What was a waiting area and a photo-op is now additional seating. I’m not sure I would want to eat in the makeshift room with the temporary plant wall.
Chef Mickey’s Dinner – Characters
Just like at Chef Mickey’s breakfast and other modified character dining experiences, guests get a signed autograph card at the end of their meal since they can’t get an autograph from the gang.
Same as for breakfast, characters come around and spend a few moments at each table taking distanced photos with guests. There is also the occasional sing-and-dance-along to “Biscuits in the Oven” and a maddeningly repetitive “toddler-techno” music loop that is far more grating than the old, corny children’s music loop of the past at this establishment:
Chef Mickey’s Dinner – First Course
Seasonal Composed Plant-based Salad
The salads are all pretty forgettable. They’re underdressed and the greens in them are bland for the most part. Some individual ingredients stand out, but they fall flat as a whole.
Chef Mickey’s Caesar
Caesar salads at Walt Disney World are usually pretty consistent, but this one breaks away adding tomatoes and onions. Again, it’s underdressed and the added accompaniments that aren’t a constant Caesar staple just drag it down.
Citrus-poached Baby Shrimp
With Creamy Cilantro-Lime Broccoli Slaw, Greens, Avocado, Tomato
This was probably the best of the 3 salads, if only because the shrimp wasn’t fishy and the avocado tasted fresh. The “Cilantro-Lime Broccoli Slaw” that is definitely mostly carrots is likely not going to be a hit with anyone at the table.
Pastry Chef’s Bread Selections
The “bread selection” is a singular offering: Parker house rolls with seasoning. Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and salt give it something akin to an everything bagel taste. The bread was soft and buttery, which is good, because we weren’t brought any butter. These are enjoyable.
Chef Mickey’s Dinner – Plated Signature Items
With the buffet currently suspended, food is brought out family style with a skillet and 4 plates. The presentation may change based on party size. You can order more of anything brought to the table, it is all you care to enjoy.
With Roasted Mushroom Cream, Baby Spinach, Parmesan, Herbs
Let the surprises begin! I am shocked to report that nothing served in this course was downright “bad”. Chef Mickey’s has never been know or loved for its cuisine. It has always been about the characters and the restaurant’s place as a perceived necessity of a Walt Disney World vacation. We warn people that the food is not good, but we never tell readers that they shouldn’t eat at Chef Mickey’s if they feel they have to as part of a “rite-of-passage”. I’m happy to say that now, a Chef Mickey’s dining experience may not leave you disappointed, at least with entrees.
For those unfamiliar, gnocchi is typically a dough lump seasoned and served with a sauce. The gnocchi here is soft, buttery, and has a hint of the mushroom cream flavor in each bite. They’re quite good.
Roasted Garlic Gratin Potatoes
With Mickey’s Parmesan Frico
The potato gratin is what you would expect: creamy, soft, thin slices of potato. Despite the roasted garlic in the name, the taste is more subtle than overbearing.
They won’t disappoint, and neither will your photos with the Parmesan Mickey. He tastes good too if you choose to eat our Mouse-overlord.
Plant-based Farro Wheat Fried Rice
The wheat fried rice is a great option for those who can’t or won’t eat meat. It is very much like a fried rice dish, just supplanting the rice with a food that carries a wheat grain flavor, as you would expect from the name.
Chef Mickey’s Dinner – Accompaniments
With Dijon-Tarragon Butter, Brown Sugar
Asparagus with Gremolata
There’s nothing wrong with the carrots, asparagus, or the accompanying summer succotash, but they aren’t going to blow away anyone at the table. They’re prepared well enough, serve a need to diversify the meat-heavy skillet, but they won’t be something you likely remember after the meal or even ask for more of.
Chef Mickey’s Dinner – Protein Selections
with Mushroom Ragoût and Roasted Onions
The prime rib is extraordinarily tender, so much so that we could cut it with a spoon (someone at our table dropped their knife and attempted this, so that’s how we know). It is quite juicy and well-accompanied by the mushroom ragout. The roasted onion comes in the form of one large item to the left of the meat.
Traditional Roasted Breast of Turkey
with Summer Succotash and Gravy
The turkey is standard, but it wasn’t dry and will hit the spot.
Sweet Mustard Glaze and Southern-style Braised Kale
The salmon was our favorite entree. It is perfectly prepared, but the sweet mustard glaze countering the salty crumble of the top makes for a really wonderful dish. The kale is fine, but the sweet and salty mix over the tender and flavorful salmon is a winning combination.
Available upon request (Plant-based)
Chef Mickey’s Dinner – Desserts
Mickey Mousse Dome
The desserts are pretty disappointing, so you may want to fill up on dinner. This is an Oreo topped with chocolate mousse. It’s good, offering a rich chocolate flavor, but feels out of place for a Disney table service restaurant.
Apple Crumble Tart
The apple crumble tart is the star of the plate. The buttery crust, fresh apple, and healthy dusting of cinnamon make for an all-around pleasant after-meal snack.
Strawberry Cream Cake
I’m a sucker for that 1990’s version of the Disney’s Contemporary Resort logo on the chocolate piece, but even that couldn’t make me like this. The strawberry flavor is very artificial, and the cream frosting was way too sweet for me. Hard pass.
Chocolate Chip Cookie
The standard Disney World chocolate chip cookie is present, and it is as bad as ever. A flavorless cookie with occasional bursts of chocolate, it was one of the worst I have had in my entire life.
Plant-based Chocolate-Raspberry Tart (On Request)
As bad as I thought dinner at Chef Mickey’s was going to be, it wasn’t even close to that preconceived notion. In fact, it is vastly improved over the buffet version that last existed in early 2020. The salads and desserts are forgettable, but the entrees were really quite solid. It isn’t the best meal you’ll have on your trip, but it may not be the worst as it once was. Let’s hope it stays this way, even if it does go back to a buffet at some point down the road.