A few months ago, my friend Denise invited me to join her and her husband for dinner at Cape May Cafe. The plan was to meet at Disney’s Beach Club in mid-January for dinner at the restaurant’s seafood buffet.
At the time, I was working on updating our coverage of the resort. So, I knew this would be an excellent opportunity to enjoy a meal with friends and provide a formal review of dinner at Cape May Cafe. You may remember we previously reviewed breakfast at Cape May Cafe. Breakfast at Cape May Cafe is an entirely different subject from dinner. You will want to know that the breakfast buffet is character dining. However, dinner is strictly a seafood buffet with no characters.
Cape May Cafe sits off the lobby of Disney’s Beach Club near the walkway that extends to Disney’s Yacht Club. When you arrive, you can check in via the My Disney Experience app or at a podium near the restaurant’s entrance.
A sign outside the restaurant describes the two meal periods at Cape May Cafe. Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast is held daily from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Then, the restaurant reopens from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. for the Seafood and More Dinner Buffet. Per the signage, the seafood and more buffet is a mouth-watering array of clams, mussels, shrimp, pasta, salads, and more. At the time of this visit, the buffet is one standard price for adults ages ten and over of $47.00. For guests ages nine and under, the price is $27.00. You can check the current price of Cape May Cafe here on Disney.com.
Cape May has a fun, beachy vibe like the rest of the resort. It’s a New England-inspired venue with pretty pastels, umbrellas, and beach chairs.
As many know, Disney’s Beach Club is my favorite resort. But you might be surprised that this was my first time dining at Cape May Cafe’s seafood buffet. I attribute that to two reasons. First, my son has severe seafood allergies. So, it was never a place we considered when he was growing up.
Secondly, the restaurant has always been known to have a strong seafood order. In the past, when you took the walkway around the restaurant’s parameters, you could smell it. I don’t know if my sense of smell has changed or the situation has improved. But I don’t notice it anymore. This was originally brought to my attention a while back after a comment someone had left. They said that they felt like the odor had completely vanished sometimes after the crab legs were removed from the buffet. So that very well may be the case.
Anyway, we were almost immediately seated. It was a chilly evening, and I was interested in how busy it would get. The parks were busier than I had ever seen at this time of the year. But I didn’t necessarily expect Cape May Cafe to be busy. Since I’m at the Beach Club reasonably often, I’ve noticed the restaurant is nearly always packed for breakfast. It’s a madhouse. People love the classic characters in beach attire.
Dinner, however, is a different story. Years ago, I remember always overhearing a noisy clatter from the restaurant when we walked by in the evening. But now it’s noticeably quiet, making you wonder if something’s wrong. Could all this be attributed to the missing snow crab legs? Or the fact that you have to pay an additional $29.00 per pound to enjoy them? Maybe it’s just that people are more cautious about eating at buffets these days.
We were about to find out. That said, I didn’t go into this dining experience with anything but excitement. I love seafood and was happy to break bread with a few friends. Plus, I almost always look forward to trying something new.
After getting seated, Denise and Jim were off to pick out a few starters. I walked through the entire buffet and took photos of almost everything. We’ll start with the soup and salad section. On the front corner, you’ll find a selection of clam chowder and the soup of the day. There were a few toppings for the soup, including spicy crackers. I would not recommend the spicy crackers unless you love the heat. They were too hot for me! But Denise and I both enjoyed the clam chowder.
Next, we have the Caesar salad.
Then, we have the seafood salad. This is a mayonnaise-based salad. I tried it but didn’t care for it. However, I don’t like mayonnaise.
Jim and I were both impressed with the selection and quality of olives.
Next to the olives were the peel-n-eat shrimp. Yes, peeling shrimp is annoying. Nonetheless, they were sizable, quality shrimp, and I could have made a meal from them.
A few fruit selections were also available.
Below is the seasonal salad, and a plain garden salad sits next to it. I think we all tried the Caesar salad and enjoyed it. But I can’t comment on this one.
The ambrosia salad was another nice touch.
After the salad and starters, we turn the corner to a selection of hearty entrees with sides. For reference, the main buffet is a perfect square. The first side has soups, salad, and starters. Then, it transitions to the New England Traditional Steam Boil, other entrees, and side items. After that, the following side is a combined carving station and an area with items geared toward children. Then, the last side has a few plant-based items, the sustainable catch of the day, and New England’s Captain Fried Seafood selection.
