Chef Mickey’s vs. The Crystal Palace

In this post I’m putting my two favorite character table service restaurants head to head in a battle to discover which one is best! While both restaurants are really good only one can be the true champion of this head to head showdown.

Chef Mickey’s

Image: Disney

Chef Mickey’s is located on main floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort next to Contempo Cafe and the Outer Rim Lounge. When you first arrive at Chef Mickey’s you take a group picture with a statue of Mickey in his chef outfit. I love taking this photo to have as an extra souvenir for the dining experience here!

Chef Mickey’s is an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet style restaurant open for breakfast (from 7:00 AM to 11:15 AM), brunch (from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM) and dinner (from 7:00 AM to 11:15 AM). For breakfast the buffet features American cuisine favorites such as fruit, yogurt, eggs, ham, pancakes, bacon, sausage, cheesy potato casserole, hash, donut holes, danishes and muffins for adults and eggs, tater tots, mini Mickey waffles, and sausage for children.

During dinner hours the main food selections include items like salads that include fruit salad and seasonal salad, shrimp, baked chicken, pasta, mussels, salmon, and ribs for adults and macaroni and chicken nuggets for children. Dessert options during dinner include chocolate chip cookies, a create-your-own sundae bar, key lime tart, and bread pudding. The brunch buffet has a combination of both breakfast and dinner food selections.

The cost of breakfast at Chef Mickey’s is $40.00 for adults and $24.00 for children, lunch is $40.00 for adults and $24.00 for children, and dinner is $50.00 for adults and $30.00 for children. The characters that make appearances  include the “Fab Five” Disney characters: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto.

I really enjoy the atmosphere of Chef Mickey’s, being right in the middle of the Contemporary, with the monorail passing right above the dining area. I recommend having dinner at Chef Mickey’s rather than breakfast or brunch.  If you can time it right to have a late dinner at Chef Mickey’s you will be able to see the Happily Ever After fireworks, and this can make for a more casual experience than the resort’s go-to fireworks dining options upstairs at California Grill.

The Crystal Palace

Image: Disney

The Crystal Palace is another one of my favorite character table service restaurants, this one located near the entrance of Magic Kingdom next to Casey’s Corner. Like Chef Mickey’s, the Crystal Palace offers an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet experience for breakfast (from 8:00 AM to 10:45 AM), lunch (from 11:30 AM to 2:45 PM), and dinner (from 3:15 PM to 10:00 PM). For breakfast the buffet features all the basics such as scrambled eggs, omelets, pancake, waffle, fruit, pastries, and cereal.

During lunch and dinner hours the main food selections include items such as salads, soup, carved meat, freshly baked bread, fish, chicken, and a variety of desserts. The cost of breakfast at the Crystal Palace is $34.00 for adults and $20.00 for children, lunch and dinner is $45.00 for adults and $27.00 for children. The characters that make appearances here include Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, and Tigger too.

The scenery of the Crystal Palace is really amazing. I recommend having lunch at the Crystal Palace rather than breakfast or dinner, because it’s a good time to relax for a bit in the Magic Kingdom and you can catch glimpses of parades and shows through the windows. This is a really magical and special entertainment experience because you can enjoy a great lunch and show all at the same time.

The Winner Is…

Despite the fact that Chef Mickey’s and the Crystal Palace are both amazing table service restaurants with magical characters there can only be one true winner of this head to head battle. I based the winner off of characters, price, variety of food, and location (given that they both have roughly the same type of food). Given these three different qualities I believe that the best restaurant is … the Crystal Palace. I believe that the food is better quality, it is more conveniently located (since it is in the Magic Kingdom rather than a resort), and the price is better.

Have you tried Chef Mickey’s or The Crystal Palace? Let us know which one is your favorite in the comments!

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