Have you ever wanted to meet the Fab Five in chef costumes? Well, you can do exactly that at Chef Mickey’s in Disney World!
The restaurant is located in one of the original Walt Disney World Resort hotels — Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
This is also the character dining to book if you want to meet The Fab Five, aka Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto. Added bonus: they all wear chef costumes. Chef’s kiss, indeed.
The meal served at Chef Mickey’s is buffet style for both breakfast and dinner. So be prepared to eat as much or as little as you want, all while hugging and taking photos with some of the most popular and iconic Disney characters.
It sounds great, but is Chef Mickey’s worth it?
We’ve dined here multiple times, and we decided to head back in 2023 to the very popular character dining spot to give you our opinions on whether or not you should waste your time, money, stomachs, smiles, and hugs at Chef Mickey’s.
So… here is our honest review of dinner at Chef Mickey’s.
Chef Mickey’s offers character dining featuring The Fab Five in chef attire: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto. Meals here are served buffet-style.
Location type: Buffet-style character dining
Type of food: American
Meals Served: Breakfast & dinner
Seating Available: Indoor
- On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Table Service credit(s)
- Pros: Family favorite due to the fun vibe (and it’s fun to ride the monorail right into the building), good spot to catch the classic characters together, food has improved with many plant-based options
- Cons: Reservations are hard to get, can be loud
- Tips: Only 4 of the characters come to your table; you’ll meet either Chef Mickey or Chef Minnie at the separate PhotoPass meet and greet after you’ve paid
How we got a Chef Mickey’s dining reservation
Chef Mickey’s is a difficult dining reservation to get due to its popularity. We recommend (like we do with most dining reservations at Disney World), to make reservations as soon as you can.
Reservations for all the restaurants at Disney World currently open up exactly 60 days in advance — and you should book dining as soon as you can.
Grabbing dining reservations at Disney World is extremely competitive. We were lucky to snag a Chef Mickey’s dinner reservation 47 days prior to our trip.
You never know when there will be availability, but the most surefire way to get any reservation is booking 60 days before your trip begins.
Other ways to score a Chef Mickey’s dining reservation
Set dining alerts
If you don’t get a Chef Mickey’s reservation or want to try to book one last minute, try setting up a dining alert.
Reservation finding services are built to constantly check for openings at restaurants that you choose. Depending on the service, you can receive an email and/or text alert or a push notification when something becomes available.
You can also keep checking yourself to see if anything opens up. We’ve had a lot of luck with this method. Trust us when we say reservations become available all the time — even the day of!
Join the waitlist
Many Disney World restaurants also have a waitlist option that you can either join in the My Disney Experience app or in person.
If you don’t have luck snagging a reservation, this might be your next best bet. But, keep in mind, it’s not always a guarantee.
Like with many Table Service restaurants across Disney World, we checked in for our reservation 20 minutes prior using the My Disney Experience app.
If you check in via the app, you can only do so up to 20 minutes prior to your reservation time. For example, for our 5:10 p.m. dinner, we checked in at 5:00 p.m. as soon as we arrived to the Contemporary via rideshare.
After checking in, we had time to walk through the gift shop across from Chef Mickey’s and use the restroom before getting a notification at 5:15 p.m. that our table was ready.
Even though we waited 15 minutes after checking in on the app, the time we were called to our table was only 5 minutes past our actual reservation time. So, not bad at all, especially since the restaurant was busy for dinner service.
What’s included at Chef Mickey’s dinner
Let’s take a look at what’s included during a dinner meal at Chef Mickey’s…
Chef Mickey’s dinner all-you-can-eat buffet includes:
- Kid’s offerings
- Beverages (select non-alcoholic drinks are an additional price; all alcoholic drinks cost extra)
You meet The Fab Five in chef costumes (they all sign autographs and you get an autograph card to take with you):
- Chef Mickey
- Chef Minnie
- Chef Goofy
- Chef Donald
- Chef Pluto
There’s the special bonus of:
- A PhotoPass photo with a character – we met Chef Minnie (more on this below)
PhotoPass with Chef Minnie
What makes Chef Mickey’s unique is you have the chance to take a PhotoPass photo with Chef Minnie!
