Crystal Palace is definitely one of our top 5 restaurants in Walt Disney World for dining. The menu is fairly consistent and I know what I am going to eat each and every time we dine there. Add the Winnie the Pooh characters on top of the wonderful buffet and that makes for a great dining experience.
After a short wait we were shown to our table in a banquette. This was okay but we ended up dividing our table of 8 into 2 tables of 4 so everyone could get out from the bench portion of the seating without having to disturb everyone else around us. The Winnie the Pooh characters were in our area so they suggested we wait to get food and greet the characters first.
I love that the characters spend time with each table and you don’t feel rushed. My parents even wanted their picture taken with the characters and they were so accommodating. My almost 5’7″, 11 year-old autistic son loves the characters and they were patient as he looked at each one and we tried to get him to hug gently. It is wonderful for us because it allows him time to see the characters and the characters aren’t rushing to the next person so they can take a moment to be a little bit more patient with him and understand that he needs that.
We all start with salad plates. There is always a green salad mixture which I drizzle with my favorite salad dressing on Walt Disney Property the Zinfandel Dressing. There are usually several mixed salads, a fruit salad and at least one or two salads with pasta or grains.
The day we were there the carving station was turkey and roast beef. The meats can vary from time to time but they always have some sort of beef and another choice at dinner. The vegetables were green beans and butternut squash, which were both delicious. The squash is a seasonal item. Another one of my favorite dishes is the Fire Roasted Spoon Bread. I usually have two servings of that with the garlic mashed potatoes. I skip desserts because I am not so much a sweets person but give me a good mashed potato and my heart melts!
My daughter could live on the peel and eat shrimp.
Of course you need to end the meal with a taste of desserts. This is the sample plate that we made for the table – Chocolate Brownies, Snickerdoodle Cookies, Strawberry Cheesecake bars, ice cream and carrot cake. They also had bread pudding and several sugar-free offerings the day we were there.
There were a couple hiccups in our meal such as the little boys at the dessert bar. They picked up cookies and smelled them and then went to put them back on the tray. My mother told them no that they either needed to take them or place them to the side they touched them and no one wanted to eat them after they had their hands on them. The kids were unsupervised and if they don’t know how to properly serve themselves they need to be accompanied at the buffet.
The only other thing was our waitress had several large tables all want to leave about the same time so she had to go in back to run checks and didn’t come back for almost 20 minutes. She had 6-8 checks with her but by that time everyone in our party except me had left the restaurant. We finally got it all straightened out but there has to be a better way for the checks to be run at the end of the meal so you are not waiting at the table for the check. This slows down table turnover and backs up the reservations.
Overall we love Crystal Palace and will be making a reservation for our next Walt Disney World trip.