Return to Crystal Palace

It is said all over the interwebs: Magic Kingdom does not have a ton of food options. I rarely say this. But here it is. I would rather eat at a counter service in Magic Kingdom then make reservations at any of the restaurants and pay the big bucks for a sub-par meal.

When making reservations for our March trip, James and I wanted to be adventurous and try a place we hadn’t been to in a long time. So long that James can’t even remember if he even went there as a kid. My last meal at Crystal Palace was probably 10 years ago.

Crystal Palace Comparison Magic Kingdom

Here’s the thing:

I had forgotten what a beautiful venue Crystal Palace is. The white decor, so very Floridian, the view of Adventureland, the light… it is a gorgeous restaurant and I would love if you could have a meal here that wasn’t crashed by Winnie the Pooh and friends. I think it would be a really nice place to have a leisurely meal. (Can you imagine the glow of moonlight through those windows?)

Crystal Palace Magic Kingdom Exterior

Being that CP boasts its Friendship Day celebration with Winnie the Pooh, Tiger, Piglet, and Eeyore, there are a lot of families with young children in the restaurant. It usually happens that James and I are the table without kids, who still want to take pictures with the characters. (We had this very awkward moment with a woman sitting next to us who offered to take a picture of us with Tigger and she clearly had NO idea how to use an iPhone. The picture was horrible, and I had to silently freak out over how I would avoid her taking our picture the next time. It was not pretty.)

Crystal Palace Magic Kingdom Interior Friendship Day

Winnie, Tiger, Piglet, and Eeyore were great — I just wish the cast members wouldn’t have rushed over to the next table to “prepare” them for the characters coming by. (It’s pretty noticeable if you ask me.) Because they kept doing this, I had to tackle our cast member to stick around and grab pictures of us with the characters. Also, I know that Winnie is a big star and all but all the other characters had two rounds before I finally had to ask someone where Winnie was. We were way through with our meal by then too.

Crystal Palace Magic Kingdom Meeting Eeyore and Winnie the Pooh

And how about the food? Well! Because it was buffet, I was hoping for more options. Your best bet is to wait in line for a custom omelet or you might be pretty hungry. There is unlimited freshly squeezed orange juice though. I really liked that part.

Crystal Palace Magic Kingdom Omelet

I’m mostly glad we visited Crystal Palace this trip because the experience is so fresh in my memory yet again. Is it a place I’m going to have to frequent every trip? No. Will I go back? I rarely say this but I could see myself going back with our future children and probably not just the two of us. I do think the cast members are more organized at venues like Tusker House when it comes to the characters and I’d rather drain our food budget over in Animal Kingdom.

Crystal Palace Magic Kingdom Interior Shots

I would love to hear your thoughts on CP! Have you been there recently? Is it on your list?

(Crystal Palace Menu from AllEars.net)

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A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

6 thoughts on “Return to Crystal Palace

  1. I totally agree with you about the food at MK. The only thing I really like is the chicken waffle sandwich at Sleepy Hollow.

    There are so many better character options. Tusker House and ‘ohana come to mind

  2. We love Crystal Palace on day 1 of our trip with a pre-park opening ADR. No better way to start a trip than with a quiet Main Street USA.

  3. I’ve been to Crystal Palace for breakfast twice- food was adequate, but nothing great. For me, the big appeal was the early entry, with ADRs prior to park opening. Being able to stroll an almost-empty Main Street made it totally worth it! And I agree w/ Mike- Sleepy Hollow has the best thing to eat at MK- but it’s the nutella & fresh fruit waffle I go for!

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