right. )
Kelly D. says
I love your bio! My 4-year old daughter rode Space Mountain for the first time this past September. She cried the entire time and then begged to ride again! We love the Crystal Palace breakfast, too. That French toast, which is really more like a French toast/beignet hybrid, is a family favorite. Nice review.
Jen – I always feel nostalgic when eating there – its an oldie but still a goodie!
Stephanie – Enjoy your breakfast (and don’t worry I am almost 30 and can’t say no to a good character meal myself!)
Kelly – Your girl is braver than I as it took me a few years to get back on Space Mountain after my 4-year old experience ha! I could go for some of that French/fried toast right now couldn’t you?
Those shirts are adorable!
Thank you for a timely review! We are surprising our 2 little boys with a day at the Magic Kingdom in April (we were just at Disney World for a week in September and they have been begging to go back) so I booked an 8:30 am ADR at the Crystal Palace for breakfast. We did have lunch there in September for my three-year old’s birthday lunch, too. I have also had dinner there once so I am looking forward to the breakfast, which everyone seems to rave about! My boys love breakfast food so it looks like a winner! Cute shirts, too, BTW!
Carol M says
We went 4 years ago and loved it, and are going back in May. Winnie the Pooh is my favorite character. We were advised to make first morning reservations so you can get a chance of a photo on Main Street without tons of people. We have 8:20 reservations and the park opens at 9. So I am looking forward to some hopefully not overly crowded castl shots. My kids don’t know, they are finding out the day we leave. They think we are saving and planning for Disney in fall or next spring!!!
Thanks for the nice review! I’m so looking forward to our ADR in June. My son was ‘chef of the day’ there when he was 4. He’s almost 14 now, was feeling nostalgic and asked if we could eat there again. 🙂 Love it! I’m looking forward to the breakfast lasagna again!
Great Review! I like the many photos & attention to the details! Where’d you find those cute shirts?
Julia B. Meyer says
The review was great and very factual. The food is wonderful at all meals and the characters are the absolute sweetest. One criticism of the review – the plate pictures were a bit gross. It’s a buffet, filling plates from rim to rim is a little unappetizing as you can go back as often as you like.
Jennifer – thanks so much we love them too!
Nicole – hope you and your family enjoy breakfast there and have fun next month on your trip – say hi to Pooh for me!
Carol – what a great surprise for your family and I am sure you will get some awesome pics before your breakfast!!
Wendy – what a great memory for your son – and I love the breakfast lasagna too – yum!
Karen – we got the shirts online through the Disney store website. However they had them at the emporium on Main Street and at several other places while we were in the parks
Julia – I’m sorry you didn’t like the plate pictures – I was just trying to show as many of the yummy buffet options as I could!!
I love the CP; it’s a personal ‘must’ for every trip! My absolute favorite is the crunchy Puffy French Toast. I could make my entire breakfast just the Puffy French Toast and some fresh fruit. Great review, nice job.
Loved the review. I thought that your food pics showed a nice variety of what was available.
That is all I have to say about that. 😉
I think that your review was great. Loved all the pictures. I also load my plate up. Saves from having to get back in the food line!
Hubby and I are trying Crystal Palace this December. Our first time eating there.
Love the review on Crystal Palace! It has been very helpful. I have reservations at 8:20am in March for my husband, 17 year old son & myself. It’s my son’s & my birthday. We plan to be in the park at 9:00 to start riding Peter Pans Flight & Mine Train in Fantasyland. Does this give us enough time or do I need to make an earlier reservation? Also I do not eat much in the morning, but really love my coffee. Can I use a ziplock bag to take with me what I do not eat on my plate & can I take my coffee with me?
sheila – How exciting to be celebrating your birthdays at Disney! 820 to 9 am is not a lot of time and you might not get to see all the pooh characters in that time so if you need to be somewhere in the park at 9 you might want to consider an earlier reservation than 820. As for taking the coffee and food I am not sure as I have not tried this but I am guessing taking the food is probably frowned upon but they might offer a to go cup for your coffee – but again I am not sure. If it was me I personally would not count on it being a possibility.
Thanks Catie for the review! it was VERY helpful. My husband and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary at WDW next June and we’ve been debating where to eat breakfast on our “special day”. I had planned on CP but then read bad reviews in some of the tour books (too crowded, too noisy, not enough character time, etc) but after seeing and hearing all your positive comments, it sounds PERFECT to me! Eeyore is my favorite too, so I think I will go ahead and book us for CP that morning! Thanks again for the great review. LOVE the pictures!
Catie-Happy Holidays! I hope you see this before we’re on our Magical trip…I didn’t see & haven’t had breakfast here in …15 years!!! But, are there hot breakfast cereals? Oatmeal, grits & the like? DBF loathes eggs, well, as eggs. He may eat waffles & the lasagne, but in worried that this will make my body-building beau a touch cranky…if you can recall…I would appreciate the info.
Hi Jackie! I went back through my pictures and confirmed that they definitely had hot grits and hot plain oatmeal available on the breakfast buffet – but I’m sure that if they don’t have them out when you are there you can ask and the cast members would likely be happy to accommodate you! Have a great trip!
The best breakfast in WDW hands down just went last Thursday awesome especially that breakfast lasagna just try it cause its awesome…and a added note we stayed full till bout 1pm (we ate at 7:30am)
This review was great and my husband and I was looking forward to our ADR on FEB 1st at 8:15. However, the whole meal was very disappointing. I have a dairy allergy and was happy to hear that the chef would prepare my favorite Micky waffles. Unfortunately, they all came out burnt and very dry. My husband’s food started out fine, but he found a hair in his potato casserole and couldn’t eat anything after that. We informed our waiter and he said he would let the chef know. We never heard from the chef and there was no apology. This could have been an off day, but there are too many other great places to eat at to try here again.
My sister and I just made an ADR for Crystal Palace last night for our trip in July. We’re spending the day meeting characters and we thought a character breakfast was the best idea to start the day.
Does anyone have updated opinions on the character brunch at Crystal Palace? We’re taking our daughter to Disney in March. She’ll be just a couple weeks shy of 3 years old, and loves Pooh. Just trying to decide on a character breakfast for her.
DFB Sarah says
Caitlin, the characters were still fun on our last visit — so even though the food is typically average, if she loves Pooh and his friends, it might be a good fit!
DFB Sarah – Thank you! I think we’ll aim for Crystal Palace and keep other options as a backup!