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Chef Mickey’s Restaurant

Can you believe it?! Nearly a year of Disney Food Blog posts I haven’t done a Chef Mickey’s post yet! Well, this oversight shall now be rectified. I’m headed to Chef Mickey’s for breakfast…care to join me?

Chef Mickey's Sign

Found in the middle of the Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s stands as one of the most popular character buffets in Disney World. With great food, lots of characters, and a convenient location, this buffet is a must-do.

Chef Mickey's Entry

Chef Mickey's Entry

What makes it so popular?
Here’s my analysis:

  • The Fab Five: You can find every member of the fab five — Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto — right here for breakfast, dinner, and, in the very busy seasons, lunch.
  • The Monorail: Kids love the monorail. It’s sleek. It’s up high. It’s like space transport. And it goes into the hotel — that’s right, it doesn’t just park outside of the hotel like it does at the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian — it goes into the hotel. That’s just cool. No matter how old you are.
  • Proximity to the Magic Kingdom: When you’re at the MK all day and need a respite, Chef Mickey’s gives a nice change of pace without taking you too far from the park.
  • Cheesy Potatoes and the Sundae Bar: Chef Mickey’s has legendary cheesy potatoes for breakfast, and it has a fantastic sundae bar for dinner. That’s enough for me.
Cheesy Potatoes on the Left

Cheesy Potatoes on the Left

What’s the Atmosphere Like?
Dropped into the middle of the Contemporary’s Grand Canyon Concourse, the restaurant’s decor is a taste of Toon Town meets Tomorrowland. Lots of big splashes of color, cartoon-y cut-outs, Mickey shapes, and space-age banquettes.

Seating Area and Buffet

Seating Area and Buffet

Chef Mickey's Seating

Chef Mickey's Seating

After checking into the restaurant, you’ll be sent to a line where you’ll wait to have your photo taken with the Chef Mickey’s iconic statue, and then you’ll head over to one of the newly-renovated waiting areas until your pager buzzes.

Photo and Waiting Area

Photo and Waiting Area

Soon you’ll be escorted through the (usually loud and teeming) restaurant to your table; be aware that you might need to dodge a napkin-twirling Donald Duck or a curtsy-ing Minnie Mouse on your way.

A Second Seating Area

A Second Seating Area

Table Setting

Table Setting

Settle in and order your drinks, and then you’re on your way to the delicious buffet!

So How About the Food?
The restaurant has a buffet, and the breakfast and dinner offerings are plentiful. For breakfast, our choices included biscuits and gravy, blintzes, cold and hot cereals, waffles and pancakes, omelets, turkey hash, breakfast meats, fruit, baked goods, boiled eggs, yogurt, and more. Here are a few of the items that were available on the day we were there:

Fruit and Baked Goods Station

Fruit and Baked Goods Station

Cheese Blintzes with Sauces

Cheese Blintzes with Sauces

Cold Cereal

Cold Cereal

Syrup Container for Waffles and Pancakes

Syrup Container for Waffles and Pancakes

Breakfast Meats and Corned Beef Hash

Breakfast Meats and Corned Beef Hash

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

Vegetable Lasagna and Turkey Hash

Vegetable Lasagna and Turkey Hash

Breakfast Pizza, Tots, Mickey Waffles

Breakfast Pizza, Tots, Mickey Waffles

Fruit

Fruit

Yogurt, Apples and Granola, Applesauce, Cottage Cheese

Yogurt, Apples and Granola, Applesauce, Cottage Cheese

Plate 1

Plate 1

Carbo Plate

Carbo Plate

And here are the menus from that day as well:

Chef Mickey's Breakfast Menu

Chef Mickey's Breakfast Menu

Chef Mickey's Dinner Menu

Chef Mickey's Dinner Menu

Don’t forget, the menus change all the time, so yours might not look just like these. Regardless, I can almost guarantee you’ll find something for everyone in the family.

And the Characters?
Yep — there are definitely characters! During our breakfast, we had the chance to hang out with each character twice — even though the restaurant was busy! Remember, though, that the characters have to get through the three main seating areas, so be patient.

Notice the fun chef-inspired outfits that the fab five are wearing!

Chef Mickey

Chef Mickey

Goofy

Goofy

Chef Donald

Chef Donald

Minnie

Minnie

Pluto

Pluto

Any Cons?
Cons would include the noise of the restaurant. This isn’t a quiet spot to have a nice breakfast. It’s loud, raucous, fun, and exciting — probably not the place to take Junior for a nap away from the park.

Also, this isn’t gourmet food. If you want five-star or very healthy food, consider another restaurant. But the food is good, plentiful, and worth the price.

Finally, Advanced Dining Reservations can be hard to get. This restaurant is as popular as Le Cellier and Cinderella’s Royal Table these days, and getting a reservation can be tricky. Don’t forget that you can now call/go online to get an ADR at 180 days in advance of your vacation.

I hope this primer has helped you to see a bit deeper into Chef Mickey’s — a restaurant we’ve all heard of, but some of us might not have had the chance to visit. It’s truly an iconic Disney restaurant, so if you have the chance to make it there for a meal someday, I’d encourage it!

