Chef Mickey’s Review

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Chef Mickey’s is a character buffet with Mickey Mouse and friends in Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World. This Chef Mickey’s review covers dinner at the restaurant. Dinner at Chef Mickey’s varies in price depending upon season, but it’s always pricey–typically in excess of $40 per adult. The menu at Chef Mickey’s is basically just a variety of American comfort foods, almost all of which is standard fare that will appeal to picky eaters. It’s also one of the most popular restaurants at Walt Disney World, with Advance Dining Reservations absolute necessary (you’ll want to secure them 100+ days in advance). Chef Mickey’s participates in the Disney Dining Plan, and accepts Tables in Wonderland for a 20% discount. Due to its high price, it’s a good use of a Disney Dining Plan table service credit if you’re trying to maximize your value on the Disney Dining Plan. It’s also one of the Best Value Character Meals on the Disney Dining Plan.

Mickey Mouse is the original rodent restaurateur. The story of Remy in Ratatouille is nice, but it’s quite clear he saw the success Mickey was having and decided to rip off the idea. The only difference is that Remy can actually cook. Mickey spends all of his time out meeting guests, and as a result of his slacking, what the kitchen produces suffers. The Mouse just doesn’t seem to care. His restaurant remains popular and difficult to book despite the cuisine, so why bother? Well, because he’s a cheerful rodent dedicated to happiness, and not a ruthless businessperson, but I digress…

Chef Mickey’s is insanely popular and difficult to book. It’s a restaurant with a ton of fans, and I suspect this review won’t sit well with those fans. So, before we continue any further, I ask the fans out there to give serious though to why they like Chef Mickey’s. I’m guessing there are a few reasons: 1) nostalgia, 2) the setting, 3) the characters, and 4) the food.

I think the first three reasons are all very valid. I’m betting many guests who visit Chef Mickey’s regularly do so because they have fond memories of it being their kids’ first character meal, maybe even the first time meeting Mickey Mouse. Among serious Disney fans, Chef Mickey’s has almost become a rite of passage character meal. Many guests form great memories during this rite of passage experience and want to return as a result. Nothing wrong with that. We all want to go back to the places where we made great memories.

The setting is also pretty cool. There’s something to be said for dining in the Grand Canyon Concourse of the Contemporary with monorails passing overhead. Same goes for the characters. You have all of the Fab Five at Chef Mickey’s (in cool outfits, no less), making it one of the best experiences for character dining.

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These three things can make it easy to overlook the faults in an experience. Namely, the food. It’s just not good, and is not a valid reason for liking Chef Mickey’s. Usually, when I have a bad meal at Walt Disney World, I try to give the restaurant the benefit of the doubt, thinking of the ways my experience might have been an outlier or just unlucky, and find a reason to give it another chance despite the meal. I just can’t give Chef Mickey’s the benefit of the doubt after our dinner.

Our meal wasn’t bad because of any issue that could be described as “variable,” like the food being cold or overcooked. It was just plain bad. Ingredients seemed cheap, most buffet items lacked flavor, and everything was just generally low-quality. The food felt like a total afterthought, as if people were there primarily for the ambiance and character interactions, and food didn’t matter. I commented to Sarah during our meal that I would have gladly traded our food at Chef Mickey’s for something at the nearby Contempo Cafe counter service restaurant, and she wholeheartedly agreed. That’s sort of sad considering we could have had a meal at Contempo Cafe for ~$15/person, and Chef Mickey’s was about triple that price. Granted, Contempo Cafe is our #1 counter service restaurant at Walt Disney World, but still…

Now, I understand that Chef Mickey’s is basically aiming for family-friendly comfort food (this is certainly no Boma or Tusker House), but it seems like there was no effort put into any of the items on the buffet. Maybe the rationale is that it’s all for kids with simple tastes (but what about their parents?), I’m not really sure. Almost like the attitude of Rizzo the Rat when he proclaims, “they’re tourists, what do they know?” in MuppetVision, except for food.

