Last week we began a series of blog posts about what to do if that top tier ADR is just not available for your trip. Here's a quick recap:
Have you ever had trouble getting the ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation) you want? Maybe you missed the 180 day window or are planning a last minute trip or maybe you just changed your mind. No matter how you got here, you now find yourself without that ADR for Cinderella's Royal Table or Be Our Guest or 'Ohana. That happens to me all the time! So what do I do? Well, I have a 2-pronged approach. First, pull yourself together and book a close substitute. Second, keep watching the My Disney Experience Website or App for a miracle. They happen! While I cannot help you with the miracle step, I can help with suggesting some substitutes to the most popular ADRs.
Last week we tackled Cinderella's Royal Table. You can take a look at that post here. This week I want to take a look at great substitutes for the elusive reservation at Chef Mickey's.
No Chef Mickey's
Another great character option if you are set on wanting to meet Mickey is 'Ohana at the Polynesian Resort. What makes this a great substitute is that it is easy to get to, right on the monorail, and has a super fun tropical theming. The characters featured are Mickey, Pluto, Lilo & Stitch. This has a been real hit with the boys in my family who LOVE Stitch, but also can't resist the Mickey & Pluto duo. The characters come around while you are eating like the typical character meals, but they also periodically will have the kids dance around or parade through the restaurant. Food wise 'Ohana was not our favorite. It is "all you care to eat" like most other meals, but the food is delivered to your table in a family-style. The plates have scrambled eggs, pork sausage, Mickey Waffles, and hash browns. Nothing bad, but nothing exciting either. The one additional item that is pretty delicious is their Pineapple-Coconut Breakfast Bread. So 'Ohana is great if you want to stick near Magic Kingdom and want classic characters.
Mickey's Backyard BBQ
Cape May for Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast
And finally to round out our recommended substitutions for Chef Mickey's, is Minnie's Beach Bash Breakfast at Cape May Cafe inside the Beach Club Resort. Here as in the other options the characters are Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy in their "beach" attire. The food is buffet with the typical offerings of eggs, sausage, Mickey Waffles, and other assorted pastries and cereals. Nothing fun and unique but nothing terrible either. The locations of the Beach Bash is a bit tricky. While the Beach Club is within walking distance to the International Gateway in Epcot, if you are not staying within walking distance, this can take some real time to get to. I would consider just Ubering to this one to save time.
However one major plus for this is how quiet and low-key this character meal is. If there is one thing I cannot stand about Chef Mickey's its that the overall crowd noise and chaos can be overwhelming. If you feel the same way, this is a great option for you.
Overall, if there is an ADR that you just have to have to make your holiday magical, then certainly plan well ahead! Know which days your want them and be ready at 6am EST on the 180 day mark. If that can't happen, be flexible. There are so many great hidden gems to discover. And lastly, keep checking. Look every single day if its that important. It might just work. How do I know? Because I just cancelled a coveted reservation at 'Ohana because I realized it just didn't work for our day's plan. Someone else probably got to nab that! So stay positive, keep checking for what you want, and book a substitute!
Tara is a Disney-obsessed Mom of two active boys!