Crystal Palace Breakfast Review

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The Crystal Palace is a fan favorite of many Disney World visitors. Its location in the Magic Kingdom makes it a hot spot for guests of all ages seeking character interaction. You can find it just off Main Street, USA, in a beautiful glass atrium building. To match its location on Main Street, its decor is Victorian all the way. Painted wrought iron adorns the glass ceiling restaurant, with several planters scattered throughout to give a greenhouse feel in the atrium. Topiaries of the Winnie the Pooh characters round out this garden feeling.

Meals here are served buffet style for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My family recently dined here for breakfast. Many of the typical buffet items can be found during the morning hours, including eggs, cereal, fruit, and an assortment of pastries. Pooh’s Puffed French toast is found in the kids’ area of the buffet, but don’t let that stop you from sampling it. It was easily my favorite part of my meal. Otherwise, I thought the food was fairly average for a Disney buffet, but I certainly had nothing to complain about. Everyone in the family seemed to find something to enjoy, including the picky kids.

Between bites of food the characters visit each table to greet guests, take pictures, and sign autographs. If you aren’t sure how a character meal works, please refer back to my recent blog post explaining how to maximize your experience at one of these restaurants. Which characters make the rounds at The Crystal Palace? Pooh Bear, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger are the guests of honor at all three meals throughout the day. I thought the characters and handlers in The Crystal Palace did a nice job of giving each table a bit of time for pictures and playfulness. I never felt like they were rushing off to the next group or short changing my family of a great breakfast.

As with all families, each child in my group reacted differently to the characters. My nieces and nephews seemed to really enjoy the character interaction. The oldest needed a few minutes to warm up, but then she was more sure of the situation and loved meeting Eeyore. Her sister (the middle child) was less cautious about Tigger bouncing over to the table, and as soon as the adults reassured her, she was was ready to hug each character who came by the table. My nephew, who is the youngest, loved every second of the visits from furry friends. He giggled while he hugged and poked them; he didn’t need any encouragement from the adults at the table.

Speaking of the adults in the group, my brother and sister-in-law were happy to get to see so many characters without waiting in line. I think they were blown away by how long many of the queues were during February break, so this opportunity to get pictures and see the kids so excited was a welcome experience. They may not have been blown away by the food choices, but I think they were satisfied and thought it was well worth the time we got to spend with Pooh and friends. My dad probably didn’t need a character meal in his life, but really got a kick out of watching his grandchildren play with the characters. As for me, I really loved getting to see the kids interact with their Disney idols. Is anything better than seeing kids you love grin from ear to ear while Piglet wraps his arms around them?

If you are thinking about booking a meal here, there are a few basic items we should go over before you make your ADR. For starters, a credit card is required to make your reservation; you will be charged a $10 per person “no show” fee if you don’t cancel your ADR more than 24 hours in advance. If you are participating in the dining plan, one table service credit will be used on breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The Tables in Wonderland card is also accepted at The Crystal Palace if you prefer to use that discount.

I had such a good time at The Crystal Palace that I’ll be going back this weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday! How about you? Is this restaurant a tradition for your family, or do you avoid it at all costs? Let me hear about your meals here in the comments!

Kristen Helmstetter

Kristen Helmstetter is an Unofficial Guide researcher who will share her 20-something perspective of all things Walt Disney World with blog readers. Kristen’s email address is You can also follow her on Twitter: @khelmstetter.

9 thoughts on “Crystal Palace Breakfast Review

  • May 2, 2012 at 10:23 am

    My family had breakfast here in Jan 2012 and we loved it. It was my son’s third birthday, and when we mentioned it the server very warmly wished him Happy Birthday and later gave him a card signed by all the characters and a cupcake. We found the food to be good; it was basic breakfast buffet, but there were so many options everyone found something they liked. The Mickey shaped waffles and stuffed french toast were big favorites. And the character time was wonderful. We got to meet everyone, gave hugs and took pictures, and never felt rushed. We’ll definitely go back!

  • May 2, 2012 at 10:23 am

    My family LOVES Crystal Palace! We ate there twice in one week our last time in WDW. One thing you didn’t mention is the parade around the restaurant they do with the kids (unless they stopped doing that). It’s a little extra that makes dining there that much more unique. The food is great, and I agree about the character stops. They never make you feel rushed to get your pictures in. They are also pretty creative. They don’t just show up and stand there, they interact with the kids (Eeyore tried to steal a sip of my son’s drink). I suspect we’ll make at least one stop to Crystal Palace on our next visit to MK.

  • May 2, 2012 at 10:36 am

    We had breakfast here in December 2011, my sister (21) loves Piglet so it seemed the ideal place to book a character breakfast for her first visit to WDW. We had an awesome time and all of our party ages 11-48 loved the whole experience. I would definitely recommend it.

  • May 2, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Crystal Palace is great for adult only groups too. At some character meals we often get skipped or zipped through, but that has never happened to us a Crystal Palace. I give them a lot of credit for giving the ‘taller kids’ as much time & attention as the little ones.

  • May 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    We had a reservation for the Crystal Palace that was “before” the Magic Kingdom officially opened. I’m thinking it was 8:30am and we were let in the park early to go to the restaurant. THAT was fantastic. The 8 of us walking down main street in a deserted park. We got some awesome pictures of us with the castle behind us and NO ONE else around at all. Just one note – it’s loud in this restaurant. Lots of kiddies, lots of clinking, lots of noise. Be prepared for that and you’ll have fun.

  • May 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I LOVE Crystal Palace, esp breakfast. While not a huge character fan, I do enjoy the food and the ability to get into the park before opening. It’s great to fill up on good food, then walk right outside and already be in MK a few mins before it opens to the public.

  • May 3, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Crystal Palace has become a tradition in our family. We book an early morning breakfast for the last morning of our trips. We love having breakfast here. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is lovely…Even though it is bitter sweet because we are leaving, it is one of our favorite meals of our trips. When we mentioned to my youngest son that we might be going again, the first thing he wanted to plan was our breakfast with “the pooh gang”. How can you say no to that?!?!?

  • January 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I have 8:20 am reservations, couldn’t get any earlier. I plan on getting there by 7:50 in hopes to take pics on empty main street and also in hopes that they will let us in earlier than 8:20. Does this ever happen? Will they let you in before your time, or are they hard nosed like the fastpass people and won’t allow early entry?

    Also, is it possible to be out of this restaurant in 45-50 minutes? We want to be one of the first in line for Tinkerbell’s magical nook, which opens at 9:15… Or am I too ambitious???

    • March 3, 2013 at 9:24 am

      Yes, you can get to the park at about 7:45 and as long as you have dining reservations you will be allowed onto Main Street. Once you’ve taken pictures, I’d head on over to the Crystal Palace and see if they can seat you. I’m not sure if you will be out in 45 minutes but the first 20-30 minutes of park opening will be dedicated to most people riding rides instead of meeting Tinker Bell in Pixie Hollow (plus you’re really close to Pixie Hollow right there).

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