January 21, 2016

The Elegant Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace Poster for Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom's Crystal Palace is the perfect spot for breakfast or lunch if you're looking for an elegant setting and wanting a nice beginning to or break in your day. Just head to the left when you reach the hub. The building is large but charming. It's hard to miss!

Stunning, isn't it?

The beautiful glass dome and indoor plants are meant to evoke an old British greenhouse- a conservatory- making the building a perfect transition between Main Street U.S.A. and the wild jungles of Adventureland

Click to see the details in a much larger version of the photo.

Once inside, the more you look around, the lovelier the details. The hand of the artisan certainly was put to good use! 

Plaza Swan Boats and Crystal Palace concept art

It's very, very nice now, but it was even better at the beginning. In the early days of the Vacation Kingdom of the World, back when a trip to Walt Disney World meant the entire resort had two monorail line hotels but just one theme park, the classic Magic Kingdom. At the end of Main Street U.S.A., a quiet tranquility permeated the hub in front of the castle, framing expanses of land and water effectively separating out each land. Ah, the Plaza Sawn Boats!

Now they cease to exist.

I remember these charming boats gliding by as we approached the Palace and thinking just how beautiful this park was! (More on the Swan Boats here.) As a Disneyland native, the "blessing of size" was just so evident. The Imagineers took great care in providing top notch attractions in the midst of a serene garden like landscape. Everywhere a visitor looked flowers and trees were perfectly chosen to enhance the experience. The Crystal Palace is a great choice for dining, a wonderful place to eat where the food was  very good and also reasonably priced.

For quite awhile now, breakfast at the Crystal Palace means the overpriced Pooh character breakfast. Noisy, full of happy kids, and a very fun experience for families. Still with its very tempting buffet. But I would trade it in an instant for the early days when the dining experience inside matched the elegance outside.

(Art and photographs copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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