A Very Disney Morning! – Daffy Does Disney

Come join my brother, sister-in-law and I for breakfast at Chef Mickey’s and the new Magic Kingdom entry. This past December I was at Disney Springs when I found out that Walt Disney World was discontinuing the Magic Kingdom’s welcome show and letting guests onto Main Street for the hour prior to the ‘official’ opening of the park that comes with its many attractions beginning operations for the day. I didn’t really get to experience this new routine during my April trip because every day I went to the Magic Kingdom was an extra magic hour day, which meant a couple of the park’s lands would be opening at the same time as the first guests entered (If you remember, I was a little confused about how this all would be handled). Meanwhile, the underwhelming new castle welcome show has made the rounds on the internet and has generally been met with shrugs. So what would a standard Magic Kingdom morning actually be like? You’ll have to watch to get that answer.


Posted on September 18, 2017, in Daffy Does Disney, Magic Kingdom, Music, theme parks, travel, Trip Report, Walt Disney World. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Another nice video. I am a fan of the “trolley show” even in its trolleyless incarnation. I think I am okay giving up the old welcome show for the more orderly entrance. One of my least favorite parts of any day at Disney World is waiting in a (sometimes unruly) mob for the gate to open.

    I’m curious to hear your thoughts on some of the new-to-you experiences. What did you think of All Star Movies, the updated Spaceship Earth, Biergarten and Chef Mickey’s?


    • The trolley show is something that I miss way too often and I’m always sorry when I do. That’s part of why placing it on Main Street at 8:30 on a day when the park opens at 9 is a great decision. Most people just rush through Main Street on their way to one of the ‘mountains’ or other top attractions and this show gets left behind.

      You’ll see some of that unruly crowd from our Sunday morning at Animal Kingdom.

      I liked Chef Mickey’s a little better than I easily could have. It sure was a nice way to get started in the morning and get to walk over to the Magic Kingdom first thing. It’s not the sort of thing I’m likely to make a habit of, but as a one-time event, I’m very glad I did it. We bought into its spirit, which you really have to do, or you could end up surly and underwhelmed.

      On the scale of Disney resorts, All-Star Movies is mostly appealing for its price point, but it was bright and clean and appealing in a very Disney way, so I would stay again under the right circumstances.

      Biergarten was visually rich and fun. If you dislike the type of music that was in the previous video or if you don’t eat meat it won’t be for you. I don’t fall into either of those categories, so I thought it was charming and I actually enjoyed the food more than I was prepared to.


    • Biergarten is enough fun and has enough tasty stuff available that I would actively recommend it if you’re on the dining plan especially. It’s a prix fix place that is automatically a good use of your table service credit if you like the kind of food they serve (pretty much ALL meat and potatoes). Nothing was fantastic, but everything was good. The indoor/outdoor theme and music performances are immersive to the degree that it does seem kind of like its own thing rather than like a typical Disney place. Its location at the back of the park may add to that.

      In fact, I think it’s time for another Disney World Table service restaurant ranking!

      1. Tiffins – We ate there again this time and it was just as good as what I experienced back in April
      2. The Brown Derby – Another place I’ve enjoyed very much more than once.
      3. Restaurant Marrakesh – I had perhaps the best Disney meal I ever tasted here a few years ago.
      4. ‘Ohana – Not quite as good food-wise this time around, but the overall experience was still undeniable. Fun. Good service. A seat next to the window during the fireworks.
      5. Be Our Guest – I’ve eaten here for dinner 3 times and the food has been better each time. It’s a must-do if you’re only going to WDW once in your life just for the themeing.
      6. Sanaa – Great Naan bread service. Interesting, but accessible menu overall. Wild African animals right outside the windows.
      7. The Wave – This was just a steak…but it was a pretty decent steak. Themeing isn’t unique, but it’s appropriate to the Contemporary resort.
      8. Yak & Yeti – This pushes up into the top 10 based partly on value. The portion sizes are good and the food merits finishing what you get.
      9. Biergarten – A variety of tasty meats and top notch theme make this a good choice if it’s to your taste.
      10. 50s Prime Time Cafe – Theme is king here. The food is good – not great- but I do recommend the PB & J milkshake.
      11. Les Chefs de France – I’ve eaten here twice. One meal was very good, while the other was a little disappointing and seemed pretty mass-produced. No top 10.
      12. Mama Melrose – I’m surprised to find this as high as this, but looking back I’ve been happy with both meals I’ve had here.
      13. Liberty Tree Tavern – It’s been a while since I ate here, but I remember it as pretty good comfort food in a good location.
      14. Kona Cafe – My steak was not good, but everybody else at the table loved their meal, so I’m bumping it much higher than I would based only on my meal there.
      15. Nine Dragons – Maybe it was just my surprise at how good my meal was, but I seriously considered ranking this as highly as #12.
      16. Skipper Canteen – I want to try this place again, because I really liked the themeing and feel of the place. I’m just not getting the pork next time.
      17. Tutto Italia – Everything I ate here was good, but I’m holding a grudge because the portion was easily a third too small.
      18. The Plaza – Nothing special here menu-wise, but hey – my club sandwich was pretty good and the citizens of Main street did wander through at one point.
      19. Teppan Edo – This should be a home run. It’s a fun dining concept that Disney should do better. Not bad by any stretch, but kind of disappointing.
      20. Chef Mickey’s – It is what you think it is. Decent buffet in an iconic WDW location with character meets featuring the Fab 5. Overrated in some circles, but I enjoyed myself.
      21. San Angel Inn – Exceedingly average Mexican food. Not bad. They’re lucky they’re in a nice location.
      22. Sci Fi Dine In – How exactly do you manage to fail at making a decent hamburger when you’ve got this great themeing to work with? Inexcusable.
      23. Crystal Palace – Maybe I should try this place again. The one time I ate here I had difficulty finding anything on the buffet that I was excited about eating. My relationship with characters was different at the time, too. I didn’t really want them bothering me while I was eating my evening meal and it wasn’t really where I had wanted to eat in the first place. I’m probably being unfair to Crystal Palace, but I can’t imagine a second trip there would make it a revelation.

