Dinner with Winnie the Pooh and Friends at The Crystal Palace

One of my favorite character meals at Walt Disney World is the "buffet with character" at The Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. Guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner with Winnie the Pooh and friends and in addition to some pretty good eats, this is also the best way to meet Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet in one spot!

Dinner with Winnie the Pooh and Friends at The Crystal PalaceDinner with Winnie the Pooh and Friends at The Crystal Palace

On my most recent visit to Disney World we opted to not purchase the Disney Dining Plan (which is a whole different post for a later date) but we still wanted to sneak in a few table service meals. On our drive down to Florida we were able to snag a reservation for breakfast at 'Ohana, and brunch at Chef Mickey's. The day before our last day at the parks we cancelled Chef Mickey's and decided to do dinner at The Crystal Palace instead.

Yes, you read that right. We were able to score a reservation for The Crystal Palace the day before we wanted to dine there. There's no guarantee that you'll have the same luck but I'm going tell you right now to always check the My Disney Experience app because you just never know what reservation you might get!

Meeting up with Winnie the PoohMeeting up with Winnie the Pooh

Having dined at The Crystal Palace pretty much every time we're at the Magic Kingdom I knew it was going to be a good spot for my girls - both of whom live with several food allergies. Disney does magical things when it comes to guests with food allergies and The Crystal Palace continued that winning streak.

As soon as we checked in for our reservation the cast member handed me an Allergen Guide for the restaurant (this was new to me!). Apparently Disney has updated its dining system when it comes to food allergies and the new paper guides are part of the update.

Allergen guide at The Crystal PalaceAllergen guide at The Crystal Palace

The inside of the guide features a list of every item on the buffet and lists what items are safe or not safe for the following allergies: Gluten/Wheat, Eggs, Fish, Milk/Dairy, Peanut/Tree Nut, and Shellfish. The last page of the Guide lists the items the kitchen will make for your table including dinner rolls, macaroni and cheese, house-made chocolate brownies, glazed doughnuts, and even Tofutti Vanilla and Chocolate Frozen dessert.

Since my kids are also allergic to sesame seeds (and my oldest also has a shellfish allergy), we notified our waiter that we needed to speak to the chef. Long story short: Chef Jen at The Crystal Palace was AMAZING. She walked the girls through the entire buffet, telling them what they should eat and what they should avoid, and we ordered safe rolls (with butter NOT from the buffet), mac and cheese, and safe desserts.

Allergy-safe options at The Crystal PalaceAllergy-safe options at The Crystal Palace

And so, let's talk about the buffet. While I do like breakfast at The Crystal Palace I am one of the folks who prefer lunch or dinner there. The night we dined the buffet was filled with so many delicious options including Roasted Spoon Bread, Banger Sausage and Cabbage, Roasted Chicken, Honey Glazed Carrots, Pierogies with Onions, Artichoke Cream Pasta, and more.

Some of the options on the dinner buffetSome of the options on the dinner buffet

At the carving station (my favorite spot!) you could choose from Roasted Turkey or Grilled Flank Steak. I can never pass up Roasted Turkey (especially when Mashed Potatoes and Gravy are available) so I enjoyed a bit of that (OK, 2 helpings. I was on vacation!).

Before enjoying the hot buffet items there's also a cold buffet/salad bar filled with pasta salads, tossed salad, Caesar salad, Cous Cous, Greek Style Tomato Salad, fresh fruit, and a variety of dinner rolls plus Parker House rolls. Oh, and don't forget the peel-and-eat shrimp!

Options on the salad barOptions on the salad bar

For the kids (or adults who really want mac and cheese), Pooh's Corner Children's Buffet featured Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Nuggets, Corn and Peas, and Chicken Drumstix. My husband and I may have sampled a few items from this section.

Pooh's Corner for the kiddos at The Crystal PalacePooh's Corner for the kiddos at The Crystal Palace

As is usually the case at The Crystal Palace, everything we had on the buffet was delicious. Favorites included the Banger Sausage and Cabbage, the aforementioned Roasted Turkey with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, the Honey Glazed Carrots, and the Artichoke Cream Pasta.

In addition to their allergy-friendly items from the kitchen, my daughters enjoyed the Roasted Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Caesar salad, and more.

The dessert portion of the buffet featured a S'mores Tart (meh), Honey Mousse Pots (cute but unremarkable), Warm Chocolate Brownies topped with Toffee (the best item), a few other sweet selections, and soft serve ice cream. I had to sample several items...for research purposes, of course.


And, no meal is complete at The Crystal Palace without meeting Pooh and his friends! We were able to meet all four characters during our meal and even had a second visit from Piglet. You can meet Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet during a meal (you might have to drag out dessert just a bit, but the cast members don't mind).

Big smiles with Tigger!Big smiles with Tigger!

And, I might be in my mid-40s but I'll never pass up a hug from the one and only Winnie the Pooh. ;-D

Love you Pooh!Love you Pooh!

The Crystal Palace
remains one of our can't-miss dining spots when we're at the Magic Kingdom. The food is consistently good, the character interactions are great, and I know it's a safe place for my food allergy kids (thanks again to Chef Jen!).

Dinner with Winnie the Pooh and his friends at The Crystal PalaceDinner with Winnie the Pooh and his friends at The Crystal Palace

We'd love to hear your thoughts about The Crystal Palace. Leave us a comment and let us know if it's one of your must-dine-here locations.

Pops55 wrote on Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:15:

Pops55's picture

The first time we visited WDW we did not know of "Character Dining" opportunities. But we managed to book a breakfast at the Town Hall and have returned on every subsequent visit.

We've tried other venues but still have the Crystal Palace right up there for both food choices and character greetings; some options seem a bit rushed when there is a big family group.

Rebecca wrote on Tue, 08/15/2017 - 14:13:

Rebecca's picture

You're never too old for a hug from Pooh!

Lisa B. wrote on Tue, 08/15/2017 - 18:22:

Lisa B.'s picture

I have been to the Crystal Palace twice. Once with children and the other just the two of us. Our trip with kids was very enjoyable. The trip when it was just my husband and I not so magical. We were seated in the center on that half booth/half table area. We never did see the server. We helped ourselves to the buffet and had to ask the manager to get our drinks. Server never picked up empty plates and we never did get a refill of our drinks. When the bill arrived it had either 18% or 20% gratuity added. I asked the manager to take the gratuity off of my bill seeing as I never saw the server. Honestly, service has a lot to do with your meal experience at Disney!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account associated with the e-mail address you provide, it will be used to display your avatar.

More information about formatting options