The TRUTH Behind Eating at Chef Mickey’s in Disney World!

The FAB FIVE. All-you-care-to-enjoy EATS. Literally just steps away from the Magic Kingdom.

You guessed it… we’re talking about Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!

A visit to Chef Mickey’s is practically a rite of passage for first-time Disney World guests, and many families find themselves making a Disney vacation tradition out of it. But today, we’re not just talking about our latest visit to review breakfast or dinner at this Character Meal. Instead, we’re sharing YOUR stories at this super popular dining spot.

Because even with all the awesome ingredients in place for a practically perfect Character Meal, sometimes things aren’t so practically perfect at Chef Mickey’s. Our readers shared their experiences (and even some of their struggles or “Fails”) with us on Facebook so together we can help all of you considering your first — or next — meal at Chef Mickey’s.

Before we get to chatting, we want to note that while Chef Mickey’s is indeed one of the few Character Meals you can enjoy in Disney World right now, the experience has been modified in keeping with current safety measures. Characters are not stopping directly by each table and are instead posing for pictures from a distance, and Chef Mickey has even changed up the meal itself, as we’ll discuss shortly.

But for now, strap on your big chef’s hat and settle in, friends!

Chef Mickey’s

Because someone very special (and his best friends) wants to say, “Hiya, pal” at Chef Mickey’s!

Dining with Character

You know ’em. You love ’em. You can’t get enough of ’em… It’s THE FAB FIVE!

The Fab Five


Chef Mickey at Chef Mickey’s!


Minnie Mouse




“I’m Number 1!”


Pluto at Chef Mickey’s

These five characters are THE reason why Chef Mickey’s is a must-do for so many. As one reader shares: “Honestly Chef Mickey’s isn’t the best place to eat, but it’s an icon and should be on everyone’s Disney Bucket list.”

You see, while there are several other Character Meals where you can meet several of these friendly faces, Chef Mickey’s is the ONLY ONE with this fabulously famous combo. And they are kinduva BIG DEAL.

Fab Fab Auograph Card complete with Donald Duck Photobomb

This is classic Disney, straight off the postcard. And their presence truly is a special thing. It’s also the reason getting an Advance Dining Reservation here can be TRICKY. While we’ll share a few tips for that in a bit, if you’re unable to land a reservation — or, if after reading this, you decide maybe Chef Mickey’s is not the best choice for your group — bear in mind that there ARE other options for dining with Mickey and more Disney pals… .

MORE Mickey!

Sure, Mickey’s NAME is in Chef Mickey’s, and it’s easily the best-known Character Meal featuring the Main Mouse. But did you know he is also one of the characters at EPCOT’s Garden Grill, where he appears with Pluto and Chip ‘n Dale?

Mickey and Pluto!

He’s also dressed up for the season at Minnie’s Seasonal Dine for lunch and dinner at Hollywood & Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, along with your Hostess with the Mostest, Minnie!

Mickey Mouse

It’s worth noting that Minnie’s Seasonal Dine is where we’ve noticed the most frequent variance of characters. On our most recent visits, Mickey and Minnie have been joined by Goofy and Pluto.

Howdy, Halloween Goofy!

But we’ve also met Donald and Daisy here at times (instead of Pluto). And though she may not “officially” be in the Fab Five, don’t let Daisy hear anyone say that she’s NOT FAB.

Daisy Duck

Who are we kidding?! It doesn’t get any more FAB than Daisy in her dazzling duds! (And ICYMI, Daisy is officially a part of something called The Fab 50 which is in the works as part of the upcoming celebration of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. As the Cheshire Cat — who also made the cut — might say, “We’re all FAB here…“)

Mickey’s also the star of Breakfast a la Art with Mickey and Friends at Topolino’s Terrace in Disney’s Riveria Resort (with the “and friends” being Minnie, Donald, and sometimes Daisy).

You could say hello to Mickey at Topolino’s Terrace!

Mickey’s also ready to join you on Donald’s Dining Safari at Animal Kingdom’s Tusker House.

Oh, boy!

On our last visit, he was joined by Goofy, Daisy, and Donald (who would very much like to remind you that he gets top billing here)!

Donald in his Safari Gear!

Though Character Dining is currently unavailable at ‘Ohana (which just reopened in July) in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Mickey previously said “Aloha” to you there, too, along with his pal Pluto as well as Lilo and Stitch as part of the Best Friends Breakfast.

Mickey at ‘Ohana’s character breakfast!

So, you see, even if these meals are somewhat lesser-known, that doesn’t mean they’re not great, by any stretch.

