Dining with characters is probably one of the most exciting parts of a Disney vacation. Where else do your favorite Disney Characters share some magic up close and personal with your family? You get a few minutes of individual attention from characters, sometimes entertainment, and a meal all in one! Our family recently had the privilege of dining with Pooh and his friends at the Crystal Palace. After this dining experience, it is one that will be repeated on our future trips for sure!
If you have base park tickets, make sure you schedule your reservation at Crystal Palace for a day you are planning to visit the Magic Kingdom. You need your park ticket to enter the gates for your breakfast. The entrance is usually all the way to your left as you approach the turnstiles at the Magic Kingdom. There will be a sign that says, “Dining Reservations Entrance”, or something to that effect.
Schedule a breakfast reservation before the park opens for the day. Why? Because then you havevirtually all to yourself. The only people who are allowed in the park, before opening, is those who have reservations for dining. We had an 8:40 ADR on a day when Magic Kingdom opened at nine. Since we arrived around 8:20 to assure enough time for our reservation, we took some great pictures, and wandered Main Street USA without crowds. It was a very cool experience, truly one of my favorite moments of our vacation.
Crystal Palace for breakfast will cost you one table service credit per person in your party. If you’re on the Disney Dining plan, it’s a great use of a credit, in my opinion. The buffet selections include a cold cereal bar, pastries, eggs, bacon, sausage, Mickey waffles, pancakes, fruit and yogurt bar, and an area for children to serve themselves. No worries, though, your child can choose from ANY of the buffet selections. And, as adults, we are welcome to a Poohs Puffed French Toast, too!
Crystal Palace is located on the left side of Main Street USA, as you are looking at the castle. It’s around the corner, past Casey’s Corner and the Baby Care Center. If you cross the bridge to Adventureland, you went too far :).
Every thirty minutes or so, Tigger leads the children in the restaurant on a Friendship Day Parade through the dining area. It’s a great way to get the squirms out and the kids away from the table for a little bit. The atmosphere of the Crystal Palace is so cheerful. You feel like you are in a greenhouse, full of greenery, bright windows, and sunny friendship. This experience makes for great video and photograph memories of your trip.
Have your autograph book and pen ready so when the charter approaches your table you’re prepared. They’ll be there for a few minutes to pose for a photograph and sign your books. They’re in fur costumes, but they communicate so well with hand gestures and with body language.
Crystal Palace has the atmosphere of a sunny greenhouse. The skylights and bright sun make a wonderful dining experience. It’s a sunshiny, friendship filled dining experience that you won’t want to miss. Your meal will take about an hour, and that includes time for all the characters to make their way to your table.
Even if you aren’t on the Disney Dining plan, I feel that the Crystal Palace is a dining experience worth paying out of pocket for. It’s a great choice, as well, because Pooh and his friends aren’t always easy to find on Disney property. The variety is wonderful, and unlike many restaurants on property, this one serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I promise, you won’t be disappointed if you choose to eat at the Crystal Palace!
This is one of Disney’s most popular restaurants, so an ADR is highly recommended. It is an experience-cheerful, friendly, magical-not to be missed!
Carrie writes here on Chip & Co, and also on My Favorite Finds. Stop by My Favorite Finds where you can find recipes, Disney Travel ideas, crafts, and other ways to find the joy in your everyday!