One of my family’s favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World is Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort. We try to get a reservation at this restaurant just about every trip. It is a hard reservation to get because guests are able to get pictures and autographs of the Big 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto), only have to wait around an hour to do, and they get to eat a meal while they wait for the characters to come to them.
Chef Mickey’s is open for breakfast and dinner. In the past, they have offered a lunch service during busier times. However, this does not mean that they will continue to do so in the future. Plan for Chef Mickey’s to be a breakfast and dinner reservation and if Disney happens to offer a lunch service during your stay consider that a bonus.
My family has only eaten dinner at Chef Mickey’s. We are not bigger breakfast eaters so using a table-service credit or paying out-of-pocket for a breakfast, even a buffet, is not a good value for us. This review will only focus on the dinner portion of the Chef Mickey’s restaurant.
I also want to note that the character pictures were taken by my family while the food pictures were taken by The Disney Food Blog. http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/
The “Contemporary” Chef Mickey sign greets guests as they enter the restaurant. All guests must check-in where they will be given a pager and directed to the waiting area. Even with reservations, guests will still have wait for a table (usually a 15 minute wait at most restaurants). Before guests go to the their table, they get their picture taken with a Chef Mickey statue.
Chef Mickey’s is a very big restaurant as the restaurant continues under the monorail station as well. Still, the characters do an excellent job of moving throughout the restaurant quickly for pictures, autographs, and interactions with the guests.
The menu doesn’t vary that much for day-to-day or week-to-week. It is standard buffet fare with a salad bar, a pasta bar, some roasted chicken and/or pork, and carving station featuring ham and/or roast beef.
The buffet has a kids section which is set low enough for kids to walk up and get food on their own or with an adult helper. Kids will find chicken nuggets, Mickey shaped mac-and-cheese, and pizza. Veggies are available to usually in the form of corn (a DD favorite) and green beans. Our daughter will usually come back with a chicken nugget, a spoonful of mac-and-cheese, and what looks like the entire container of corn.
There are a wide variety of desserts from key lime pie, cheesecake, brownies, and cookies. The two marquee desserts are the soft serve machine because who doesn’t like to make an ice cream cone as tall as they are 🙂 and the Mickey Domes which is a Oreo cookie with a scoop of chocolate mousse set on top with little chocolate ears:
With the food being standard buffet fare, what separates Chef Mickey from other buffets at Walt Disney World. THE BIG FIVE CHARACTERS!!!!!!
This is a guest’s best chance to sit down, have a meal, and have the characters come to them and sign autographs. The meal, depending on the speed of the characters going through the restaurant, will take somewhere between 60-90 minutes. Now contrast that 90 minutes with standing in line while trying to entertain the kids (smartphone batteries only last so long) to get autographs for Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. It’s going to take more than 90 minutes. Plus, you get to eat and everyone needs to eat. But back to the characters:
There are three main seating areas in Chef Mickey’s: left, right, and behind the main buffet serving area. The characters space themselves out in these areas so guests have time to get some food and relax. However, it will feel like the characters come in waves because if Goofy is working one side of the room, Donald or another character is working the other side of the room.
Dad’s Tip: Be prepared with your autograph book when the character arrive. Have the pen “bookmarked” to the next available page for an autograph. This saves the character the time of looking for that page which means more interaction with the character.
Of course to go with the Chef’s Kitchen theme, the characters are dressed like they are ready to cook. Please don’t mention hot dogs around Goofy or Pluto. 🙂
Around every 30 minutes, the characters will break away from the guests and lead the guests in a napkin-waving good time featuring the song Celebrate with Mickey Mouse:
At the end of the meal, a Disney cast member will come out with the photo package with prints of the picture taken in front of the Chef Mickey statue. Under the old Photopass+ system, both the printed and digital pictures were included in the price of the Photopass+. When Disney introduced the MagicBand, the Photopass+ was replaced with the MemoryMaker photo package. The MemoryMaker package only includes the digital prints of the pictures. The printed pictures can be purchased for an additional charge.
A review of Chef Mickey’s Dinner from the Disney Food Blog: http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2013/07/09/review-chef-mickeys-dinner-at-disney-worlds-contemporary-resort/
I’ve started collaborating with a friend of mine, Kim Jordan, who is a travel agent with Magic of Mickey Travel. If you ever need a person to help you plan your Disney vacation, she is an excellent resource and would be more than welcome help you plan the vacation. Her contact information can be found on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KimJordanMagicOfMickeyTravel
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