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Throwback Thursday: Chef Mickey's Family Style



Let's take a look back at 2021 when Chef Mickey's reopened as family-style dining before returning to the full buffet experience...

Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort has been a long-time popular favorite for its proximity to the Magic Kingdom and the ability to see Mickey and Friends while dining.  However, it hadn't been one of my personal favorites because I felt the quality of food on the buffet had been lacking in recent years.  Since it reopened as a family-style meal and we were able to get a last minute reservation on our recent trip, we decided it was time to give it another chance. 

Long story short, I'm so glad we gave this restaurant another try and I hope it stays family-style for a while because everything was really fantastic! Okay now let's get into the details.  We were able to secure a same-day reservation for two on a Thursday night earlier that day.  We had no park plans or anything so some character time and a chance to see the castle sounded like the perfect way to end our evening.  We met some friends for a drink at Disney Springs before heading over to the Contemporary which made for easy transportation, but if you are going from resort to resort it is also easy to get transportation to the Magic Kingdom and hop on the Monorail or take the walking path over (but you do have to go through security). 

The Contemporary is finishing up a lengthy refurbishment and the new lower lobby is just gorgeous in my opinion.  The colors really pop and it is just so inviting as you make your way up to the 4th floor where Chef Mickey's is located. 

We were quickly seated for our reservation with no issues and characters were showing up in no time.  While they are still socially distanced, as long as you stay by your table and don't get close to the characters you are able to get up for a photo.  We preferred to do it this way so you don't have our dirty food-covered table in the photos.  

The meal starts with bread service and three different salads!  The plant-based salad was my favorite while the Caesar was Elizabeth's favorite.  Neither of us are fans of shrimp so we didn't really like the shrimp salad but it was definitely a great variety to choose from. 
Pastry Chef’s Bread Selections
Citrus-poached Baby Shrimp: Creamy Cilantro-Lime Broccoli Slaw, Greens, Avocado, Tomato
Seasonal Composed Plant-based Salad
Chef Mickey’s Caesar (ordered dressing on the side)

Once we had our fill of salads, it was time for the main course.  We couldn't believe how much food was brought out for just the two of us, and there was so much variety!  Both of the main meats were juicy and tender, the sauces accompanied beautifully.  The veggies were crisp yet tender and had great flavor.  The salmon was presented beautifully on its own as well, and just look at those potatoes with their own Mickey garnish.  

While the main courses were great, the star here for me was really the potato gnocchi dish.  It was also Elizabeth's favorite during our meal so you know it must have been something special for us both to prefer it over everything else.  The gnocchi were light and pillowy and the sauce was decadent.  We almost asked for more but opted to save room for dessert! (Not pictured: Plant-based Farro Wheat Fried Rice, it tasted fine just was not photogenic at all.)

Prime Rib  with Mushroom RagoĆ»t and Roasted Onions and  Traditional Roasted Breast of Turkey  with Summer Succotash and Gravy accompanied by asparagus and carrots. 
       
Potato Gnocchi: Roasted Mushroom Cream, Baby Spinach, Parmesan, Herbs
Roasted Salmon with Sweet Mustard Glaze and Southern-style Braised Kale
Roasted Garlic Gratin Potatoes with Mickey’s Parmesan Frico

Characters continued to come around throughout our meal and they were definitely having a great time tonight! 
After all that food I don't know how we possibly had room for more, but out came these beautiful desserts so we certainly tried!  There was a little something for everyone in this variety plate but I think my favorite was the apple crumble because it just felt perfect for fall.
Mickey Mousse Dome, Apple Crumble Tart & Strawberry Cream Cake
At the end of the meal we got our bill and a signature card since the characters don't stop for autographs right now.  We ended the night by wandering over to the fourth floor observation deck to take in the lovely views of the Magic Kingdom and watched the Monorail zoom by overhead while we let our food digest before calling it a night. 


We found dinner to be a great value for the quality and quantity of food we were served, the great service, and the character interaction. 

Maci is an avid foodie and loves trying out new restaurants and seasonal food offerings in the parks.  You can email Maci at maci@kingdomkonsultant.com.

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