During one of our recent trips to Disney, we were able to check out Chef Mickey’s for breakfast. Chef Mickey’s is a character buffet dining experience at the Contemporary Resort, featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto. We, of course, wanted to report for you guys, so here is our Chef Mickey’s Review!
Our Chef Mickey’s Review
We got the chance to eat at Chef Mickey’s back in December 2018. So here is how we would review our experience…
Our reservation for Chef Mickey’s was for 7:40 am and we planned that on purpose so we could eat and then go right over to Magic Kingdom. The Monorail resorts allow dining guests to park in the lot for three hours. They frown upon guests parking and leaving their car at the resort all day, taking up spots for other dining and day guests. We did not spend more than 1.5 hours at Magic Kingdom (because it was pouring that day), so we stayed in the three hour parking allotted time frame.
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When we arrived to Chef Mickey’s that morning, there was quite a long line to check in. After about 10 minutes, we checked in with the hostess, and then we moved into a waiting area with benches. There’s a PhotoPass+ photographer that will take your picture with Chef Mickey’s statue. Basically, it’s something to do while you wait. The line to take pictures moved pretty quickly and I think we waited about 20 minutes before we were seated.
Once we were inside, Chef Mickey’s felt very busy and it was loud – both in sound and in colors. Very cartoonish, characters everywhere, and it felt very 1990’s. What’s funny is when you walk into the Contemporary where Chef Mickey’s is located, it’s this big open air area and you can see the monorail going through the resort. But once you get into the Chef Mickey’s, it actually felt very cramped with low ceilings. We expected it to be loud, as most character meals are, but it sounded very echoey. It feels like it needs an update for sure. The tables felt very close together, too.
Chef Mickey’s is separated into three sections – the section to the left was open air to the rest of the Contemporary; the section directly in front of where you walk in overlooks Bay Lake; and the section to the right is not open-air to the Contemporary like the other side, but instead has a ceiling overhead. That’s where we were seated, which was also closest to the main buffet area and had the most seating.
As far as the buffet is concerned, they served a pretty good variety – yogurt, fruit, bagels, pastries, eggs, bacon, hash browns, hash brown casserole, pancakes, and of course, Mickey waffles. It wasn’t the best food we’ve ever had, but it was okay. The hash brown casserole was really good, though!
The buffet at Chef Mickey’s was set up so that there were two sides to it so people could move through on both sides. There is a section with toppings for your waffles with ice cream, whipped cream, and sprinkles. That area seemed to be backed up most of the time because most parents were letting their kids put their own toppings on and it was just taking quite a long time.
The buffet was also laid out a bit oddly. The counter would all of a sudden dip to a lower height and Jared, who’s 6’3”, had to basically squat to get his food. It was just weird.
Food wise, Chef Mickey’s wasn’t nearly as good as Boma or Ohana. It’s not that it was terrible, just not the same quality. And it was very similar in variety as Ohana, it just wasn’t prepared as well. Even the waffles were hard. They did have some healthy choices. My mom was with us and she was happy with the variety of healthier options. And of course, you can also get coffee and juices that are included, as well.
Our daughter, who is two, really didn’t eat much, but she never does. Luckily she was still free, so she just ate off my plate. There was a little boy at the table next to us who must have been like five or six and he was just chowing down and kept saying “This is great!” So at least he seemed to love it the food at Chef Mickey’s.
Now when we first sat down, Jared and my mom went to go get food and I stayed with our daughter, which was good because right away, there was Chef Mickey’s pal, Chef Donald Duck greeting us at our table. And our daughter could have cared less. I tried to get her to look at him, or give him a hug, or at least touch his beak and she just didn’t care. So Chef Donald must have realized she wasn’t into him, so he was just kinda like, “Okay, just take a picture,” and then he was gone. He really didn’t try to coax her to interact with him or anything. He probably figured he had a ton more people to see so he might as well move on. Which was fine. After that, the other characters came around pretty quickly. And I will say at Chef Mickey’s, the characters seemed very organized. We’ve been to other character meals and sometimes it can be 10 or 15 minutes between character meetings, but at Chef Mickey’s it was boom, boom, boom! One right after the other.
There was also a ton of management on the floor. I’ve never seen that many managers out at the same time. I don’t know if there were issues or if it is always like that, but they were seating people in the different sections and then it looked like a character would follow into that section. And once the characters go through their rotation, then that’s it. You only get to see each character once; they don’t come back through your section. Unless the character goes on break midway through your section, then they will finish up, but that’s it.
But the character interaction here was good. The best character interaction we’ve had at breakfast has been at Ohana. And we’ve done it like two or three times, and it’s pretty consistent. At Chef Mickey’s they were fine, but they just came through very quickly and it felt very rushed. For our daughter, it wasn’t a big deal because she wasn’t really all that into them. She would kind of say “Hi” and touch their noses, but then she would want to sit back down again. I was having to get her back up just so we could get a picture. So for us, it was fine. But just imagine being a six or seven year old kid wanting to interact a little more. They have got to be disappointed that they don’t get as much time with them.
One thing I did find odd was I saw this little girl go run up to Chef Minnie and hug her – which you see all the time – and Chef Minnie just put her hands up in the air and a Cast Member came over and basically had the parents pull the kid away. It was very unDisney-like. I’ve just never seen that happen before. I don’t think the kid was upset because she was pretty young, and I don’t think she understood what was going on, but it was just weird.
So as far as character interaction, for us, it was fine because our daughter wasn’t into it, but I think Chef Mickey’s pals should have spent a little more time at each table to make it a better experience for the other kids.
As far as the service, it was a buffet, so the only thing our server did was clear our plates and get us more drinks if we needed them. The line for the buffet was fine – it moved pretty quickly. Like I said, Chef Mickey’s was kinda loud, but that’s expected at character meals at Disney World. I think the loudest one we’ve been to was Tusker House, and the quietest was probably Crystal Palace.
Okay, So What is the Price for Chef Mickey’s?
Chef Mickey’s was around $42 per person before our discount and $25 something for kids 3 to 9.
How Would We Rank Our Chef Mickey’s Experience?
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give Chef Mickey’s a 6.5. The characters really need to slow down and take more time at each table. The food could also be better quality. Most people go to Chef Mickey’s to meet the characters, and not savor the food, but that’s no reason to skimp on quality, especially since you have someplace like Ohana which does both very well.
If we had to rank Chef Mickey’s with some other character breakfasts we’ve done, like Ohana and Tusker House, then this would be our least favorite. The food wasn’t great and character interaction at Chef Mickey’s was just okay. Now, if the food had been fantastic and the interaction had just been okay, or vice versa, then we might feel differently. But there was nothing that really stood out at Chef Mickey’s. It was just average. To give you a perspective, we’d give Tusker House and Ohana an 8 and 9 out of 10. Food and character interaction was great.
What Could Chef Mickey’s Do to Improve Their Score?
Obviously, make the character interactions longer, improve the quality of the food, and change the layout of the restaurant so it doesn’t feel so outdated and cramped would all help Chef Mickey’s improve their score with us in the future.
Would We Go Back to Chef Mickey’s or Recommend It To A Friend?
I don’t see us doing Chef Mickey’s again anytime soon, mostly because our daughter will be turning 3 this summer and we’ll have to start paying for her. She really doesn’t eat very much and the thought of having to pay $25-30 for her to eat next to nothing just makes me cringe. So maybe when she’s a little older and eats more and can appreciate the characters more, then we can look into doing Chef Mickey’s character breakfast again. When we do it again, you can expect a follow-up review!
If you enjoyed our Chef Mickey’s review, then you should check out some of other articles like our Three Bridges Bar & Grill Review.