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Before we delve into particular food items, let’s take a quick look at the decor of the restaurant. Aside from the monorail overhead, the restaurant just consists of colorful designs, Mickey Mouse pop-art, and a Mickey head motif. It has a bit of a 1990s vibe to it, but not in a way that feels dated. I like the design, especially the color and pop art. For the most part, it just feels fun–exactly how a character meal like this should feel. Plus, you absolutely cannot beat that monorail overhead. Just look at it!

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This ambiance alone almost makes the restaurant worthwhile. Too bad you can have the same ambiance by just sitting in the Grand Canyon Concourse for free, or by eating at Contempo Cafe for a fraction of the price. Plus, in those places you won’t be subjected to the total chaos that is Chef Mickey’s.

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Here’s one of the buffet lines. Notice that the names of the food are scribbled onto the glass. Classy.

As for the food, the silver lining is that it’s not all atrocious. There are some glimmers of mediocrity in the mix that give Chef Mickey’s some redeeming value. Let’s take a look at the various items.

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Here’s a plate of various meats and mashed potatoes. Anyone familiar with our blog will instantly recognize this vegetable-free plate of food as mine. The carved beef sirloin was low quality but above average relative to other stuff here. I liked the mashed potatoes, but they seemed like a cheap kind of instant potatoes.

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The ribs aren’t always available at Chef Mickey’s (the nightly menu does change some), but don’t get too upset if they’re not there. I’ve never met ribs I didn’t love…until Chef Mickey’s. Okay, I still ate a lot of them, but it was because it was a ‘lesser of evils’ situation.

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Some carved turkey on this plate. Quality-wise, it seemed like one of the better things available, but it was prepared dry.

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Some chicken, scalloped potatoes (I think), and “salmon.” I’m not entirely convinced the salmon was made of fish.

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Lots of random stuff on this plate. We tried everything at Chef Mickey’s (just thinking about that gives me mild PTSD) and most of the food was completely forgettable. Actually, that should be “food with an asterisk,” because I’m not sure if some things meet the FDA definition of food. I like processed guilty pleasures just as much as the next guy, but it seemed like everything at Chef Mickey’s was processed and low quality.

When I said everything lacked flavor above, perhaps I was being too harsh. About 50% of the menu tastes like butter and/or cheese. So there’s that…I guess.

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At this point, you might be thinking (like I was): “Well, at least dessert should be good. Kids love dessert!” Well…you’d be wrong. Above is a brownie-like thing. It was not good.

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Above is a lineup of various nice-looking bite-size desserts. Yep, they look nice…

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Unfortunately, “taste” is not something they had much of. On the plus side (possibly), I think preparation might have been the issue here. So you might have better luck with these.

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The bread pudding was actually halfway decent. The other desserts probably made it seem better than it was, but either way, it wasn’t bad.

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The character interactions were generally good. In all of our experiences at Chef Mickey’s, the place has been a zoo, but that’s absolutely to be expected of a restaurant like this. Kids get excited, parents let them run around…it happens. Don’t eat here if you’re not keen on the idea of someone else’s rugrat jumping around your table.

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We loved the outfits that each of the characters had. For how busy Chef Mickey’s is, the character interactions are solid.

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Characters are good about spending time and having fun with each table; it’s not just a matter of posing for photos and moving along.

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One downside was that it was difficult to get photos without other guests or Cast Members in the background, but that’s a problem at all character meals. It’s just exacerbated at the popular ones, especially when tables aren’t spaced out (as is the case at Chef Mickey’s).

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Another issue for us is that not many character attendants were around. For most guests this probably isn’t an issue because it’s parents wanting photos of their kids. Sarah and I don’t have much use for photos of one or the other of us–but not both of us–in the shot. I wish character attendants trailed each character at every character meal.

Before start thinking I’m just a curmudgeon who hates fun, classic Walt Disney World experiences, wait until you read our upcoming Cinderella’s Royal Table review. To give you a brief synopsis, our expectations were far exceeded and we absolutely loved it. See? Not all negative!

