DiningResortsWalt Disney World (FL)

Chef Mickey’s – The Return of a Classic Disney Character Meal

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When Walt Disney World reopened in July of 2020, many of its character meals remained closed as character interactions and buffets simply weren’t possible due to the global situation. However, a number of character meal restaurants have reopened since with socially distanced character meets and modified menus.

And now, one of the most iconic Disney World character meals has joined the ranks! Yes, we’re talking about dinner at Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!

Chef Mickey’s has long been a rite of Disney passage for many visiting Walt Disney World as it features the Fab Five and classic American fare as the Monorail zips overhead.

Pretty much like everything at the Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s is located on the fourth floor of the resort; and at the time of writing, serves breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Since the Contemporary Resort has been around since 1971, Chef Mickey’s was somewhat shoehorned into the resort and it shows.

Still, Disney has made the best of it in creating a separate, designated dining space dominated by bright, bold, colors and Mickey Mouse designs. But guests looking to dine here should expect noise and energy, not quiet and refinement.

Tip: The closest restrooms are downstairs or near the monorail/security entrance.

Due to Chef Mickey’s prior popularity, and the fact that it’s recently returned, advance dining reservations are encouraged. But if you’re already within that 60-day booking window and all the reservations are gone, considering using the TouringPlans Reservation Finder!

Our park reporter Chrissy recently visited Chef Mickey’s for dinner to see what this modified experience is like!

What You Need to Know

Upon arriving, guests have the option of checking in traditionally at the podium outside the restaurant or on the My Disney Experience app.

Also, it’s important to note that Chef Mickey’s is no longer a buffet. Instead, platters of food are brought to your table family style like the skillets at Wilderness Lodge’s Whispering Cayon Cafe and EPCOT’s Garden Grill. However, Chef Mickey’s buffet stations are still there and being utilized as prep centers.

The price for dinner is currently $55 per adult and $36 per child.

The Menu

Upon being seated, a Cast Member brought out a trio of salads and a basket of rolls.
On the menu, they’re described as Chef Mickey’s Caesar, a seasonal composed plant-based salad, and citrus-poached baby shrimp with cilantro-lime broccoli slaw, greens, avocado, and tomato.
So according to Chrissy, the plant-based seasonal salad had tons of greens and was the best! However, the citrus-poached shrimp was her least favorite as the shrimp was flavorless and limp.
The rolls were described as the Pastry Chef’s bread selection. They were fine but very underwhelming and forgettable.
Next up was plant-based Farro wheat fried rice, roasted garlic gratin potatoes, and potato gnocchi in roasted mushroom cream with parmesan, spinach, and herbs.
As for the potato gnocchi, Chrissy says it was just too salty and not that great.
The gratin potatoes, however, were delicious! It’s one of two dishes that she got seconds of.
And that sweet Mickey head frico is the same one that is on the potato-cheese casserole at breakfast.
The farro wheat fried rice was yummy with a soy/teriyaki flavor. It was definitely a solid bite and was the only other dish that she got seconds of.

Now onto the main entrees!

A platter of brown-sugared carrots, asparagus,  Prime Rib with Mushroom Ragoût and roasted onions, and traditional roasted turkey breast with summer succotash and gravy was brought to the table.

 The thing is, it was all good. But in Chrissy’s estimation, she says it just doesn’t compare to the fare at EPCOT’s Garden Grill or the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Tree Tavern.
There was also roasted salmon with a sweet mustard glaze and Southern-style braised kale. Unfortunately, it was overcooked but still fine. Not much to tell here.
And for those who prefer to avoid prime rib, turkey, and the like, Chef Mickey’s offers a tofu bowl as an entree upon request. Plus, there’s an extensive allergy-friendly menu as well.
Now in addition to a selection of alcoholic drinks and some mocktails, Chef Mickey’s is also serving iced coffees, hot chocolates, and Insta-worthy Mickey- and Minnie-themed specialty shakes. Note: These drinks are all an additional charge!
You can also purchase a Mickey souvenir sipper. But be warned, this isn’t exclusive to Chef Mickeys like other restaurant souvenir sippers. It’s actually been available around Walt Disney World the past few years.
Ready for the most important part of the meal? Dessert! Granted, it’s a bummer that Chef Mickey’s dessert buffet is no longer an option; but thankfully, Chef Mickey’s still offers some variety.
According to the menu, this platter consists of Mickey Mouse domes, strawberry creme cake, a plant-based chocolate-raspberry tart, and an apple crumble tart.
Although, during Chrissy’s visit, cookies were included while the chocolate-raspberry tart was absent.

The Characters

The character interactions at Chef Mickey’s were the best Chrissy has had yet! Each character was just delightful, and they all had plenty of room to dance and move around made use of all of it.

They did different things for each table and managed to make everyone feel special and seen. Honestly, she feels it’s way better than the quick table stops pre-closure and is totally fine with this becoming the norm.

When she was first seated at the start of the meal, Chrissy was warned that she wouldn’t be allowed to walk around when the characters were out. However, she was allowed to do selfies with the characters, and they each came up with adorable poses!

Final Thoughts

So what’s Chrissy’s take? In her estimation, Chef Mickey’s fare is good enough to justify the experience, and the characters are spectacular enough to make this worth the price!

However, Garden Grill has characters and a similar menu that’s actually better. But if the menu is really your main priority, Liberty Tree Tavern is where you want to go as it’s Thanksgiving dinner there all year round.

Are you looking to visit Chef Mickey’s on your vacation? What do you think of this modified dining experience? Let us know in the comments!


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Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.