(Jax Beach, FL)
Ok, We are making a special birthday (me!) day trip to the Magic Kingdom next Friday and I just lucked out by getting a 8:40 am Crystal Palace ressie! NOW… how/when/yikes… do I park/get in and at what time? How early do I really need to get to the gates? Can I even park at this time? Yikes! Help!! (PS, i am so excited to eat at the Crystal Palace, finally)
The Crystal Palace
Photo by Don Sullivan
Dad’s A Great Start Answer
You’re a lucky lady – Dad can’t think of a better way to start off a day of birthday celebrations than a pre-park opening breakfast at the Magic Kingdom! Don’t worry about a thing – Disney does a great job of making it easy for guests with early morning dining reservations to get into the park. Once inside the gates, you can proceed to The Crystal Palace, enjoy your meal, and head out into the park for a day of birthday fun!
It will be no problem to get into the park prior to opening – just be sure to bring a printout of your Advanced Dining Reservation confirmation with you. Aim to arrive at the parking lot about an hour before your reservation time. Park your car, take the tram to the Ticket and Transportation Center, and get in line to ride the Resort Monorail (which begins running before the Express Monorail).
After you take the Monorail around the Seven Seas Lagoon, you’ll head through the security checkpoint, and look for the entrance gate that is open to guests with dining reservations. Typically the special turnstile for early guests is to the right, but follow the signage or ask any cast member. Show your reservation confirmation and proceed through the main gate, and right up Main Street USA (make sure you get a picture in front of Cinderella Castle without the crowds!).
The Crystal Palace is a great breakfast location in the Magic Kingdom. Since it’s a buffet, you can fill up as much as you like, and there’s a great variety of fruit, baked goods, breakfast meats, and specialty items like made-to-order omelets (Dad loves omelets), Mickey waffles and Pooh’s Puffed French Toast. Make sure you let the Cast Member at check in know it’s your birthday, you might get a special surprise!
The hidden benefit of a buffet is that you can take control of how long your meal takes, which means you can have a leisurely meal or speed through breakfast to get a head start on the crowds in the parks – the choice is totally up to you.
Dad’s Bottom Line
Rachel, you’ll have no problem making it to the Magic Kingdom in time for your early dining reservation! Have a great time fuelling up for your day with Pooh and his pals, and have a happy birthday!