See ALL of the Disney World Character Meals — sorted by starring Characters — HERE!

And, in fact, some of the other options may be even better for your particular group. Let’s chat a little more… .

What’s Cookin’ at Chef Mickey’s

Previous Buffet

If you’ve previously visited Chef Mickey’s, you may be familiar with it as a full buffet. As we mentioned earlier, buffets around Disney World are currently suspended in keeping with current safety measures.

Chef Mickey’s

On the buffet, selections were pretty standard, and for dinner they included — but were not limited to — soups and salads, a meat-carving station, pasta dishes (like Mickey-shaped Cheese Ravioli), plenty o’ sides like scalloped potatoes, Chef Mickey’s Mac and Cheese, and more for the little ones.

Chef Mickey’s Previous Buffet

A highlight was the Ice Cream Sundae Bar for dessert.

Sprinkles, Candies, and more!

Honestly, it never received the best reviews with regards to food — from both yours truly and DFB readers. Here are a few examples:

“My feeling is, at least for breakfast, we go for the characters. The food is a buffet… don’t go expecting an excellent meal. Having said that, the last time we went was better than previous times.”

Mickey and Minnie Waffles

“I think there are WAY better buffets and restaurants than Chef Mickey’s. Food is not really great and it’s always so busy so service is never the greatest. And for the price, you should expect the food to be great.

That said, we also received several reader comments from those who quite enjoyed the buffet:

“We loved dinner there both times we went! We hope it goes back to a buffet eventually. It was great for people who aren’t ‘foodies.’

Tortellini Marinara from Buffet

“Went in June 2021. Everything went well. Our waiter was excellent. We prefer the buffet food better but it was still worth the price to be served and have characters go by. Still a magical experience for us. Prolly wouldn’t go back unless it’s a buffet again.”

“I loved going when they did the switch from breakfast to lunch and you could eat a little of everything…” (P.S. We LOVE that Buffet PRO TIP!)

Buffet Desserts

One reader’s regret was: “Not being able to enjoy all their food! 🤷‍♀️There’s too much to choose from. I love Chef Mickey!”

Current Family-Style

Like any great cook, though, Chef Mickey is nothing if not adaptable. So when he understood that buffet service would be suspended for a while, he whipped up an all-you-care-to-enjoy Family Feast, featuring a family-style experience (served tableside) for both breakfast and dinner!

Tableside Service at Chef Mickey’s

For breakfast, that means an assortment of breads and pastries followed by fruit and a yogurt parfait, then a platter of Scrambled Eggs, Chicken Sausage, Slow-roasted Beef Brisket, Mickey Waffles, Pork Sausage Links, and Smoked Bacon.

Traditional Selections

Breakfast also includes guests’ choice of a Chef Mickey Signature Selection of a Loaded Potato-Cheese Casserole, Banana Bread French Toast, or a “Celebration” Mickey Pancake. (The cost is $42 per adult and $27 per child ages 3-9.)

“Celebration” Mickey Pancake

P.S. Don’t miss the Loaded Potato-Cheese Casserole!

Loaded Potato-Cheese Casserole

Click HERE to check out our review of the updated BREAKFAST at Chef Mickey’s!

Dinner includes a bread basket, a First Course of a trio of salads, a trio of Plated Signature Item (like Potato Gnocchi, Roasted Garlic Potato Gratin, and Plant-Based Faro Wheat Fried Rice) and a selection of Proteins (we’re talking Prime Rib, Traditional Roast Breast of Turkey, and Salmon) with veggies.

Potato Gnocchi

The hearty fare is all followed with family-style desserts.

Oreo Mickeys among the Dessert Plate

(The cost is $55 per adult and $36 per child ages 3-9.)

Click HERE to find our most recent review of DINNER at Chef Mickey’s!

Here at the DFB, we do find the food better now (over the buffet). As a reader shared: “We went June 29 this year- loved the family style eating! Dinner was great!

Traditional Roasted Turkey Breast Dinner

But we’re still more inclined to recommend Garden Grill, Tusker House, and Topolino’s Terrace — not only for the food, but we find them to offer better experiences overall. And our readers had plenty of their own recommendations to share, too!

“My opinion is the food is better at Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood Studios or Donald’s breakfast safari at Animal Kingdom with mainly all the same characters.”

Pork and Grits at Minnie’s Seasonal Dine

We will always send folks to Tusker House or Garden Grill, because both of those experiences were outstanding …over Chef Mickey based on our experience.”

“We’d rather hit Tusker House or Garden Grill for breakfast, or 1900 Park Fare for dinner or breakfast! All great.

