It’s a bit hard for me to believe, but I’ve never had the chance to dine at Chef Mickey’s, the iconic restaurant in the grand atrium of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Chef Mickey’s is a quintessential Disney dining experience:  an all you care to eat buffet, the Fab Five characters (Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy) who visit your table, and the monorail gliding by overhead.

Let’s take a look:

Chef Mickey’s Ambiance

Welcome to Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary!

Welcome to Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary!

The dining areas are usually full with many families enjoying their meals together.

The dining areas are usually full with many families enjoying their meals together.

As a Chef, Mickey must stay pretty busy - there is a lot of food and there are a lot of people.

As a Chef, Mickey must stay pretty busy – there is a lot of food and there are a lot of people.

Chef Mickey’s Ambiance

Fun and colorful Mickey-inspired art covers the walls.

Fun and colorful Mickey-inspired art covers the walls.

Mickey doesn't get all the attention - some of the art features other Fab Five characters.

Mickey doesn’t get all the attention – some of the art features other Fab Five characters.

This is a really fun piece of Mickey-inspired artwork.

This is a really fun piece of Mickey-inspired artwork.

Pluto looks happy in this painting.

Pluto looks happy in this painting.

Chef Mickey’s Food – Main Course

I was very pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of food available at the dinner buffet.

There are plenty of kid-friendly favorites, like chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese, that will appeal to young diners.  However, there are also lots of choices for grown-ups too, like peeled shrimp, alfredo pasta, and prime rib.

The bread selection is extensive and beautifully presented, and includes many choices.

The bread selection is extensive and beautifully presented, and includes many choices.

You can build your own salad, or enjoy some prepared salads include a delicious Cesar salad.

You can build your own salad, or enjoy some prepared salads include a delicious Cesar salad.

I tried the Cesar salad. It was great! The buffet also offered a spinach salad and a cherry tomato salad.

I tried the Cesar salad. It was great! The buffet also offered a spinach salad and a cherry tomato salad.

Look at all the shrimp! It was great!

Look at all the shrimp! It was great!

There were plenty of meal choices that will appeal to young diners, like macaroni and cheese, broccoli, tater tots, and hot dog nuggets.

There were plenty of meal choices that will appeal to young diners, like macaroni and cheese, broccoli, tater tots, and hot dog nuggets.

Pot roast and chicken (prepared in several different sauces).

Pot roast and chicken (prepared in several different sauces).

Charcuterie anyone? The salami was flavorful, and there was an extensive selection of cheese as well.

Charcuterie anyone? The salami was flavorful, and there was an extensive selection of cheese as well.

The drunken goat cheese on the right was delicious.

The drunken goat cheese on the right was delicious.

The buffet offered an extensive selection of fruit, including melons, pineapple, and grapes.

The buffet offered an extensive selection of fruit, including melons, pineapple, and grapes.

The pot stickers and corn were prepared with unique flavorings. Both were excellent!

The pot stickers and corn were prepared with unique flavorings. Both were excellent!

Pasta for grown-ups, including cheese, Alfredo, and marinara sauces.

Pasta for grown-ups, including cheese, Alfredo, and marinara sauces.

Chef Mickey’s Food – Desserts

When you dine at Chef Mickey’s, be sure to save plenty of room for desserts.  There are many choices, and they are presented beautifully.

The brownies are thick with frosting and fun sprinkles on top.

The brownies are thick with frosting and fun sprinkles on top.

What kid - or kid at heart - can resist Dirt N' Worms?

What kid – or kid at heart – can resist Dirt N’ Worms?

The rice crispy treats were fresh and delicious.

The rice crispy treats were fresh and delicious.

Banana bread pudding - yum!

Banana bread pudding – yum!

These cookie dough cannoli were sweet (as cannolis are) an delicious!

These cookie dough cannoli were sweet (as cannolis are) an delicious!

These raspberry tortes were beautifully presented with a fresh raspberry on top.

These raspberry tortes were beautifully presented with a fresh raspberry on top.

These Mickey domes were built on top of an Oreo-like sandwich cookie. They were almost too cute to eat. Almost...

These Mickey domes were built on top of an Oreo-like sandwich cookie. They were almost too cute to eat. Almost…

I almost passed on the butter cake, but I'm glad I didn't. It was very moist and flavorful.

I almost passed on the butter cake, but I’m glad I didn’t. It was very moist and flavorful.

These fruit loop cupcakes were fun!

These fruit loop cupcakes were fun!

There was a no sugar added option - chocolate cupcakes.

There was a no sugar added option – chocolate cupcakes.

The dessert bar offers self-serve chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Add all the toppings you want!

The dessert bar offers self-serve chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Add all the toppings you want!

Chocolate chip cookies!

Chocolate chip cookies!

Chef Mickey’s – Review

I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from Check Mickey’s.  I knew there would be a buffet and characters, but beyond that, I didn’t walk in with many expectations.

I really enjoyed the experience!

Even as an adult, it is fun to get a visit from a Disney character at your table.  This alone can save you hours of waiting in line in the parks.  Plus, the servers and Cast Members make the arrival of the characters fun, encouraging everyone to twirl their napkins in the air when the characters arrive.

The food was very good – actually much better than I expected.  There were choices that kids will like, but also more sophisticated food offerings that adults will like as well.

There was a huge dessert selection, and I like the fact that they mostly came in very small portions (just 2 – 3 bites) so that I could try many of them without feeling too guilty.

If you would like a classic Disney dining experience with characters and good food presented in a buffet, I can happily recommend Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Have you eaten at Chef Mickey’s?  What did you think?