Character meals are some of the most sought after dining reservations available to guests visiting Walt Disney World. The convenience of characters that come directly to your table versus waiting in long lines for a character interaction, makes character dining VERY appealing.
The most popular character is, of course, Mickey Mouse.
And guess what? There is a character meal where you can meet the mouse himself, along with several of his friends.
Welcome to Chef Mickey’s.
Chef Mickey’s (CM) is located inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort, which is a Magic Kingdom area hotel. The resort is on the monorail system and is the only resort that the monorail actually travels through!
On the 4th floor of the Contemporary Resort is Chef Mickey’s restaurant. It serves breakfast, brunch and dinner. All three meals are character dining, which makes Chef Mickey’s a super popular choice for families and resort guests. Super popular=crowded. You do not have to be a resort guest to make reservations at Chef Mickey’s.
Chef Mickey’s is a large and colorful restaurant with the intensity and the energy usually found at a nightclub. It is food and fun and frenzy all rolled into one dining experience!
Bold Mickey shaped cut-outs, puzzle pieces and primary colors fill the dining room. Tables are spaced nicely and can accommodate small and large parties. All meals are served via buffet and dishes are traditional American-style fare.
Breakfast is currently served from 7:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Menu items include seasonal melons and fruits, yogurts and toppings, smoked salmon, pancakes with hot maple syrup, bacon, cheesy potato casserole, turkey hash, scrambled eggs, Mickey Waffles (YES! PLEASE!), pork sausage, Krispy Kreme donut holes and assorted muffins.
The breakfast food is exactly as expected, hot and fresh for a buffet, but it is far from gourmet. This is a character dining experience, so the focus is certainly on the character interactions.
Brunch is served 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
The menu for brunch is very similar to the breakfast offerings, but also includes peel-n-eat shrimp, corned beef hash, carved pit ham, baked salmon, mango-barbecue pork ribs, and chicken nuggets. Mickey Waffles are still available during brunch. (THANK GOODNESS!) There is also a create-your-own sundae bar.
Dinner is served 5:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Chef Mickey’s dinner menu includes a variety of salads, beef-port short ribs, farmhouse polenta, lemon-pepper chicken, a carving station, eggplant parmesan, creamy mashed potatoes (MY FAVORITE!), chocolate cookies, key lime and seasonal fruit tarts and of course, the create-your-own sundae bar!
So…the big question is…which characters might you meet at Chef Mickey’s?
Minnie Mouse is a regular.
Donald Duck gets in on the action.
Goofy makes everyone laugh!
And Pluto poses for fun pictures!
If you are keeping track, that is Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto.
(Just FYI–no specific characters are guaranteed and are always subject to change.)
(But, just FYI–these characters have been at Chef Mickey’s every time.)
And, all meals at Chef Mickey’s are considered character dining.
A Photo Pass opportunity is also available upon entering the restaurant.
Quick Family Review For Chef Mickey’s:
Chef Mickey’s is an energetic, party atmosphere, with music, dancing, table napkin waving, over-stimulated kids and crowds. If your children are sensitive to noise and crowds, skip this character meal.
Even though we are Mickey Waffle junkies, we all prefer the variety and dishes at the dinner buffet at Chef Mickey’s. The breakfast isn’t terrible, just expected and simple. Because the character interactions are the same during all meals, choose whatever time works best for your party.
Final Family Chef Mickey’s Suggestion:
Choose any meal at Chef Mickey’s! It is the perfect place to interact with the Fab 5, get awesome pictures and gather some important autographs! Chef Mickey’s is a good restaurant to visit on your check-in day or your rest day.
***Momma Side Note:
As a family, we made Chef Mickey’s a Walt Disney World vacation tradition. We always made advanced dining reservations (ADR) for the dinner buffet (and 1 time for breakfast). Historically, this character meal was the first thing we did on our check-in day. It’s a great way to start the fun and curb the excitement until the first day in the theme parks.
However, after our 2016 trip, my girls (ages 11 and 12) decided to retire this tradition and try a different restaurant (non-character meal) for our check-in day.
As a momma, I must admit that decision hurt my heart just a tiny bit. I mean, I honestly teared up when my girls didn’t want to gather autographs anymore! (That’s a post for another time.)
But, our Walt Disney World vacations are evolving as my family changes and matures and who knows…maybe we will return to Chef Mickey’s some day!
So…my momma suggestion is take your kids to Chef Mickey’s restaurant and enjoy the madness and chaos of the music and character interactions. And, take a lot of pics! You won’t regret it!
Friend-to-Friend, I want you to know:
I highly, highly, highly recommend advanced dining reservations (ADR). Yes, booking meals 180 days before you plan to eat is crazy, but do it. Just. Do. It.
Chef Mickey’s breakfast, brunch and dinner pricing ranges from $35.00-$59.99. Yes, prices fluctuate at Disney according to season and crowd levels. Plan accordingly and discuss such changes with your wallet.
Chef Mickey’s does accept some dining plans and is considered 1 table service credit.
To become a Disney Dining Plan master, click here.
A theme park ticket is NOT required.
Because Chef Mickey’s is a restaurant inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort, getting there can be tricky, but it isn’t difficult. At the time of this post, Disney does not offer direct transportation between resorts. However, you can travel to Chef Mickey’s by using complimentary Disney transportation.
The easiest way to travel to Chef Mickey’s restaurant is to take Disney transportation to the Magic Kingdom and then board the monorail and ride along to the Contemporary Resort. Boats, buses, and the monorail all service the Contemporary Resort. You can also walk to the Contemporary Resort from Magic Kingdom. Feel free to ask any cast member or concierge for the best route.
If you have advanced dining reservations (which you most certainly should), you can park your vehicle in complimentary self parking lots or use valet parking for $20-$25.
Remember: Character meals ALWAYS cost more than regular table service meals. You are paying for the time and interactions with the characters. If you have children or if you love Disney like we do, book character dining! It is soooooo much better than waiting in lines at the theme parks to meet your favorite movie figures and the character interactions aren’t as rushed.
Extra hint: While dining at character meals, the characters COME TO YOU. There is a pattern all characters follow, visiting tables in a certain order. Your party is free to enjoy the meal, as the characters make their way around the restaurant. Every character will eventually get to your table. If you have a concern, ask the wait-staff for assistance. It is very much so frowned upon if you send your child over to a character during a character’s interaction with another table. Wait your turn, my friend. That is just good character dining etiquette.
Every diner over the age of 3 will be charged for a meal at any Disney buffet.
If you only learn one thing from my blog posts, I hope it is the fact that Disney changes every day. That is exactly why Disney is so popular–there is ALWAYS something new for junkies like me to experience! It is also why I always say everything is subject to change.
Last Extra Extra Extra Hint: Character dining takes time. Schedule at least 1 hour for travel to the Contemporary Resort and at least 1.5-2 hours for dining. If you are in a hurry to get to the theme parks or to catch an airplane, I do not recommend a character meal.
Our tradition is to enjoy dinner at Chef Mickey’s on our check-in day. It is our first dose of Disney magic and it helps to get some autographs before entering the theme parks! It is also a great restaurant for multi-generational parties!
Consider chef Mickey’s for your arrival day, check out day or rest day. You can also travel to Chef Mickey’s from Magic Kingdom for a break from the theme parks in the middle of the day.
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Click here for a list of all character meals at Walt Disney World.