Best Breakfast Buffets at Walt Disney World Hotels

For many people, breakfast is the best meal of the day—one that you can eat foods as a "meal" that you'd never consider for lunch or dinner. (I'm looking at you doughnuts and French toast!) Buffets offer a great way to eat a lot of those not-so-healthy choices, and sample a little bit of everything along the way. As any vacationer knows, calories on a Walt Disney World vacation don't count, and so breakfast buffets are a perfect start to your day. Whether you're looking for a meal with character, a quick meal before heading to the theme parks or even some healthy dining options, there are breakfast buffets at Walt Disney World hotels to fit any need. Here are five of the best.

The Wave
Located in Disney's Contemporary Resort hotel, this is a local's secret for a quiet breakfast with some unique fresh and local offerings. The Wave has an emphasis on healthy, local or sustainable foods, and this carries over to the breakfast offerings. The house specialty is sweet potato pancakes with house-made honey pecan butter, but other must-try dishes are the frittata of the day, the eggs benedict with Key lime hollandaise and the Tillamook cheddar grits.

Another favorite for locals and tourists alike is Boma, located at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Although the buffet is African-inspired for dinner, breakfast is a combination of familiar breakfast foods along with some African specialties. The meal includes the favorite POG (passion fruit-orange-guava) juice (along with other breakfast drinks), or you can splurge to order a press pot of Kenyan coffee for an additional charge. For the foods, the oak-grilled asparagus and hand-carved breakfast ham are a delightful savory start. Bobotie, an African specialty meatloaf with eggs is also a favorite. And of course you can find Mickey and Lion King waffles, pancakes and an assortment of breakfast pastries for more familiar foods.

Cape May Café
At Disney's Beach Club Resort, Cape May Café is a popular destination for a character breakfast. Minnie, Donald and Goofy roam the dining room for photographs and autographs while dressed in swimwear for a day at the nearby Stormalong Bay pool. At dinner, Cape May Café is a New England-style clambake, but at breakfast it is familiar morning foods. Dishes like the spicy chorizo and four cheese scrambled eggs, pastrami-style salmon, biscuits with gravy and yogurt bar with house-made granola are highlights of this buffet.

Captain's Grille
If you want a meal without as much "character" as Cape May Café, Disney's Yacht Club Resort (the sister resort to the Beach Club) has a breakfast buffet at its restaurant, Captain's Grille. The bread pudding with bananas foster topping is a wonderful alternative to the French toast, pancakes and waffles on the buffet, and the frittata of the day or egg whites preparation are equally wonderful. Another benefit to Captain's Grille is that an a la carte menu is also available, if you are dining with both people who will get the full value of the buffet and those who want a lighter breakfast.

Chef Mickey's
For many people, Chef Mickey's is the epitome of what Disney dining should be. Its location (in view of the monorail as it travels through Disney's Contemporary Resort above the dining area) is classic Disney at its best. Your breakfast is hosted by Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald and Goofy, who make their rounds through the restaurant. The menu is surprisingly diverse for a restaurant catering mostly to kids, with a tofu scramble, turkey and corned beef hash, and cheesy potato casserole alongside Mickey waffles, tater tots and cheese blintz. Out of all Walt Disney World hotel breakfast buffets, Chef Mickey's is the most popular, often requiring advance reservations.

For many of these locations, you'll need to have confirmed reservations to park at the hotel itself, but advance (or even same-day) reservations are often available. Simply call Disney Dining at 407-WDW-DINE or make reservations through the My Disney Experience official Walt Disney World app.

Julia Mascardo is a freelance writer living the dream of being a neighbor to Walt Disney World. She is a frequent contributor to and has written several travel and tourism books.