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Saturday, May 11, 2019

mimosas & mickey waffles: my favorite breakfasts at walt disney world


When I'm at Walt Disney World, there are very few luxuries I enjoy more than breakfast in the morning.  Breakfast is my favorite meal on principle, but when I'm at home, I normally just pour myself a lukewarm cup of coffee or fix myself some toast before heading out for the days events.  That means when I go to the Most Magical Place on Earth, I obviously have to set aside some time each morning to indulge in the Most Magical Meal of the Day.




Here in the middle of Finals season, I decided to polish up and post something that's been sitting in my drafts for a while.  tinkerkait is definitely in need of some new content right now, so I figured I would drop something fun and light!


When it comes to breakfast, I'm a woman of simple taste.  Waffles and pancakes are two of my favorite foods.  If you pair them with a mimosa, no joke, I'll be golden for the rest of the day.  To start this little Tour de French Toast, we're heading over to my favorite resort hotel on property: The Grand Floridian.  The Grand Floridian Cafe is the home to one of the best breakfasts I've ever had in my entire life.

It was during our August 2017 vacation that we randomly decided to sit down for breakfast as a family.  Obviously this was an OOP expense that we hadn't factored our Dining Plan credits into when we planned the trip, so we wanted a restaurant we could sit down at that wouldn't break the bank.  The Grand Floridian Cafe had a ton of tables open on My Disney Experience, and it was just a monorail stop over from our room at Disney's Polynesian Village, so we decided we'd give it a shot.

First of all, it was 11:00 in the morning and the restaurant was empty.  I was charmed by how quiet it was, and our service started with a latte and plate of house-made biscuits for the table.  


I ordered the seasonal pancakes, and I swear to you, I will never forget these.  The seasonal offering at the time was a stack of cranberry orange pancakes, topped with pecans and orange butter.  If you're looking for the perfect ratio of topping-to-pancake, Disney perfected it here.  Each of the flavors came together so well, but they were still light enough that they didn't weigh down the pancakes.  I very highly recommend these.



Character dining is one of the foundations of Walt Disney World's dining scene, but often times, the quality of food is neglected at character dining locations.  This is particularly a problem when the restaurant is All-You-Care-To-Enjoy, whether it comes to you in the form of a buffet line or a family-style platter.  As a rule, I no longer book ADRs at character buffets for dinner.  Every one of them seems to be a line-up of indiscernible carved meats, soupy mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes that have obviously been sitting out under a heat lamp for far too long.  Breakfast buffets seem "safer," since there are more cold offerings that don't need to tan under a heat lamp, and the things that are hot come straight from a griddle or are made to order, like omelettes.

One character buffet that my family particularly enjoyed as a first-morning-at-Magic-Kingdom tradition for about seven years was Crystal Palace.  Crystal Palace is a staple to many.  Tucked in the corner of Main St. USA, the Victorian-American themed breakfast is a compliment to the welcoming, hospitable, and familiar vibe that parkgoers associate with walking down Main St.  Here you'll find the Hundred Acre Friends (namely Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore), and every day is your "Friendship Day Celebrashun."  While Crystal Palace is not as intricately themed as some of the newer restaurants, you can't beat the feeling of sitting down for breakfast here.  There's such a profound "gentleness" to Crystal Palace, something so authentic feeling that a softie like me often tears up thinking about.  No matter where you come from, it's hard to feel out-of-place or unwelcome here.  When you're here, you're home.


As far as food goes, character buffets always have a repertoire of selections that you can find at any other character buffet line.  However, there are two cult-classic dishes at Crystal Palace that you'll always find me making a beeline for: Pooh's Puffed French Toast, and Pooh's Breakfast Lasagna.  The Puffed French Toast is a pillowy, airy dough fried and rolled in cinnamon sugar.  If you've ever been to a state fair and had an Italian zeppolle, you'll immediately recognize this treat.  The breakfast lasagna is also remarkable.  It's a layered "trifle" of custard cream, pancakes, fruit compote, and fresh fruit.  This is a staple for Disney foodies, and for good reason-- the culinary marvel always seems to hold the perfect balance between firm and gooey, despite all of the ingredients that weigh it down.  While this is definitely a richer dish to start your morning with, you can't go to Crystal Palace and not grab at small bowl of it.  That's like going to a Cher concert and not singing along to "Believe."  Disney Food Blog has the recipe for you here.

While we're talking about character buffets, I guess I'll also briefly shout out 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian.  The Supercalifragilistic Breakfast is where you'll find some of the best character interaction at the parks, with Alice, The Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Pooh, and Tigger.  I said earlier that I don't book character buffets for dinner, but if I did, I would book it at 1900 Park Fare-- we've done dinner and breakfast there in the recent past, and for whatever reason, the food quality is always a lot better here than it is elsewhere.  Breakfast is still by far my favorite, where they have an impressive omelette station and yet another one of my favorite foods at Disney, the Strawberry Soup.  It's just a simple strawberries and cream compote, but I always find myself grabbing a second bowl when I come here.

Despite all the talk about sit-down meals here, I rarely have the time to for a full-on morning dining reservation.  My favorite "on-the-go" breakfast is hands down a trip to Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie, the bakery you'll find at the France Pavilion in Epcot.  When I'm done Rope Dropping all of my favorite Future World attractions, this is where I head for something to eat.  Les Halles is home to what I consider the best pastries in all of Walt Disney World, and any choice would be perfect for an on-the-go snack while you romp around the Showcase.  Plus, you're on vacation, so don't feel guilty if your 9 AM breakfast of choice is a chocolate mousse or one of their amazing meringues.  But if you're looking for the best pastry in the case, you have to get the Roule Lard et Fromage.


The Roule Lard et Fromage, as the name suggests, is a "pinwheel" of bacon bits and cheese wrapped up in a pizza dough.  It's a snack credit on the dining plan, and relatively cheap OOP, but still big enough to have as a meal.  For years, I have lauded this as my single favorite snack at Walt Disney World.  My only critique is that this dish is best served warm, and the ovens at Les Halles are due for an upgrade-- in the recent past two trips, the middle has always been at least a little cold.

Like I said, Les Halles is at great place if you want to grab breakfast and head to your favorite Showcase pavilion.  But personally, I'll just take my Roule with a mimosa and people watch at a table outside of Monsieur Paul's until it's time for me to wander off to my next character M&G.


These are my top 3(.5?) favorite breakfasts on property, but I can go on and on about the pressed pot of coffee at Kona Cafe, or the Trails End buffet that so many CPs enjoy for a discount.  For this next trip, we have The Wave breakfast reserved, which I'm so excited for!  We've enjoyed The Wave for dinner twice in the past two years, and I've heard nothing but amazing things about the breakfast service.  While we're talking, I want to hear recommendations from you guys!  Where are your favorite places to enjoy breakfast at Walt Disney World?  Is there a restaurant you can't wait to try?  Let me know in the comments below.

cheers,







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