What is the difference between a character meal and a regular meal? The characters (I started with an easy one to get the brain warmed up). The trouble with some of the character meals is that you can get burned out on certain characters if you do these things a lot. For instance, there is a strong possibility that I will eat three different meals with Mickey on my next trip. There is, however, only one place that you can dine with Winnie the Pooh and friends…that’s right, the Crystal Palace (I gave it away in the title again, didn’t I?).
The Crystal Palace is located in the Magic Kingdom, just off of Main Street U.S.A. and facing the main hub. It is a beautiful building made seemingly entirely of window (hey, I get why they call it ‘Crystal Palace’ now). It really is a remarkably nice space, full of light and tastefully decorated. It is also quite loud, which seems to be a common theme of these character meal posts.
There isn’t really a theme as far as I can tell, although it does incorporate into Main Street very well. It almost seems to be a throwback to days when women in hats would attend brunch accompanied by men with top hats, canes, and a monocle (although I might be confusingly adding Mr. Peanut in there somewhere).
Honestly, one of my favorite things about eating at the Crystal Palace is the location. Since it is right near the hub of the Magic Kingdom, it can be added into a day of touring remarkably easy. You can walk out the door and head right for your favorite attraction without having to worry about added transportation time. Of course you may have to worry about the 10 pounds you just put on at the buffet, but I’m sure you can walk that off.
The characters that attend meals here are Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about these characters. They were not dressed in hideous costumes (hi Cape May Cafe), and they came to our table often and spaced at wonderfully regular intervals (hi again, Cape May). In fact, Eeyore was even brought back to our table out of order because my daughter missed him the first time (2 year old bladders wait for no character). All of the characters were patient and playful with the children, and Piglet had an expectedly horrified reaction to my sausage link.
If I was going to get picky about the Crystal Palace, this is where it would be. My family and I were here for breakfast and, while good, it was mostly the same things served at any breakfast buffet in Walt Disney World. Bacon, sausage, Mickey waffles, and egg-like objects were all there for consumption (or to poke at and pretend you don’t like…ah, kids). I’m not going to spend a ton of time on the food because you already know what it’s like…simple, standard, filling, and fine, but nothing special. (If you would like to see for yourself you can now find the menu on Touring Plans)
Odds, Ends, and Details
Character meals at Crystal Palace are offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are priced right about at what you are probably expecting from Disney: Breakfast is $22.99/$12.99 (adult/child) per person plus tax. Lunch is $24.99/$13.99 and dinner is $36.99/$17.99. It is definitely not a steal, but not out of the ordinary for Disney’s character meals.
As you can probably tell by the brief-ness of this post (well, brief for me anyway), I don’t have a ton to say about the Crystal Palace. That is by no means a bad thing, but it’s not a great thing either. Everything is fine about the meal, the food, characters, building, location…all good to very good. The best thing I can say is that there were absolutely no complaints from anyone in my party. The worst thing I can say is that my wife had forgotten we even had this meal until I mentioned it.
I would eat here again and I would recommend it to anyone, especially fans of Pooh (okay, that’s my one and only childish giggle at the name… I restrained myself). I would say not to go in expecting anything fantastic, but a solid meal in a very nice building in a great location.
Thanks for reading!
My previous character meal reviews: