Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rumbly in Your Tumbly? Visit the Crystal Palace!


When traveling to Walt Disney World Resort one of the main components to a great vacation is planning where to enjoy a good meal.  Of course, being at the most magical place on earth with favorite childhood friends just a hug away, character dining is usually at the top of a must-do dining list.  One of my personal favorite character dining restaurants is The Crystal Palace, located at the Magic Kingdom.  It has become a tradition, if you will, for us to stop and have a meal with a silly old bear. 


Located on the left side of Main Street, shortly before crossing over into Adventureland, the Crystal Palace sits behind gardens and a small waterway.  The building itself is exquisite with a cream-colored exterior and beautiful light fixtures.  Welcoming guests to the restaurant is a lovely arbor that covers the front steps of the building, offering some shade to those waiting to be seated. The whole building is surrounded by windows, creating a stunning look.

Upon entering the building, guests are greeted with a banner that says, “Welcome to Our Friendship Day Celebration," which appears to be written in the famous handwriting by one of our Hundred Acre Wood pals.  Below the welcoming drapery, are topiaries of Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet, situated in a lush garden.  The restaurant itself can best be described as a large solarium, allowing natural light to shine in and highlight all of its beautiful details.

 The Crystal Palace offers meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have experienced all three meals there and have not had a bad one yet.  Breakfast consists of traditional items such as scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fresh fruits, croissants, pastries, muffins and bagels.  These items are also accompanied by an omelet station, potato dishes and of course – Mickey Waffles!  Assorted cereals are also available.  Having breakfast here is a wonderful way to begin a fun day at the Magic Kingdom!

Lunch at the Crystal Palace brings a pretty impressive menu – so bring your appetite!  There is no shortage of greens when it comes to this buffet! Mixed lettuces, cucumber salads, roasted vegetable salad and pasta salads are just some of the refreshing lunch fare to start with.  Common lunch meats such as sliced turkey and ham, along with Swiss and American cheeses are part of the buffet.  If you’re looking for food on the warmer side, look for meats such as rotisserie chicken, flank steak, pork tenderloin and salmon, along with delicious side dishes to enjoy them with. 

While lunch is absolutely scrumptious, it tends to be a bit heavy for a mid-day meal for my husband and myself.  We normally make our Crystal Palace reservation for a dinner meal.  While breakfast and lunch are both great meals to be had here, dinner does not disappoint either!  To add on to the meats mentioned in the lunch buffet above, you can often find prime rib, herb roasted turkey and shrimp on the dinner menu.  Garlic smashed potatoes, vegetable pasta, soups and chowders await your plate, as well as a variety of   salads and sides.  Mac and cheese, chicken fingers and cheese pizza are available for kids, or the less adventurous eaters. 

Both lunch and dinner bring temptation to your taste buds with a wide array of desserts. Lunch offers cheesecake, cookies, brownies, cobbler and soft-serve vanilla and chocolate ice cream – with toppings too!  These lunch desserts carry over to the dinner menu, and as if that weren’t yummy enough, you can also find tiramisu, key lime pie, Boston Cream pie and more!  Be sure to save some appetite for these sweet treats. Please note that menu items are subject to change without notice.
The Crystal Palace is described as, “Buffet with Character."  While the food itself has character, we all know the reason for that name.  The real characters are just waiting for you to join them for this very special Friendship Day Celebration!   Usually once or twice during a meal (depending how fast you eat), the kids are called up to join Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet as they march around the restaurant for the Friendship Day Parade.  Guests who are seated at their tables during the parade can grab their napkin and wave it up high during the celebration!  When they aren’t parading around, Pooh and his pals make a stop at each table to pose for pictures and sign autographs.  Be sure to have cameras and autograph books and pens ready.  I don’t advise putting them on the table in case of a spill.

Generations have grown up helping Eeyore find his tail, trying to bounce like Tigger, being brave for Piglet and helping Pooh Bear seek out more “hunny."  For those who are two years old to ninety-two years old, The Crystal Palace is more than just another character meal.  It’s taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the park in a cheerful and welcoming atmosphere.  It’s enjoying a hearty meal that will take care of any rumbly in your tumbly.   But most importantly, it’s getting a chance to reconnect with some childhood friends.


Jessica

1 comment:

  1. I always put this on my dining list, but for some reason the family seems to cross it off. But I'm making us a breakfast reservation in November! This will be AB's first character meal on her first day at MK! So excited!!!

    ReplyDelete

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