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Overall, Chef Mickey’s is one of the worst restaurants at Walt Disney World when it comes to food. The thing is…this may not even matter. So many people just want the Chef Mickey’s experience. The ambiance is fun and the character interactions are good at Chef Mickey’s. So, maybe the Mouse is right when it comes to the food being an afterthought for many guests. The only other mouse-operated restaurant I’ve visited was Chuck-E-Cheese, and it was pretty much the same way. Yet, I still loved that place as a kid, and I suspect many families will love Chef Mickey’s despite the food. Personally, it would be low on my list of character meals to revisit in the future because of its high price and poor food. If I’m being honest, though, and we had kids, I’d still make sure they experienced Chef Mickey’s once. (We’d probably do breakfast, though, as our last breakfast at Chef Mickey’s was good. Granted, that was about 5 years ago.) This really speaks to the draw of Chef Mickey’s as a place where families make memories, even if it is seriously lacking as a restaurant.

If you are planning a Walt Disney World trip, make sure to also read our comprehensive Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide to make the most of your experience!

Overall Score: 3.5/10

To read other Disney restaurant reviews from Walt Disney World and dining resources, check out our Walt Disney Dining Reviews Index.

Your Thoughts…

Have you done Chef Mickey’s at Walt Disney World? What did you think? Worthwhile for the characters, for the food, or for both? Is this meal something you’d like to try? Any specific recommendations from the buffet? If you have any questions or thoughts to share, please post them in the comments. We love hearing from readers!

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59 Responses to “Chef Mickey’s Review”

  1. SheilaL says:

    After reading this, I’m glad our Chef Mickey’s ADR didn’t fit into our schedule and I cancelled it. Hoping 1900 Park Fare doesn’t disappoint. Keep up the great work Tom!

  2. Liz says:

    I 100% agree! Yet so many people say it’s so wonderful!

    You are completely correct, though. You DON’T go to Chef Mickey’s for the food!

  3. Mark says:

    Totally agree, the worst meal we had while there. Sure could have put that table service coupon to much better use.

  4. Amanda says:

    Chef Mickeys was the worst dining experiences I’ve had at WDW. There were two adults eating there for breakfast. The food wasn’t good. The service was atrocious. And the characters barley stopped to take pictures. They rushed past us to get to the kids at the next table. I would never recommend this place to anyone.

  5. Carol says:

    Not sure if I will get a answer as I have asked 5times on your blog n sent emails but thought I would try one last time. My family n I are going to Disneyland for Christmas n would love to have a Magical Christmas Eve Dinner at the park or one of the park Hotels can you PLEASE recommend somewhere. Thanks!!!

  6. Kristin says:

    We have only eaten there for breakfast and have really enjoyed that. So give it another try as long as you do the breakfast…

    • Tom Bricker says:

      We also have enjoyed breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. Granted, that was 5 years ago, but I would definitely do it again at some point!

  7. Kate says:

    I haven’t eaten dinner at Chef Mickey’s in years – was at the buffet breakfast two years ago and the food was fine but nothing to write home about – standard fare. You are 100% correct in that the draw is the character interactions.

    I’ll be eating here again (for breakfast) in December, again due to the characters – my family is traveling to Disney for Christmas week and my grandmother will be with us. She won’t be going to the parks (she’s spending time with other relatives), but her favorite character is Mickey, so we’ve secured a breakfast for our last day so that she can join in some of the Disney fun.

    • Brian says:

      Our family has done character meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have always found that breakfast seems to always result in a much better experience than lunch or dinner. In our very humble opinions, the food at the breakfast buffets is much better than what you receive at lunch or dinner. For example, on our last trip we had breakfast at Chef Mickey’s and 1900 Park Fare but had dinner at Crystal Palace. Both breakfasts were terrific in terms of food, service, and characters while Crystal Palace was easily the worst dining experience of our trip.

      Also, it’s always a great start to the day with our young children to see them meet the various characters. I think it helps with the overall flow of the day by having them start out with a smile and a positive attitude from the start. Just my two cents!

  8. Alyssa says:

    I could not agree more! Dinner at Chef Mickey was our first stop on our first family vacation to WDW. What better way to start the trip, we thought! And while the kids loved the experience (read: the characters…they didn’t eat the food either!), my husband and I could not have been more disappointed. We even felt rushed through our character interactions. But being able to meet the Fab 5 all at once and save yourself waiting in lines for M&Gs is definitely worth something. I’m just glad we had plenty of other wonderful dining experiences on that trip (like CRT!) to make up for how disappointing this highly-recommended, coveted restaurant was!

