My Top 5 Disney World Breakfast Buffets

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!) IMG_0954

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 IMG_0944recommend 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 BOMAEofferings 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!IMG_4554

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.IMG_4552

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)

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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.IMG_2154

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.img_4363

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 eveIMG_1230r 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!

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The Dog Days of Disney (Part I)

Ahhh…the snow is falling, it’s about 10 degrees outside, and I just spent the day white-knuckling it through my errands because that is just what we do here in New England.  Around here, it’s pretty much business as usual unless the snow barricades you in your home; then it’s time to snow-blow your way out and get on with your life. In short, it takes a lot of snow to shut things down here.  A wicked lot of snow.

It’s about this time each year that I start wondering two things: first, why do I still live here (seriously…why??) and second, how many more days until we’re frolicking once more in the Orlando sunshine?

Yes, we’re going back for our sixth visit to Disney World.  And even though every year my daughter and I say that we might try something different the following year,  our internal Mickey Mouse clocks start going whack-a-doodle around December and we know that we just won’t have as much fun in a place that does not have a Space Mountain.

We are doing something a little different this year though; instead of going at the end of April as we have done for the past three years, we’ve decided to go in the middle of August.  When it’s super hot. And humid.  But so is every place in the summer, am I right? Right? Hello?

The truth is that I’ve always dreamed of living in Florida, but anytime I mention this to somebody who has lived there, they tend to laugh somewhat derisively when I tell them that I’ve never experienced a Florida summer.  I’m not going to lie; it makes me a little nervous when they do that.

I’m also nervous about the fact that, with the exception of one year where it rained for the WHOLE FREAKING WEEK, we have been super spoiled with the weather during our vacation.  It has never been too hot or too cold and over time we’ve come to know what to expect.  Now, I feel like I’m going in blind and the way people talk about Florida summers makes me think that we should stay close to some source of water at all times, lest we should burst into flames at any given moment. Of course, as I sit her wearing 20 layers of clothing, a blanket and a parka, that almost sounds pleasant…

At the end of the day, it’s Disney World – and not even the heat of Hades is going to stop us from having a good time!  I’ll be sure to share some tips and tricks that we pick up during our vacation so that your summer Disney vacation can be just as magical as I know ours will be. Also, if you have tips of your own, please be sure to share them in the comments below!

Wow, I just realized that after this visit, we will have experienced all four seasons in Disney World.  Maybe next year it will be time to expand our horizons a little and try something different.  Maybe, just maybe, next year will be the year that we finally visit Disneyland.