I’m a big proponent of character meals! While they’re pretty pricey, the food, most of which is all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet style, is excellent, and you get to spend some great quality time with some of the most loved Disney characters! Plus, each experience is vastly different depending on the theme of the restaurant and location.

My most recent experience at a character meal was at Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This restaurant is very popular; I tried to make Advanced Dining Reservations at the 180-day mark, but reservations were “sold out”. I was determined, so I called Disney World directly and explained that we were celebrating our son’s (“E”) third birthday and he loves the monorail. They were able to get us in at 9am!

Chef Mickey's is in the lobby of Disney's Contemporary Resort near the other restaurants.

Chef Mickey’s is in the lobby of Disney’s Contemporary Resort near the other restaurants.

We had a fantastic time, and I wanted to share our experience with you!

Getting There

If you’re staying at a Magic Kingdom Area Resort (Disney’s Polynesian Resort or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa), it’s easy to get to the Contemporary via the monorail. If you’re staying at an Epcot Area Resort (Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, or Disney’s Boardwalk Inn), you can get there via the monorail, but you’ll have to get to Epcot first, which is in walking distance, then transfer monorail lines at the Ticketing and Transportation Center.

Guests of all other Disney resort hotels will have to take a bus to any of the theme parks then take either a bus or the monorail to the Contemporary. We were staying at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, so we took a bus to Magic Kingdom and boarded the monorail. This is the easiest thing to do: bus to Magic Kingdom and either walk across the street or board the monorail, which travels right through the Contemporary’s main building.

Disney's Contemporary Resort is easily accessible by monorail!

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is easily accessible by monorail!

Alternatively, you can pay to take a Minnie Van powered by Lyft, but this can get expensive.

The Restaurant

When we arrived, we checked in at the desk, gave our name and phone number, and were told to check out the lobby while we wait for a text message. It didn’t take long; shortly before our 9am reservation, I got a text that our table was ready. We went to the desk and were taken to our table!

Once you get your text message, check in here!

Once you get your text message, check in here!

The restaurant is laid out in several rooms with the food centrally located between them all. Each room has a variety if seating including tables and chairs and booths. They can accommodate any party whether large or small.

Each room is serviced separately for both wait staff and characters!

Each room is serviced separately for both wait staff and characters!

Everything is very colorful in mostly primary colors, and each room had kitchen access. Our waitress was very attentive, and it didn’t seem like she had many tables. Based on observation, I think there were five or six attendants for around a dozen tables, so it’s no surprise that the service felt so personal.

The Experience

When we were seated, we were immediately served juice, coffee, and tea. Other beverages including alcoholic drinks, are available for an additional charge, but we stuck with those that were included! Our waitress told us to go ahead and get our food and that the characters would be out in about 20 minutes.

We had some time to eat before the characters arrived!

We had some time to eat before the characters arrived!

I’m constantly amazed by how well Disney plans things, and this was no different. It worked really well because we were able to eat a little bit before the characters arrived. Our son, who was just weeks from turning three years old, is easily distracted. We didn’t think he would eat much (thank goodness he ate for free!), but he was able to eat a little bit before he became too distracted.

Soon, the music turned up and everyone started twirling their blue napkins. We were a little confused, but we played along quickly realizing that this meant Mickey and Friends were on the way! Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald came out for pictures and autographs, but they were seemingly gone as fast as they came!

We ate a little more, and the napkins started waving again! The characters returned for some dancing and singing and more pictures then retreated again.

My dad finally got to meet his hero!

My dad finally got to meet his hero!

E loved the characters!

E loved the characters!

All of the characters were wonderful with the kids and took time to pose for pictures!

All of the characters were wonderful with the kids and took time to pose for pictures!

All of the characters are dressed in their finest chef attire to fit the theme!

All of the characters are dressed in their finest chef attire to fit the theme!

Mickey was a gracious host!

Mickey was a gracious host!

Minnie was there too, but she didn't come out every time.

Minnie was there too, but she didn’t come out every time.

As we were just about finished eating, our waitress said the characters would be back shortly. As the music started and the napkins waved, the characters ran out for more singing and dancing, and our waitress arrived with a birthday cupcake for E! He was so excited to blow out the candle! However, he didn’t eat the whole cupcake. I asked for a box to take it to go, and our waitress returned with a brand new cupcake wrapped in a to go box! It was just one more reason the experience was so great!

Our son was given a birthday cupcake during the birthday celebration dance!

Our son was given a birthday cupcake during the birthday celebration dance!

The Food

E didn’t eat much because there was a lot of activity, but we enjoyed it!

There was a yogurt bar with all the fixin’s, fresh fruit, pastries, bagels, and spreads. Just around the corner, we found breakfast meats like sausage and bacon plus scrambled eggs. Another station had the coveted Mickey waffles with toppings galore! They had sprinkles, cherries, chocolate and caramel sauce, maple syrup, chocolate and peanut butter chips, and more! There was even an on stage kitchen area where chefs were making fresh pancakes!

The food is fresh and warm!

The food is fresh and warm!

There's a ton of variety!

There’s a ton of variety!

This is where you'll find the Mickey waffles and all the yummy toppings!

This is where you’ll find the Mickey waffles and all the yummy toppings!

There are two sides o the buffet, and both are the same, so there's plenty of space for everyone!

There are two sides o the buffet, and both are the same, so there’s plenty of space for everyone!

Yum! Fresh pancakes!

Yum! Fresh pancakes!

I never saw an empty bowl, tray, or pan, and everything tasted so fresh! I give this restaurant five stars, and I would definitely recommend!

Chef Mickeys – are you a fan?