Crystal Palace: Breakfast vs. Lunch

I see many here recommend CP for breakfast, and I wanted to know… why breakfast? What is it about Breakfast, and not lunch or dinner, that everyone prefers? I ask because, in our trip for 2016, I intend to book us in for lunch, mainly because my family are not huge fans of rising early, however I don’t want to target lunch if breakfast is far superior for some reason.


I think the breakfast hype is because it can get you into MK pre RD which can be pretty spectacular if you work it correctly. If you know your family is not really the RD or die crowd then I would skip the breakfast and do lunch or dinner. The food is basic any time of the day - not amazingly fantastic, but good and with enough options to satisfy even picky eaters. It’s on our next trip list.

We enjoyed Breakfast so much there. Calmer and delicious. We are ‘iffy’ on buffets so lunch and dinner buffets don’t appeal to us.

Also, breakfast is usually cheaper. And if you are there at the tail end of breakfast, supposedly you can enjoy some of the lunch food too.
What really happened with us: We had a 10:45 breakfast (brunch) reservation, arrived at 10:35, weren’t seated until 11 am. Restaurant was clearing out from breakfast crowd, characters dashed by but looked like they were at end of their ropes (as did their “handlers”), very brief character experience compared with every other character meal, food was getting a little limp (especially the fresh fruits and veggies on the buffet), and it was almost impossible to enjoy food, get up to buffet, AND see characters. We were in and out in 35 minutes and felt very rushed by our server. Worked out to about $3.25/minute for our family of 4 just to be in the restaurant. It was our 3rd and worst experience at CP (Why do we keep going back? I do not know. Our only good experience was supper ADR last year at 6:50 before MNSSHP when we didn’t have party tickets, restaurant was quiet, great character interaction and fresh food with short lines.)

1 Like

The only reason I chose breakfast over lunch/dinner, was because I liked the sound of the menu better. If I liked the sound of lunch, I’d happily give it a go.

We have done the much obsessed over pre rope drop breakfast a couple of times now. I honestly don’t think we’ll bother again. I hate attempting to get my family out on time to catch the early bus. We always seem to be a bit late and rushing, then feel pressure to rush breakfast and get out into the park to beat the crowds. I think we’ll try a 10am breakfast there next time. I really did think the food was pretty good and worth going back for.

We had a very similar experience to @mossmacl at CP last year. We had a breakfast ADR for 10:45 and got seated around 11am. The characters were hugely rushed, and one of the handlers was flat out rude to me when I asked her to please stop rushing my kids. I learned afterwards that this is not one of the buffets that does the switch over - they actually clear out the breakfast crowd before serving any lunch food. We did Tusker House at the same time last year and it was a totally different, much better experience.

1 Like

We recently had lunch at Crystal Palace and really enjoyed it. Maybe my bar was set low because I had read about the size and some of the stories about long waits and being rushed. Fwiw, we had none of that. Granted it was a slow day at MK, and there were empty tables at CP for our 12:15pm lunch. The characters made it round to our table twice. The buffet was large and quite good.

Bonus factoid about CP for photo junkies: We got the best pictures here of any character meal because of the terrific daytime light. If it’s a sunny day, Crystal Palace at lunch has fabulous natural light.

We have eaten at CP 4 times now, twice for lunch, once for dinner and finally last week for a late breakfast at 10:30. We did many character meals on this trip and we were not rushed at CP, meet all the characters quickly but had plenty of time to eat. We were in and out in 50 minutes which was good for us that day since we had lots of park touring to do. Out of all the character breakfasts we did this trip CP was the best buffet according to my DH. They had fresh fruit, made to order eggs and the pooh French toast. Other buffets did not have as many offerings. I liked the time we had, not late enough to be rushed out the door but had plenty of park touring before hand on a morning EMH day.
Now to compare CP breakfast for lunch. I enjoyed the lunches we have had there a lot food wise. They had lots of fresh salads which taste great when it is hot in the park. The characters gave us plenty of time also. I did not enjoy our dinner we had there as much. It was very crowded and noisy and the wait staff was very busy, forgot the birthday cake I had ordered, etc.
I would look at what other meals you have scheduled and what time works best for your family that day. If you want a good breakfast then go then, if lunch works better it won’t be a problem for that either.