Hello from Chef Mickey’s in Disney’s Contemporary Resort!
We’re back with the Fab Five at this Disney World Character Meal to check out Chef Mickey’s Family Feast for dinner.
You may recall that the Mickey and the gang have already been serving up breakfast since December (after an initial reopening without characters) as Disney World is slowly but surely bringing back more Character Dining options for guests. But dinner just made its return to Chef Mickey’s, and so we’re back on the scene, too, to bring you our review of this newly modified dining experience!
And when we say “modified,” we’re referring both to the character interactions and the meal itself, because Chef Mickey has got some brand new dishes to show you, served up in an all-you-care-to-enjoy fashion.
So, let’s hop on that “Highway in the Sky…”
… and head into the Contemporary to say “Hi” to our pals and grab some dinner, while we’re at it!
We mention the Monorail, of course, because at Chef Mickey’s you’ll dine right within view as it zooms through the Contemporary’s Main Tower, setting that perfectly “contemporary” vibe. (Note that this picture was taken prior to the refurbishments currently going on in the Resort, which we’ll chat about shortly.)
You can also take in the stunning Mary Blair mural during your visit, which has a unique history all its own…
Stepping inside the restaurant, bright primary colors set the scene no matter where you look.
And the bold pop art on the walls and lining the windows leaves no doubt about the stars of the show here at Chef Mickey’s… the Fab Five!
It’s welcoming to kiddos, comforting in its nostalgia, and totally classic Contemporary. We’ll take it. 😉
Now, we have to mention that the signature airy feel of the Contemporary’s Main Tower is a lot less so as the guest rooms are currently being refurbished (and even reimagined, according to Disney). It’s anticipated that this work will last until September, so right now your view at Chef Mickey’s also consists of not-so-bright-and-airy construction scrims as well as a fair amount of not-so-lovely construction noise.
Fortunately, there are other aspects that are very important to the atmosphere at Chef Mickey’s… and that’s exactly who we’re about to see!
It’s all classic characters at this classic Character Meal, starting with none other than the namesake Chef himself… Mickey Mouse!
And he’s starting the party, so you’d “better get bakin’!”
We’re at Chef Mickey’s for dinner tonight! pic.twitter.com/jzDTtV2QAu
— AJ Wolfe (@DisneyFoodBlog) May 16, 2021
Minnie Mouse is ready to serve up some food and fun in style, as always.
You’ll hear the instructions in the song, let’s “Clap our hands, and stomp our feet!” And NO ONE does it better than Minnie…in heels, no less!
Minnie has got some moves! ☺️ pic.twitter.com/uovwqB84l1
— AJ Wolfe (@DisneyFoodBlog) May 16, 2021
Donald Duck would like to remind you exactly who is “Number 1” in the kitchen!
You can check out how he, like the other characters, strikes a pose for guests right here…
Chef Donald! pic.twitter.com/JzYUKssDQY
— AJ Wolfe (@DisneyFoodBlog) May 16, 2021
Everyone’s favorite Sous Chef, Goofy, is along for a good and goofy time!
Characters are accompanied by music, providing that high-energy (also known as noisy 😉 ) atmosphere that is part of the Chef Mickey’s experience. You can give it a listen below!
Here comes Chef Goofy! pic.twitter.com/IPtUkzXk1o
— AJ Wolfe (@DisneyFoodBlog) May 16, 2021
Even Pluto dons his own chef’s hat to complete the kitchen-ready Fab Five!
As we experienced at breakfast, and as is the case at all the current Character Dining options in Disney World, the character experience is modified in keeping with current safety measures to encourage physical distancing. The pals do not come directly up to your table and instead maintain a safe distance. But they are intentional about giving attention to each group, and are happy to pose for pics and even socially-distanced selfies.
We were surprised, though, that we did NOT receive a souvenir autograph card presented at the end of the meal, since the characters are not able to sign anything themselves at the moment.
These were available during breakfast (as pictured above), so we’re not sure if this was an oversight, if they were out of them, or if they really aren’t part of the dinner service. We’ll note that just about every character meal we’ve visited since reopening has switched to these style souvenir cards. Even so, the presence of the Fab Five in the space is both magical and memorable. They are the reason that Chef Mickey’s is a vacation must-do for many families year after year, and for first-time guests as well.
That said, the food has never been what Chef Mickey’s is known for. Previously, the restaurant served a buffet meal (and, honestly, not the best one in Disney World). But, as you’re about to see, things have changed. So, let’s see what Chef Mickey is whipping up in the kitchen!
