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REVIEW: Return of Seafood Dinner Buffet at Cape May Cafe Brings Average Food and Delicious Desserts to Disney’s Beach Club Resort

With the return of the breakfast buffet to Cape May Cafe after almost two years also came the return of the dinner seafood buffet. So naturally, we headed down to Disney’s Beach Club Resort to see how the restaurant holds up after so long!

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Cape May Cafe, as we mentioned, is located inside of Disney’s Beach Club Resort along Crescent Lake.

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The restaurant is located just inside the resort lobby.

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The dinner buffet is served daily from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. They highlight soups and salads, a carving station, the sustainable catch of the day, a classic seafood boil, paella, favorites for children, and an assortment of seasonal desserts. As this is the Beach Club, most of the food is focused on seafood.

Dinner Buffet – $42

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The buffet itself is located centrally within the restaurant, granting easy access to all guests.

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Once seated, we were provided with a paper folding menu featuring both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available for an extra charge.

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Guests are also provided a pail to dispose of clamshells and other waste.

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It was a nice setup for us, with everything well-organized on the table by Cast Members.

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When guests are ready to take on the buffet, they can stop and pick up plates at stations around the buffet. Hand sanitizer is still provided as well.

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Our first stop was the salad bar, featuring a number of greens and even fruits.

Caesar Salad

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It’s hard to go wrong with Caesar salad. This one was pretty basic and dressing-heavy, but delicious.

Seafood Pasta Salad

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This one is strangely sweet, and the mayo lingers a bit. It’s not particularly fishy at all, the peppers and red onion are the real prominent flavors. It’s not terrible, but definitely best for sauce people.

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Cocktail sauce and tartar sauce as well as croutons are available at the end of the bar.

Marinated Olives

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We typically enjoy olives, but these were rather briny. They’re a good size, though, and it’s fine if you love salt and olives.

Assorted Fruits

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The pineapples were about what you’d expect, although the grapes were fresh and crispy.

Chipotle Ranch Greens Salad

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Sadly this salad is lacking a kick of spice. It’s basic greens with black beans, corn, and other normal elements. The dressing is ranch but is very bland.

Ambrosia Salad with Almonds & Coconuts

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We did not have the ambrosia salad with our meal.

House Seasonal Salad

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The dressing flavor is again very subtle here, the cranberries add sweetness but could benefit from more. The tomatoes are fresh and add a nice pop, there is also kale in here. Overall a decent salad.

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Next up, we hit the soup bar.

Vegetable Soup

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Vegetables are not cooked and are too crunchy. The broth doesn’t hold up to the heartiness and size of the vegetables in it, so it’s like a salty broth with large, uncooked vegetables. Probably best to skip this one.

Clam Chowder

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The clam chowder has a good flavor, you can taste the potatoes and clams. The potatoes are a little too squishy, though, as if it’s been sitting out. Otherwise, we recommend this.

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Moving on, we made our way over to the hot bars.

Seafood & Chicken Paella

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Something about the paella is very off-putting; it has a lingering artificial taste. The crab meat tastes very fishy and the rice and remaining seafood counterparts are salty. Maybe pass on this.

Sustainably Caught Fish of the Day

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The fish today was salmon with an Asian glaze. It’s well-cooked, and the glaze adds a slight sweetness. We’re not always fans of salmon, so we were surprised that this is probably the best thing on that side of the hot bar.

Fried Shrimp

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These were standard fare, nothing particularly special. We got ours at the bottom of the pot so we assume they were crispy at one point.

Fried Clam Strips

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Pasta of the Day

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It’s Italian-style of course, and very dressing heavy. There’s also kale, peppers, tomato, and onions, and the pasta was cooked nicely. We enjoyed it overall.

Plant-Based Tofu

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This was particularly bland. The tofu is hard and spongey, and our knife just bounced off every time we tried to cut it. Additionally, the soy sauce is flavorless. Hard pass.

Seasonal Vegetables

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The carrots are not cooked all the way through on this one and are oddly cold and crunchy. The rest is standard zucchini, string beans, and red onions, all salted and peppered in oil.

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The section for little diners is pretty small and features standard kids’ food available across Walt Disney World.

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There was a chicken that looked so undercooked, we didn’t even dare to try it. Ketchup is also provided.

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The mac & cheese is extra-cheesy and delicious, a home run for kids and adults alike.

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The broccoli was in a strange halfway spot between cooked and raw. It was warm but undercooked, still crunchy and fresh.

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The pasta bar was our next stop.

Penne Pasta & Turkey Bolognese

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The pasta is cooked well, while the sauce is really meaty, which reflects well in the flavor. Hard to go wrong here.

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Parmesan cheese is also available to be added.

Corn Bread & Parker House Rolls

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The cornbread tasted as if it had been left out too long, but was fine otherwise.

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Garlic Herb Butter, Cheese Spread, & Whipped Butter

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The whipped butter was pretty much as described, while the cheese was almost like an overly fake cheese-in-a-can flavor. Definitely pass.

