Character Meals: Vol 5 – Cape May

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It’s pretty well established that I love a character meal since I’ve already written about Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s, The Garden Grill, and Akershus. On my last trip to Walt Disney World, my family and I decided to try a character meal that we had never done before: the Cape May Café. After eating there, we may or may not be willing to do it again (what? I can’t give away the ending in the opening paragraph). Here are my thoughts and feelings, with a smattering of facts along the way.

Atmosphere

The Cape May Café is located just off of the main lobby of the Beach Club Resort. I am a huge fan of the Beach Club (mostly because of its proximity to Epcot’s World Showcase), but for this purpose it is not the best location. You see, while Cape May is open for breakfast and dinner, the characters only appear at breakfast. The problem arises when you schedule an early meal and are required to figure out transportation from your resort to the Beach Club.

The Beach Club Resort

If you do not have a rental car your choices for arrival at the Beach Club (assuming you are not staying at the Yacht Club, Swan, Dolphin, or Boardwalk, which you can walk from) are: 1) bus/monorail to Epcot and walk all the way through Future World and out the International Gateway, 2) bus to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and boat/walk to Beach Club, 3) bus to another park or Downtown Disney and then bus to Beach Club, or 4) take a taxi. You have undoubtedly noticed that none of these is ideal, especially with children (unless your children say “Yea! We’re getting up at 6am for an 8:25 breakfast!”).

Transportation griping aside, the actual restaurant is bright, airy, and beachy with sand castles and lots of pastel colors. Most of it is open and centered around the buffet, although we were seated in a smaller side room that had a low ceiling which helped increase the noise level. Our side room also featured a large party with many small children whose response to everything was to scream. I don’t need to tell you that Tylenol was also on the breakfast menu that day.

Characters

The lovable friends that came to visit us at Cape May were Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. The characters are always fun and accommodating, but I had some problems here; one that I blame on the character handlers and one that I blame on my own insanity.

The more serious of the two issues was that, for the first time ever, my family had to wait for a character to come to our table after we had finished eating. Wait…did I say ‘a character?’ I meant two…yes, two out of the three didn’t come to our table until we were done eating and ready to go (and we had 4 adults, a 2 year old, and a 2 month old. We were not eating quickly). I don’t know if that is indicative of the size of the restaurant versus the number of characters or if it was simply a bad day. What I do know is that if Cape May was my one and only character meal I would have been mighty peeved (as it was I was only significantly peeved).

My other minor issue is the costuming. As you can see in the pictures, the characters are dressed in their beachwear. Said beachwear consists of sea blues and greens, which makes perfect sense with the location. My problem with it? I think it’s kind of ugly, and by ‘kind of’ I mean ‘dreadfully.’

Food

Cape May’s breakfast cuisine is good, and there’s really not much I can add to that. It is a buffet so items can be dry and stale if they have been sitting or they can be fresh out of the kitchen. Nothing on the menu was mind blowing, nor was it insulting to my taste buds. There are eggs, bacon, sausage, Mickey waffles, French toast, assorted pastries, cereals…if this was $10,000 Pyramid you would have already yelled out “breakfast buffet in Disney World!”

If you’ll allow me one small rant; the toasters at all of the breakfast buffets in Walt Disney World are the slowest bread toasting contraptions I have ever seen. I’m pretty sure an Easy Bake Oven would work faster. Rant over, thanks for allowing that.

Donald was the last one we waited for. Even the kids lost interest by then.

Odds, Ends, and Details

As I mentioned above, Cape May Café is located in the Beach Club Resort near the International Gateway entrance of Epcot. Characters only appear at breakfast, which costs $28.75 for adults and $15.97 for children (prices courtesy of AllEars.net).

Final Thoughts

If I’m looking for a character breakfast buffet I would rather eat at Tusker House or Crystal Palace (both reviews coming soon!), and if I really want to meet Minnie, Goofy, and Donald I would rather Chef Mickey’s (where they appear with Mickey and Pluto…and better outfits). I’m not going to go as far as to recommend avoiding the Cape May Café because my character experience may have been a one-off. I do think, however, that you can find everything Cape May offers elsewhere with better characters, at least equal food, and in an easier to get to location.

Thanks again for reading and please let me know what you’re experiences were like at Cape May. Did you have character issues? Do you think those outfits are offensive to the eye? Am I becoming more of a grumpy old man by the word?

