March 15, 2015

The Crystal Palace (Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, FL)

I came to this restaurant over 13 years ago, and I remembered that my parents loved the food and that I loved being able to meet all of the Hundred Acre Wood characters. I went into this experience with high hopes, but unfortunately, they weren't met.

Prices: $$$ ($53 per adult for table of over 6, incl. gratuity and tax)
Location: right off of Main Street in Magic Kingdom
Portions: (Buffet)
Ambiance: Everything's very open and white; a small area of greenery in the middle by the main entrance brings a pop of color; lots of windows (you can see the fireworks)
Service: Our waiter, Pat, seemed very intimidating at first, but once he started taking our drink orders, we realized that he was incredibly funny and sarcastic. He was very kind and actually remembered to fill our drinks (not something that I see at most Disney restaurants). On the other hand, the service from the characters and their little "guides" were not good at all. Our reservations were at 8:50 pm (although we were seated around 9:05 even though we checked in half an hour early), and by that time, it was blatantly obvious that the characters were not interested in taking photos at all. We had a table of 10, and these characters spent only about 1-2 minute taking photos with us. For the price, $53, we were all extremely unsatisfied with the way the characters rushed through our table. Additionally, the food choice was limited. I've been to several buffets back at home, with the prices ranging between $22-30 per person, and I've had the freedom to select food from over 6 different tables; at The Crystal Palace, although the selection is a little more unique and the food is much higher in quality, the selection is much more limited and not really worth the $53. 
Verdict: It makes me sad to say this, but I wouldn't come back here. The server was really nice and I did find a few dishes that I really liked (pesto salmon and plantain salad), but considering the price, it's just not worth it. The characters were so unfriendly compared to the characters we met standing in line outside during the day (seriously, those characters we met during the day spent time to joke around with us and were incredibly kind). My friends who went the night afterwards tried to take photos with Eeyore and Eeyore never looked at the camera once. Sorry Disney, but The Crystal Palace needs some work.

my friends all loved the Mac n Cheese from the kid's buffet table the best...

selection of breads

salad bar: I did like this salad bar more than the ones at regular buffets; the salads were much more unique (from beet salad to butternut squash salad to ---my favorite --- plantain salad)

top left is the plantain salad (my favorite, 
next to that is the pasta salad (my friends liked this), 
bottom middle is the edamame salad (not bad)

mashed potatoes, broccoli, spoonbread casserole

sausages, rice, chicken wings, jambalaya

my first plate: broccoli, beet salad, grapes, jambalaya, rice, edamame salad, butternut squash salad, plantain salad, shrimp

second plate: green beans (very tough :P), pesto salmon (SOOO GOOD), plantain salad (SOOO GOOD), jambalaya (too spicy, I realized)

I didn't take photos of the dessert bar because it was very limited: brownies, cookies, ice cream machine, apple crisp...nothing that I can eat; there's also a soup bar that I didn't really bother with (about 2 selections of soup); there were two kinds of fish (salmon and tilapia---tilapia was very bland and basically tasted like fish---not for everyone)

While the salmon and plantain salad were really good, our main objective coming here was simply to eat our money's worth, regardless of what the food was, and to get as many photos as possible xD

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xoxo, han

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