We were VERY curious when we found out Chef Mickey’s would be reopening at Disney’s Contemporary Resort during Disney World’s phased reopening. As soon as they began accepting reservations, we promptly booked ourselves a table at this iconic spot!
But like so many newly reopened restaurants at Disney World, Chef Mickey’s has had to make several modifications. They’re no longer offering character dining or buffet-style dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the time being. In fact, dining is just limited to breakfast for now. We’ve already shown you some of the BIGGEST changes Chef Mickey’s has made since it reopened, but now we want to share with you all the details of what our FULL experience was like!
Since many guests can’t imagine visiting Disney World without a trip to Chef Mickey’s, we want to help you decide if you should swing by this summer — or maybe wait for things to return to normal. Here we go!
Chef Mickey’s is probably one of the most popular character meals on the planet (ok, at least at Walt Disney World; we can’t say with absolute certainty it’s the most popular character meal in Antarctica!😉). Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy are usually bopping around in their adorable chef costumes while the all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet area is buzzing with the hustle and bustle of guests helping themselves to heaping piles of Mickey Waffles, Eggs, cheesy potato casserole, and other breakfasty delights (or brunch, lunch, or dinner…depending on the time of your visit!).
But as you can see, the heart of the restaurant is pretty peaceful these days. There’s no crowd or line forming around the buffet counters. And we’ve gotta admit, it does feel really strange seeing this place so empty. We came towards the end of the breakfast service, so most guests were already headed out to the parks. We had the place mostly to ourselves. But even during the peak of the mealtime, the restaurant is still only at 50% capacity.1
Heading over to the dining area, many of the tables have now been socially distanced. If tables couldn’t be moved six feet apart, they’ve been marked with “unavailable” signs. This space is normally crammed to the gills with tables to accommodate as many families looking to meet the characters as possible. Seeing it more breathable in here was a nice change! We also noticed Cast Members were frequently cleaning the tables and chairs, sanitizing them between each party.
While the dining room is just as adorable as ever (we happen to get a kick out of its rather-dated looking decor which seems stuck in the early 2000s era of Disney World), the Mickey-shaped caddies that typically adorn each table with their Mickey-shaped salt and pepper shakers have been temporarily removed. (As is the case elsewhere in Disney World, if you need condiments, they’ll bring you individual ones.)
Without the Fab Five marching around the seating area, the room did feel a bit lonely — not gonna lie! But luckily, you can still enjoy the other elements we all know and love about Chef Mickey’s. You can still see the monorail whiz by and enjoy the fun and colorful atmosphere. Plus the Cast Members who helped us today were super welcoming and cheerful.
Chef Mickey’s is still serving all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast, but instead of getting up and helping yourself at the unlimited buffet, the meal will be brought to your table and served to you family-style by Cast Members. Each table will receive a little bit of everything and you can view the full menu via a QR code.
Don’t worry — if your family needs more of ANYTHING, all you have to do is ask a Cast Member to bring you another round (or two, or THREE!). Be it pastries, bacon, smoked salmon, CHEESY POTATOES, or whatever you fancy, you can keep your plate (and tummy) nice and full!
And here’s another thing we have to mention before we go any further — Chef Mickey’s has dramatically slashed its price. All-you-can-eat breakfast now costs $25 for adults and $14 for kids. That’s about half of what it used to cost before. But since this is no longer a character dining experience (obviously the main draw for most guests!), you’ll save a LOT of cha-CHING!
The meal comes with all the standard offerings including a mixed basket of bread and pastries as well as items from the hot bar.
Juice is included with the meal’s standard drink options, but you can choose a cocktail to pair with breakfast for an extra charge.
There are a bunch of great mixed drinks to choose from for breakfast.
Drinks selected (apple juice obvi), now it was time to get on with the meal!
Part of Chef Mickey’s is still set up like a buffet, but it’s for Cast Members ONLY. They’ll be the ones making trips up to the counter to replenish your food for you while you sit back and unwind. (Don’t worry, if you find yourself meandering to the buffet, Cast Members stationed in the area will instruct you that only servers are permitted to access the buffets.)
The food is kept nice ‘n’ hot so it will arrive at your table warm.
Even though Chef Mickey’s has reduced its breakfast menu, we were happy to see the Tater Bites and Potato-Cheese Casserole survived the cut! They must know everyone loves this dish and it would be pretty heartbreaking if it left.
Our server brought several courses out to our table at a time. We started with the Custom Breads, Danishes, and Mini Muffins which came with a selection of Spreads, Jams, Jellies, and Butter. Fruits Of The Season, a Mini Yogurt Parfait, and Assorted Cold Cuts and Cheeses were also brought out.
The pastries were tasty and fresh and had a nice variety. We had Croissants, Cinnamon Rolls, and some Mini Muffins in our basket and when we finished them we were brought more without needing to ask! In fact, several dishes were replaced very quickly for us without needing to flag down our server.
The fresh fruit today was Honeydew, Watermelon, and Cantaloupe with a bit of mint chiffonade, but can vary with what’s in season.
