Disney Dining’s Dinner review Cape May Café in Disney’s Beach Club Resort
A favorite car game of mine is playing, “Where will we eat next?” on the drive to Disney World. My husband and I tend to travel to Disney World on “off” times when we know the crowds will be lower and have been somewhat lucky with making dinner reservations in short time. So, during our 3 hour drive, my hubby reads reviews of places we have not yet been. It never fails that at some point he says, “I don’t know why we always do this. We are going to check in and head over to Cape May.” And we do. Every single time we go, we check in and head over to the Beach Club for Cape May Café’s seafood buffet. But, the game is still fun.
If you have never been to Disney’s Beach Club resort, you are in for a real treat! Beautifully themed after the beach cottages in Newport, Rhode Island, Beach Club has been a wonderful example of what a Deluxe resort should be. Opened in 1990, Beach club is distinguished from it’s sister resort, Yacht Club, with it’s baby blue exterior. Located within a 5 minute walk from Epcot, a 10 minute walk around to the Boardwalk , one of the coolest pools (Stormalong Bay, one of the nation’s largest sand bottom pools), it’s no wonder that Beach Club has families returning year after year! Beach Club is also a DVC resort, a hard reservation to come by due to the popularity of the location and offerings. Beach Club boasts a beach, a marina with rentals, a spa, health club, arcade and the sand castle club (drop off services for kids 3-12) For foodies, this location is pure magic. You are within walking distance of the restaurants of Epcot, Boardwalk, the Swan, the Dolphin, the Yacht Resort and the 3 dining options at Beach Club. Beaches and Cream is a casual diner offering some seriously delicious ice cream and a must have is the kitchen sink. Hurricane Hannah’s is the quick service location. But, the Cape May Café is the reason I return trip after trip.
At first glance, Cape May Café does not seem entirely impressive. The interior is a bit worn and the pastel colors muted. The wait staff does not come across as overly friendly or peppy, but they really don’t have anything to sell. This is a buffet, meaning that you will have to get up and get your own food. The servers will attend to table clearing and drink service. The star of the show is the food…the endless, boundless and delicious food.
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Several salads are set out at the front of the buffet, presumably to fill you up before you find the other items. House, Caesar, 4 bean, Quinoa, potato and marinated seafood salads offer you a solid first plate. Peel and eat shrimp also await you alongside the soup of the day and Cape May’s seafood chowder. We were pretty disappointed that the clam chowder was changed to seafood chowder because my hubby is allergic to crustaceans, but the Chef overheard us discussing that and told us he would make him a bowl of clam chowder. It was such a nice gesture and reminded us that Disney is most accommodating when dealing with allergies. I highly suggest that if you have food allergies that you tell your server. The Chef always comes out to discuss what food they can make you to accommodate you!
On each side of the massive buffet are snow crab clusters, mussels (in a tomato Sambuca broth…drooling while typing!), clams, battered clams, shrimp and calamari, corn and red potatoes. A true all you can eat seafood feast. There is also paella, herb marinated salmon, green beans, mashed potatoes and vegetable medleys. On the back of the buffet, you will find hand carved sirloin with the most tasty onion jam or horseradish cream if you like it, and I do! I discovered the tasty combo of sirloin on my Caesar salad during our visit. Buckets are offered to place your shells in and on a typical visit… we can send about 7-8 buckets back with our server. I also did enjoy the salmon, which is rare because I am extremely picky about salmon. The paella was stuffed with seafood and my hubby watched jealously as I had 2 helpings! Kids selections include mac and cheese, pizza and chicken. Do not pass the kid’s station without grabbing some fried cod nuggets. You will send me your thank you later…trust me on this. This cod rivals even the world showcases offerings in the United Kingdom at Epcot.
Desserts are set out in bite sized portions. The once loved oreo dessert is now gone and my hubby nearly shed a tear. Next to the famous zebra domes at Boma, the oreo dessert was his favorite. Total bummer! I did enjoy the lemon cheesecake with blueberry whipped cream. My hubby liked the flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and loved the Boston crème cake. I thought the strawberry shortcake was only ok and I don’t like flan. They also had some chocolate chip cookies that were slightly stale, but the individual vanilla cupcakes were tasty!
Unfortunately, on this trip, we had a 8:45 reservation. Due to work schedules and a late start, we were eating just a tad late for both of us and had just slipped into the restaurant before it closed. Our server was quite personable once we started engaging her in conversation, but that took some time. The food was not being replaced quickly due to the fact that the last reservation was at 9 pm and it was a slow Thursday. The snow crab meat was difficult to get out of the shell due to the heat lamp overcook it got. The clams were hard and dry. While filling our plates, we were told to grab some paella because it would not be replaced when done. Some desserts that are normally offered were gone, including my favorite sugar cookies with mickey shaped sprinkles. I don’t know if the key lime tarts and peanut butter bars were eaten or just discontinued. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that for just under $40 per person, the buffet should be just as good at 5pm, 7 pm and 9 pm. I also know that this was probably an off night for the staff because we love Cape May Café and return every trip. Based on my experience this trip, I might tell you to pass, but based on other trips I am eager to return. I am counting down the days until we play the car game again!
3 out of 5 stars for this trip. Due to the late reservation, the food was not as good as we wanted. