On our trip to Walt Disney World, our first character meal was booked for our first morning at Crystal Palace. But firstly, what is a character meal?
As with any Disney park across the globe, a character meal is where you dine with the Disney characters. In this case, we chose a breakfast sitting at Crystal Palace, based in Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World. During any character dining experience, you are seated to a table where you will either be served your meal or you will be able to chose from a buffet. Depending on what character meal you have booked, will depend on what characters will be available during your meal. These characters will float around the restaurant whilst you eat, and approach you and your family while you dine. You can interact with them, get a signature in your character book and even pose for a photo! It’s such a wonderful experience!
In this case, Crystal Palace is home to four characters: Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger. Crystal Palace I would say is Disneyland Paris’s equivalent to Plaza Gardens. It’s situated right at the end of Main Street USA, and has glorious views of Cinderella’s castle.
We decided to book our reservation for breakfast, as we heard great reviews of the food on offer. However, the restaurant also holds a character lunch and dinner too with Pooh and friends.
If you are on the Disney dining plan, this meal is worth 1 table service credit. As is stands in 2019/2020, you also receive 1 drink (including alcohol) with your meal.
As with most restaurants at Disney World, character meals can get booked up well in advance. So we booked our reservation 180 days in advance. You can do this online through the My Disney Experience App or website, or you can call Disney and they will book it for you.
We had booked an 8am reservation. This meant that we got into the park nice and early and got some lovely views of the castle, in all it’s glory. It was also our first morning and so we knew we were going to be jet lagged – we were all up at 5.30am! These early bookings can be difficult to secure as they can be popular due to said reasons. So book in advance!
The restaurant has a New England style theming with a cream and white interior, with hints of gold. It claims that the restaurant is inspired by Victorian Greenhouses from the 1880’s. The restaurant is full of topiaries, indoor flowers and has a carpet that you may find in your Grandma’s house (but is oh so fitting here, which means I love it!)
The restaurant is split into two sections with the buffet area separating the two. This gives the restaurant more of a homely feel and less ‘canteen’ style which some buffet restaurants can do. You are immediately greeted with several topiaries of Pooh and friends and just behind is the array of buffet delights. There is a real feel of a garden within the walls of the Crystal Palace restaurant in Magic Kingdom, and the wrought iron chairs with white tables finish off the look perfectly.
We had the most wonderful server who immediately told us all about the restaurant, what was on offer at the buffet and how to use our dining plan successfully. She quickly seated us down on a round table (anyone else love a round table!) and served us all orange juice and for Matt and I, English Breakfast tea. As we were on the dining plan (and it was our first morning so why not!) we also got an alcoholic beverage with our meal, if we wished. We both ordered a Mimosa – course!
The breakfast buffet at Crystal Palace was extensive. There were Mickey waffles, pancakes, fresh fruit, yoghurts, banana bread pudding (I know – delish!) and a selection of pastries. You can have a choice of eggs, freshly made omelettes, breakfast lasagne, streaky bacon, several style of sausages and so much more! There really was a huge choice and if you’re a fussy eater, there definitely is enough to meet everyones needs. The kids also loved helping themselves to the cereal bar, which in all honestly is their favourite breakfast aside from pancakes. The fruit loops were on the top of their list!
For us grown ups, the food at Crystal Palace was really enjoyable and I felt the menu choice off the buffet was remarkable. I really enjoyed trying biscuits and grits for the first in a long time and Mickey waffles with maple syrup was a must for me!
Whilst we dug into our delicious servings, we met all the characters who made their way around the restaurant. As we had an 8am booking, it wasn’t too busy and the characters gently floated their way to us at a nice steady pace. We met Piglet first, shortly followed by Winnie The pooh. We had lots of fun with Tigger who is one of my favourite and most humorous characters to meet, then finally Eeyore who I always feel sorry for and want to give him a big hug! The characters finish off their meet and greets with a Friendship Day Celebrashun Parade, where they encourage all the children to join in!
As this was our first morning, the kids were so super excited, and our meal was a mix of eating, jumping up and down, lots of hugs and waves and full of smiles. It really was a delight and I would 100% recommend that this meal be one of the first you book for your Walt Disney World holiday.
Dining with Pooh and friends is every Disney fans dream and definitely something you should do at least once!
As of 2020, breakfast is served between 8am – 10:45am. If you are not on the Disney dining plan, the cost for breakfast for an adult is $45 and the cost for a child over 3 is $24. Under 3’s eat fee.
Have you eaten at Crystal Palace in The Magic Kingdom before?
Thanks for reading xxx
Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.
I really wanted a concrete place to share my thoughts, ideas and my ups and downs on family life, sharing our family adventures and love for fashion. I’d love for it to be a community of support and advice for others too.
I chat everything from Disney, parenting hacks to the latest haul from Primark! I love going on family breaks and holidays and love to document these times of creating special memories.