You Will Love Meeting Winnie the Pooh and Friends at Disney’s Crystal Palace
So there’s just something about Winnie the Pooh that warms all the cockles of my heart. The story has always been a favourite and had a secure spot on my bookshelf. And you can only imagine my delight when I was living in Cambridgeshire to learn of the original manuscript being housed in Wren College just around the corner of my home! While on our recent trip to Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom I could not miss an opportunity to get to know the residents of 100 Acre Woods a little better and decided to dine with them at Disney’s Crystal Palace.
Disney’s Crystal Palace – Atmosphere
So, just like other restaurants in Walt Disney World Resort, Crystal Palace is a welcoming break from sightseeing and rides. It is the perfect spot for a fun breakfast or dinner filled with laughter, warm fuzzies, and flavour. Upon arrival, you must check in. At that point you must wait on the veranda for your name to be called. Your family will be called promptly then you’ll be escorted to your table. Once seated, the host will go over the restaurant amenities – buffet, where the washrooms are, and when Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, and Tigger will come around to meet you!
Disney’s Crystal Palace restaurant is a buffet-style family restaurant with “all you care to enjoy.” (The new term used instead of “all you can eat.”) offerings. It can be used on Disney Dining Plans and counts as one table service credit. It is a great value for meal plans as it isn’t one of the cheapest options in the parks.
Pro Tip: You need to make a reservation! Seating is next to impossible at Disney’s Crystal Palace without booking in advance. If you have booked a holiday at one of the fourteen resorts, you will have up to six months before your trip to make reservations. This is especially key during peak times of Spring Break, Halloween, and Christmas.
Disney’s Crystal Palace – The Character Dining
First things first. Most reserve Crystal Palace more for the character meet and greets than for the food. In this restaurant, guests are blessed with meeting the classic characters Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore. They will come to your table, sign your autograph books if you have them, and pose for photographs with you and your family.
It is such a joy to meet characters and have them come by your table! Time your visit to the buffet table right and you won’t miss them. Did they pass your table while you were at the buffet? Don’t worry! They do the rounds often during the evening so that no guests miss out on the magic. If you have young children in your party, the characters also do a fun parade around the restaurant! They will come around for all children to follow them. The special music will have you in the spirit and wanting to participate. It really is such fun and a highlight to the experience. Adults can also take part so don’t be shy! 😉
Pro tip: This is the only place in the Magic Kingdom where you can meet Piglet and Eeyore. If you are a character fan and collect autographs and photos, be sure to make a reservation. Pooh and Tigger can also be met at their encounter spot beside the ride in Fantasyland.
Disney’s Crystal Palace – The Food
We ate dinner here. The restaurant also does breakfast and is an option if you want to get to the park earlier than the rest of the crowd to tackle some of those attractions that generate longer lines. The dinner buffet has a large assortment of dishes to choose from. There is sliced turkey, roast beef, and ham, as well as chicken nuggets, and a variety of vegetables.
I particularly enjoyed the corn dish they offered which was the texture of a casserole, the mac ‘n’ cheese, and the green beans. If you have young picky eaters in your family, there is a special buffet set up just for them with foods popular with youngsters. I would give the food offered a strong 7/10. I enjoyed the variety, the taste, the texture, and was able to have a good size meal without overeating. There was enough variety to please most palates and dietary requirements can be accommodated.
The dessert here at Disney’s Crystal Palace is themed, but also nothing overly special. Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty, but I think the main course is superior to the desserts. The desserts have adorable names depicting Rabbit’s Garden and Pooh’s Hunny Pot with a sugared bee on top, but frankly, I would soon enjoy a large plate of the available fresh fruit over these petit fours.
Are you celebrating a milestone or special occasion? Well, if you are, and you are wearing your free button denoting what you are celebrating, Crystal Palace will make you feel a tad bit special. My birthday was one of the reasons for our latest trip to Walt Disney World. And of course, the Crystal Palace was aware of my big day and ensured I was given special treatment.
They will bring you a lovely rainbow-sprinkled cupcake with a candle and a greeting card signed by all the characters – Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger. I must say it really made me feel special. Make sure you let your server know of your occasion whether a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, reunion or other celebration and they will definitely pull out the stops for you.
Overall the Crystal Palace was a joyful experience in our busy Walt Disney World itinerary! I would highly recommend dining here as part of your vacation and especially if you have the dining plan as it is a great value for this. The only thing is that there are no alcoholic beverages in the restaurant so adults over 21 cannot enjoy that extra perk added to meal plans in 2018. The food is good and the character meet and greets definitely make it very enjoyable.
Have you eaten at the Crystal Palace? What were your thoughts? How was your experience?
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We were a guest of Walt Disney World. All opinions and points of view in this and subsequent posts are our own and were not influenced in any way.
We do not work for and are not affiliated with Disney in any way. All our opinions are our own and based on our own experience or extensive research.