26 May 2010

Course by course - Part IV

Today is the final installment between The Disney Food Blog and Main Street Gazette comparison of Disneyland and Walt Disney World dining options. While there are plenty of other dining options that could be compared,
our taste tour has reached its dessert. Actually, since we started with dessert, I guess it is time to get to the main course!

To top off our tour we’ll be reviewing two character buffets, and we’ll both be discussing both restaurants! So, where did we sit down to eat? Why, two of the hottest breakfast tables in town! From the Disneyland Hotel we’ll be partaking in Goofy’s Kitchen, while the Contemporary offers up Chef Mickey’s. To be fair and upfront, my meal at Goofy’s was back in late 2007 as part of my honeymoon and my meal at Mickey’s as last month, but in order to give a comprehensive view I’ll be looking at each restaurant in three categories: Food, Atmosphere, and Characters.

Food: Isn’t this why we’re all here?

Chef Mickey’s offers up just about every imaginable breakfast food item a guest could crave. In fact, the spread is so large that I did not even catch the cereal and treats section until my party was walking out. The buffet offers up a variety of potatoes, eggs, meats, and a variety of breakfast breads, including the world famous Mickey Waffles. For those with a more health conscious appetite, there are a variety of fresh fruits and yogurt, and even vegetable lasagna. A quick aside, one of the prettiest photographs I took during my recent trip to Walt Disney World was this griddle full of fresh pancakes.

Goofy’s Kitchen offers up just about every imaginable breakfast food item a guest could crave, and they’re just getting started. In addition to a breakfast selections similar to above, there are a variety of savory items also available, including pizzas, pastas, and fresh vegetables. With such a broad range of flavors, the menu here has something for every type of eater, diet, and hankering.

While both restaurants offer a terrific assortment of breakfast staples, with such a vast array of dishes, Goofy’s Kitchen clearly gets the nod here.

Atmosphere: The feast for the eyes.

Chef Mickey’s is situated along the Contemporary Resort’s Grand Canyon Concourse, where monorails can be seen whooshing overhead and where most dining rooms have a view that overlooks the Magic Kingdom.

Goofy’s Kitchen is tucked away in a quiet, first floor corner of the Disneyland Hotel, within mere steps of the meticulously designed Neverland Pool and a short walk to Downtown Disney, Disneyland, or California Adventure.

While both restaurants offer glimpses into the history of their respective homes, a view of the Magic Kingdom and a host of monorails passing by wins every single time. Period.

Characters: A breakfast with character!

Chef Mickey’s offers guests a chance to dine with the Fab 5; Mickey, Goofy, Minnie, Donald, and Pluto. During the course of an average breakfast, each of the five characters will make their way to each table, pausing long enough for autographs and pictures. As well, there is group interaction with all of the guests and characters waving their napkins in the air every so often.

Goofy’s Kitchen employs a vast ensemble of characters that interact with the guests. During my particular visit, I can remember seeing Chip, Goofy, the Fairy Godmother, and Wendy, among others. Also encouraging group participation, Goofy will occasionally gather a group, consisting mostly of children, to play in the pot and pan band that he creates by dumping out a variety of large dishes and utensils on the floor.

I am split on where the better character interaction is here. While Chef Mickey’s offers a guaranteed glimpse of Mickey and the gang, these characters can be found elsewhere, and some of Goofy’s inhabitants are often very difficult to find. As for their group dynamics, give me a rowdy band to guest slinging hash off of their napkins any day!

Overall, I think it is pretty clear that no matter if you are visiting the West or East Coast homes of Disney, both Goofy’s Kitchen and Chef Mickey’s offer up a delicious meal that is complimented by a fun atmosphere, and it would be a terrible mistake to pass up either opportunity.

I hope to venture back down the Disneyland and Walt Disney World food trail, or any taste tour for that matter, with my good friend AJ and The Disney Food Blog again soon! Until then, check out our tasty tour of snacks (Candy Palace and Main Street Confectionery), pizzas (Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port and Pizza Planet), and festivals (Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival). Bon app├ętit!

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