  9. Renee says:

    “..not sure if some things meet the FDA definition of food”……”The Mouse just doesn’t seem to care” I am dying over this post. Seriously, is it wrong of me to say that I think I enjoy your “diss” posts more than your praise posts!!! ;)

    I have never cared to go to Chef Mickey’s in all honesty. I have never quite understood the hype of it all. It is SO much easier to get a reservation for Tusker House or O’Hana for breakfast, both of which feature the Mouse in much more interesting costumes in my opinion. And I really enjoy the food and the atmosphere at both!! Thanks for letting me know that I’m not missing anything!!

  10. Julie says:

    Thanks for the review. I thought it was just me that didn’t care for it. Everyone raves about it, not sure why.

  11. Sheryl says:

    We just had breakfast there on my birthday in June. You are right! Breakfast was ok, but certainly not worth the price! We did feel like character interactions were a little rushed but not too bad. We made friends with the people at the next table and took group shots for each other. I agree there should be more handlers – we saw a few wandering kids almost get run over by the characters who couldn’t see them. Thanks for your spot on reviews and humorous comments!

  12. Angie says:

    Haven’t eaten at Chef Mickey’s since I was 13, in 1997, with my parents! Perhaps someday if I have children I will go back.

    Looking forward to reading your Cinderella’s Royal Table review! My husband and I went for breakfast back in October and our expectations were exceeded as well!

  13. Christina says:

    Yikes. I’ve been told constantly that I need to take my daughter to Chef Mickey’s because “it’s the best meal ever”. I’ve not really been that excited about it for some reason and never really looked for an ADR for it. I’m glad I didn’t now. I’m not a huge fan of buffets in the first place and no one could really say the food was out of this world. I much preferred Tusker House for it’s theming, which for me, seems much more thought out, detailed and rich. Perhaps I’ve denied my daughter a rite of passage, however I just enjoy my vacation a bit too much to subject myself to Chef Mickey’s. Tusker House may not have the monorail going through it, but it seems like it would be a tad more calm.

    Thanks for the review and “taking one for the team” so to speak. You’ve saved many people from a disastrous meal.

  14. Lauren says:

    I went to Chef Mickey’s for dinner in May and after trying a little of everything, I ended up eating plate after plate of mozzarella salad, and bread and butter. They were the only things I enjoyed. Most of the meats were fatty and/or poorly cooked, and the sides were lackluster.

    But somehow, it was still an awesomely fun experience. My son, niece, and nephew are all under 5 years old, and I know I’ll be back at Chef Mickey’s many many times in the future–but I’m sticking to breakfast from now on!

  15. Becky says:

    I agree with your review. I ate there May 29, 2014. My husband and I agreed it would be our last time using ADR at Chef Mickey’s. The food wasn’t good, the character interaction was mediocre, and the service was slow. The restaurant also didn’t come across as being very clean-the floors were dirty, the dessert area (specifically the ice cream bar) was a mess, and the bathroom had no toilet paper in any of the stalls. That was our 4th time eating there since 2009. It’s been on a steady decline, and we’ve reached our limit. On a positive note, 1900 Park Fare has improved over the past 5 years. I highly recommend it for dinner!

  16. Lisa C. says:

    I have never eaten at Chef Mickey’s. My husband and I are adults without kids, so we are free to act like kids and we love character meals. However, Chef Mickey’s just seems so chaotic and crazy. If I am going to have to endure screaming children, I at least want high-quality food and good character interaction. We are going to try Cape May and Garden Grill in October. I have heard good things about both of those character meals.

  17. Tammy says:

    Thanks for the honest review. I only wish you had written it prior to our last trip. That could possibly have saved us from the agony of experiencing Chef Mickeys for ourselves. 3 adults & 5 kids and Not one of us enjoyed the experience! The food was horrible. The service was slow. The character interactions were just really off. Characters just kept walking past the table without stopping.
    That being said…next time you go to Disneyland make sure you visit Goofy’s Kitchen. Now that was an amazing character meal. Don’t skip it thinking it will be like Chef Mickeys. It’s not. Goofy’s kitchen has it all. Great food, attentive servers, and amazing character interactions.

