Ale & Compass has had breakfast offerings for a while now, but this is the first time we’re seeing the buffet again since Disney World’s closure back in 2020. So how are things looking at that buffet now? Is it worth the extra cost to add it to your meal? Let’s head in and find out.
This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the day (breakfast from 7:30AM to 11AM, lunch from 11:30AM to 2PM, and dinner from 5PM to 9PM). Of course, today we’re here for the breakfast!
The Ale & Compass Restaurant has classic New England-style decorations and a gastropub ambiance, which basically means that it serves elevated pub food.
In the past, we’ve had some very decent meals here (for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), but it hasn’t really been a “destination” restaurant. We usually don’t go out of our way to eat here if there are other good options nearby! But a full breakfast buffet might be enough to change our minds about that.
We mentioned before the gastropub ambiance of this restaurant, so it’s a mix of upscale and casual vibes.
Ale & Compass is nicer than the average hotel breakfast buffet, but you don’t really need to dress up to eat here.
Inside, the decorations are fairly simple. There are tall windows and archways around the dining room, which contribute to the elegant feel.
Seating options include booths as well as tables and chairs.
The breakfast buffet is a walk-up bar, and face coverings are required while you’re up getting food.
Once you’ve checked in at the entrance to the restaurant, a host will take you to your table.
When you’re seated, you can look at the QR code menu or request a physical copy. If you choose the buffet option on the menu, you’ll still order an entrée and a drink, which your server will bring out separately.
So let’s take a look at those menu options!
You can choose to order the buffet option, which comes with the breakfast buffet, one entrée, and a non-alcoholic drink for $23.
Or you can order entrées and other items à la carte. It’s up to you! There are several options for adult entrées…
…as well as kids’ create-your-own meals.
The kids’ meals come with two sides.
You can also choose from the drinks menu, which has specialty drinks, juices, smoothies…
…various kinds of coffee and tea…
…a few other beverages, and a few morning cocktails.
We had to try out the returning buffet items, so we chose that option with Dark Chocolate Waffles as our entrée and orange juice for our drink.
The breakfast buffet includes seasonal fruit, various yogurt parfaits, chilled overnight oats, pastries, warm cinnamon rolls, and biscuits with gravy.
The fruit when we visited was pineapple, strawberries, grapes…
…as well as some whole fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas. Notes that these can rotate and change. All of the fruit that we had here was very good! It did taste fresh, and we enjoyed it, although none of it really stood out as an incredible, must-have option.
The yogurt parfaits were kind of fun because you can customize your parfait by adding in some house-made granola. Kids might enjoy these since they’re almost like a build-your-own adventure.
There was blueberry and vanilla yogurt and strawberry yogurt.
The granola had nuts in it, but a sign nearby warned guests in case you have an allergy.
Near the parfaits were the chilled overnight oats, which are served with strawberries on top.
These had an unusual texture, probably due to the chia seeds mixed in with the oats. If you’re not used to the slightly mushy and crunchy texture of oats and chia seeds, this might taste a little bit strange to you!
The various pastries in the buffet included croissants…
…assorted muffins (blueberry and chocolate chip when we visited)…
…and warm cinnamon rolls. Our favorite of the pastries was probably the blueberry muffins, which definitely tasted like they had fresh blueberries inside.
All of the breakfast pastries were good, but none of them really knocked our socks off. They were pretty much your typical morning pastries, and we weren’t surprised by any unusual flavors or textures.
The stand-outs in this buffet to us were the cheddar biscuits and sausage gravy.
The biscuits were soft and buttery…
…and the creamy sausage gravy on top made them even better.
We could tell that the biscuits were made in-house because they tasted fresh and light.
We grabbed a little of everything to try it out!
Shortly after we returned to our table, our server brought us our orange juice and some ice water as well. The juice was nice and fresh, but it was also loaded with pulp. So if you’re not a pulp fan, steer clear of this one!
Our Dark Chocolate Waffles came just a little while later. We’ve loved these waffles in the past, so we can’t wait to try them again! These waffles are topped with a Dried Cherry Compote, Espresso-Mascarpone Cream, and Chocolate Shavings.
The entrées come with a side as well, so if you’re doing the buffet we’d recommend getting a breakfast meat for the side rather than fresh fruit (since there’s plenty of fruit on the buffet, but no meat there except for in the sausage gravy). For our side, we got bacon.
The cherry compote is pretty strong in this dish. So if you don’t like cherries, this might not be the dish for you. For the same reason, we don’t usually recommend these waffles for little kids. For someone who loves cherries, this is a dream!
The espresso cream definitely has that caffeine kick to it, and it tastes pretty strongly like coffee.
All of the different components in these waffles have strong flavors, but since we love the flavors individually (dark chocolate, cherries, and coffee), we’re big fans of this dish.
Nosh or Not
Sail into Ale & Compass for a breakfast buffet if:
- You’re looking for a very filling meal with a wide variety of options.
- You’re staying at the Yacht Club Resort anyways and want a good breakfast in the morning.
- You’re planning on buying one of the more expensive entrées here anyways, so adding the buffet won’t add much cost to your meal.
Jump ship and go somewhere else if:
- You just want a light breakfast before heading into the parks. A sit-down restaurant is probably not your best bet in this situation. Instead, head to the nearby Ale & Compass Market to grab something to go!
- You want to try some unusual or exciting breakfast foods. The buffet here was pretty standard as far as breakfast foods go. For some more unusual items, try ‘Ohana’s breakfast or Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
- You’re not staying at Yacht Club Resort and don’t want to make the trip. Honestly, this restaurant still isn’t worth going too far out of your way, in our opinion. If you’re not nearby already, similar breakfast items can be found in a lot of other places.
In general, we enjoyed our breakfast at Ale & Compass, but it wasn’t really a stand-out experience. Those Dark Chocolate Waffles are a win in our books, but the buffet wasn’t super impressive. The food was all good, and if you want a standard breakfast buffet, you won’t be disappointed. But for the money, we think you could get more exciting breakfast food somewhere else (see our recommendations in the Nosh or Not section of this review!).
If you do want to get the buffet and still get the most for your money, we’d recommend getting one of the more expensive entrées like the Crab Cake Benedict or Breakfast Protein Bowl. Those dishes are $19 and $20 respectively, so adding on the buffet (which also includes a drink) only costs another $3 or $4.
In general, we don’t think most people will be hungry enough to really take advantage of the buffet since you also get a full entrée with it. But if you’re looking for a very filling meal (maybe for brunch before you hit the parks in the afternoon), this could be a good option!
The service here was excellent, and we enjoyed the quiet atmosphere that comes with this tucked-away restaurant. Even with some construction going on around the resort, we weren’t disturbed and had a very peaceful, enjoyable meal.
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Would you try the breakfast buffet at Ale & Compass in Disney World? Let us know in the comments.