Saying "no" to Chef Mickey's?

Yes. My mother (Marie Friederich) was first generation German American and I grew up eating a lot of German food - not knowing it was “German” at the time.

In addition to the wursts (3 or 4 varieties) there are numerous potato salads, tomato salads, cucumber salads, delicious breads (including pretzel bread), pork roast, sauerbraten, spaetzle, red cabbage, various other hot vegetables, Black Forest cake, strudel… And of course the German beers (available in liter steins). One of my specialties is traditional German cooking (mostly from old family recipes), and I will say that BG is amongst the top three German restaurants that I’ve ever been to.

Also, it is not outdoors; it’s inside made to look like outside at night (similar to Mexico). They are community tables (just the way they are in a German festhaus), but they are not “picnic” tables, they have individual chairs. And the entertainment the icing on the cake.

One of my must-dos on my December trip will be a BG/CP dining package…


Mmmmm, is the beer included? Must admit you’re doing a reasonable job of selling it! Not outdoors is good too, plus the individual chairs, no clambering over benches to sit down - that’s a plus. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I almost always give kids logical explanation but when they don’t understand the logic or continue asking then it’s just because.

For example rode SDD…DD4 loved it…wanted to ride again. I explained that we had a fast pass to ride but the line was really long and she wouldn’t be able to wait an hour (we barely can wait 10 minutes) with her limited understanding of time she said she could wait. So then it was just a nope and distraction with next thing to do. Would do same for chef Mickey. Explain that it’s too expensive or too difficult to do buffets with littles and if she doesn’t get it then distraction with other fun experiences.

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Yeah, but the flip side of that coin is “They’re only little for so long. Instill values like delayed gratification and
dealing with disappointment while you can and before it becomes a real problem.”


Thank you!!
Saying ‘no’ to children is necessary at times.


I have only done chef Mickey’s once, but agree, the food is not memorable. Great character interaction which can still make it worthwhile for some. How about ohana for breakfast served family style or storybook dining at artist point? Better food and characters. Parents and kids are happy.


“Not memorable” is about the kindest thing I could say about the food at CM. It’s the pinnacle of the Disney mantra: it doesn’t matter how crappy the food is, if you add characters, they will come - and pay a premium price…


Thank you for the reminder. Your points are important and are also something I struggle with at times (as evidenced by my Original Post). I hate seeing my kids disappointed when I know that I can do something to relieve the disappointment, but to your point, it’s better that they learn (delayed gratification/dealing with disappointment) now at ages 3 and 1 because it will serve them well when they are older. That said, I’m not sure it has to happen at Disney World as long as efforts to install those values happen the rest of the time. Disney World is a place we all indulge in various ways.


This discussion is reminding me of going to WDW in the early 80’s and begging my parents to take my brother and me to the Buffeteria (a pre-curser to Chef Mickey’s) every morning when we stayed at the Contemporary. I remember meeting Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale there while filling up on pancakes, waffles and bacon.

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We were there last June I love this place, if we had more time this trip I would go back. Last trip our server was lucky she got a tip she did not deserve what I gave her but the food and show was outstanding. @Nicky_S the beer is included if you are on the dining plan. I had the grapefruit beer and it was included with the DDP and I liked it very much.

Totally agree. What is more important than making our kids happy? Instilling self control. With self control, they will find happiness throughout life. Without it, they will find themselves filled with discontent throughout life!

Of course, it is all a balance. After all, we all go to Disney for momentary happiness! :slight_smile:


Once of the greatest skills anyone can have is learning the value of delayed gratification. And it is learned…


Some of the pitfalls of using, “it isn’t in the budget” is having the kid who then questions your purchase of something they don’t think is “in the budget” leading to an argument. Or the kid who already has some insecurity/anxiety issues and they feel the need to start monitoring the family finances to get the bills paid.

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Yeah, I wouldn’t make up lies (they’re closed), excuses (we can’t fit it) or pseudo excuses (it isn’t in the budget).

I would just say, “Honey, there are a lot of other fun things we’re doing. Not everyone likes Chef Mickey’s and doesn’t want to go.” Depending on the situation, “if you do really want to go to Chef Mickey’s you’ll have to contribute XYZ to the family (chores, allowance, other rides etc.) to make it up to the people who really don’t want to go.”


There are studies (marshmallow test thing) that show a very strong correlation between delayed gratification as kids and success as adults.


Yep, seen it. It is a very powerful and consistent study.

Guys? Friendly reminder: It’s a meal. at a restaurant. at a theme park. With a three year old. Not a pony or something ridiculous. :upside_down_face:

Does this rrrrrreally need to be the time and place to teach her a life lesson… that she will likely forget all about roughly 3 minutes after it’s done because it’s WDW and everything is shiny and attention grabbing? Will there really be no opportunities for instruction after this? I know they grow up fast but… yikes :rofl:

The fact that you’re this conflicted about it makes me think that, deep down, you want to do it. You just are having a tough time justify the money given the quality of food and type of restaurant.

I don’t have any real advice here though. I would say go as both the meals I had are currently among my fondest memories of the trip with my mom, but conversely, I learned today that I ate at chef mickeys when I was 10 and barely remember anything about it. So whatever you decide, she likely won’t care in the long run.


It’s not the money. Chef Mickey’s cost is a drop in the bucket in the overall cost of a Disney trip. My issue is spending 1.5-2 hours at a lunch that my wife and I will leave hungry from because we don’t like the food (and then spending more time so we can grab more food somewhere else).

I think I will give my daughter a choice of Chef Mickey’s vs the other activities (Festival of Fantasy Parade and a couple rides or meet/greets) that we could do in the same amount of time if we ate at QS at the park.

Have you read the results of the more recent marshmallow studies the past few years? They have shown the correlation to be much less powerful once controls were put in place for parents’ education level and socioeconomic status.

Children of parents with high education levels and socioeconomic status were on average able to wait longer. And not surprising, children of parents with high education levels and socioeconomic status on average are more successful.

Furthermore, there was evidence that some kids from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were choosing to eat the marshmallow right away, not because the child couldn’t delay gratification, but because the child did not trust that the adult would give the child the extra marshmallows if the child delayed. The kids in this group were more likely to have trust issues with adults.

Once all this was taken in account, the correlation between delayed gratification and future success was still there, but it was much weaker than the original studies showed.


Thank you for sharing this often overlooked insight into this study! I was thinking of how to explain this fact and saw you’d already done a great job with it.

As for your original question, I think there are so many amazing things and special moments at Disney that Chef Mickey’s won’t make or break her experience. It is trickier since you’re staying at BLT. Maybe just say that there are so many places to try and you didn’t have time for it this trip. Character meals are such a time suck, but I don’t mind 1-2 just to see even my teenagers light up.