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Review: New Breakfast Buffet at The Wave in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

We’ve been reporting the news, and now I get to share the pics with you! The Wave…of American Flavors in Disney World’s Contemporary Resort has a brand new meal — a breakfast buffet! They’ve been testing it since December, and according to one of the managers I had a chance to speak with, it looks like it’s going to stay. I’m glad to hear it; the buffet is delicious.

Atmosphere and Background
As we know, The Wave focuses on a sustainable menu full of local products. In fact, The Wave was just approved to change their menu every few months — they’re one of the only non-signature restaurants able to do this — so that they can offer an even wider variety of seasonal, local ingredients. I’m looking forward to the updates!

Contemporary Resort's The Wave Restaurant

Contemporary Resort's The Wave Restaurant

Regarding atmosphere, you can see a lot of great photos of the restaurant in our review of dinner at The Wave here. But here’s a quick pic from this week that shows that the Wave’s dining room is casual and simple. There’s not a lot of pretense here…but not a lot of theming either.

Wave Seating Area

Eats
As a result of the restaurant’s focus on high-quality, sustainable, local and seasonally influenced products, you’ll find some interesting items on The Wave’s breakfast buffet. Multi-grain Mickey Waffles, sweet potato pancakes, and pecan honey butter are fun additions to the standard buffet components. You’ll also find key lime hollandaise sauce and some beautiful local citrus and strawberries. At least that’s what you’ll find if you head to The Wave this week. Next week it might be different; we’re excited to see so much change.

These sweet potato pancakes with pecan honey butter (the butter was located over in the cold section of the buffet) were incredible. I’m not a huge sweet potato fan, but these tasted delicious — sweet and nutty. They were like no other pancake I’ve had on a Disney buffet, and I think that’s a good overall theme for this review. The new items I sampled were unique; they were like nothing I’ve ever tried in any other Disney restaurant.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

The multi-grain Mickey Waffles did have a bit of that standard malt flavor to them, but they were definitely a different taste. Still delicious and addictive, though.

One thing to be wary of — there was some confusion about these! My dining companion and I were confused when we first saw them. They’re not labeled multi-grain and it wasn’t until I spoke with the Chef that I figured out what they were. I wondered at first glance, are they burnt? Are they chocolate? Nope! Multi-grain. A good reminder to always ask if something on the buffet seems confusing!

The Eggs Benedict with Key Lime Hollandaise Sauce looked delicious, but was a little heavy for me to try that morning. I stuck with scrambled eggs and pork sausage, breakfast potatoes (yum!), and some delicious strawberries.

Eggs Benedict with key lime hollandaise

Sausage and Eggs

Breakfast Potatoes

Sliced Fruit and Vegetables

I also sampled some of the restaurant’s yogurt with home-made granola. My friends, this was amazing! The granola is made with marcona almonds and tastes unbelievably buttery! Delicious!

Another fun addition to the buffet is inspired by a fan favorite from long ago. Guests used to be able to dine on “sticky Mickeys” — sticky buns shaped like our favorite animated mouse — at the Contemporary Resort, but they’ve long since fallen off of the menus in the current restaurants. The Wave’s sticky Mickeys aren’t shaped like Mickey, but they do bring back the same delicious buttery, sticky, caramel-y flavors from the old favorite! I tried one, and it was well worth the calories!

Sticky Mickeys

Also on the buffet were plenty of pastries and bagels; salmon, capers, and hard boiled eggs; bacon and biscuits with sausage gravy; grits with Tillamook Cheddar cheese; cereals and yogurt.

Cherry and Apple Pastries

Mini-Breads and Muffins

Bacon and Cheese Grits with Tillamook Cheddar

Bagels

Salmon, Capers, Boiled Eggs

Bananas and Jam

Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Pecan Honey Butter, Butter, Fruit

Overall
At $18.50 per adult, this is very likely one of the better breakfast buffets you’ll find in Walt Disney World in terms of food quality. While it doesn’t have the largest variety or the most compelling atmosphere, I think the food is incredibly high quality. The addition of those sticky Mickeys doesn’t hurt, either.

If you’re staying at the Contemporary or want a quick breakfast before heading to the Magic Kingdom, The Wave’s new breakfast buffet is a great idea.

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20 Comments

  1. Kimberly says:

    Our May trip to WDW is all about trying new things to recommend to clients so we added breakfast at The Wave. Loved seeing your review – now I can’t wait!

  2. Jo says:

    I had lunch at The Wave on my last trip and really enjoyed the food and atmosphere (although we had very poor service). I’m looking forward to going back to try the breakfast buffet (that will solve the service problem!).

  3. AJ says:

    Kimberly — Great! Yep; it’s definitely a good option!

    Jo — Agreed 100%. I’ve never had BAD service at the Wave, but the buffet did solve any problems. Our server for breakfast was very attentive as well (drinks filled, etc.)

  4. JenB says:

    It sounds like someplace my husband and I just might agree on! He’s not a risk-taker with food and I’ll be a little more adventurous. Some of the things you mentioned would have him running the other direction. I, on the other hand, would at least take a taste of something new!

    Does anyone remember the breaksfast buffet at the Contemporary (early 80′s)? I believe it was called “Top of the World” and had amazing crepes! My trips after childhood were with band and for senior week – either no choice of restaurants or too poor to eat anything nice. When I went back for my honeymoon, I hadn’t done a lot of research (we were awfully busy, what with the whole wedding thing and all), so skipped over to the Contemporary, elevator up and NOTHING! I was crushed; I’d been looking forward to these things for months! Oh well, maybe The Wave can be convinced – it sounds like it would fit right in with their ecclectic buffet.