This side starts with Parker Rolls and then transitions to mashed potatoes and roast chicken.
After the chicken, we run into the ribs. We thought the ribs were tender and juicy.
Next, we ran into the items that make up the New England Steam Boil, like corn on the cob and baby red potatoes.
Seafood selections in this area included mussels, clams, and shrimp. If you enjoy a seafood boil, you will surely like this. The mussels and shrimp were cooked in a traditional seafood boil mix. The only drawback is that you must retrieve the seafood from the shells, which gets messy. But that’s usually the case with any restaurant that serves this kind of offering.
On the opposite end, a platter contained cornbread. I tried the cornbread and felt it was a little stale.
As we round the corner to the next side of the buffet, we run into a carving board with slow-roasted sirloin. They had two selections, medium or medium well. Of everything we had, the beef surprised me the most. It was cooked to a perfect medium, well-seasoned, and tasted like I had ordered a steak from a restaurant’s menu.
After the carving station, the next area is geared toward children or those who might not be into seafood.
Who doesn’t enjoy a slice of cheese pizza now and then?
Bowtie pasta, marinara, and meatballs were also available.
Then we see roasted chicken with barbecue sauce and broccoli.
Wrapping up this section, we find a vat of macaroni and cheese.
Walking down the last section of the dinner buffet, we see a platter with a plant-based dish alongside roasted vegetables. Plant-based items were limited.
Then we had the pasta of the day, which everyone enjoyed. I’m pretty sure it was corkscrew noodles with balsamic sauce.
This area also had a seafood paella, which I thought was tasty.
Lastly, we have the New England Captain’s Fried Seafood selection. This was another section I felt was impressive, but it wasn’t because of the fish bites. (They were fine.)
But more because they had fried calamari and spicy marinara.
The catch of the day was roasted salmon, and that’s fried shrimp next to it. None of us tried the salmon, but the fried shrimp had a nice batter.
Cape May Cafe’s dessert buffet sits separately toward the front of the restaurant. It looks impressive.
The front corner had a few basic items that were more kid-friendly, like chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and cupcakes.
The celebration cupcakes linger long after the celebration. But they are cute.
Next, we have an item labeled as cookie dough.
Here, we have flourless chocolate Mickey domes.
These cranberry cheesecake bits were a no-sugar added option.
This item was labeled as a lemon blueberry doughnut.
Bon Bons are the signature Cape May Cafe dessert since 2000.
The chocolate banana tarts were cute.
I didn’t get a chance to try the profiteroles.
But I did try the seasonal fruit bake, which reminded me of an old-fashioned dump cake my aunt used to make. Of all the desserts I tried, this was the only decent one.
Unfortunately, the other desserts I tasted (dome cake, bonbons, tart) were mediocre. While they were visually appealing, nothing tasted fresh or homemade. Even the bonbons were a miss. Much was left to be desired when it came to the final course of the meal. I would rather see soft-serve ice cream with toppings and a few homemade desserts like brownies or cake. These days, it seems like emphasis is placed on appearances over quality and taste.
Overall, we enjoyed our meal at Cape May Cafe. The items I liked the most were the cold shrimp, the slow-roasted strip loin, the seafood boil, and the fried seafood selections. As someone who enjoys seafood, these items were enough to cover the cost of the meal. We also had an excellent server who constantly removed our plates and refreshed our drinks.
When planning a meal here, you’ll want to consider what items your group will enjoy. If you aren’t interested in seafood, this probably isn’t where you want to drop $50.00 for a meal. It’s also important to remember that some items, like peel-and-eat shrimp, are messy and require you to eat with your hands. Thankfully, Cape May Cafe is a casual restaurant with no fancy dress code.
For more information about Disney’s Beach Club Resort, you might enjoy the following:
- Disney’s Beach Club Review
- Newly Updated Resort Rooms at Disney’s Beach Club
- The Pools at Disney’s Beach Club
- Everything You Need To Know About Stormalong Bay
- Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Restaurants Guide
What Do You Think?
Have you ever had dinner at Cape May Cafe? What do you think of this review? Are you open to planning a meal here? In the comments section below, let us know your thoughts (good or bad). We enjoy hearing about your experiences and learning from your perspectives. Other readers also find the comments section invaluable or, at the very least, entertaining.