      Not sure if this should have been a full-fledged article at this point, but there’s no reason it can’t be.But with something like 60 table service restaurants in the parks and Disney-owned resorts on property (I’m not even counting Disney Springs), I’m still not sure I can write a complete enough ranking at just 23 places.

      I’m planning on hitting the parks one day over the Christmas holiday. Maybe I can knock out one more restaurant then. Any recommendations?


      • Are you excluding Disney Springs? I could have sworn you ate at T-Rex at some point.

        We tend to go back to the same places frequently so I haven’t sampled quite as many restaurants as you. At least I don’t think I have. I’d have to compile a list to be sure. My list skews much more heavily towards character dining than yours for obvious reasons. We had good experiences at your two bottom choices. I have heard terrible reviews of the food at Sci Fi Dine In, but we have eaten there twice and had satisfactory meals both times.

        We have only eaten at Crystal Palace once, but it exceeded my expectations. I use Chef Mickey’s as a benchmark. Food wise, the dinner buffet at Crystal Palace was significantly better than the offerings at Chef Mickey’s. I prefer the Fab Five to the Pooh characters, but that’s going to be a matter of personal preference. There are other places to dine with Mickey, but only Crystal Palace has Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, etc. In terms of atmosphere, they are both nice. Chef Mickey’s has the monorail. But take that out and I’d give the edge to Crystal Palace. I have heard that the breakfast offerings at Crystal Palace are also superior to Chef Mickey’s, but I can’t say for sure. All I can say is I have had Chef Mickey’s for breakfast and it would not be hard to beat.

        In terms of recommendations, I don’t know that I can make any. I find Disney restaurants to be pretty consistently decent. The food is usually better than you would expect for a theme park, but not extraordinary. The price is always too high, often outrageously so. You’re paying for convenience and an experience. I have never had a bad sit down meal at Disney World. I have had plenty I didn’t think were worth the listed price (often subsidized by the dining plan).

        Any place you are thinking about checking out?


        • I have eaten at the following sit-down locations in WDW:

          50’s Prime Time Cafe
          Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
          Be Our Guest Restaurant
          Boatwright’s Dining Hall
          Boma: Flavors of Africa
          Chef Mickey’s (breakfast and dinner)
          Cinderella’s Royal Table (breakfast)
          The Chrystal Palace (dinner)
          The Fountain
          The Garden Grill
          Hollywood & Vine (breakfast and dinner)
          Jiko – The Cooking Place
          Liberty Tree Tavern
          O’Hana (breakfast and dinner)
          Planet Hollywood
          Rainforest Cafe
          Rose & Crown Dining Room
          Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
          Wolfgang Puck’s
          Yak & Yeti

          Twenty in total. So, yeah, less than yours. And I’m pretty sure you left some off your list. You also ate at Mama Melrose I believe.


        • It’s funny how different people can have such different experiences. While I’ve got a few more restaurants on my list, I’ve never been to more than half of the ones on your list.

          I did exclude Disney Springs this time around where I’ve eaten at Morimoto Asia and T-Rex and a few places that are closed now.

          Mama Melrose is up somewhere at about #12 on mt list I think.

          I’m in the process of making this into a full article with pictures and everything and probably more text than is here now.

          Expectations are undoubtedly a big part of any dining experience. If you set them appropriately you can really enjoy a pretty average place, but if your expectations are too high you might be sorely disappointed. That might explain my placement of some locations on this list, including ranking Chef Mickey’s higher than Crystal Palace. All I know is I was grumpy throughout my experience at Crystal Palace and the food was a part of that. Kitchen staffs can change, so I’m not completely averse to giving places like that and Sci Fi Dine In another chance.

          I generally agree with your assessment of Disney dining locations in general. Most of it is pretty average. Obviously it will be overpriced too. That’s to be expected. On this list there are something like four places that I would frequent if they were local to me, and maybe eight more that I would follow a friend into happily. After that you might get some mild grumbling from me. That doesn’t mean plenty of good stuff can’t be found, though, and I’m pretty sure I could design a 4-5 day trip in which I ate nothing but stuff I could truly recommend.

          Is there anything on your list that you would recommend that’s not on mine? I have tentative plans for Rose and Crown on December 23rd.


        • If you were going to try a character meal (I know, you’re not) I’d recommend the Garden Grill. I think it is the most under-rated character meal on property. My experience at Rose & Crown was ages ago. We ate there in 1988!! For what it’s worth, I remember enjoying my fish and chips, but at the time I was just in awe of Epcot overall. So I don’t think I can really give an objective opinion as to what it’s like today. I have heard it’s about like everything else – good enough but won’t blow your socks off.

          We really liked Wolfgang Puck when we ate their in 2003. We had a pizza which we both thought was one of the best things we ever ate. When we went back in 2008, we were disappointed. Maybe inconsistent quality, maybe the expectations you were talking about. Hard to say. One thing I know I always say with regards to Disney dining is that I am usually hungry enough (if I’m not engorged on the Dining Plan) to enjoy any meal more than I probably would under normal circumstances.


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