Dining with teens at Disney World doesn’t have to be a chore if you know what restaurants to visit. My teen daughter loves Chef Mickey’s for its buffet-style menu, fun, interactive experiences with Mickey and the Gang, and another chance to visit the gorgeous Walt Disney’s Contemporary Resort via the monorail. Still on the fence? Here’s four reasons why teens will love it.
Chef Mickey’s: Location
Waiting in line for an hour or two to meet Mickey Mouse and pals may be appealing to some families visiting Walt Disney World, but my family would much rather enjoy a character dining experience at Chef Mickey’s and let them come to us!
Chef Mickey’s Fun Time Buffet is a sit-down style restaurant inside of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, easily accessible via monorail, bus or car. It’s also just a few minute’s walk from the Magic Kingdom. Of course, my teen daughter’s favorite means of transport is via the monorail for the pretty views of Walt Disney World that it provides, so our preferred park on the day of our reservation is EPCOT or Magic Kingdom so we can jump on the monorail and head straight to the resort swiftly and efficiently. I have to admit, there has been a time or two when the weather was so pleasant that we chose to walk back to the park to walk off all of those calories that we had just eaten. We enjoyed walking just as much as the monorail.
Once you check in at the desk on the fourth floor of the Concourse, you’ll receive a pager and can take a seat and wait for your table. Our wait with a reservation has never been longer than 10-15 minutes and many times it’s only been two or three. If you’re planning on visiting one of the parks on the day of your visit, give yourself at least 90 minutes to get there.
While you’re waiting, Chef Mickey’s offers a photo op before your meal with a Mickey figurine, and if you choose to pay for the photo it will be delivered straight to your table during your dining experience. You certainly don’t have to choose to get your picture taken at this time, but it is a cute souvenir.
Chef Mickey’s: Casual and Fun Dining
Chef Mickey’s Fun Time Buffet is just that – loads of fun! Throughout the meal, Mickey Mouse and his gang walk from table to table interacting with families while they’re eating. We love the characters coming to us and we have autographs from and photos with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, & Goofy. Goofy is definitely our favorite and his whimsical style and manners can make my 13 year-old beam. In between table meet and greets, Mickey and friends, decked out in their best meal-themed attire, dance and sing and encourage adults and kids alike to raise and twirl their napkins in the air. Young kids really go bananas during the sing-along and we love the fun ambiance.
Chef Mickey’s is a buffet-style dining experience. I write experience because it’s so much more than just a buffet restaurant. Depending on what meal and occasion you choose to visit Chef Mickey’s for, chefs behind the buffet will make special Cinderella Castle pancakes for the kids or will give you as much meat as you wish at the buffet carving station.
If you have younger kids, they will love the lowered buffet area made for them that includes foods that younger kids really dig. My 13 year-old daughter still loves sampling from the kids buffet area, and if you’re a big kid like I am, you can, too. I still catch myself reaching for the chicken breast nuggets for dinner and Mickey waffles for breakfast.
Our favorite part of the buffet? The dessert! Jam-packed with fun and tasty treats, the dessert area offers Disney-themed desserts, pastries, brownies, and even an ice-cream sundae bar. Make sure to save room for dessert.
Chef Mickey’s: Pricing and Reservations
Chef Mickey’s is a definite splurge, and for my family of two adults and one teenager, the cost for dinner is well over $120.00 not including gratuity. If you are visiting Walt Disney World and have purchased the Disney Dining Plan or Disney Deluxe Dining Plan, Chef Mickey’s is one table service credit and a great value for only one credit.
As for reservations, families can start booking dining reservations starting at 180 days away from their chosen dining date. Chef Mickey’s is so popular that many families choose to book their reservation at exactly 180 days out. If you have your vacation booked months, or even years, in advance, go ahead and book your reservation at 180 days out if you’re able. You can always change times or cancel up to 24 hours before the reservation, but keep in mind that a credit card is required to hold it. If you must cancel the day of, Walt Disney World now charges a $10 per person fee for last-minute cancellations.
Chef Mickey’s: Children with Allergies
All Walt Disney World restaurants work with families with allergies to make their dining experience a successful and safe one. Feel free to talk to your waiter or waitress and ask about alternative meal options. When you make a reservation, make sure to add that your family member has a food allergy before it’s finalized so Disney can add it on the reservation as well.