"Winnie the Pooh" is one of my favorite stories — the whimsical adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood always warm my heart, which is why I'm extra excited that character dining is officially back at The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom, as of Sept. 20, 2022! Enjoy a delicious buffet and a chance to see Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. The characters are back for hugs, autographs and photos during lunch and dinner, and will soon be back for breakfast as well, beginning Oct. 25. Read on for our Frog Family review of this beloved character dining location!
Overview of The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace restaurant is located within Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World. Once you enter the park, head all the way down Main Street, U.S.A. and then turn left at Casey's Corner. You'll find The Crystal Palace restaurant between Casey's Corner and the entrance to Adventureland.
The Crystal Palace is currently open for lunch and dinner, and character dining has returned, as of Sept. 20, 2022. Adults cost $59, plus tax and tip, while children cost $38, plus tax and tip. Breakfast with the characters will return on Oct. 25. Advanced reservations are highly recommended, though a limited waitlist may also be available on the day of. You can check with a cast member at the host stand or use the My Disney Experience app to join if the restaurant is accepting walk-ins.
The building is inspired by Victorian greenhouses with lots of natural light and greenery. With the beautiful large windows, you can see glimpses of Main Street, U.S.A and Cinderella Castle (we could see Maleficent go by in the Festival of Fantasy parade!).
Characters at The Crystal Palace
The best part about The Crystal Palace is seeing characters from the Hundred-Acre Wood. Guests have a chance to meet Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. Characters will rotate one-by-one through the restaurant, stopping at each table for a quick interaction and a chance for autographs and photos. There is even a mini parade they do periodically while waving their themed props.
With any character dining, the character lineup is subject to change, but this is the regular lineup. We loved seeing all of these beloved characters, especially Eeyore and Piglet since they don't meet regularly in the parks.
All of the characters do sign autographs, and you'll also receive a card with all four signatures on the back as well.
The Crystal Palace Menu
Breakfast at The Crystal Palace includes selections such as:
- Fresh fruit
- Crispy bacon
- Biscuits and gravy
- Freshly prepared eggs
- Assorted pastries
Lunch and Dinner Buffet Menu
- Assorted rolls (Parker House Roll, pretzel roll, black pepper and Parmesan lavash, dinner roll)
- Mixed fruit
- Artisanal meats and cheeses
- Peel 'n' eat shrimp
- Country fried chicken with black pepper gravy and honey-tabasco sauce
- Walt's mashed potatoes
- Green beans with bacon and onions
- Cheesy broccoli
- Roasted marble potatoes
- Glazed rainbow carrots
- Smoked cheddar grits
- Shrimp creole
- Basmati rice
- Vegetable chana masala
- Seared Mahi-Mahi with romesco sauce
- Seasonal ravioli
- Grilled chicken
- Italian sausage with roasted peppers and onions
- Walt's beef chili
- Fire roasted prime rib
- Fire roasted pork loin
I thoroughly enjoyed the Country Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans (pictured). It was delicious and dubbed one of Walt's favorites, so clearly it's a winner! There's quite a variety of dishes so everyone can find something they enjoy.
- Crispy chicken tenders
- Macaroni and cheese
- Miniature beef quesadilla
- Cheesy pizza bread
Though the tadpoles are allowed to eat anything from the buffet, there is a kids section with reliable classics to ensure even the pickier eater is satisfied (don't worry — adults can partake as well. Mac and cheese forever!).
- French silk cupcake
- Butterscotch pudding
- S'mores tart
- Strawberry shortcake
- Blueberry domes
- Apple cobbler
- Fresh-baked cookies
- Soft-serve ice cream (chocolate, vanilla or swirl)
Be sure to save some room for the amazing dessert selections. They were all so tasty, but my favorite would have to be the s'mores tart and the warm apple cobbler (perfectly mixed in with some vanilla ice cream). Yum!
Our Final Thoughts on The Crystal Palace
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and characters at The Crystal Palace. Having a buffet means having lots of options and the ability to choose your portion sizes. Plus, you can take as many rounds as you would like. Most of the food is American so there are a lot of "safe" options for mild or picky eaters.
Interacting with the Hundred-Acre Wood characters is always so fun. Each of them has such a different personality that you can play off of during your conversation with them. You can have a quick interaction before posing for a photo. There are plenty of cast members around if you need someone to take a photo on your phone. With any character dining experience, you will have to deal with people and tables in the background, but it also means not waiting in a line to have a character meet-and-greet.
Since this location is in Magic Kingdom, you'll need to have a valid park admission and park reservation. You'll want to consider if you want to take away valuable "park" time from your trip, or instead, perhaps book one of the character dining experiences at the resorts for a non-park day. Either way, The Crystal Palace is a great way to combine a table-service buffet with meeting characters, providing a fun experience for all ages.
Have you ever dined at The Crystal Palace? Let us know in the comments below!