  5. Alan says:

    I generally don’t care for all you can eat buffets. Often, you overeat mediocre food. However, my wife loves breakfast buffets (breakfast potatoes yum! – her fav) so we usually visit the Crystal Palace at least once a visit. The food is okay but typical. But some of the pics of the food at the Wave actually made my mouth water! I hope they retain this as it will be a must stop on our next trip.

    AJ – I also was never a big fan of sweet potatoes – especially the sweet glazed ones served at T.G. But I had sweet potato fries years ago at a restaurant named Old Man River in Buffalo and fell in love with them. Living in NC, they are one of the biggest crops here and always available. It’s a good healthier sub for regular fries with lots of vitamins. And I have made the pancakes with them and they are great and fairly easy.

  6. AJ says:

    JenB — Great idea! I hope they’re reading :-)

  7. Josh says:

    Wow, this is quite the variety when it comes to buffets in WDW Resort. The key lime hollandaise sauce sounds really interesting, and since making just classical hollandaise sauce it doesn’t surprise me it took to you as “Heavy” as I find most sauces.

    So has the a la carte menu been phased out yet? I couldn’t imagine them being able to really restrict people…

  8. Sarah says:

    The Wave buffet looks like a great value! I’ll have to try it out soon. It seems there is a decent amount of variety and some items that step away from what you expect to see on a breakfast buffet. I agree on the atmosphere – it doesn’t appear very Disney-esque is rather common hotel-y. :)

  9. Emma Godbold says:

    Thanks for the review AJ. I hope this one sticks around for my trip next year. I try and get as many American breakfast buffets / all you care to eats into my trip as possible, so hopefully this can join Crystal palace as one of my favourite places to go!

  10. DeAnn says:

    The sign says 7:30 to 11:00am. If we were to plan a late breakfast, what would be the latest you would suggest to arrive. Do they shut down the line at 11, or stop taking new guests at 11? Your pictures looked delicious. I’m thinking this would be a great break after an opening morning at MK.

  11. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the great review! As I am staying at the campground next time I go to Disney in May, I think one morning I will have to check out the buffet!

  12. Erin says:

    Do they still have a regular menu or just the buffet? Wondering if you could get something smaller/lighter at the Contemporary than a full buffet, but still get table service.

  13. Diane says:

    This sounds really good. But I’m curious about your choice of words early in the article where you say that the Wave was just “approved” to change its menu every few months. Is this something the restaurant had to ask permission for from the higher-ups somewhere in Disney food-land?

  14. Erin says:

    This breakfast buffet looks so yummy! and a perfect beginning to a magical day in the Kingdom!

  15. Carrie says:

    Argh! I wish I’d read this before I went—I couldn’t find the pecan honey butter for the sweet potato pancakes! I thought maybe it was supposed to be baked in or something… My only other complaint was that the key lime hollandaise tasted sour and just weird. Don’t know why lime would be so much different than lemon in hollandaise. I’ll definitely be going back for all that other stuff, though!

  16. Lauri says:

    Is there any chance that this is on the DDP?? I would love a change of pace from Chef Mickey’s, and other buffet’s!

  17. vanessa says:

    Okay, thanks A.J! I was trying to decide on 1900 Park Fair or Donald’s Safari breakfast at Tuckers but then I saw this. AH!! It looks amazing! I’ll have to convince my bf for when we go in July!

    Another good buffet to try if you haven’t already that is well worth the price is over at Trails Inn. =D I swear, that was the best sausage gravy I’ve ever tasted in my life. Believe the sausage gravey is different in all world locations and the strawberry yogurt with strawberries was very delicious too.

  18. Cookie says:

    We visited the Wave breakfast buffet twice on our January trip and were very pleased. It was only temporary at that point and we took advantage of the signs indicating it was available through January. The food was delicious, and other than the steak and egg breakfast, everything on the buffet was on the menu. We loved the variety offered and the salmon, hardboiled eggs, onions and capers were a big hit. The grits were yummy and the pastries delectable. All in all, this buffet gets a big thumbs up from us. We will be visiting again in May and staying at Bay Lake Tower so our days will start with a big breakfast here. Saves on eating in the parks and fills us up for most of the day.

  19. Joanne says:

    We recently discovered this hidden gem for breakfast and nothing else compares in our eyes. Quiet in the morning–can always get an ADR last minute and the cheesy bacon grits are delish. I was introduced to my new favorite tea, Vanilla Rooibos, and the CM always offers another freshly brewed togo cup when we leave. I enjoyed the taste so much, I tracked down the distributor online and ordered my own supply for home.

  20. Alyce"Julie" Holt says:

    The most delicious dish that have EVER eaten ! Son 3 and now 42, I have been trying to recreate this – French Toast somehow (? quick fried) with results being covered with layer of crunchy sugar – is there anyway that a now old lady could find the recipe as it the last remaining thing on my Bucket List – IT WAS THAT WONDERFUL – my attempts through my years have been awful! I would recommend this restaurant for breakfast/brunch ever day of your stay as the other members of my party – eating different items – were equally impressed with their meals. In remembrance of a magical time. Thank You A. Julie Holt, LCSW

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