  18. Carol Bennie says:

    Totally agree – done it once but won’t be rushing back

  19. Beth McIntyre says:

    Glad I read this Im going to cancel my reservation for August and find something else.

  20. Jill says:

    I haven’t been there for dinner, but the breakfast food was fine. Nothing outstanding, just your general waffles, bacon, fruit, etc. But not something that would make me rethink coming again.

  21. Donna says:

    I agree entirely with your review and many of the comments above. In 2012, we began our first trip to Disneyland with dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen and had a wonderful meal; great food and characters really set the scene for a terrific visit to DLR. So it seemed only natural to us that when we visited WDW in April of this year that we would do the same thing and visit Chef Mickeys for dinner on our arrival day. What a mistake. We were 3 adults and 2 kids and apart from the joy for two small people (ok and a couple of large ones too) at seeing their favourite Mouse and his friends, the meal was extremely disappointing. It was noisy bordering on chaotic – and I tolerate noise better than most – messy, expensive, and the substandard food was the icing on the cake (or not, in this case). Tom, like you I thought that the desserts would be my salvation and that only made things worse.

    Luckily for us, we had read your reviews on the Contempo Cafe so all was not lost. Those flatbreads were amongst the best things we ate in 11 days. Also, I agree that Cinderella’s Royal Table shouldn’t be considered similarly. We were very nervous when we arrived given our first experience at Chef Mickey but the whole meal couldn’t have been more different. It was everything we had hoped for.

    Thanks so much for your blog. Great insights and images here that we used extensively in our planning. It also helps to keep the magic alive once we have returned home…..

  22. Jenn says:

    I’ve eaten at Chef Mickey’s on every trip since 1980. And it really is cool to eat at the Contemporary with the monorails whizzing overhead. However, I think I’d only do Chef Mickey’s for breakfast because your review says it all, you’re really only there for the ambience. The food is not what it once was, but the kids love those Mickey Mouse waffles!

  23. Ellen says:

    Thank you for this review!! We had booked 180 days out for our trip in October, but were really sort of not super excited, other than feeling like we “checked the box” of going to Chef Mickeys. We will be three generations, spanning from 2 to 71, and the idea of total chaos with bad food is more than we can handle. We have a Tusker House lunch and an Ohana breakfast planned — I think that will be plenty. Got ourselves a reservation at Raglan Road for that night instead. Instead of neutral, we are now excited about that meal. Thanks for the brutal honesty; it and the terrible humor is why I keep coming back.

  24. Bernadette says:

    We (family of five) went to Chef Mickey’s for breakfast during our first ever trip to WDW two years ago. After two trips with ‘free’ dining and therefore a decent variety of TS meals under our belts, I can safely say Cef Mickey’s ranks near the very bottom of the list for us. Between the ‘meh’ food and the total chaos, I would take a character meal at Tusker House over CM any day.

  25. Kelly says:

    So nice to know I’m not the only one that feels this way. Went to Chef Mickey’s for breakfast a few years ago. I was so excited since the last time I went was when Chef Mickey’s was still at the Village (now known as Downtown Disney). What a disappointment. The food was underwhelming and we felt rushed with the characters. I’ll stick with Cape May next time I want a good character breakfast.

  26. Chris F. says:

    As usual, an honest and thoughtful review. Much appreciated.

    And think you’re spot on about the better experience (and value) at Contempo Cafe. Been meaning to give that a shot. Though would be remiss if I didn’t say how much we miss its predecessor, the Concourse Steakhouse. We were big fans of getting the whole concourse/monorail experience while also have a quieter table service experience.

  27. Jennifer says:

    I’ve tried Chef Mickey’s a few times just be fair and it’s always the same, horrible. I enjoy 1900 Park Fare, much nicer selections and the quality is higher.

  28. Mike says:

    We did every character breakfast last month on our vacation. I was scared of trying Chef Mickey’s because of your reviews. However, we were pleasantly surprised and happy with our meal.