The photo opportunity takes place inside Chef Mickey’s, but know that this is a separate meet and greet outside of your meal.
But, this hasn’t always been the case. Usually, Chef Mickey is the one available for PhotoPass.
During our May 1, 2023 dinner reservation we were informed that Minnie and Mickey swapped. This meant that we would meet Mickey at our table and Minnie in the PhotoPass line.
At this time, Minnie had only been taking PhotoPass photos with guests for 2 days.
We spoke with a manager and they suggested that guests were not happy with only being able to meet Mickey via a separate meet and greet. They apparently wanted Mickey to come to their table, which we can understand since the restaurant is, after all, called “Chef Mickey’s.”
It’s unclear if the change from Mickey to Minnie will eventually be permanent. Whatever happens, it certainly seems that you will either meet Chef Mickey or Chef Minnie during the separate meet and greet.
Whichever character you meet, you’ll do so after you’ve paid and your meal has concluded. You have to show your receipt to Cast Members in order to meet the character.
Don’t be intimidated by the line. There were quite a few people in front of us, but we only waited 4 minutes to meet Minnie. Overall, the process was quick and painless.
You get to even pose in front of a giant plate with Mickey’s around the border. It’s pretty darn cute.
While this is allows you to take a nice, professional photo at a character meal versus what you snap on your phone, remember — whoever you are meeting will not come to your table and you must get in line to meet them.
So, for us, we met Minnie via the separate meet and greet, but were able to meet Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto at our table.
Remember: photos are not included with your dining reservation, unless you have a PhotoPass entitlement (Memory Maker or Memory Maker One Day) or are a qualifying Annual Passholder with a PhotoPass download benefit. You can also buy photos individually.
Chef Mickey’s is so fun because you get to meet The Fab Five in their chef costumes.
And, of course, Minnie, who we met during the separate character meet and greet that we mentioned above.
We only met each character once, but they did come around multiple times. They popped by our table quite quickly – almost one right after the other.
While it was nice being able to meet all of the characters basically at once, this could be a little overwhelming for some. It felt like as soon we sat down and started eating again, another character was right there.
You will miss characters from time to time if you’re at the buffet getting food. But, they do a great job of coming around more than once, so don’t panic if you’re not at your table when the characters come by. They will be back!
Our interactions with each character were fun and cute. They were all bubbly and happy to pose for photos.
The one thing we were disappointed with is the napkin dance has been eliminated from Chef Mickey’s. You used to twirl your napkin in the air as the characters danced by and did the same, but that is no longer the case.
Instead, the characters dance to the “biscuit dance” song. While cute, it’s not the same nor near as fun as the napkin dance.
It’s also important to note that each character does sign autographs.
You also receive this adorable autograph card that makes for a fun souvenir!
Chef Mickey’s food and drinks
For both breakfast and dinner, Chef Mickey’s is buffet-style. This means you can eat as much as you want. Do you want seconds, thirds, or fourths? Go for it!
Below is what was included in the dinner buffet during our visit to Chef Mickey’s on May 1, 2023 (keep in mind that menus and prices change, so the following may not always be the same).
The Main Buffet Line
There are a range of breads, including a delicious fire-roasted tomato and rosemary focaccia that’s plant-based.
You can also get fruit salad, pasta salad, and even make your own tossed salad.
There are so many stations to try. This one in particular had fresh veggies like carrots, asparagus, yellow squash, zucchini, and artichokes, which we wanted to love, but they were cold and just not our thing.
There’s even a station with Asian-inspired dishes. Do not get the orange chicken (can we say yuck and artificial tasting?), but run to the plant-based vegetable stir fry noodles. These were delicious!
You can, of course, add heaps of mashed potatoes to your plate (yes, we did that). Next to the mashed potatoes you’ll also find plant-based meatloaf, which we were very impressed with.
It wouldn’t be a buffet without a carving station.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of options for kids, like macaroni and cheese (Allyson had two servings), chicken tenders, carrots, and broccoli.
You can find a range of pretty standard desserts, including cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, and more.
