Walt Disney World NewsReservations were not required.
Walt Disney World News announced the Dining a la Disney

The Breakfast a la Disney appeared shortly after that at the Village Restaurant, the Empress Lilly and the Polynesian Resort. From Walt Disney World News:

The 1984 Melvin the Moose Breakfast Show at Pioneer Hall at Ft. Wilderness. This was one of the more elaborate character meals and a step towards what we see today. Chip and Dale would take over the breakfast and rename it a Jamboree a year later. The breakfast lasted until 1991.

Image courtesy of Progress City USA.

1978 Walt Disney World News described the Village Restaurant:
By 1989, Birnbaum's Guide to Walt Disney World

The exterior of the restaurant received the most attention by adding the colorful red overhangs sporting the Chef Mickey logo. At the time, the Disney Village was known for its muted browns and greens, adding the bright red of Chef Mickey signaled a change for the complex.

A view of Chef Mickey's from the Sassagoula River Cruise.

During a visit in 1994, we reserved a 5:00pm seating. It was surprising to look at the receipt almost 20 years later.

Our dinner for two consisted of prime rib, ribeye, baked potato, fries and two souvenir drinks. Even in 1994, $36.75 was on the high side for dining, but it was all worth it to meet the Mouse. Goofy's Grog came in a souvenir cup and had actual grapes in it. Not grape juice, but whole grapes. Choking hazard, anyone?

The author's arm and Tigger watch meeting Mickey Mouse

The Chef Mickey's Village Restaurant closed on September 30, 1995, it reopened in 1996 at the Contemporary Resort. The Rainforest Cafe took over the spot vacated by Chef Mickey in 1996.

To me, the change from the Village Restaurant signifies a change for the entire Walt Disney World complex. It is one of the turning points when the Vacation Kingdom of the World started its march to the Walt Disney World Resort that we see today.

What other defining points in Walt Disney World history do you think about?

Any fond memories of dining at Chef Mickey's Village Restaurant?

Resources used in researching this article:

By George Taylor

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