Mashed Potatoes

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These were incredible. They’re well-made, salted, and peppered, and the skins added texture. After trying its base flavor, we recommend enhancing it with some of the whipped butter from the bread bar.

Cheese Pizza

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Unsurprisingly, the pizza was really almost inedible. Incredibly chewy and looks done, but we think the dough is not. The cheese is very chewy also. The only positive is that the sauce ratio is good.

Roasted Lemon Pepper Chicken

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We found this to be both juicy and well-seasoned. The skin could’ve stood to be a bit crisper but this is a buffet after all.

Red Bliss Potatoes

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These are cooked well, slightly salty and the skin had a pop when you ate them. We also recommend adding the butter from the bread bar here for some extra flavor.

Corn on the Cob

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Not much to add about the corn either, it was pre-buttered and salted thanks to the broth it’s served in. Excellent taste, definitely a good choice.

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Of course, we know many people visit Cape May Cafe for the all-you-can-eat seafood, so we were sure to try some!

Mussels

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These were a little chewy and slightly over-salted but weren’t fishy in taste. Fortunately, these don’t ruin the dish entirely.

Clams

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The clams tasted fresher than the nearby mussels and had decent seasoning.

Peel-and-Eat Shrimp

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These were a little tough and fishy, and frankly, we stopped after the second one. But the cocktail sauce helped.

Beef Striploin

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Tender and well-seasoned, an excellent choice.

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There are two sauces available for the striploin — creamy onion jam and house-made chimichurri. We tried ours with the chimichurri, and it was a delicious complement.

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Of course, no buffet visit is complete without a trip to the dessert bar!

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Plates and bowls are available just behind the dessert selection. Note that since we visited last night, mask signs were still in place and do not reflect the current policy.

Chocolate Chip, Sugar, and Oatmeal Cookies

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All three cookies are available in jars and are pretty standard fare, all things considered. What you see is what you get.

Blueberry Cheesecake

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Vanilla Cupcake

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Oreo Bon Bons

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This one is the signature dessert. Oreo on the bottom, cookies and creme filling, and cocoa dusted over. Absolutely do not miss this one.

Lemon Curd

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The lemon curd is quite nice and tart with texture. It’s topped with whip and a white chocolate square, and we recommend this one as well.

50th Anniversary Boston Cream Tart

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Leave it to Disney to stick a 50th medallion on a dessert and call it commemorative. But the bright side is this one is quite good. The filling is slightly sweet, and the chocolate top is creamy with a buttery and crisp crust. Don’t skip this one either.

Strawberry Layer Cake

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It’s like cake with layers of Panna cotta-like texture and a strawberry jam on top. The artificial taste is overpowering and the panna cotta and jello top texture are off-putting, but we weirdly enjoyed it anyway.

Gluten/Wheat-Friendly Chocolate Mickey Domes

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These are essentially straight chocolate ganache. They’re not bad by any means, quite the opposite. But they’re very rich, so beware.

Bread Pudding

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There’s a good texture here and it was made well. Plus, the sauce added sweetness and crumble on top of the added crunch. Really, most of these desserts you can’t go wrong with.

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Through our trips to the buffet, we were able to sample almost every single item on offer.

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Even the pretty standard bread rolls didn’t escape our purview.

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Items like the vanilla cupcake and the blueberry cheesecake, both exactly as they are described, made it in as well. All in all, we were able to put away just about every single item available so you know exactly what to try and what not.

All in all, we were pretty unimpressed with our experience at Cape May Cafe. While there are certainly some good choices among the selection, most of it was average food made worse by sitting far too long under the heat lamps. However, if you’re looking for a dinner buffet, it’s not a bad choice.

If you’ve dined here before, you may notice some premium options like the crab legs are missing from the buffet. They will not be returning at this time and instead can be purchased à la carte for $29 per pound.

If you’re considering Cape May Cafe for breakfast, be sure to also check out our full review of the returning breakfast buffet. And let us know what you thought when you dined at Cape May Cafe in the comments below!

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  1. When we went a couple of years ago, my seafood loving dad wanted to eat here. It was the worst meal of our whole trip. Only good thing were those Oreo Bon-Bons. I do need to learn how to make those at home!

  2. Without the crab legs this is a hard pass for me. At $29 a pound it would cost a fortune to eat what I did previously.

  3. After reading your review, my family was skeptical about keeping our reservation. We were pleasantly surprised by how good everything on the buffet tasted and was maintained during our visit. Even though we were hoping that they changed the crab leg policy, we had to pass at that price.

  4. I’m glad that you talked about the importance of sustainable catch of the day providing kinds of seafood. I remember when my sister mentioned to me last week that she was planning to try a dinner buffet for her birthday next month, and she asked if I had any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article, I’ll be sure to tell her that we can try the modern restaurant that I know as they have good reviews.

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