    Chef Mickey’s wasn’t the best, but it was near the top. 1900 Park Fare and ‘Ohana tied for best character breakfasts for us. Chef Mickey’s and Cape May Cafe were tied for 2nd. Tusker House was good, but of all the breakfasts, their tables were closer together and our server was one of the worst we had while on the trip.

    As far as ribs go, I was generally not impressed with any of the traditional ribs served at WDW. The only ones I liked were the Braised Short Ribs from CRT, and I’m not really a braised or short ribs kind of guy. The worst ribs, by far, were the Spirit of Aloha. They just didn’t cook them right. Or it was the Teriyaki sauce. Either way, I felt sick after eating them.

    A lot of your articles from your May trip seems that you are burned out on WDW. I hope that changes. :)

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I could see how it might come across that we’re burned out on WDW given the tone of this article and some of my comments on MagicBands in the trip report, but that’s really not the case. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train exceeded my expectations, the Star Wars meals were fun (albeit pricey), and we mostly had a blast during the 24-hour day. As you’ll see in our Cinderella’s Royal Table and Restaurant Marrakesh reviews (and the update to our Plaza Restaurant review), we have amazing experiences at those restaurants.

      My perspective on Disney theme parks definitely has changed in the last year, but I’m not burned out on any of them, and I had an absolute blast on this recent trip.

  29. lebeau says:

    I mostly agree. You go to Chef Mickey’s for the location, the atmosphere and the characters. You don’t go for the food. Typically, if we go for dinner, I can find at least one entree and one side dish that I like enough to fill up on. The desserts look better than they taste. But they are good enough that I end my meal with a little sweetness. I definitely don’t overindulge on desserts here.

    The food is besides the point which is kind of crazy given the price. But we have had a lot of fun with the kids here. And when are kids are old enough to stop caring about dinner with the Fab 5, we will never go back. I’m hoping you only went as research for this review. There’s really very little reason to go if the kids aren’t dragging you.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Going for “research” was part of it, but when I saw the “rare” ADR available at the (relative) last minute, I snatched it up without really thinking.

      I had read a fairly glowing review of the dinner last summer in a different blog, so I was a bit blind-sided by the poor food quality. That’s why there’s such a rambling preface here about why I think people *actually* like Chef Mickey’s…

  30. Zach Basler says:

    We were disappointed with Chef Mickeys, but we still had fun. I’m glad we did it though, I think it is something that guests should experience at least once.

    Garden Grill and The Crystal Palace = our FAVORITE character meals. Delicious food and wonderful character interactions (Chip and Dale had me in tears because of their hilariously crazy antics).

  31. Jaleen says:

    We went to Chef Mickeys last August for breakfast and it was a lot of fun! My cousin (5) was afraid of the characters when we went to the parks. Even Buzz and Woody, who he’s obsessed with! I’m so glad we came here! The characters came one by one to our table. The character interaction with the kids ( Considering that there were 6 kids ) was great. They enjoyed seeing them all. The food is great too! I love my Mickey waffles…

  32. Susan says:

    My husband and I absolutely love Disney! A co-worker of mine told me that we had to go to Chef Mickey’s for breakfast. I finally got the reservation. The atmosphere was terrific! The characters couldn’t have been any better. Now, as for the food, it was ok with us. Nothing to write home about, but good. We basically had the mickey waffles and some fruit – some eggs as well. I encourage people to at least give it a try once (if they don’t mind paying the price). Luckily, we were on the dining plan. It was a “good” overall experience. We’ve been back once but probably won’t go again. We have reservations for Cinderella’s castle in October. Can’t wait to read your review on that. I would have to say that my most favorite character breakfast would be Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. Keep up the great work! I’m new to our blog and love it!

  33. I could not disagree with you more if I tried. Sort of. Chef Mickey’s is the absolute best character event on Disney property. BUT….only for breakfast.

    While the dinner food is so so — the breakfast buffet is wonderful — lots of fresh fruit, the usual eggs, bacon, sausage etc. Then there’s a whole cereal bar and the pancakes and waffles are awesome.

    As character breakfasts go — this is far and away the best one there is. The food and access to the characters is plentiful and it’s a great way to start your Magic Kingdom day.

