Character dining is a staple at Disney World. One of the most popular is Chef Mickey’s. It is located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. My husband and I were fortunate enough to dine there during our honeymoon. We loved it so much, when we had the chance to go back this past October, we jumped on it.
Chef Mickey’s buffet offers American Cuisine during breakfast, brunch, and dinner. We went during dinner both times, and loved the food both times. There menu is vast and it seems to change. Some of our favorite things they have to offer were available both times. My personal favorite is the Mickey Mac and Cheese. It’s simple, but it is true that every thing taste better when it’s shaped like Mickey. Zac and I both love their perogies. They also have a decently large dessert buffet. Although we didn’t have much room left for dessert.
It is one of the more pricey options, as far as sit down dining goes. It can cost between $30-$59.99 per adult, depending on what time of day you go. If you are looking to save money, I always recommend to try to do character dining for breakfast. Restaurants that feature character dining are always more expensive. But just like any other Disney restaurant, it will be cheaper during the breakfast hours.
While the food is delicious, the thing that makes Chef Mickey so popular is it’s amazing appeal to children. With the variety of a buffet, the character dining experience and location outside of the parks, Chef Mickey’s is a perfect place to take younger children. But it isn’t all bad for adults. We arrived before our reservation time so we had to wait outside for a while before we could check in. We waited in the little bar that is located right in front of Chef Mickey’s. It was a great change of pace from the hectic pace of Disney World. While I wouldn’t recommend showing up before your reservation if you have children, they did cater to children in the bar as well. We saw the bartender whip up a non-alcoholic drink for a small child who saw a light-up ice cube in an older woman’s cocktail. He was so happy when he got his light-up drink.
Once we were able to check in they prompted us to take our picture in the front with the statue of Chef Mickey. Then we went into the little waiting area and waited for our buzzer to light up. The greatest thing about waiting to be seated here, was that they were smart enough to place a TV in the waiting area for the children. Naturally Mickey Mouse Club House was on, and I got to sing the hot dog song for Zac.
It didn’t take very long for us to be seated. We had the sweetest waitress. She took excellent care of us and even brought us out a cupcake to celebrate our anniversary. If you are celebrating anything and you have kids with you, be sure to let them know. They do the most adorable “celebration” for everyone who is celebrating anything. The characters come out with the cloth napkins and spin them around above their head while dancing all over the place. They encourage all of the kids to get up and do the same. Most all of the waiters and waitresses will sing along and dance as well. It’s a very entertaining few minutes. They will also bring you a little cupcake or dessert during the celebration, so if you here the music start, make your way back to your table. I was up at the buffet so our waitress waited to light our candles until I came back. She even asked if we wanted to get a picture together with our little cupcake once she lit the candles! Such great service.
Once everything calms back down, the characters will make their way around the restaurant doing meet and greets. This is one of the places where having the Memory Maker Package doesn’t really help you out. Other than the picture you get at the front, there are no photographers in the restaurant. So if you want to get pictures with the characters, you will need to have your own camera. Keep in mind the lighting is really not ideal for pictures. A lot of our pictures came out very dark because we refused to use the flash in such a crowded place. You are more than welcome to use flash, we just chose not to draw attention to ourselves while we were eating. You will want to start getting ready as soon as you see them making their way toward you. They have a lot of tables to get to, so you will notice they tend to move quickly. Having your camera and autograph books ready will make your experience a lot more fun. It’s also a good idea to pay attention so you aren’t stuffing your face full of food right as Minnie Mouse walks up behind you. Also, the staff is very accommodating. If you want to try to get everyone in the picture and you see a cast member walking by, they would be happy to stop and take your picture. All you have to do is ask. The characters you will meet while dining are Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Minnie, and of course the Boss himself, Mickey. And don’t fret, when all the characters leave, someone will walk around and make sure every table got to see everyone. If you there is someone who missed your table, they will got get them for you!
We love Chef Mickey’s and I am sure we will be back. With character dining the experience is different every time. And man, do I love that Mickey Mac and Cheese!