ALL the bread at Tusker House Breakfast

“Never been to Chef Mickey’s. I have to tell all of you that the character breakfast at Topolino’s is worth every single penny.

Quiche and Pastries Paint Can at Topolino’s Terrace

Click HERE to check out the various fare at the Disney World Character Meals!

Of course, beyond the food and characters, there are always things to consider about the setting itself of your chosen restaurant. And we’re going to discuss a very specific point about Chef Mickey’s next.

“Clap Our Hands and Stomp Our Feet!”

There was one thing that didn’t really come up much in our most recent conversation about Chef Mickey’s on Facebook. But because it’s typically a common topic when it comes to Chef Mickey’s, we feel the need to mention it: the NOISE LEVEL.

Let’s have some fun!

Several factors contribute to this. Right now, for instance, a VERY big refurbishment to the guest rooms is taking place in the Contemporary’s main tower where Chef Mickey’s is located.

There’s some WORK goin’ on

While the end result of newly refurbished rooms (with The Incredibles theming!) should be worthwhile, obviously the work itself brings extra noise along with it.

But even without the construction, the restaurant is tucked in a cavernous location.

Chef Mickey’s

It’s also a hoppin’ area in general, right next to Contempo Café and within view of the Monorail zooming in and out — which also happens to be part of the fun! And it’s a VERY popular spot for the kiddos. (Enough said.)

PLUS you are LITERALLY INSTRUCTED TO MAKE NOISE in the restaurant’s theme song that plays several times throughout your visit, with these lyrics: “We’ll clap our hands and stomp our feet!” You can hear the song in this video to get a better idea:






Does it ruin the experience? Not necessarily. Plenty of guests enjoy the high-energy feel of the space and it’s also great to have a place where children — and big kids! — are encouraged to participate. I mean, just WATCH Mickey raise the roof to the tune. (That’s just CUUUUUUUTE, y’all.)




It is just something to keep in mind if noise is a concern for you, or if the atmosphere is simply not your style. You can check out our list of Character Meals ranked by noise level to find some more laid-back options to see what might be a better fit with no less fun.

Okay! We’ve walked you through some potential concerns, but all in all, Chef Mickey’s still seems like a great fit for you. Great! So, what’s next?

Snagging a Reservation

Chef Mickey’s ranks up there close to Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest Restaurant in being a hard-to-get Advance Dining Reservation. As a reader shares, they had no struggles “at the restaurant really, just actually getting a reservation to it. It’s been great every time.”

Who DOESN’T want to see this guy??

Obviously, the usual advice applies: BE READY 60 days out from when you want to dine for your best chance. Be logged into My Disney Experience by 6AM EST (and we even recommend a bit earlier, as rezzies can open as early as 5:45AM).

“Hiya! This is Mickey. What do I have to do to get a reservation at Chef Mickey’s?”

That’s right! Set that alarm! “Struggle: waking up early enough to make the reservation (I can wake up early for a park day no problem!)” (For the record, we hear you on that park day!)

But even that’s no guarantee. Fortunately, not only have we been fortunate to find openings at very popular restaurants by continually checking availability on My Disney Experience closer to when we’d like to dine. (And you can even try odd hours, like late-night or WAY early morning.)

And we’ve got more tips that go further into detail HERE.

Click HERE to see our BEST TIPS for scoring a hard-to-get reservation!

Magical Moments at Chef Mickey’s

As always, in addition to some of the less-than-magical-moments, plenty of readers had great things to say about their time at Chef Mickey’s, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t share these, as well!

When asked about their struggles, this reader said: “Absolutely none. Our experience was amazing both times!”

Donald Duck at Chef Mickey’s

We also love this story: “We took our son there in his first visit to see how he handled characters. His face when he saw Donald Duck for the first time still brings tears to my eyes.” (See, Donald? You REALLY ARE “Number 1!”)

This reader has “Nothing to complain about. We’ve been 3 times – all when the kids were younger, so it’s been a few years now. Good memories!

And THAT’S exactly what we hope this information helps you to gain: good and magical memories of your Disney vacation, no matter where you dine! If we can help you, you know where to find us — right here! And if you’d like to join in the chats to share your stories with others, consider this your invitation to join us over on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter!

As the Chef of the house would say, we’ll “See Ya Real Soon!” In the meantime, check out our DFB YouTube Video to hear more about Character Dining and the kinds of meals EVERYONE should eat in Disney World!

Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!

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The post The TRUTH Behind Eating at Chef Mickey’s in Disney World! first appeared on the disney food blog.