Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review: Crystal Palace

Back in August, Akershus was the first character meal James and I had gone to since we were kids.  We really enjoyed it, so we decided to try another crowd favorite: Crystal Palace.  We really wanted to get into the Magic Kingdom before it opened, so we made an ADR for 8:30 am on the second day of our trip.

We arrived a little ahead of time, at around 8:15, but they let us right into the park.  After lingering on Main Street, taking some pictures of the empty street and stopping for a Photopass photographer to take pictures of us on the empty street, we headed over to Crystal Palace.  Crystal Palace is an absolutely beautiful building.  The check in for the restaurant is outside, and there was a very short wait to check in.  Once we did, we were handed a buzzer, and it went off within five minutes.  The inside of the restaurant was decorated for a celebration, and there was confetti on our table because of our birthdays!

Obviously the main attraction of the restaurant is the characters, and Crystal Palace features Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore.  We were able to meet all of them, though we had to wait a while for Pooh to come back around since we had just missed him when we came in.  If your waiter doesn't tell you, ask which direction the characters come from.  We were really glad that our waiter told us that the characters went from left to right by our table, so we could get our food right away and not wait for Pooh, who wouldn't be coming by for a while.  We didn't feel rushed by the characters, though we didn't spend very much time with them.  Also, at one point throughout our breakfast, there was a little parade around the restaurant, and all the kids joined in... so cute!

As for the food, I thought it was really good!  Breakfast is the least expensive meal at Crystal Palace (or any Disney buffet!), but I thought there was a pretty good selection.  There was your standard bacon and eggs and biscuits and fruit, but there were some other unique items as well.  I snagged two really cool foods from the "kid's section": breakfast pizza and puffed french toast.  For those who haven't heard of these, breakfast pizza is a pizza crust with eggs and melted cheese on top, and puffed french toast is this really delicious food that I'm assuming is essentially fried dough covered in sugar and cinnamon?  No matter what it is, it's delicious.  Also, there are chocolate Mickey waffles in addition to the standard flavor!  So cool!  By the way, since drinks are included in your buffet price, don't feel bad if you want orange juice AND chocolate milk... it's vacation!

Overall, I really liked Crystal Palace, and I think if you have Pooh fans in your group, it will be an especially good time.  It's really cool to get into the Magic Kingdom before park opening, and I thought the food at Crystal Palace was really good.  That said, if your party is into princesses more than Tigger and Piglet, I'd recommend Akershus!

For those interested in the buffet offerings, check out the breakfast menu here, as well as the lunch and dinner menus.

Have you ever been to Crystal Palace?  What meal did you go for?  What were your favorite items on the buffet?  Or do you plan to visit in the future?  Let me know your thoughts in a comment, on Twitter (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook!


  1. My husband and I are hoping to get ADR's for Crystal Palace when we go in October. We have never been to the World and I think going early and seeing Main Street empty would be great.
    I'm glad to hear you liked it and that you didn't feel rushed, I was a little worried about that. I am a BIG Eeyore and Piglet fan so I am looking forward to this a lot.

  2. I loved Crystal Palace when I was there in 2009. I loved the Puffed french toast, and quinoa porridge (quinoa is a complete protein, so it was a great way for this vegetarian to start off her day). :)

  3. Jennifer, if you're a big Eeyore and Piglet fan, you'll love it! Also, it's awesome to be on Main Street before the park opens, and they don't mind if you take pictures and stuff. There are even Photopass photographers out already to take your pictures.

    Hedy, I didn't try the quinoa porridge, but it sounds like it was good! I felt a little awkward trying the puffed french toast at first because it was at the kid's section, but it was so good!

  4. This is the only place that we ALWAYS go on our trips. Not only because you can get into the Magic Kingdom early, but my wife LOVES their fried french toast. Of the breakfast buffets, it is the best.

  5. I love the fried french toast too... so good!

  6. Amanda,
    Great post, once again! I love love LOVE Crystal Palace and have since I can remember! I've only ever done breakfast, for what it is worth. Also on that note, I always do best I can at getting the earliest time available for a few reasons. One being that nothing beats getting into MK early! Second, while I want my pictures with characters, being older, I'm not spending as much time as I would a small or younger child, so it's nice to get the picture and continue eating, next character, etc. We also liked that with the earliest possible ADR, when we were done, we were able to hit at least two E-ticket rides before the park got busy. We actually left after riding Splash and Big Thunder to head to another park, but it was cool to squeeze them in fast as well as a picture with Donald in frontier land with less than a 5 minute wait!

    This past trip in Nov/Dec, my dad and I were celebrating birthdays, so we LOVED having our cards from the 100 Acre Woods gang at Crystal Palace. Our waitress there and at 1900 Park Fare were the nicest ones we encountered at all our dinners. I've never had a bad experience here!

  7. Thanks, Mary! I agree that it's nice to get out nice and early and still be able to enjoy the Magic Kingdom before the big rush. We also got a card for our birthday, and that was really cool too. Love Crystal Palace!

  8. Brian ( 6, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    I love the Crystal Palace. I've only been there for breakfast, since it's the least expensive option. But they got rid of the best item on the menu! Pooh's breakfast lasagna was amazing! I haven't gone back since I found out it was gone! Too painful!

  9. Aww, it always stinks when that happens.