Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Crystal Palace - Magic Kingdom

Last night, we had dinner at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom.  We have never had breakfast at the Crystal Palace, but we have eaten lunch and dinner there many times since moving to Orlando.  It has always been one of our favorite buffets at Disney, and we enjoy seeing Winnie the Pooh and friends while we dine.

Make sure you check out the topiaries of Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger as you enter the Crystal Palace, a building that was inspired by Victorian greenhouses of the late 1800s.  

Very quickly, a chef came out to take me on a tour of the buffet, which wasn't very crowded at 4:30 when we were seated.  

I came back to the table with two large plates of food.  On my first plate, I have the peel-and-eat shrimp, sweet potato salad, roasted plantain salad, and Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.  

I also chose the following gluten free options: Mediterranean sauteed chicken with feta cheese, tomato, basil, and garlic; tilapia with citrus beurre blanc and spring vegetables; roasted salmon with Asian style pesto; fire roasted corn spoonbread; rice; and a new pork dish that they are testing out, that disappeared before I could take a picture of the sign.  

I later visited the carving station to pick up some turkey and sirloin steak, and I couldn't resist a second helping of the spoonbread while I was up at the buffet.  It has always been my favorite dish at the Crystal Palace. 

The only desserts on the buffet that are gluten free are the vanilla and chocolate soft serve, and the coconut flan, which my family raved about, but I did not try, because I don't like coconut.  The chef said she could bring me a chocolate chip cookie, or a house made brownie from the back.  My daughters and I have always loved the gluten free brownie with vanilla soft serve on top.  They told me it was as good as the gluten-filled brownies they had from the buffet.  

I enjoyed every dish I tried last night, but my favorites were the spoonbread, tilapia, salmon, the sweet potato and roasted plantain salads, and my dessert.  I actually enjoyed this meal more than our dinner at Boma last weekend.  The Crystal Palace can be very pricey though, especially for dinner.  One tip our server gave us it to book the last lunch seating at 2:45, so you get to enjoy some lunch dishes like the flank steak and ham at the carving station, before the dinner items start coming out at 3:00.  The only differences between lunch and dinner are the price, the meats at the carving station, and the peel-and-eat shrimp.   

I love the ambiance at the Crystal Palace, and all the great pictures of my daughters with the characters that I have taken over the years.  Tusker House Restaurant and the Crystal Palace are definitely my favorite restaurants for character dining at Disney World.  

You can make advance dining reservations for the Crystal Palace on Disney's website here.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at the Crystal Palace?


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