While the traditional buffet at Chef Mickey’s is suspended, Mickey’s Family Feast is still exactly that — it’s a FEAST, as it features a three-course, All-You-Care-to-Enjoy meal served tableside.
Adults dine for $55, and the price is $36 for children ages 3-9 (plus tax and gratuity).
Drinks such as soda, milk, tea, and juice are included. Outside of the base price, there are some specialty drinks available for purchase, too.
The Cocktails are primarily what you’ll find from the standard Disney Bar and Lounge menu, along with wine and beer selections.
We ordered an Ultimate Long Island Iced Tea for $15.00. It’s Bacardi Superior Rum, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Hendrick’s Gin, Corazon Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, and sweet-and-sour with a splash of Coca-Cola.
Basic? Totally. Delicious? That, too!! This was very drinkable with a bit of extra fizziness and sweetness from the soda. Really enjoyable!
And, hey, how about a Margarita at Chef Mickey’s? They’re serving a Watermelon version with Patron Silver Tequila and a hint of lime for $14.00.
We placed a request to cut the sweetness, which resulted in a little less watermelon flavor but it was still plenty sweet while allowing the taste of the tequila to come through. It was refreshing, but we think the full-on watermelon might make this one uber-sweet, so keep that in mind.
Additional non-alcoholic options are also available.
We grabbed the Chef’s Specialty Mickey Smoothie, by the way, during our breakfast visit, and you can check it out here.
Say Cheers with EARS! Okay, NOW for the new Dinner eats…
The Starters include the Pastry Chef’s Bread Selection, which were Everything-But-the-Bagel Rolls, seasoned as your traditional, super-savory Everything Bagel with poppy seeds, black and white sesame seeds, garlic, onion, and the like, but served up soft and fluffy.
In fact, the only part of “everything” that we felt was missing was butter. The rolls could’ve used a bit more, in our opinion.
For some greens, a trio of appetizer salads are served.
The Chef Mickey’s Caesar is, as you can see, your basic Caesar, but improved upon a bit with some red onion.
The plant-based Garden Salad was a pleasant surprise, full of flavor from the variety of veggies.
But the highlight of the three is definitely the Citrus-poached Baby Shrimp comprised of a creamy cilantro-lime broccoli slaw, greens, avocado, and tomato. The hint of citrus from the dressing was wonderful with the shrimp, while the creaminess from the avocado lent a nice texture contrast to the crunchy slaw.
That said, cilantro haters, beware! It’s quite pronounced. And, honestly, if you’re not into salads for a Starter course, you’re kind of out of luck, aside from the rolls.
By the way, kids have a Starter all their own with Chef Mickey’s Vegetable Dippers served with ranch dressing. This is your basic crudité and if your kid is a fan of basic veggies they should be content enough with this.
The Entrée course features a mix of three Plated Signature Items and your choice of Protein Selections with accompaniments. So, what does that mean, exactly? 😉 Well, the Plated Signatures include a Potato Gnocchi with roasted mushroom cream, baby spinach, parmesan, and herbs.
As the Chef himself might say (if he were one to brag 😉 ), “Oh, BOY!” The Gnocchi was terrific — super garlicky and cheesy and altogether tasty. LOVED it.
Next up? Roasted Garlic Gratin Potatoes featuring Mickey’s Parmesan Frico.
AW, YEAH! The frico is essentially a huge Mickey-shaped CHEESE CRISP and if we could each eat one every day it would be a perfect world. The potatoes were nice and creamy, too.
The final Plated Signature is the Plant-based Farro Wheat Fried Rice, and we were, frankly, shocked at how good this is.
Essentially, it tastes.. well, just like fried rice. And though we didn’t enjoy the texture of the “egg” on its own, overall this was a seriously tasty dish. Farro is a hearty grain with a bit of tooth to it. We were pleasantly surprised at how satisfying this side was.
But we’re not done yet, by any stretch… Now for those Protein Selections! Choices include Prime Rib plated with a mushroom ragoût and roasted onions. The Prime Rib, we’re happy to say, was downright impressive.The meat was wonderfully cooked and well-seasoned, and the mushroom gravy was an awesome complement to the dish. The Traditional Roasted Breast of Turkey is served with Summer Succotash and gravy.
The turkey itself? Honestly, it’s not much to write home about, but it does the trick if you’d like to enjoy a take on Thanksgiving dinner a la Chef Mickey. The succotash, though, was very good with bits of pepper adding lots of flavor.
Accompaniments for the main dishes, as you can see above are Baby Carrots enhanced with a Dijon-Tarragon Butter and brown sugar. These roasted beauties gave us that buttery flavor we were craving from the rolls! And the Asparagus with panko was cooked very nicely, and not limp at all.
