I would have loved to do a character meal during our coming fall trip to Walt Disney World but it doesn't appear possible. In the past we had only done one, at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom for breakfast and it was a blast. Not only is the food plentiful, varied and surprisingly good, but the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood are family favorites.
So last December we scheduled another Character Meal, during breakfast of course (since we don’t normally do breakfast out at home) and since this is also one of my three favorite meals of the day. This time we wanted to include parts of the Fab Five. Also, since we like to try new places every visit, we chose a first time meal at Cape May Café in the Beach Club Resort.
An important part of any Disney breakfast is the availability of Mickey Waffles, which is part of the breakfast fare here. (It’s foolish that not all breakfast places at WDW have Mickey Waffles. I don’t know what they are thinking). It was also a single credit on the Disney Dining Plan, which helps with the budget plan for meals.
The Characters can change, but Minnie, Goofy and Donald in beach attire, three of the quintet are scheduled here. And honestly, as much as I want to interact with the leader himself, I thought that this location would be a little less crowded and it was.
I went up to DIS to secure the menu information. It’s a typical American breakfast and honestly, that’s what I love (although Breakfast at Boma is an experience I recommend as well). I dug into the fresh fruit, eggs, Mickey waffles, meats, potatoes and coffee. But as you can see below, there is plenty to choose from. I would consider it a reasonable price since the characters right at your table is included.
We haven’t been there for dinner, but the Cape May Cafe New England Clam Bake Dinner fits right into the scheme of things. Here are the menus from DIS. Clearly if you are into coastal beach food like clams, potatoes and corn you will love this buffet. [Not sure about the ribs, though, being beach food?] And the kids will be fine with the offerings.
The Disney Food Blog (my foodie bible) posted a couple of reviews with meat on them (no pun intended). Here is one on the Character Breakfast and a guest review on the Clambake. And the the way, a great one-stop information source on Disney Dining Plans is at OnlyWDW
The crowds for character meals are usually lighter at the earliest times, but you can be sure that the characters, who are always moving from table to table, will get to you during your meal. That is the big advantage of doing a character meal; you avoid waiting in line for photos and autographs. And of course, breakfast is less expensive than lunch which is less expensive than dinner. However, be aware of the seasonal price increases of up to $4 more each and even regular prices can change on a moments notice.
We had a lot of fun, as did the people around us. And we were there during Christmas season (which starts mid-November at Disney) so the gingerbread and chocolate decorations we aplenty that made the visit that much better. But what surprises me is that the visitor boards out there are not as flattering, but not that bad. DIS Boards readers score Cape May as a 7.3/10, which I thought was low, but then 89% also recommend it. AllEarsNet gave the dinner a 7.9/10 with 86% recommending; but an 8.5/10 for the character breakfast recommended by 97% of readers.
The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2010 (Unofficial Guides), which is my favorite guidebook rates it a three star setting and a two and one-half star food variety and quality. I agree on the variety (that’s OK) but I think the quality is much better. The reader response surveys were much more generous giving Cape May a total of 3 ½ start and a four star (out of five) value rating (the latter being really important I think).
You know what this wide variety of opinion means? You have to visit and make up your own mind. Me, I’ll likely go back again just to validate my own opinion since I care about my readers. And don’t forget your ADR, please don't forget to make an ADR and 180 days in advance is not too soon!
By the way, how do you not love the Beach Club Resorts. A great place to visit no where where you are staying on property. Here are a few pictures we took and one from Disney. And then there is Stormalong Bay which is a water park in its own right with a giant slide, its own shipwreck to explore, slow moving river, and the sand-bottomed pool, all just steps from the Crescent Lake Beach.
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