Dining At The Crystal Palace

Dave Hodges, Blogger, Podcaster, Travel Expert

11 April 2017

The excitement when you book your reservation for a character dining. The joy that you feel knowing that there will be Disney characters around you while you eat. The dancing that takes place while you walk up to the restaurant. The tears that may fall when you see that first character as you walk in and are seated. The disappointment that you feel when you see what they are serving. The headache you get when you get the bill for what you just ate.

All of the above are feelings that many people get when they dine with characters at Walt Disney World. This post is about the joy and excitement more than the disappointment and the headache.

Our very first character dining was at the Crystal Palace. I have been going to Disney all my life and I never took the time to eat table service or character meals. This is probably because we have always been so busy filling our day with other Disney fun.

On this particular trip, we decided to try this character dining thing. I made the reservation for the Crystal Palace because Chef Mickey’s was booked, as always. It was on our third day there so every time we walked past I would say, “there’s where we’re having breakfast”. At the time I had a 12-year-old and a 16-year-old so the excitement was more with me than them.

Crystal Palace

August 2013

Photograph by Dave Hodges

On the morning of the breakfast, we entered the park before opening, which was pretty cool. We danced down Main Street USA. We smiled and laughed as we waited to get called for a table. This was a great morning for all of us. As we were seated I saw tiger, one of my favorites, and gave him a high five. Then we were seated. Once seated we journeyed over to the buffet and saw what you would see on a buffet at Shoney’s (not sure Shoney’s still exists). I was thinking that it would be something spectacular. It was not. This did not ruin the day by any means.

As we were eating all the characters from the Hundred Acre Woods came by. We got photos with big smiles. They seemed to be moving pretty quick from table to table, but we had plenty of time to take photos. By the time the last character got to us we had been done eating for a little while, but just sat and waited, enjoying the atmosphere and scenery. Then it was over and we got THE BILL. This was the most expensive breakfast I had ever eaten, EVER, but it didn’t ruin the day. I paid and we were off to enjoy the park.

With all that being said, the experience was wonderful. Many people won’t spend that kind of money for what you get, but for us it was great. I always say that if it is good for you and your family, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I did the research before I reserved the meal. This research showed what was on the menu as well as a round about cost. I figured high so, even though it was expensive, it ended up less than I figured. I knew going into it how much it was going to be and what food I was going to eat. This is why it did not ruin our day.

Any time you head to Disney you should do your research. Just about everything you can do or eat there is published online with reviews and cost. There is no reason someone should be shocked at how much something costs. It’s Disney, it’s going to be more expensive than home. Being prepared will make your vacation that much more magical and you will come home smiling.

The cost of our breakfast for 4 was $130. Outrageous, but i was prepared for it.

Dave Hodges – Travel Specialist

When you’re looking to book your Walt Dinsey World vacation and you want expert advice and personalized booking, you can contact me at or 904-410-2891.