Dining Review – The Crystal Palace (Breakfast)

Dining Review – The Crystal Palace (Breakfast)

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Feast with Winnie the Pooh and his pals at this whimsical, all-you-care-to-eat character buffet. Imagined as an 1800s Victorian greenhouse, The Crystal Palace is a light and airy space full of greenery. While you enjoy the delicious breakfast buffet, Disney Characters visit for photos, smiles, and a little magic.

At a Glance

3.5/5
  • Name: The Crystal Palace
  • Abbreviation: TCP
  • Opened: October 1, 1971
  • Location: Main Street, U.S.A., Magic Kingdom
  • Category: Character Dining
  • Theme: Elegant Victorian + Fantasy
  • Dress Code: Theme park attire
  • Kids will like: Breakfast Lasagna

Positives

One of the few places to see Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, and the only place to see Piglet and Eeyore. Kids will enjoy participating in the friendship parade around the restaurant. 8:00AM reservations can get you into Magic Kingdom early!

Negatives

You are paying $38.00 for adults and $23.00 for kids for a fairly standard breakfast. The characters can’t spend much time  with you during busy seatings. You might get rushed out to make room for more diners.

Atmosphere

Breakfast service starts with guests checking in at a kiosk outside of the front doors to The Crystal Palace. To ensure the characters see everyone in an efficient manner, reservations are organized around larger blocks and guests are seated when the majority of that block is available.

Once your name is called, you will walk in and be greeted by a large planter with beautiful topiaries of this location’s characters. Just behind the planter is the buffet area with all of the delicious food. You will be seated in either the left or right wing of the restaurant. The window seats provide a view of Cinderella Castle, but otherwise there is not much of a reason to request any specific seat or area during breakfast.

Your server will take you through a standard introduction to the restaurant, drink orders, and Disney Dining Plan questions. The good ones will also explain when they expect the characters to visit, and which tables are visited before you so you do not feel like you got skipped! After that it’s Bon Appetit! Go find a plate and start loading up on your favorite foods.

Characters

  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Tigger
  • Piglet
  • Eeyore

The Crystal Palace is one of three places you can meet Winnie the Pooh, one of two places where you can meet Tigger, and the only place where you can regularly meet Piglet and Eeyore. Characters make their way around both sides of the large restaurant in a pre-defined circuit. During busy times they will stay long enough for a wave and a photo. The characters do lead kids (and nostalgic adults) in a friendship parade around the restaurant. If you’re lucky you might get to hold one of their hands.

Focus On...

Eat This

  • Breakfast Lasagna
  • Pooh’s Puffed French Toast
  • Cheesy Potato Casserole
  • Smoked Sausage & Onions

Drink This

  • Mimosa (alc)
  • House-made White Sangria (alc)

Special Diets

The Crystal Palace is a standard, American buffet during breakfast hours. Expect lots of sugar, gluten, and protein. Options are available for all diets, but don’t expect anything special.

The two standouts are the Breakfast Lasagna and the Puffed French Toast. The lasagna is actually a dessert with no meat or savory flavors whatsoever. It’s a layered, gooey, delicious mess of pancakes, waffles, bananas, cream, and caramelized sugar. The Puffed French toast is more like a bear claw pastry than actual French toast. They are crunchy yet soft, light yet filling.

In case you feel like this is a dining review that doesn’t talk enough about the food, I’ll say this: It’s a breakfast buffet. It’s good, but it’s simply a more expensive version of a hot hotel breakfast buffet. No one needs 800 words describing a hash brown casserole. 

Last Words

Visiting The Crystal Palace for breakfast is a popular character dining experience for many good reasons. You are going to fill up on above-average food, meet some fairly rare characters, and potentially walk down an empty Main Street U.S.A. with an early reservation. The two most unique food options count as a kid’s item and a dessert. But this is Disney World, so why would that stop anyone? Since we are talking about the breakfast service we also can’t judge too much on the lack of drink options, alcoholic or otherwise.

The 3.5 star rating boils down to the fact that I can’t recommend this to everyone. The Crystal Palace is great if you have kids or if you love the Hundred Acre Wood. If you aren’t looking for character interactions or to maximize your Disney Dining Plan value, then skip breakfast at The Crystal Palace. Overall, we had a great time and we will definitely visit Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore again!

YouTube Review

If you want even more info, check out this YouTube review of breakfast at Crystal Palace from The WDW Couple.

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