While all of us Disney fans are trying desperately to become accustomed to the "new normal" with regards to our Disney vacations, I thought I'd share our recent experience dining at Chef Mickey's without the company of the Disney characters in the dining room.
I have to first say that we had just booked a dining reservation that same morning and when we walked up to the podium to check in at around 9:30 a.m., there were no other guests waiting to get in which felt very strange as this has typically been an extremely popular location for breakfast.
We still waited for about 10 or so minutes prior to being shown to our table. I was so excited because we were seated in an area of the restaurant that I've never had the pleasure of being in before. Again, it was eerily empty, but the fun and colorful atmosphere was just as welcoming as it always was.
You can see signs on a couple of the tables – if you look closely at the photo above – advising that certain tables are not in use at this time.
When we arrived at our table, we were greeted by a paper menu that we could scan using the camera on our mobile devices. The process is so simple and all you need to do is hold your phone as though you're getting ready to snap a photo. You don't even need to hit the button; as soon as your device recognizes the QR code, you'll be redirected to a website that will display the menu.
Our server was right there to greet us with a lovely smile and offered the usual beverages. We could feel how happy the cast members were to be at work. It was very apparent in their smiles and their willingness to ensure that we had everything our hearts desired.
Soon after we had our coffee, our server began bringing our starters which were served family-style. Of course, this was so very different from what we were used to at this iconic restaurant, but it was a real treat to have dishes of some of our favorites brought right to our table.
The basket of breakfast pastries included enough fresh danishes and muffins along with croissants to share with the table. We each received our own bowl of fresh cut-up fruit, a yogurt and granola parfait, and what is typically accouterments for a New York-style bagel consisting of sliced red onions, capers, lox (smoked salmon), and butter. I thought it was strange that we were given butter rather than cream cheese, but nonetheless, I asked our server for a bagel because that's one of my favorite things. This is where things got weird for a minute – our server said that they didn't have bagels. I wouldn't typically be bothered by that in the slightest except that the whole dish had just about everything for a bagel without the bagel. Since I wasn't sure what else to do with those items, I ate the lox and left the rest.
The fruit was fresh and crisp just as you'd expect and the yogurt parfait was delicious. Our server was very attentive in making sure that we were happy with the items we had and clearing dishes as we were finishing up. Next up were our entrees.
Similar to the starters, our main meal was served up family-style. I appreciated that they brought one Mickey waffle for each of us to start out with because those are no good once they've been sitting for a little bit. There were also French toast sticks and mini-pancakes as well with warmed maple syrup and fluffy whipped butter. All of these carbs were just as delicious as we expected them to be!
There was a hearty selection of scrambled eggs, country ham, sausage links, kielbasa, and bacon in one dish and potato tots along with cheesy hashbrowns sprinkled with green onion slices in the other.
All three of us had coffee and juice and I have to say, our server kept everything topped off for us throughout our entire visit. We were able to get more of our favorites quickly and there were never more than 4 tables occupied in the section we were dining in the entire time we were there.
Something I thought was great as well as familiar was seeing that the buffet area was still being utilized. Chefs were dishing up the food from behind the buffet for the servers to bring out to the tables.
While the experience was completely different from what it used to be with the Disney characters parading about and visiting tables as you dined, the atmosphere was familiar inside Disney's Contemporary Resort with the monorail gliding by overhead.
The current pricing for this all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast has been reduced to $25 per person ages 3 and up and $15 for children under 3.
What are you thinking about this new modified experience? Will you give it a try on your next visit to Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments section and be sure to keep an eye out on the My Disney Experience app as select table service restaurants are being added to the new walk-up dining feature.