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Posted on December 6, 2011

9 Responses to “Character Meals: Vol 5 – Cape May”

  • I would add that if you want the same food without characters, and at a cheaper price, head over to Captain’s Grille at the YC. The breakfast buffet is 85% the same and cheaper (due to lack of characters). Getting there isn’t any easier though!

  • The outfits shown here are dreadful. Also, having to wait for 2 out of 3 characters is not cool with me & I, too , love character meals. Keep the reviews coming!

  • I have eaten the Cape May breakfast three times and have not had any issues with the characters getting by our table. In fact, all three times we saw the characters at least twice if not three times in the same meal and had good interaction with them. On one trip, they even all came over to our table at the same time for a group photo.

    I will note that we go to Disney in very low seasons, mostly late January. Maybe it is worse other times of year or maybe you hit it on a bad day.

    Agree with you on the outfits. They are ugly.

  • Just had a great breakfast there less than a month ago. The characters were very fun and attentive. They all came quite quickly. The food was good – nothing special, as you say. Though I will add that we found the service here to be excellent – much better than what we got at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Our waitress was attentive to the point of being humorous. She checked if we needed anything every 10 minutes, and would drop whatever she was doing when the characters came around to take our picture for us – we never had to ask!
    I had an especially funny moment with Donald when I showed him my Donald Duck watch and he posed extra long for photos, knowing that he was my favorite.

  • My family of 5 had a dreadful breakfast at CMC in early October.

    Only one character came to our table in 1.75hrs and I agree one toaster for 440px restaurant is appalling! 10mins to toast bread is a joke. Also very poor was the service – our waiter half filled my husband’s OJ and said he would return to fill the rest of the family’s glasses – he never came back! No drinks the whole meal!

    Goofy came to our table and played a bit, posed for photos and left, Minnie came to our table and said “hi” but turned to greet a child from another table and never returned! Donald was seen in the distance but my husband had had enough and we left leaving a one cent tip (only time ever) and saw our server return to our table to retrieve bill folder (we had to ask the character handler to get the bill)). Easily this was our worst ever meal in 5 WDW trips.

  • I’ve eaten here many times and have never had an issue with characters. I saw all 3 characters three times each last time and was at the restaurant for less than an hour. I also think it has the lowest noise level of ANY character breakfast at WDW. It’s definitely the best for those going without kids because it’s so much less crazy and busy than the other character breakfasts. Needless to say, I disagree with most of your review, but hey that means more Mickey waffles for me!

  • Tried CMC for the first time last November and had a great experience! Normally use Disney transportation which admittedly would be a challenge but this time had own transportation.

    We had an early reservation and were sat within minutes. Server was wonderful, friendly and attentive! Saw each character at least twice in the hour that we were there and Donald even took time to play with my 2yo DD. Loved the quieter atmosphere offered here even though we were sat at a table in the middle of the room, directly beside the buffet. Never felt rush, crowded or overly busy.

    Will go to CMC again for sure!!

  • Well, I see we aren’t the only ones that characters skip over at CMC! I took my niece when she was 14 years old. Yes, an adult and a teenager still want to see the characters, especially when we have paid the extra cost – that’s not for the Mickey waffles!
    We asked our server if Donald was coming back out, after he visited the table next to us – on both sides! They had to get the manager to our table, and then Minnie skipped us. I told my niece that I would absolutely cry if Goofy passed us by (he stopped, thank goodness!). But, I will probably never go back to CMC.

  • by Meredith McCutcheon on April 3, 2012, at 11:21 am EDT

    We had breakfast here in September 2011. The characters were fantastic–they interacted with my kids more than at any other character meal. The food was only decent, but it was what I expected for a breakfast buffet. Our service, however, was HORRIBLE!!! It took 20 minutes for our waitress to bring drinks, and she never checked on us. The WORST part came at the end, though. We were celebrating both of my children’s birthdays at this breakfast (my son’s birthday was a week before our trip, and my daughter’s birthday was a week after our trip). Our waitress asked whose birthday it was, and I told her we were celebrating both. She asked which child should receive a cupcake. I told her both. She looked at me like I had two heads, and then she said we had to pick one. Seriously?? We ended up never getting a cupcake, so we just sang to our kids ourselves. Worst service ever.

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