I could never imagine starting my day out without breakfast. Sure, it’s usually coffee and an egg or something equally inelegant, but the way I see it, if I’m getting out of bed, there had better food involved.
I also love going out to breakfast; that’s a real treat! You can have so many things that are too much of a hassle to make yourself, like waffles and fancy omelets and croissants (do these even exist outside of restaurants?). My only problem with going out to breakfast is deciding between pancakes and something that comes with toast and potatoes because if I’m being honest, I want all of it. I usually end up leaving full, but feeling somewhat deprived at the same time.
That’s where that magnificent thing called the breakfast buffet comes into play, and Disney sure knows how to do it right. The beauty is that there are SO many different locations that offer breakfast buffets and no two are alike.
Here I have compiled a list of my top 5 breakfast buffets at Disney World;
#5: Tusker House – Animal Kingdom (Character Dining)
I love doing breakfast here when we go to the Animal Kingdom; it’s nice to eat and then get right out to the park. (I would recommend not making a fast pass selection for Expedition: Everest first thing though!)
The food options are pretty extensive and I really like how they offer the usual fare (MICKEY WAFFLES!!!) right next to some more adventurous selections that you might not see at your typical breakfast buffet.
The theme is that of an African market and there are a few African-inspired dishes to try; if you’re not feeling especially adventurous first thing in the morning that’s ok too because there’s the usual, run-of-the mill offerings as well such as bacon and eggs. My personal favorite dish from this location is the cornbread-topped corned beef hash casserole; I would definitely recommend trying it if hash is your thing. Also, they have that amazing orange-guava-passion fruit juice that you can only find at some of the Disney restaurants. We don’t typically drink juice, but this stuff is so addictive that our breakfast reservations are often made to include as many places that offer the juice as possible.
My only issue with Tusker House is that it feels a little cramped and dark for my taste. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the atmosphere is unpleasant, but I feel like it could be a little roomier too. It’s something that I’m willing to let slide, especially because they are really good about making sure that your coffee and juice stay full at all times!
#4: Boma – The Animal Kingdom Lodge
Even if you aren’t staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, this is a definitely must-try. The offerings are similar to what is available at the Tusker House, and yes, they have the juice! I first tried Bobotie here, which is something like a ground-beef quiche, and it is de-LICIOUS! And of course, you still have your waffles…only they are not Mickey waffles, but Simba waffles. Don’t worry, they are just as excellent.
What’s even better is that they offer real Kenyan coffee in a press instead of that coffee-like stuff you get everywhere else. That in itself almost makes it worth the visit! I’ve only seen fresh-pressed coffee in one other location thus far, and that was at Las Ventanas at the Coronado Springs resort. It is rumored that Kona Café also offers the French-press, but I haven’t made it there just yet to confirm.
The restaurant itself is beautiful; it’s very open and airy with African inspired décor and furnishings. As an added bonus, you get to sneak a peek into the beautiful Animal Kingdom Lodge!
#3. Chef Mickey’s – The Contemporary Resort (Character Dining)
We just tried this place for the very first time last year, and honestly I have no idea what took us so long!
The restaurant is in The Contemporary Resort, located right next to the Magic Kingdom; you can take the monorail from MK and if you have an early morning reservation and the monorail isn’t running just yet, don’t sweat it – it’s a quick walk across the street.
What really makes this location fun, besides the bright and modern décor, is that you get to watch the monorail pass through the hotel while you eat.
The food selection is typical American fare, and one of my favorite offerings here is the blintz with cherry topping. I seriously dream of these weekly. I’ve seen them in the grocery store, but I know they just won’t be the same; everything in Disney just tastes 10 times better.
Also, it seems like the character rotation was really well orchestrated at Chef Mickey’s; maybe it’s just how things happened to work out during our visit, but I felt like they got the characters to our table one right after the other, which I really appreciated. That way, I was free to go back for more blintzes as many times as I pleased without worrying about missing the photo op with Chef Mickey!
#2. Cape May Café – The Beach Club Resort (Character Dining)
I have done breakfast here several times and it has never disappointed. First of all, the dining room is absolutely gorgeous; it is designed to look like a New England beach club and it is extremely bright, colorful and cheery. It certainly has an upscale atmosphere without being stuffy or uninviting.
This place holds a special place in my heart because this is where I first tried the Mickey waffle. I don’t know what they put in them, but there is something about a Mickey waffle that is unlike any other waffle in the world. I’m going to go ahead and assume it’s a pinch of Disney magic.
Aside from the waffles, I think Cape May Café has my favorite assortment of breakfast foods; delicious frittatas, an extensive bakery section and smoked meats and cheeses, as well as the usual eggs, bacon and the like. I can satisfy every kind of breakfasty craving possible in this one spot.
When you’re done with breakfast, it’s definitely worth taking a stroll around the grounds before heading to your next destination. If you happen to be going to Epcot, you can take the ferry to the main gate, or you can take a leisurely stroll to the sneaky back entrance in the center of the World Showcase, which will take you about 10 minutes. We have actually found that this is faster than waiting for the ferry, but if you’re not in a rush it’s certainly a nice boat ride to the main gate.
#1. O’Hana – The Polynesian Resort (Character Dining)
This feels like kind of a cheat to put this one in the number one spot because it’s not actually a buffet. Even so, I’m going ahead with it because the breakfast is served family-style, it’s all you can eat, and you get so many items with your meal it almost covers what would be available on a buffet line.
If you have a table service breakfast anywhere during your stay, you have GOT to do the O’Hana breakfast at least once. This is always the meal that I reserve first because there is NO way I’m not going to have my pineapple bread!!!
As I mentioned, the meal is served family style, and you start off with two huge pieces of bread; one is pineapple and the other is a glazed raisin bread. Then you get a platter of fruit such as pineapple, raspberries and melon. By now, I’m usually starting to get a little full, and that’s when they bring out the giant platter filled with scrambled eggs, breakfast potato wedges, bacon, Mickey and Stitch waffles, biscuits and the best breakfast sausage you will ever eat! Plus, they have that amazing juice that I apparently can’t seem to stop talking about.
The dangerous part is that they will keep giving you more of whatever you want; fortunately, they break things up a little with the character visits (yes, Lilo and Stitch appear in this rotation!) and a congo line that keeps the server from getting to your table just long enough to really think about whether you want a couple more waffles, which, inevitably, you do.
Do you agree with this list, or is there another breakfast buffet that you simply cannot miss when you are in Disney World? If so, leave a comment below and tell me all about it- maybe I’ll have to give it a shot during my next visit!