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The 5 Best Buffets on Walt Disney World Property

Image: Flickr, rickpilot_2000

When it comes to food, Walt Disney World brings the quality. You have everything on offer, from five-star haute-cuisine at restaurants like Victoria and Albert’s to down-home comfort food at places like Homecomin’. There’s fairly authentic Cajun food at Port Orleans French Quarter, and there’s incredible New American flavors at California Grill.

If you’re looking for delicious food, Walt Disney World has you covered. But, what if you’re more interested in sheer amounts of food? Thankfully, Walt Disney World has mastered that area of cooking too.

Yes, Disney has tons of all-you-care-to-eat buffets available for guests at nearly any time of day and at nearly any resort area. While some of these buffets trade quality for quantity, most manage to serve food that is just as amazing as that which you might find on the menu at some of Disney’s best restaurants.

Let’s take a look at some of the best buffets on Disney property — all of which offer a great value, if you’re someone who likes to eat a lot.

Trail’s End Restaurant

 Dakota Gardner

Image: Dakota Gardner

If you’re interested in the cuisine on offer at the world-renowned Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue, but you can’t or won’t snag a reservation, you’re in luck: Trail’s End Restaurant offers a very similar menu just next door. And, much like the dinner theater it neighbors, the food is all-you-care-to-eat.

With fried chicken, barbecue, cobbler, and fresh-sliced beef, even the pickiest eaters will find something to enjoy here. The decor is rustic and spartan — much like the rest of the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground — but therein lies its true charm. It feels like the mess hall of a mid-century summer camp, with warm wood touches and forest as far as you can see. 

While reservations aren’t too difficult to come by, Trail’s End Restaurant can be a bit challenging to locate. Guests arriving by car or bus must transfer to an internal shuttle back to the restaurant — but, you can bypass this if you opt instead to take the Fort Wilderness ferry from the Magic Kingdom.

A ferry ride and as much fried chicken as you can stomach? That’s a slice of Disney heaven.

Cape May Cafe

 Dakota Gardner

Image: Dakota Gardner

Cape May, NJ is a charming seaside village on the iconic Jersey Shore, and it’s home to hundreds of fishing boats that dock in its harbor to sell their fresh catch. Clams, mussels, crabs, shrimp, and all sorts of sea creatures make their way into everything from fried seafood platters to chowder and bisque.

Disney knew that its Deluxe nautical-themed resort would need a restaurant that evoked that classic seaside flavor, and so it created the all-you-can-eat buffet, Cape May Cafe.

Located in Disney's Beach Club Resort, this buffet serves everything from peel-and-eat shrimp to king crab legs and even steamed clams. Crab can be polarizing, but for the aficionados, having a never ending source can feel like a dream come true.

Add to that delicious vegetable sides and creative desserts, and you’ve got one of the best values on Walt Disney World property. 

Chef Mickey’s

 tjung, Flickr (license)

Image: tjung, Flickr (license)

Now, look: Chef Mickey isn’t going to find himself cooing at the James Beard House any time soon, ok? But who says buffets have to only be about top-notch cuisine?

Chef Mickey’s — located on the Grand Canyon Concourse of the Contemporary Resort — should be on the bucket list for every Disney vacationer. It is the quintessential character dining experience, with the famous Fab Five characters serving classic American food in heaping portions.

Yes, it’s loud. Yes, it’s rowdy. No, Mickey probably isn’t back in the kitchen shouting like a high-pitched Gordon Ramsay. But none of that matters. For generations of families, Chef Mickey’s is — for better and for worse — Walt Disney World. It’s the most iconic dining experience at the most iconic Disney resort. 

When the kids get older, you can take them upstairs to California Grill. For now, cherish the chaos while you still can.

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