….That You May Not Have Thought About
written by Sally Portera, Travel Specialist
I am sure that y’all know the classic favorite breakfasts at Walt Disney World: Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Castle, Crystal Palace, Akershus… While those can be fun places to eat breakfast, I find that they are typically crazy busy, loud and can be hard to secure reservations (understatement!). This top 5 list offers a variety of food options, character experiences and give you the opportunity to choose between a leisurely breakfast and a quick bite. They can also expose you to resorts you may not have visited and are a great first or last meal on your next Disney World vacation! Also, many of these great places do not require a dining reservation at 6 am 180 days in advance. Here they are in no particular order!
1. Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House
This restaurant is one of my favorites for a great lower key character experience, especially for little ones. This was actually where my son first met Mickey when he was three. Smaller than Chef Mickey’s, it’s not as loud or busy and the characters have more time to spend with your kids. Donald, Mickey, Goofy and Daisy are decked out in their safari gear. I also enjoy the food there so much! For those with a more adventurous palette, there are amazing African–inspired options. My favorite are the sweet plantains, mealie pap (aka cheese grits) and ham with sweet and spicy mustard sauce. For picky eaters, Mickey waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, and breakfast pastries are offered. We alternate between reservations before park opening and at around 1030 so we can catch both breakfast and lunch. Tip: The other great thing about Tusker House is that, as a hidden gem, reservations can easily be made and changed last minute.
Love, love, love, Boma breakfast! What a great excuse to visit Animal Kingdom Lodge! The awe I experience entering the lobby at Jambo House and the opportunity to visit the animals never gets old for our family. It is also relatively easy to get reservations, even last minute. When you first sit down, the server will offer you my favorite, POG juice (passion fruit, orange, and guava). I discovered it in Hawaii earlier this year and can’t get enough! In addition to the standard Disney buffet fare, you can select a made to order omelet, scrambled eggs with goat cheese and chives, hand-carved African ham and turkey, and A-MA-ZING French bread pudding with pecan caramel sauce. I don’t normally like bread pudding, but this one is a delightful “dessert” to end a great breakfast!
3. Be Our Guest
Who doesn’t love eating any meal in a Castle? This reservation can definitely be tough to get, especially if you want a reservation prior to park opening. The day that we ate there this summer, we were able to ride Seven Dwarves Mine Train twice before the park even opened! Tip: With Early Morning Magic being offered at the Magic Kingdom now on select days, this will not always be possible. I enjoyed the Croque Madame – an open-faced egg sandwich with ham and topped with a Gruyere cheese bechamel sauce. I hear the croissant doughnut is sweet and tasty! One thing to be aware of: the Feast a la Gaston breakfast could definitely be a more bountiful feast. Fortunately, a basket of small pastries is served at each table and happily provided us a box to take with us for snacking later in the day. Cost-wise, this is the best use of a quick service dining credit for breakfast in all of Disney World.
4. Garden Grill
We experienced Garden Grill for the first time our last visit and loved it! Located in the Land Pavilion at EPCOT, Garden Grill is a rotating restaurant with two levels of booths facing out towards the Pavilion and rotates over the Living with the Land attraction. We made nearly one full rotation while we ate. It feels very private. I could hardly hear the family that was next to us. Another perk is that the food is served family style so there is no worry about missing a character while off at the buffet. The server made sure Farmer Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale had all been by to visit with us before we finished our meal. Our meal started with cinnamon rolls served in a cast iron skillet followed by Mickey waffles with Nutella chocolate sauce, scrambled eggs with salsa, bacon, sausage and potato barrels. They also serve my favorite POG juice here and I was able to get a cup to go!
5. Kona Café/Captain Cook’s
Located at the Polynesian Resort, the popularity of ‘Ohana eclipses Kona, but I enjoy eating at Kona more for both breakfast and dinner. The favorite breakfast entrée is the Tonga Toast. If you like French toast and bananas, you will love the Tonga toast. At Kona café, it is served with strawberry compote and bacon or sausage. At Captain Cook’s, the Polynesian’s quick services restaurant, you can also get the Tonga Toast, but it does not come with the strawberry compote. Both ways are delicious, but the strawberry compote does help moisten the toast. The price difference is $6.50, so I will let you decide how important the compote is! I love that you can enjoy the Tonga Toast whether you are in a hurry or want a relaxed meal. They do offer more specialty items than just Tonga Toast at Kona. The Macadamia-Pineapple pancakes are also delicious! Tip: Don’t eat at Kona Café using the dining plan. It is not a good use of a table service credit. Captain Cook’s offers the Tonga Toast, but not the specialty pancakes for a quick service dining credit.