Because I never travel to WDW with small children, I rarely, if ever make reservations for a character meal. Every so often I will do a Chef Mickey meal just to relive some old-time memories. Since I am fortunate to be able to go often, I rarely put much planning into my trips – if I am unable to get a certain dinner reservation I just change my plans and go somewhere else knowing I will get there on my next trip. I also will rarely do a breakfast reservation since I have found through the years that I can have a bagel or piece of fruit for very little cost and save my dollars for an outstanding lunch or dinner reservation. The cost of the Character Breakfast at the Crystal Palace is up there – over $20 per person for breakfast or one table service credit if you are using the Disney Dining Plan. Is the food worth the cost…although an exceptional buffet with great choices…not really. However, the experience is well worth it!
Since I had a 4 yr. old with me on my last trip I made reservations for things that I have not done since my own children were small (in the late 80’s), and found myself putting lots of thought into where we should eat and where we should go. I decided on Chrystal Palace Character Breakfast mainly because Maddie, the little 4 year old traveling with me, had never been to WDW before and I was able to chose an 8:05 a.m. reservation slot. My thought was she would be able to enter the MK with an almost empty Main Street and be able to have a perfect view of the castle without thousands of people blocking her way – and that is exactly the way it went! There is no better view, for an adult or a child, then standing at the end of Main Street and seeing that castle!!
From the minute we arrived, I was extremely happy with my choice. The Cast Members that checked us in were happy and friendly and we were shown to our seat and met our CM server who was one of the most helpful I have come across in a long time. We were seated almost immediately after arrival. The Chrystal Palace is fashioned after a Victorian greenhouse and is full of light and is decorated with topiaries and tropical palms.
Breakfast is buffet style (something I am not always thrilled with) and the choices were outstanding … from fresh fruit to Mickey waffles, omelets made to order, eggs, breakfast pizza, french toast beignets, pastry, yogurt, cereal, bagels…all set out in small serving trays so never sitting very long and refreshed constantly. Our juice and coffee at the table was re-filled almost the second our empty glass or cup was put down. The dining room was not full or crowded making moving back and forth to the buffet area very easy.
The characters, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger visited each table much more than the characters ever have at Chef Mickeys and stayed with each child posing for a picture or signing autographs for a good amount of time. At one point during breakfast, the characters led all the children through the restaurant in a parade, including new children as they went by tables, and there was more than enough room between tables so that it did not interfere with anyone.
Overall, I was very pleased, had a great (but pricey) breakfast and truly enjoyed watching the faces of all the children around us as they interacted with Pooh and his pals!