The Character Dining Experience in Disney World That Surprised Us!

Almost three years after Disney World’s historic closure and reopening, things are finally starting to return to some semblance of normal.

Chef Mickey’s

We’ve seen more character meet and greets return to the parks. More restaurants are finally reopening. Some buffets are also returning to Disney World restaurants, including one at a very popular character dining experience. So we’re headed over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort to check out the returning buffet at Chef Mickey’s.

As you may know, Chef Mickey’s is one of the most popular character dining experiences in Disney World. It’s a great way to meet some CORE Disney characters, but the restaurant was most previously serving meals family-style. Now, the restaurant has become a buffet again, so we’re going to check out breakfast and see what’s changed and how it stacks up.


Dining at Chef Mickey’s comes with a view of the Monorail as it zooms through the Contemporary’s Main Tower, so you’ve already got a VERY cool atmosphere going on here.

Inside Chef Mickey’s

Once you step inside, you’ll be greeted with bright, vibrant colors in a space that can ONLY be described as “contemporary,” which is, obviously, appropriate for this restaurant.  The space is also bright and airy and filled with natural sunlight. Seating is standard tables with chairs and booths. It’s kind of one big dining room, but it is divided into sections. You’ll find some fun artwork on the walls showcasing the stars of the show: Disney’s Fab Five.


Note that it CAN get a bit chaotic here, and it’s usually noisy. However, there are sections further in the back of the restaurant that may be a little more quiet and secluded, so you could request to sit in the back if that’s an issue for you.

It can get noisy in here.

When you arrive at the restaurant, you’ll check in by scanning a provided QR code. Once you do that, a host will take you to a second host stand.

Time to Go!

This second host will show you to your table. If you have any allergies, you can note that in your reservation, but also during the check-in process. In that case, you will be brought an allergy guide menu and a Disney chef will come over to help you out if you need it.


But you don’t come to Chef Mickey’s for the atmosphere, do you? No, you come to MEET those Fab Five characters! Four of the five characters walk around and will come to your table to interact with you. You’ll meet Donald…

Our boy, Donald!


He’s a good boy


Goofy is such a goof!

…and Minnie! We did notice that we didn’t see Minnie as much as the other characters, but we think that’s because she’s so popular. Also, quick note: you are asked to remain seated when the characters come to your table.

Mickey, though, doesn’t come around to the tables. Once you’re done with your meal and you’ve paid, a Cast Member will stamp your receipt. As you leave, there will be a section where you can go meet Mickey. Once you’ve met him, your receipt gets a second stamp. Once you get to the front of the line, you can meet Mickey and pose for photos.


There is a PhotoPass photographer here. You can either choose to have them take the photos with their cameras and purchase the photos later (or access them via Memory Maker), or the Cast Member will take a photo with your own personal phone or camera.

Food and Drinks

Okay, but what about the food? We’ve always heard that you go to Chef Mickey’s for the characters, NOT the food. So let’s see if that’s the case now. Breakfast costs $51 per adult and $33 per child. That includes some beverages, but you can also order specialty beverages, which we did.


If you order the Hot Chocolate for $4.99, you get to pick between multiple flavors: salted caramel, hazelnut, swiss chocolate, white chocolate, peppermint, almond, toasted marshmallow, pumpkin spice, and gingerbread. We opted for Toasted Marshmallow and it was VERY sweet, but delicious.

Hot Chocolate

We also got the Minnie Mouse Smoothie for $6.99. It’s a Frozen Minute Maid Strawberry Smoothie and Vanilla Smoothie topped with Whipped Cream and a White Chocolate Bow. This drink is so refreshing! The lemonade is mild and not SUPER tart, but that light lemon flavor pairs great with the strawberry smoothie. It’s also very creamy, and the addition of whipped cream on top just took it up a notch. This one would also be a kid-pleaser.

Minnie Mouse Smoothie

We filled up our plates and got to eating — and y’all, we were pleasantly surprised! The Mickey Waffles are a must — these were fresh and soft and just a little dense. Basically, the PERFECT Mickey Waffles.