    But I am SO glad that you posted this review. It will make getting reservations a little easier!

    Drew McLellan

  34. rosalie says:

    thank you for this, I was considering chef mickey over ohana breakfast because everyone makes such a big deal about it. we’ve never been to either, but ohana seems much better, and the mouse is at both places!

  35. Lisa says:

    We chose Ohana on our last WDW trip and loved it; and since Pluto is our favorite (followed by Mickey and now a surprise favorite Stitch) we could avoid Chef Mickey chaos. However against my better judgment we went to an arrival night late dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen on a recent Disneyland trip. The food looked exactly like the pictures you posted above. I must have had 4 or 5 plates to try little bites of everything to find something I liked. The soft serve ice cream was about it. The best breakfast buffet that I have had in the US parks is Hollywood Vine and Dine. What a pleasant surprise!

  36. lorraine cramer says:

    we have never done the Chef Mickeys breakfast, but have done the one at cinderellas castle and were very pleased with both the food and the way the characters took time with our granddaughters, and we have been at a few others which were ok, although I don’t like having to make certain times for things such as meals and the fast passes. I feel they are a pain and what if I am in the middle of enjoying something elce at the park? I don’t want to have to leave because I HAVE to go eat . I don’t think I will ever do a character breakfast, lunch or dinner again. Good food or not

  37. Brian Crawford says:

    I had read that the buffet wasn’t that great during dinner and so we decided to do breakfast. We had a great time except for the fact that Goofy pretty much dissed every high five I tried to give him…he gave the kids big time high fives, but totally left me hanging…until at the very end when we were walking out of the restaurant…Goofy came running over and tapped me on the shoulder, I turned around and he had his arm raised ready to accept my high five, I obliged and just as we were about to make contact he lowered his arm!! It was hilarious!!

    As for dinner choices, we always pick table service and avoid the buffets…one of our favorites is the Whispering Canyon Cafe…love that place!

  38. Lisa says:

    Love your post and agree. We are taking a risk however, and made reservations for Christmas Brunch at Chief Mickeys on Christmas morning. Breakfast there is generally better and we do have 2 little kids that would love to see Mickey on Christmas morning… Do you think this might work out for us or should we try to get something else?

  39. Susan says:

    We really enjoyed Chef Mickey’s on our WDW trip, BUT it was the first thing we did after landing in Orlando. The setting and characters were fantastic, and they helped start our trip off on a fun note. The food was edible, and we were hungry after traveling all day. Finally, we had free dining and did not pay the big price tag for eating there! I’m not planning to eat there when we return to WDW without free dining.

  40. Kristen says:

    This post is EXACTLY why you have the best Disney blog. It’s completely honest and fair. But maybe I just ABSOLUTELY agree with you. I enjoyed the post.

  41. Liz W. says:

    I LOVE your blog, Tom!

    I wanted to join the camp that has found breakfast at Chef Mickey’s to be a thoroughly enjoyable meal. On May 30, 2014, everyone in our group (my dad, my 9yo little sister, me, and my 5yo son)enjoyed the experience. We came for the character interaction – which was really good – but were pleasantly surprised by the food quality. The cheesy potatoes and a breakfast strata-type item were SO great! And the bacon was SO much better than what Landscape of Flavors at AoA (where we were staying) serves, that it made my Dad’s trip. ;)

    I also wanted to add that we didn’t have an ADR, but walked-up at 8 am and were seated within 20 minutes. My son’s birthday button may have helped on that front. :)

  42. Cindy says:

    Hi Tom:
    I have to agree with you 100%. We ate dinner at Chef Mickey’s just to “surprise” our grand children. They did not know we would be at WDW when they were. The staff was great and helped us with our surprise making it very special. My grand daughter said “How can this get any better, we are at Disney World AND grandma and grandpa are here too!”
    As adults who visit without kids we will never go back. The food was as you described and very disappointing.
    Looking forward to our family reunion with our now adult children in Jan. 2015. No kids. Youngest turned 21 in March. There will be six adults in our party and no reservation for Chef Micky’s Thank you to both of the Brickers for great Disney info across the board!!

