On my last trip my friends and I decided to take advantage of our stay at the Beach Club and had breakfast at the Cape May Cafe on our last morning. This restaurant is located just off the resort’s lobby and serves a buffet character breakfast as well as a clam bake style buffet dinner without characters. During morning hours Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, and Goofy visit diners dressed in their finest beach attire. When we arrived we had just a short wait since we had a large group. Eventually, we were seated at a long table with one side having booth seating. Some folks in my group thought this arrangement was a pain with a big group, since we’d want to get up to visit the buffet.
Aside from the odd table configuration, the eatery is decorated with sand castles, brightly colored beach umbrellas, and other seaside items. While I love seaside atmosphere in general, I do have a few problems with this restaurant. You see, my family has a vacation home in Cape May, New Jersey (the real Cape May) so you’d think this restaurant would have appeal for me. But instead I take issue with it! The Beach Club Resort is themed with the New England coast style. Despite New Jersey’s close proximity to New England tourist hot spots like Cape Cod, our shore is quite different. I contend the Cape May Cafe should be at the Boardwalk Inn instead given its Jersey Shore theme. It seems strange for Disney to make this swap when they are usually so detail oriented.
Now that I’ve ranted about the restaurant’s location, I’ll also point out the decor inside the Cafe is not very reminiscent of my summer home. The Cafe’s theme is continuous with the Beach Club’s with New English cottage architectural details and decor. But, the actual Cape May is well known for its Victorian charm (like Main Street, USA). In fact, the entire City of Cape May is a national historic landmark where its residents and visitors celebrate our seaside history. While I enjoy the beachy and breezy atmosphere, I just don’t think they jive with the restaurant’s name since it is dedicated to a place I hold near and dear to my heart.
But not to worry, despite the interior design being a bit off (which I’m sure you wouldn’t even notice if you’d never been to Cape May) the food is still pretty good. The variety of offerings on the buffet is more than substantial and provides options for everyone in your party. The standard eggs, bacon, pancakes, and Mickey waffles (one of my personal favorites) are here, but there are some other foods I haven’t seen in other breakfast buffet locations around Walt Disney World. How about some grilled asparagus with your eggs? There is also an area dedicated to yogurt, fruit, and granola where you can create your very own yogurt concoctions. Everything I ate was tasty and well prepared especially given the buffet setting. It certainly wasn’t a gourmet experience, but for a fun breakfast it hit the spot.
The character interaction at the Cape May Cafe was a mixed bag. My guess is the characters may have thought we wouldn’t be as into them since we were a table of about 10 adults with no kids in sight, but we were 10 Disney geeks. We were paying for the character experience, and we sought out their attention. We wound up getting some fun pictures of the whole group with Minnie Mouse on her second trip around the restaurant, but she pretty much ignored us during her first pass. Mickey and Goofy both stopped to greet us, and take a couple pictures before moving on to the next table. We had the best time with Donald Duck who hung out with our large table for a while taking pictures and being silly.
Overall, I had a great time goofing off with my friends and having some yummy food. I’m actually heading back there again on my next trip since we had such a good time, and I’ll try to keep my grumbling about the restaurant’s decor to a minimum this time around. My advice is to embrace the character meal experience whether you are dining with or without kids. Obviously, if little ones are along for the ride, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of getting hugs and autographs. However, if you’re having breakfast with a table full of adults, let your inner child out and don’t be afraid to be silly. That’s what character breakfasts are all about! And of course have a Mickey waffle or two!
What about you? Have you dined here among the beach umbrellas and characters? Let me know what you thought of your breakfast!
Next week I’ll be back to discuss my recent use of a touringplan during a busy day at the Magic Kingdom and to provide some advice to folks who may be heading down during the busy spring break season.