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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
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).
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?