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January 27, 2014

Magic Kingdom - Main Street USA - Crystal Palace


Crystal Palace is a buffet style restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. It is located just off Main Street USA, toward Adventureland. Reservations are strongly suggested, and they do participate in the Disney Dining Plan. This is a Victorian themed location, offering character encounters. 




Character dining experiences aren't for everyone. While some suggest that this is avoidable for "kid-less" guests, I don't necessarily agree, but anyone should be aware of how the character dining functions before deciding to go that route. Characters vary by location, but you know who you're getting beforehand. For example, Crystal Palace is home to Winnie the Pooh and friends (Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet, to be specific). 


Most character dining locations are buffet-style, as is this one. During the course of your meal, each character is meant to visit your table individually. This usually works out fairly smoothly, with the visits being spaced out well, and meaningful encounters had by all in your party. However, like anything, sometimes things go awry. There have been a couple of occasions where we seemed to be skipped by a character... it happens. Tell your server, host, etc., and the situation is quickly rectified. The other problem is the overly-enthusiastic guest that is inevitably seated a little too close to you. Like most Disney restaurants, it's rather sardine-styled seating. I always seem to be near a party of six or more who want to jump up and run around the table for 20 minutes, monopolizing each character into 35 photo combinations while servers are attempting to tend to their duties around the whole mess. A common scenario that always irks me, but the experience is usually worth another Disney battle. A typical routine at most character-invaded restaurants, you should also be prepared for impromptu Conga-style dance lines forming, where guests and characters parade throughout the establishment. Never fear - the guests who opt to join in will eventually return to your table. :) While I do see where this appeals most to youngsters, I can also attest firsthand that the young at heart can enjoy these unique encounters too!

The Crystal Palace's menu differs by meal type, and items change often. Breakfast includes all of the standard fare, with the added highlight of Mickey shaped waffles (now also available in chocolate). Lunch and dinner will include options in meat, seafood, pasta, salad, vegetables and desserts. Prices vary by season, but breakfast and lunch will run around $25-$30 per adult/ approximately $15 per child; plan on $40 (adult)/ $20 (child) for dinner. 



*TOP PICK - Okay, so a waffle is just a waffle; and frankly, this isn't even the tastiest waffle in the world.... BUT, it's shaped like Mickey Mouse!! The simple fact that this is a Disney original, guaranteed to make anyone smile, makes it a top pick!!

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