And while we’re not very big on Smoked Salmon and its accompaniments, it arrived at our table anyway. Don’t worry, we asked for it to-go to share with a seafood lover in our group! This is a big thing to note: You WILL be served everything on the menu initially.
You can ask for extras of anything but you’ll still be served ev-er-y-thing to start. If you have an allergy in your group, take a look at the QR menu and let your server know if something needs to be nixed.
Other initial food offerings included a yogurt parfait with a bit of granola and berries on top.
We also were given a meat and cheese plate. It came with a couple choices of meats and some nice and surprisingly rich cheeses as well as roasted red peppers and pickles.
This not-being-able-to-choose-what-you-want-to-eat aspect of the new Chef Mickey’s was a little strange for us. If you’re trying to stick to a special diet (like low-carb or Keto) you might not appreciate having a giant breadbasket shoved in front of your face. But like it or not, everything will arrive at your table and you can choose to take the leftovers home with you or go off your diet just a little bit. After all, there ARE no rules on a vacation (right??)!
It wasn’t long before more and more food arrived and room on our table became even harder to come by!
A hearty portion of Scrambled Eggs, Sausage Links, Bacon, and Ham came over to our table! These are your standard Disney brekky buffet protein options, but plated up much prettier than we would have done if we were making a plate at the buffet!
And here’s a bowlful of gorgeousness! Check out this mountain of Tater Bites and Potato-Cheese Casserole. Of course, we devoured it shortly after taking this photo. Note that we could easily live off of Potato-Cheese Casserole. It’s deliciously creamy, cheesy, savory, and just about perfection.
Mickey Waffles, French Toast, and Pancakes also made their way over to us in their own separate bowl. All of it was yummy but pretty standard when it comes to Disney World restaurants for breakfast. Interestingly for these items, we took a bit too long snapping pics for all of you to see here, and our server promptly offered to replace our items with a fresh, hot serving instead!
Of course, the Cast Members went out of their way to make us feel extra special about being back at Disney World. We definitely felt like the service was probably the best it has ever been at Chef Mickey’s, but it also might’ve had something to do with the fact we were practically the only people there!
With so few people inside the restaurant and no characters to worry about missing between our non-existant trips up to the buffet, we can honestly say it was the most relaxing meal we’ve ever enjoyed at Chef Mickey’s (if you’ve ever dined here you know this spot is pretty LOUD and crazy most times of the day!!).
Nosh or Not:
Dine at Chef Mickey’s if:
- You’re heading to Magic Kingdom for the day (Disney’s Contemporary Resort is only a short walk or monorail ride away!).
- You enjoy Chef Mickey’s breakfast favorites SO MUCH the thought of unlimited Mickey Waffles, Pancakes, Eggs, Sausage, Cheesy Potatoes, etc. really appeals to your bottomless stomach (even without characters!).
- For $25 per adult and $14 per child, your pocketbook WON’T BELIEVE you’re dining at Chef Mickey’s. Let’s just say it will probably never be this cheap again!
Pass on Chef Mickey’s if:
- Your favorite part of the experience of dining at Chef Mickey’s is meeting Mickey and his friends! For some, until the characters return, we understand there may be limited appeal to dining here (unless you can fill the void with tons of starchy Potato-Cheese Casserole! Did we mention that they have that here?).
- You’re not planning on being in the Magic Kingdom area. Since there’s no park hopping happening, you might want to pick a spot to eat closer to the theme park you’ll be visiting for the day or the resort you’re staying at.
- You don’t want to commit to a sit-down breakfast. Even though we don’t think you need to get to the parks right away since they’re normally not crowded (especially if you don’t go RIGHT when they open) you might be too used to rope dropping and grabbing a quick bite for breakfast while on the go! If that’s what a Disney World vacation means to you, we won’t try to stop you!
Now that wait times for attractions have been greatly reduced thanks to Disney World’s theme parks operating with a limited capacity, we think taking your time to arrive in the morning and enjoying a leisurely breakfast is a good move. (Don’t forget that this $25 table service, all you can eat meal is suddenly one of the best food deals on property.) Maybe you’ve never been to Chef Mickey’s before because it looked too busy, or you couldn’t snag a tough-to-score reservation; or maybe you’re curious (like we were today) to experience a much more subdued version of this super-popular restaurant. Either way, we think it’s a great value for a hearty meal so close to Magic Kingdom.
The food is your basic Disney World buffet fare, so don’t expect any stunners here (well, maybe that delightful Potato-Cheese Casserole!). BUT, the food is prepared well, presented nicely, and hits the spot. Even without the characters around, we think Chef Mickey’s is a pretty solid choice, especially if you decide to pair it with a character meal that IS still being offered such as Topolino Terrace’s breakfast at Disney’s Riviera Resort or Garden Grill Restaurant’s character meal in EPCOT.
Of course, we’ll be excited for Chef Mickey’s to return to how it was before the closures someday, but until that day comes, we’ll settle for this much more chilled-out bizarro version in the meantime!
Click here to see what modifications Trattoria al Forno has made to its former character breakfast since its reopening!
Have you ever eaten at Chef Mickey’s? Would you dine there WITHOUT the characters right now? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!