One thing my family does EVERY Walt Disney World vacation is Crystal Palace…home of Winnie the Pooh and friends. Dining with Pooh is my daughter’s (5 years old) FAVORITE attraction, lol. Every time we go to WDW her only concern is if we got reservations to eat with Pooh. So what’s the hype you ask?
Well besides the above mentioned eating with pooh…you get to eat with Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet too. And if you’re lucky…and everyone is…you’ll get to be part of a Pooh parade and follow the characters around the room. Kids march around the room with the characters while music is playing – can someone say photo op? And the thought of marching around with Pooh is enough to excite kids with ear to ear grins. No tears in this place. And with characters aside…Crystal Palace has a few other perks;
- Unlimited Friendly Buffet – one of my husband’s favorites, and he’s picky
- Location – It’s located inside Magic Kingdom, no need to leave the park.
- Availability – When many character experiences book up at the 180 day mark…Crystal Palace almost always has an opening…which is perfect for last minute vacationers
- Hours – It’s open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and if you’re an early bird…you can get a reservation before the park even opens and see Magic Kingdom privately and get a beautiful picture in front of the castle without all the other vacationers in your perfect shot.
Of course for my family…there is one other perk…Chef Mike. That’s right…the Disney Chefs are celebrities to us…they keep my family safe, fed and happy. They go out of their way to make sure my kids and I have what we need to continue with our magical vacation. Due to our various food allergies…we pretty much always get special service. And usually that means specially prepared food just for us. Some people with allergies can eat the food that the restaurant regularly prepares; they just get a non-contaminated plate of goods from the back. But my family needs, well…specially made goods.
After getting a call from the chef 1-2 weeks before our trip…Chef Mike and I were able to come up with a game plan to make sure my kids could get similar foods as the other guests. This meant special Gluten Free, Diary and Egg free pancakes. Frozen waffles were offered, but I wanted something we don’t usually eat at home. We were able to have the home potatoes from the back, fresh strawberries (which was special) and real Maple Syrup. Other foods were available…but these were the favs.
And since the Chef had called for the kids, I couldn’t help but to ask about me – I am vegan with a dairy allergy. So…as most vegans I was curious about some protein. Crystal Palace doesn’t usually carry vegan meats, but Chef Mike being awesome…ordered some fake chicken for me, cooked it up special and I devoured. I was even able to cut some up for later. Not bad; food for now, some for later 🙂
For dessert…we were given several packages of Enjoy Life cookies. As I have mentioned in previous posts…that is the standard dessert for most peeps with food allergies so it gets tiring after a while…but the kids didn’t care and it gave me something to treat them with later as well.
And for those that wondered…my husband ate from the buffet…took about 3-4 trips. We practically had to roll him out the door. He had plates and plates of food, and then one whole plate filled with baked goodies like muffins, brownies, cookies and such. He left a happy dad and was able to use his fuel to continue on with our day and wasn’t hungry again until dinner.
Dining tip: We usually like to eat our table service meal at about 10:45-11:00am – as you still get some breakfast goodies like waffles and then also eat the typical lunch proteins to help you fuel for the long day ahead. But this last trip…it was a little too much breakfast and I think the kids did get tired of Mickey waffle after Mickey waffle 😦 So next time…I think we will do half brunch time and half dinner times – Just “Food for Thought”
As usual – I am a FREE Disney Travel Agent that specializes in Food Allergies and Special Diets at Disney. I do book WDW, Disneyland and Disney Cruises. Disney pays me, so you don’t have to. Contact me anytime and I can get you organized and prepared for the most Magical Vacation. Nina@goTMCtravel.com