On my August trip I had a friend in tow who was not a Disney geek (gasp!). She was, however, excited to see characters so I made arrangements for us (along with about 20 of our friends) to have breakfast at Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort one morning. I hadn’t been to a character dining experience in quite some time so I was a little wary about a bunch of adults heading to a restaurant to see Mickey, Donald, and pals. Couldn’t I just eat eggs somewhere quiet? Would it be swarmed with little kids going nuts? Would it be total chaos? Would the food be any good? These were all questions I had running through my head. But I overlooked all this to make a great trip for my friend and signed us up.
Before we get into my thoughts on Chef Mickey’s there are a few things to know about this eatery. This is among the hotter tickets in town and it can be difficult to get an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR). The ADR maker in your party should close to your 180 day window to make arrangements to eat here. Chef Mickey’s normally operates for breakfast and dinner, although it is occasionally for lunch when crowds are heavy. You may also consider arriving a few minutes early for your allotted time since it is usually fairly busy. The restaurant’s location at the Contemporary Resort makes for easy transit to and from your breakfast or dinner. I would look at a meal here as an opportunity to take a break from the Magic Kingdom, especially since their table service options leave a lot to be desired.
Since our ADR was for breakfast and our group was spread out all over at different resorts we decided to meet at the restaurant about 15 minutes before our time. Once we had most of our people together we checked in and then there was a little surprise I wasn’t aware of. A fun element in the dining experience here is that they take a “family portrait” before seating your party. In our case we had about 20 people, all unrelated (aside from a few married couples) in our family. Your group can buy a package of these photos for about $30 which is a bit steep, but we split it up among us, making the fee easier to swallow. After our picture was taken we were asked to hang out in a waiting area until our tables were ready. I was concerned it would take a while with such a big group, but we were seated fairly quickly. We had two very large tables right next to each other. Our tables were in a smaller room with windows that looked out onto the Magic Kingdom.
Shortly after we were seated we were told we could ourselves to the buffet and our waiter took our drink orders. Large pots of coffee were brought out for everyone to share as well as juice and whatever else folks wanted. We decided to make our way to the buffet before characters started to make their rounds. There are a ton of options for every kind of taste on the Chef Mickey’s buffet. Everything from cold cereal and fruit to eggs and pancakes, to a dessert table can be found here. I’m a sucker for those Mickey waffles so I enjoyed a few of those and they had a berry sauce which I’m sure was all kinds of artificial, but it was tasty. I also have to recommend the hash brown, cheese, and bacon casserole. My philosophy is everything is better with bacon and who doesn’t love a potato? It was seriously yummy. Most of the selections available are typical Disney breakfast fare. The food is tasty, but certainly nothing out of this world.
The character interaction at Chef Mickey’s was a blast. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about posing with these furry guys, but it turned out to be great. Laughing with my friends while we took pictures and getting excited to see Minnie or Goofy was fun even for us adults who usually avoid characters in the parks. At this particular dining experience Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald Duck, and Goofy make appearances and are happy to visit each table. The will make the rounds posing for pictures and playing with kids (and some adults). Occasionally music comes over the loud speakers and the characters dance around while guests are encouraged to clap along or wave their napkins over their heads. We all just let lose and let ourselves feel like kids again without feeling embarrassed about it in anyway.
The play time with the characters provides a lot of laughs and a lot of photo opportunities. I have tons of pictures from this meal! It’s funny how in everyone of them we are smiling from ear to ear. My friends and I were just so happy to spend some time together in our favorite place living the magic. These pictures are proof that it is totally ok for a group of adults to have a character meal together. While we might have felt a little silly at first, soon those insecurities fell to the side and we had a ball. If you head to Chef Mickey’s be sure to have your camera ready!
I think the price is a bit high for what you get (this coming from someone used to dining in New York City and the surrounding area), but it’s Disney so I’ve come to expect that. You are really paying for the experience more than anything else. And if you asked me if I’d spend the money to have a fun meal at a fun place with some of my best friends I certainly would. I recommend checking out Chef Mickey’s for yourself if you ever get the chance. It may not be the greatest food on WDW property, but the atmosphere and the experience are a ton of fun.
What about you? Have you dined at Chef Mickey’s? I hope you had as much fun as I did! Let me know about your meal at this classic Disney restaurant.
Next week I’ll take a look at some holiday happenings around the Disney parks!