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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Review: The Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace is one of the most popular dining locations in the Magic Kingdom. It’s an all you can eat buffet with characters with from the Winnie the Pooh series. Kids love this dining experience, but is it worth the cost?

Food: The food at the Crystal Palace is decent. They have a nice mix of foods. The carved meats and the desserts are what stand out. Everything else is just average. There are a couple of buffet style restaurants in Disney World that are better.

Atmosphere: The Crystal Palace is a beautiful well lit restaurant with lots of windows and has a Victorian style to its decorations. The seating areas are the downfall of the atmosphere. They designed them to cram as many people into as small a space as possible. I didn’t get the same feeling from Tusker House which seemed a little more open. At times getting from my table to the buffet and back was an adventure and somewhat difficult. Because they cram so many people in so small a space it can get really loud inside. Keep that in mind if your kids are volume sensitive. It’s no where near as loud as Kouzzina but it’s still loud.

Entertainment: If you like Pooh and his friends you’ll like the entertainment here. I’m not a big fan of Pooh. The only one I really wanted to see was Eyeore. The ones that were out and about when I was there were: Winnie the Pooh, Eyeore, Tigger, and Piglet. Every so often they do a little show where all the kids follow the characters around while music plays. It can’t be easy to be a character here. Each character needs a handler because things are so cramped they can’t get around without them.

Service: The service is decent. At a buffet you don’t expect much and they lived up to that. However there is one big failure where service is concerned. My wife and I had an ADR. When you have an ADR you know you are not going to get seated right away but you know after a few minutes you’ll get seated. It took the Crystal Palace thirty minutes to seat us. Thirty minutes to seat a party of two. That’s insane.

Cost: The Crystal Palace is very expensive for a buffet, even a character buffet. You will take a serious blow to your wallet while eating here. We went here during lunch which made the cost even more of a shock.

Overall I won’t be going back to the Crystal Palace. It’s too expensive, too crowded, the food doesn’t match the cost and the overall interaction with the characters was better at the Garden Grill.

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