REVIEW: Characters Return to Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, However New Food and Music is Nothing to Celebrate
Good morning and welcome to Disney’s Contemporary Resort for the long-awaited return of characters to Chef Mickey’s! This is our second time at the popular, now-modified “buffet” dining experience—we came when it first reopened with the resort, featuring slightly lowered pricing (due to the lack of characters) and skillet-style, all-you-care-to-eat dining, but now the characters are back with the requisite price increase, so we decided to see what it was like.
Chef Mickey’s Breakfast – Arrival and Seating
Chef Mickey’s is open for breakfast from 7:30 AM to 12:00 PM most days. While reservations remain hard to get, with some regular checking on the app, we were able to secure a 7:55 AM reservation for today.
They seemed to be pushing these non-alcoholic smoothies themed to Mickey and Minnie Mouse at the front desk, served in the old Mickey Celebration Sipper for $17.49. Other “Featured Favorites” include Cold Brew Coffee, Salted Caramel Cold Brew, and Peppermint Mocha Hot Cocoa. As always, the buffet includes your choice of beverage, from soft drinks, to coffee, juice, and/or tea. (And yes, there’s POG juice.)
The current cost of breakfast at Chef Mickey’s is $42 per adult and $27 per child, plus tax and gratuity. Thankfully, they’ve taken a bit of the guesswork out of this dining experience, as you pretty much get everything on the menu by default—as you’ll come to see below, we were brought the main skillet of breakfast items, plus the three new signature dishes all at once.
Speaking of characters, here’s the reason we all come to Chef Mickey’s… to see Chef Mickey! Something felt odd and lifeless about the restaurant while they were gone, so it’s great to see the characters back and hamming it up for the cameras, even if at a distance. Check out our video below to see the characters in action:
First off, you’ll notice that the cacophonous old music loop has been replaced with something far less hectic, but also lacking in personality. Gone is the “Celebrate with Mickey Mouse” music, and instead there’s a voiceover that encourages people to clap their hands, but stay seated as the characters come out to perform this odd “Let’s make some biscuits!” dance. (For the record, there are no biscuits on the menu.) Also gone is the napkin-twirling tradition, although we noticed some people doing it out of sheer habit. Many of these aspects of the restaurant were bound to be lost to time, as they’ve been around for years now, but just keep that in mind in case you’re expecting a dose of nostalgia.
Similar to other modified character dining experiences, guests gets a signed autograph card at the end of their meal.
Yes, there’s some chiffonaded mint leaves on top, to make it fancy.
Mini Yogurt Parfaits
Previously served in a tiny shot glass, these have now been upgraded to mini Mason jars, layered with vanilla, then strawberry yogurt, plus granola and a slice of strawberry on top.
Chef Mickey’s Breakfast – Traditional Selections
All of the breakfast standards are served in a large skillet, including: scrambled eggs, chicken sausage, slow-roasted beef brisket, Mickey waffles, pork sausage links, and smoked bacon. Plant-based options include Mickey waffles and a tofu scramble.
As always, this is your standard Disney buffet fare, with nothing being a stand-out. These are all on par with what’s served at a quick service, except that you get them in a skillet instead of a paper plate. Still, I know lots of people appreciate these classics, especially the Mickey waffles, which are a quintessential part of Disney dining.
Speaking of Mickey waffles, though, ours were so soggy they seemed to melt onto the other items on the plate. All of these items would be drastically better if served warm, however since these are plated ahead of time, they usually arrive cold.
Chef Mickey’s Breakfast – Signature Selections
“Loaded” Potato-Cheese Casserole
And now, on to the exciting new entrees! Each table is served all three new Signature Selections to share, and you’re welcome to ask for seconds.
The “Loaded” Potato-Cheese Casserole tasted a bit like scalloped potatoes, but with way more creamy, cheesy goodness going on. If you get the right spoonful, you do get a bite of crispy cheese, which is delicious. The first plate comes with a parmesan Mickey crisp, plus some chives and bacon bits as garnish.
When we asked for seconds, however, they came plain and without the additional garnish. If you can’t tell by the fact that we had to order seconds, these are delicious.
Banana Bread French Toast
with Espresso-Mascarpone Cream, Toasted Bananas and Chocolate Crumbles
The Banana Bread French Toast is served as two pieces of banana bread garnished with caramelized bananas and mascarpone cream sprinkled with espresso powder. We kind of expected more from this, but it really ended up being nothing more than thin-sliced, cold banana bread with some toppings. It was sweet, but the flavors aren’t as complex as the name, or the ingredients, suggest.
“Celebration” Mickey Pancake
Topped with whipped cream, celebration sprinkles, maraschino cherries, and shimmering pixie dust, this humble Mickey-shaped pancake was probably one of the best things we had this morning.
However, it certainly says a lot about the other food if we’re raving about an otherwise plain pancake.
Chef Mickey’s Breakfast – Unique Breakfast Bread Selections
Harvest Sweet Rollswith Honey Butter, Sea Salt and Cream Cheese Icing-Poured Tableside Fresh Fried Sweet Fritterwith Vanilla-Cinnamon Sugar
Another new addition to the menu, these Harvest Sweet Rolls and Sweet Fritters are brought to the table as a dessert of sorts, with three of each variety of bread on the plate.
The Harvest rolls are basically Chef Mickey’s version of your standard cinnamon roll, especially once you add the creamy, sweet cream cheese icing on top. There’s a slight pumpkin taste, but we thought the cinnamon flavors won over here. The fritters were far more dense than we expected, dusted in cinnamon sugar for some sweetness, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Chef Mickey’s Breakfast – Overall
Despite our misgivings about the food served at Chef Mickey’s, it’s really the characters that people come for, and thankfully, that experience is still there, albeit changed. We can’t tell you to not go to Chef Mickey’s, because it’s basically a rite of passage at Walt Disney World, if not an integral part of the experience, but at the same time, we really wish there was at least an attempt at serving near-edible food.
The announcement of new dishes at the restaurant got our hopes up thinking we’d see some kind of improvement, but all they really did was just add garnish on top of the same stuff they served before. Still, seeing the Chef Mickey characters is a much-welcomed sight at the end of this tumultuous year, and no matter how upset your stomach is after that meal, you can’t help but smile after seeing that autograph card.