This restaurant needs no introduction. It's run by the head cheese himself - Mickey Mouse!
It just so happens that this restaurant also is the most popular character-dining location in all of Walt Disney World, and for good reason.
Of course I'm talking about Chef Mickey's!
As character dining goes, it really doesn't get any better than Chef Mickey's, located at Disney's Contemporary Resort. In one meal, guests will meet the entire Disney Fab 5: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto.
In recent months, Chef Mickey's has received a decent expansion, taking over a portion of space that was the Concourse Steakhouse, which has allowed for a little bit more seating, but also a better queue area for the pre-meal photo opportunity.
Chef Mickey's is a Disney Dining Plan (DDP) participant, requiring one table service credit per guest. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a buffet format. Parents: this is one meal even the most picky of eaters will find something they will like. The entrees are creative and quite good. I personally prefer lunch/dinner to breakfast, simply because the dinner menu offers more variety as compared to breakfast. Just about every breakfast opportunity at WDW offers eggs, sausage and bacon.
What sets Chef Mickey's apart is the atmosphere. This is a place where even the oldest guest can be a kid again (or finally act like the kid they really are - that would be me!). The characters spend plenty of time at each table and the wait staff helps to make your experience magical. Oh, and talk about celebrations - the folks at Chef Mickey's will find ANY reason to celebrate! My son graduated from 5th grade this summer. The server saw his "I'm Celebrating" button and the next thing we know it's party time!
Before being seated, guests have the opportunity to have a photo opp at a big hidden-mickey themed plate. I have several of these photos. The location for this photo opp changes from time to time and (as you can see) will reflect different holiday seasons (when appropriate). The photos are nice to get if you like family photos. This is the one PhotoPass-like opportunity at Chef Mickey's. Otherwise, you're on your own for character photos.
We don't always purchase the photo - it is optional and runs somewhere around $30 or so for an 8x10 and a pair of 5x7's. The other benefit is that the photo does include a photopass code on the corner, so you can add this shot to your photopass CD and get the digital version as well.
Chef Mickey's is a must-do for everyone who visits Walt Disney World. As for my family, Chef Mickey's has become our most favorite place to eat. In fact this November, we will have Thanksgiving dinner at Chef Mickey's, of all places. We enjoy the fun, the friends, the food and the family time.
What could be better?