  43. Mike H says:

    I appreciate the honesty in the article and everyone’s honesty in the comments. My wife and I took our three year old to Chef Mickey’s this past February for breakfast and we enjoyed the entire experience. Our son loved riding the monorail from the Magic Kingdom to the Contemporary. Our waitress was great and constantly filled our juices and coffees to the point we had ask her to stop because we were done. The characters stopped at our table to sign autographs and take pictures with our son. We never felt rushed at all. The food was hot and fresh and we enjoyed everything we ate. There were a few spots that could use a little wiping up, but nothing major. I would not pay that much for a buffet alone, but seeing our son meet Mickey and the gang for the first time was worth it. We are bringing him back in October for the Not-So-Scary Halloween party and we already have a breakfast reservation at Chef Mickey’s again.

  44. Kari says:

    Thanks for the very honest rundown. I’m in complete agreement. I remember going for the first time in the late 90s and finding it bland and generally uninspired. Tried if again last year with my 3 year old daughter figuring for the price perhaps the quality had gone up over the years. Sadly it had managed to be worse than the first time and not even the characters could make up for the shoneys quality food.

    I laugh when people say they don’t go to chef mickeys for the food. It is a restaurant, isn’t food the entire purpose? Only in disney is it okay to shell out $40 plus dollars and the food be the after thought. I will stick with restaurants that excel in actual food.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      “I will stick with restaurants that excel in actual food.”

      Yeah, I agree completely, and Chef Mickey’s popularity perplexes me as a result. If I were a parent, I’d go once for breakfast, but I certainly wouldn’t go year after year like some families.

  45. Dave says:

    Unfortunately, I am adding one negative on the food. While none of us had any complaints while at the meal(dinner), 2 of the adults in our party ended up sick during the night. We scheduled this as our “finale” for our vacation, but this is not what we had in mind!! We now incurred expense and hassle because the 2 adults are not comfortable getting on an airplane this morning in this condition.(modified flights/car/logistics with less adults traveling with the kids, etc.)

    The character interactions were great for the kids though. Signing the autograph books, pics, and the characters even stopped by occasionally for a short hug or high 5 while doing the rounds.

  46. Steph says:

    Loved your review. Spot on I’d call it! I’m sad to read that things silly haven’t gotten better, only worse. We stopped dining here years ago because its was that bad. I was hoping if more people did, they’d get “the message”, but as you said, that’s a big ol nope. We too would eat there every trip, multiple times starting when they moved to that location until about 5 years ago. It was a grand tradition and we have loads of great memories like everyone else. We just couldn’t stand how much the food quality had declined and nothing chaps my ass more than paying huge bucks for crap food. It’s actually a big reason we bought into DVC actually. It’s easier to save a buck food wise when you have a kitchen. and no, that does NOT mean you need to actually cook! Unless you call toasting eggos, pop-tarts, pouring milk in cereal and boiling water for spaghetti, cooking. I find your reviews are usually pretty forgiving and generous compared to my opinions, so if you’re calling CMs a big fail too, I’m gonna heed that warning.

    My personal favorite out of that article though…: “Here’s one of the buffet lines. Notice that the names of the food are scribbled onto the glass. Classy.” HA! I LOVED that remark! I love your humor. :)

  47. Steph says:

    I know some people are fond of saying that you can’t blame them because they are trying to please a lot of different palettes. But don’t they recall the adage that by trying to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one? It’s a weak excuse to let Disney bland down all food because that shows no interest in culinary chops in the kitchen what-so-ever. Make things flavorful and stick with it! People will come! people will come again! those that don’t like that flavor profile will go elsewhere. It’s a pretty simple plan. So very very sad. :(

  48. Crys says:

    I have to respectfully disagree. My family and I LOVED the food at Chef Mickey’s! I love food in general, but it was our favorite meal at Disney World. It was our second time dining there, and we will definitely go back. The turkey we ate was very juicy and flavorful as were the mashed potatoes with gravy. I also really enjoyed the lobster mac-n-cheese. I enjoyed the many choices, especially the tiny desserts. Maybe it’s because we love good old American dining, but we were very pleased!

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