These mini-desserts were extremely cute, but as adorable as they are, they weren’t memorable and you can easily get a better dessert somewhere else on property.
Let’s chat beverages…
Water, soft drinks, juice, coffee, tea, and milk are all included with the cost of your meal.
Non-alcoholic beverages for an additional price
There are a variety of specialty non-alcoholic beverages available, like lemonades and smoothies.
We did not try any of these, but there seemed to be a nice variety of non-alcoholic drink options.
Alcoholic beverages for an additional price
You can also order beer, cider, seltzer, wine, or cocktails.
Allyson ordered a Blue Moon, which obviously isn’t exclusive to Chef Mickey’s. She just wanted a standard beer and this did the trick.
Felicia ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. It was your typical glass of wine.
Heather got a glass of White Sangria. She liked it, but the cocktail wasn’t anything out of this world. We’re pretty sure this is poured from a box mix, so it’s not a fancy beverage by any means.
Beer, cocktails, and wine served at Chef Mickey’s aren’t anything to rave about. They are your standard drinks and are just ok.
Important: If you or someone in your party has dietary restrictions, many Disney World restaurants have accommodations and they also sometimes list the allergy-friendly items on the menu (online and in the My Disney Experience app). If you have questions, be sure to chat with a Cast Member and they’ll be able to assist you. As stated online for Chef Mickey’s, there is an “Allergen Guide available upon arrival to the location.”
Our most recent review of dinner at Chef Mickey’s
We had great service at Chef Mickey’s and the characters came around in a timely manner. We were in and out of the restaurant in about 90 minutes or so.
We never felt rushed, either. Everything moved at a decent speed. Sometimes character meals can drag out, but this one did not and we loved that.
What we were surprised about was the food! None of us expected the buffet to have such fantastic options.
We especially appreciated not only the variety of healthier choices, like the fresh vegetables and fruit, but the plant-based choices!
Tip: Whenever you see a green leaf on a Disney World menu, this means that item is plant-based.
You never know if or what will be available for vegans and vegetarians, but we were all extremely happy to see the many plant-based dishes that also tasted good.
Chef Mickey’s has such great variety. We each went up twice to the buffet and not just because we wanted to try most of everything, but because we enjoyed the food that much.
Is Chef Mickey’s worth it for dinner?
So, is Chef Mickey’s worth it for dinner?
Honestly, it depends, including how much you’re willing to spend.
While we were pleasantly surprised by the buffet options and thought the majority of the offerings were very good, the experience as a whole isn’t for everyone.
Chef Mickey’s is a very popular character dining option at Disney World. Most of the time, it’s busy, loud, and can feel chaotic.
Yes, it’s a classic character meal. There is so much nostalgia here, which is why it’s a fan-favorite for many.
It is extremely family-friendly and a great way to meet not just 5 characters at once, but the Fab Five.
There are a lot of families with little ones who are excited to meet the characters. So, if you don’t want to be around families and kids, we do not recommend Chef Mickey’s.
It’s important to keep in mind that it feels very bright between the colors and lights, which can make the atmosphere feel uncomfortable and not warm. Of course, this goes with the theming, but there’s a lot that can overstimulate those of any age.
Chef Mickey’s may be good for….
- Those visiting Disney World for the first time
- Those traveling with kids
- Those who have a goal of meeting these 5 characters
- Those who are staying at the Contemporary
All that said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that we personally feel buffets are very difficult with kids.
So, if that’s something you don’t want to juggle, there are other meals that aren’t buffet-style and you can still meet characters, like Garden Grill at Epcot. Garden Grill is more of a seamless character dining experience, with good food, and it also doesn’t feel as overwhelming as Chef Mickey’s.
Keep in mind that Chef Mickey’s isn’t cheap, but that can be said for any character meal. You can pay less for a fancier dinner at Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian, but that also doesn’t include characters.
You just have to decide where you want to spend your money when visiting Disney World and for some, character dining is very much worth the cost.
While we understand why Chef Mickey’s is popular and think it’s good for a particular group of people (as we noted above), it’s not one we will go to again and again, unless it’s for work and research purposes.
Have you ever had dinner at Chef Mickey’s? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments!
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