A Classic

The French Toast Sticks offered up a nice cinnamon sugar flavor, but we found them to be a little tough.

These Look Tasty!

The Carved Pit Ham was delicious, juicy, and well-seasoned. We liked the tasty pineapple glaze on it. It gave this meat a nice sweet and salty flavor. And although Brisket isn’t necessarily our idea of breakfast food, it was GOOD. It has a great texture and is so juicy and tender, and yes, fatty (and we mean that in the best way possible). However, it was VERY salty, so keep that in mind, especially if you like to watch your salt intake.

Carved pit ham and brisket

All we can say about the Cheesy Potatoes is CHEESY POTATOES. Like that’s it, that’s the review. You know they’re good, right? The potatoes were cooked really well and managed to stay firm enough to hold their shape under ALL that cheese. This is our absolute favorite thing on the buffet and yes, you will want to go back for seconds (and nope, we won’t judge you for it).

Cheesy potatoes ALL DAY LONG

We also tried the Warm Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. Okay, so the biscuits were soft and buttery, but we won’t say they’re as good as what your grandmother makes. The gravy, though, was surprisingly delicious. It was creamy and rich, with bits of tasty sausage. It wasn’t that super thick gravy either — it was on the thinner side, which we prefer.

Biscuits and gravy with brisket and cheesy potatoes

The Frittata was fluffy and light, but we didn’t think it had a lot of flavor. It was a little boring, but picky eaters might like this, although there are tomatoes on top, which could be a deal-breaker for some.

We also tried a vegan option, the Tofu Scramble. This was another surprise. It had a lot of flavor, and the tofu had a texture that we liked — it was tender, but held together nicely. The spinach and peppers mixed in were delicious. The fake meat, though, was tough, and we honestly didn’t even think it was needed in the dish.

Fritatta and Tofu scramble

The Corned Beef Hash was full of flavorful peppers and onions, with just the right amount of seasoning. BUT we thought the potatoes in it could’ve been a little crispier.

Corned Beef Hash

So should you make an advance dining reservation for Chef Mickey’s?

Nosh or Not

Have dinner with the fab five if…

  • You want guaranteed meetings with Disney’s most popular characters. A character dining experience is one of the easiest ways to meet multiple characters at once.
  • You want a breakfast guaranteed to fill you up and satisfy every single member of your party. There is PLENTY of good food here and it’s all-you-care-to-enjoy.
  • You have picky eaters in your party — there are plenty of options here to satisfy picky eaters, but there’s enough variety for everyone else in your group, too.

Skip dinner with the fab five if…

  • You’re on a budget. This character breakfast is NOT cheap and if you have a large party, it could easily add up to hundreds of dollars.
  • You want a quieter meal. Even if you sit further from “the action,” it’s still a little noisy here and can be overwhelming at times.
  • You don’t want to travel outside of the parks for meals. If you’re not staying at the Contemporary, you do have to consider how you’re getting to Chef Mickey’s and how much time it’s going to take, including valuable time you could be spending in the parks.


You just can’t beat meeting the Fab Five, even if meeting Mickey is a LITTLE less random here than it might be at another character meal (but you are guaranteed time with him). The characters are WHY you come to Chef Mickey’s, after all, and you’ll get plenty of time to make some beautiful memories with them.

However, the food actually did surprise us. Not everything is a home run here, but there’s enough variety and tasty dishes to satisfy everyone. We honestly expected it to be much worse, especially after the amazing food we had when it was served family-style, but Chef Mickey’s seems to have upped its buffet game.

Just remember that you are paying as much — if not more — to see those characters than you are for the food, so you will ultimately have to decide if it’s in your budget to dine here and if it’s worth it. You also have to consider that you’re paying for the amazing location at the Contemporary, but if you do decide to make room in your budget for the experience, you will likely not be disappointed.

Here Are ALL the current Character Meals in Disney World

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Have you dined at Chef Mickey’s since it switched back to a buffet? Let us know what you thought in the comments!

The post The Character Dining Experience in Disney World That Surprised Us! first appeared on the disney food blog.


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