Cape Cod Cook-Off is a counter service restaurant in the American Waterfront port of call in Tokyo DisneySea. It’s where the My Friend Duffy show is performed, and consequently, it’s by far the most popular restaurant in Tokyo DisneySea. We have encountered 2-hour lines to get into the restaurant, and guests only have a set amount of time to finish their meal once they get their food.
In terms of theme, the inside feels like a New England municipal building in the main lobby, and a boathouse in the main dining room where the show is performed. This area actually has some nice touches, and has charm to it. Still, in terms of theming at Tokyo DisneySea restaurants, it’s a bit lacking. We suspect that some of the decor in here was scaled back when the stage show was added (it was originally a show with Donald, but I think even that was a retro-fit…I could be wrong, though).
Prior to actually eating here, we tried a few times to dine here with minimal wait. We tried getting in line 30 minutes before the restaurant opened, but by then, the wait was already ~1 hour. We tried in the middle of the afternoon, and the wait was still around an hour. Finally, we tried right before Fantasmic, and only waited about 10 minutes. Even though our experience is limited, we’d definitely recommend going later in the evening if that’s possible. Fantasmic is incredibly popular (we were still able to watch it after our meal, for what it’s worth) and other guests who don’t watch it tend to head home in the evening. Be careful, as there are two lines for Cape Cod Cook-Off, with the one on the left being only for food and the one on the right being for food and the show. It’s pretty easy to tell which is which.
Having seen a menu that basically just consisted of burgers, we knew what we were getting into. We figured that with the menu plus the draw of Duffy, there was no reason for the food to be anything special. However, given the quality of food everywhere else at Tokyo Disney Resort, we held out hope that it would be a pleasant surprise. It was not.
Not being too confident in our hope, we split the Christmas Wishes Special Set, which consisted of a burger topped with turkey, cream puff thing, and drink. We added on a “Happy Duffy” cookie, because why not? I guess this was Tokyo DisneySea’s take on an American Christmas meal? Fortunately for you, this special set is no longer available. Unfortunately, the ‘foundation’ of this set was the burger, and it’s still available (the star of the menu!). Normally, we would try more on the menu before reviewing a restaurant, but in this case, one meal was all we needed.
In our two trips to Tokyo Disney Resort, we’ve tried burgers twice. Once, at Tomorrowland Terrace because we had to have the cute Mickey shaped burger. After that stomach-wrenching experience, we vowed to never have burgers there again. With that memory almost forgotten, we ordered this burger at Cape Cod Cook-Off because we had to order one full meal in order to see the ‘My Friend Duffy’ show.
Between the two of us, we could not manage to finish the burger. It made the decent burgers in Walt Disney World look like they came from a Michelin-star restaurant. Seriously. Let this be a cautionary tale: only if you must see the ‘My Friend Duffy’ show should you ever order a burger at Tokyo Disney Resort. Even then, see if they’ll let you order the clam chowder or something. Burgers are not something that the Tokyo parks do well, or even okay.
The dessert and the Happy Duffy cookie were fine, even good. The cookie was oddly not as good as the Duffy-shaped desserts other places in Tokyo DisneySea, but it was still good.
As for the ‘My Friend Duffy’ show, once you have your food, you will be assigned a seat in the large dining area/theater. If you’re in the back, you might have issues seeing as other guests hold up their cameras (if anyone stands up, a Cast Member quickly comes over to reprimand them). The target audience for it is clearly small children. Think of this as the origin story for Duffy. The dialogue is in Japanese, but the premise is pretty easy to follow. (Spoiler alert.) Basically, Mickey is packing to go sailing, but there’s something wrong with his teddy bear. Minnie fixes his teddy bear, which comes alive as Duffy. Mickey and Duffy head to port, where they encounter Tippy Blue, Cape Cod’s mail bird, who says some stuff to them. Other characters come out and start singing songs, including the incredibly catchy ‘My Friend Duffy’ song (it’s along the lines of ‘Mickey Mouse March’). Per the official Tokyo Disney Parks Blog, a new version of the show recently started, which picks up with Mickey and Duffy after they’ve returned from their voyage, and introduces Shellie May.
I found myself singing this the rest of the trip. In terms of quality, the show is cute and kids will likely love it. If they don’t already have a Duffy plush, it will probably make them want to get one (and, fair warning, they are expensive in Tokyo). That said, it does not even come close to approaching the quality of any other stage show at Tokyo DisneySea nor is it aimed at adults, so unless you have a big Duffy fan in your party or a surplus of time, you should skip Cape Cod Cook-Off.
Although this review hasn’t exactly been positive, it is worth noting that we like Duffy’s presence in Tokyo DisneySea, which comes across as organic with fans who are truly passionate about Duffy and his posse. In other words, we don’t dislike Cape Cod Cook-Off simply because it’s Duffy. Rather, the long lines and the food are the big offenders, with the show only drawing criticism because it’s so kid-oriented.
Cape Cod Cook-Off ranks as our worst counter service service restaurant at Tokyo DisneySea in terms of theme and ambiance, and also the worst in terms of cuisine. No one should dine at Cape Cod Cook-Off unless they are a serious Duffy fan or have kids who really like characters.
If you’re planning a visit to Japan, make sure to check out our Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Planning Guide. It offers comprehensive advice for visiting Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, plus general tips for visiting Japan!
Overall Score: 5/10
To read other Disney restaurant reviews from Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Line, organized by location, check out our Disney Dining Reviews Index.
What do you think of Cape Cod Cook-Off? Do you think it would be worth the long wait, poor-tasting food, and timed meal to see the Duffy show? Does this restaurant interest you? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts in the comments!