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20 Comments

  1. [ this is jerry ] says:

    Great article, AJ; thank you! Those cheese blintzes! Mmmmm!

    Disney… If you’re reading this: One of the most frustrating things is when you are a guest of the resort and you are not able to get ADRs (or the timing is less than superb). I would love to see some sort of balance between maximizing the number of people you serve and the ability for that specific resorts’ guests to dine there. (End Rant.) ;)

  2. AJ says:

    Interesting point, Jerry! I never thought about giving ADR preference to guests of the actual resort. And thanks for the positive feedback!

  3. Irishe81 says:

    This article made me feel like I should be there right now working :( BTW the apples & granola is awesome! as is the breakfast pizza! and although I’m not a fan of it the vegetable lasagna is also a favorite of many. And usually the only thing for breakfast that changes is the speciality omelette of the day. The rest is always the same! Dinner however does change slightly, and looking at the menu I notice the pic was taken on a Saturday, when they serve Chicken Corn Chowder -which is really really good!

    BTW as with all restaurants on property if you can not manage to get a reservation don’t hesitate to show up (the earlier the better -they open at 7am) because they may be able to get you a table. Worse case scenario you still can’t get a table and you stop next door at the Contempo Cafe, or downstairs at the Wave, and grab breakfast at one of those places.

  4. AJ says:

    Great point Irishe81! You can certainly head over to one of the other dining establishments in the Contemporary for good eats.

    Did you used to work at Chef Mickey’s? How fun!

  5. Janna says:

    I have always had dinner at CM, never breakfast. I will rectify that on my next trip! Thanks for the yumminess!

  6. AJ says:

    Thanks, Janna! Just stopped by your fun blog, too! Looking forward to hearing how you like breakfast at CM!

  7. Kelly says:

    Used to be a huge fan of Chef Mickey’s. Then had a really really bad experience with the staff. Haven’t been back since. Now my fave is Cape May Cafe for a character breakfast! (I do miss those cheesy potatoes though, man they are GOOD!)

  8. AJ says:

    So interesting how one bad experience can keep us away, right Kelly? I’ve had the same happen at a couple of other restaurants — it’s just not worth the money and time to try again.

  9. Kelly says:

    Not when there are so many other great places to try :) I’m sure I’ll be back to Chef Mickey’s one day, but for now my favorite is Cape May!

  10. Shayne says:

    We have done Chef Mickey’s for breakfast a couple of times, but now I’m thinking we should try dinner. That menu looked yummy!

    And you’re right about the noise. I was happy that on our last trip, we were seated in one of the smaller rooms where the noise level was lower. On the same trip, we also tried 1900 Park Fare for breakfast and found that we enjoyed the slightly calmer atmosphere!

  11. AJ says:

    Thanks for your comment, Shayne. Would love to hear your thoughts on CM’s dinner!

  12. amanda kurzeja says:

    Thanks so much for taking a pic of the mecu with price. I’ve been to 4 sites and they all are quoting different prices. Was this just recently?

  13. AJ says:

    This was on September 26, 2009, Amanda :-)

  14. Laura says:

    This was very helpful! Thank you! I’m just wondering about parking… If we plan to go here for breakfast and then to Magic Kingdom, where should we park the car. Any chance you’d know?

  15. AJ says:

    Hey Laura! Thanks for your comment! We always park at the Contemporary Resort for Chef Mickey’s, and head over to the Magic Kingdom afterwords, leaving the car in the Contemporary’s lot. On very busy days, the Magic Kingdom resorts issue a 3-hour parking permit for people who are dining, but not staying, at the resort. (I’ve actually only seen this happen at the Polynesian, but you never know.) If you don’t want to take your chances, you can either park in the Magic Kingdom lot at the Transportation and Ticket Center and take the monorail to the Contemporary Resort, or you can valet park at the Contemporary Resort for $10 (this covers a 24-hour period, and you can valet park at any other deluxe resort throughout the day on the same ticket).

    If you happen to have the Tables in Wonderland dining card, valet parking is free for those with dining reservations in the hotel.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

  16. [...] on Disney property that you should always book the morning your 180-day window opens up:  Chef Mickey’s,  Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Le Cellier.  Only one of those restaurants, Le Cellier, has [...]

  17. Stephen says:

    Thanks for the review AJ!

    I have gone ahead and made a booking for breakfast on our last morning. This was one of the things I felt we were missing out on, a meal with the ‘Fab Five’ :)

  18. AJ says:

    Glad to help, Stephen!!

  19. JoAnn says:

    I have ADRs here for both breakfast and dinner. Can’t wait to try it.

  20. Janie Guinn says:

    We will never go back to chef mickeys. I diligently kept trying to get reservations and finally did.we arrived 15 minutes before our time. We checked in at kiosks and waited and waited. We waited for 30 minutes.my husband has diabetes and his sugar begin to drop. He went to the sitting kiosk and asked how much longer? They didn’t even have us listed. The woman at the check in failed to make the listing.the cast member mike at sitting kiosks was rude and a smart aleck. We go to Disney World at least 3 times a year but I will NOT go back

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