The Roasted Salmon is glazed with a sweet mustard served with Southern-style braised kale. Again, a very nicely prepared main course, and the mustard sauce delivered a nice sweetness.
The kale was also well-prepared and not at all bitter.
We want to note that a plant-based Tofu Bowl is available upon request, too, for the Protein Selections. And remember… it’s ALL you can eat. You can request second (or thirds!) of anything!
Chef Mickey, by the way, NEVER forgets the kiddos! The Kids’ Platter features some of their (and honestly, OUR) favorites. We’re talkin’ Macaroni & Cheese, Chicken Nuggets, Turkey Corn Dog Nuggets, Tater Puffs, and Steamed Broccoli.
Basically, it’s all the stuff we used to not-so-subtlety sneak from the Kids’ section of the ol’ buffet… save for the broccoli. 😉
And for Desserts? Get ready to help yourself to Mickey Mousse Domes, Apple Crumble Tarts, Strawberry Cream Cake, and some Chocolate Chip Cookies. (Note that a plant-based dessert, a chocolate raspberry tart, should also be available, if needed.)
The Mickey Mousse Dome is the one for the chocolate lovers out there, with one caveat. The rich mousse sits atop an Oreo which, alas, gets kind of soggy.
The Apple Crumble Tart is a cute little dish serving up autumn flavors with the apple and lots of cinnamon spice. A thumbs up!
The Strawberry Cream Cake, though, is the winner! This super moist house-made cake bursts with strawberry flavor.
And then we have… Chocolate Chip Cookies.
They’re moist and chewy, but they’re also… a snore. The kiddos will be pleased if they aren’t into the other items, but overall we think they played things a little safe here when it comes to the sweet stuff.
And THAT’S what’s for DINNER at Chef Mickey’s these days!
Nosh or Not
Have dinner with Chef Mickey and the gang if:
- You like the idea of guaranteed sightings and greetings from the Fab Five. While we have really enjoyed character spotting in the Cavalcades at the parks, with meet-and-greets currently suspended, there are no other guarantees of seeing specific characters at any given time at the moment.
- You are looking for an all-you-care-to-enjoy sit-down meal after a full day at Magic Kingdom. (Remember, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a quick stroll or Monorail ride from the park!)
- You’re a fan of the Chef Mickey’s character experience, but have not previously been impressed with the food. You may find that you’re pleasantly surprised by the new meal!
Pass on dinner at Chef Mickey’s if:
- The splurge — and this meal is a splurge, indeed — is not worth it for your group. Breakfast here, while still spendy, is a little less if you’d like the experience for a bit less cost.
- You’d like more food bang for that buck. While the meal is all you can eat and we definitely prefer the new options over the previous buffet, it’s still not the best meal you’ll ever have.
- You’re craving a little calm in your vacation dining. Even when it comes to Character Meals, you have options that aren’t quite as boisterous as Chef Mickey’s, like Breakfast a la Art with Mickey and Friends at Topolino’s Terrace or Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast for lunch or dinner at Garden Grill in EPCOT.
You know something? We’re pretty happy with the new meal at Chef Mickey’s! The food is, quite simply, better than the previous buffet with lots of flavorful highlights throughout the meal. We’d even say it’s much improved, in fact. PLUS, it’s still all-you-can-eat! And there remains the added bonus of not having to leave your table to fill your plate with the risk of missing the characters swinging by your table thanks to the tableside service.
That said, what you’re paying for — and you’re paying a fair coin — are the characters and the experience. It’s the FAB FIVE, and they’re not easy to come by, even among all the Character Meals in Disney World. And at this point, Chef Mickey’s is practically a rite of passage for Disney World guests due not only to its iconic characters, but also its iconic location in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. (The close proximity to Magic Kingdom doesn’t hurt, either.) In looking at the current availability of Advance Dining Reservations, Chef Mickey’s appears to remain an in-demand ticket.
Most of all, we’re glad to see more Character Dining options returning to Disney World. We’re providing a complete list of all your current options in the link below, and remember: Tusker House Restaurant in Animal Kingdom will be opening this summer, too. After all, when it comes down to it, there is nothing quite so magical as starting or ending your Disney day with plenty of Disney pals!
We’ve got a full rundown of ALL the current Character Meals in Disney World — Find it here!
Remember… not all of the Character Meals have returned to Disney World just yet. But as you prepare for your upcoming trip, you can check out our DFB YouTube video of ALL the Character Meals in Disney World!
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Are you hoping to dine at Chef Mickey’s? Please let us know with a comment!