Hi Dad, I have made a reservation at the Crystal Palace for a late lunch at 2:20pm. I have noticed that lunch officially ends at 2:45pm and dinner starts at 3:15pm. Will I be able to continue eating past 2:45pm and if so how long?
You probably shouldn’t wait until it’s this dark – Photo by Tom Bricker
Dad’s You Won’t Wear Out Your Welcome Answer
Walt Disney World has some of the best restaurants in the country – the food, the atmosphere, and the entertainment have more than a few folks enjoying a long and leisurely meal. Luckily, the cast members (Disney’s word for staff) are also some of the friendliest and most accommodating you’ll find. Don’t worry, you won’t wear out your welcome for a long, long time at a restaurant at the most magical place on earth.
Most families average 60-90 minutes for a meal at a buffet or character dining experience, but you’re certainly welcome to stay longer! There’s no official time restriction, but I think that after the two hour mark you might start to get politely hurried along. I’m no etiquette expert but 2 and a half hours is the maximum amount of time I’d say you could stay without being rude.
That being said, it’s a relaxed atmosphere at The Crystal Palace. You can go back to the buffet as many times as you like, and with kids in tow, families often go up to the buffet in shifts to ensure the parents can help the kids and ensure they get a good meal themselves.
Meeting characters also takes up time – you can expect to meet Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore. From hugs and interactions to autographs and pictures, each character will spend a couple of minutes at your table. All of this adds up to a long meal, and cast members expect that the turnover won’t be as quick as it might be at a casual table service restaurant.
Since you’re visiting at 2:20pm for lunch, the lunch menu will be served until 2:45 and then as each dish is finished it will be replaced with a dinner dish. The turnover from lunch to dinner will happen while you’re there and you won’t be barred from going up and helping yourself to whatever is on the buffet – after you sit down there is no indication that you paid for lunch and not dinner!
Dad’s Bottom Line
Dan, don’t worry about speeding through your meal at The Crystal Palace. Enjoy the food, meet the characters, take a few pictures, and have a Perfect late lunch!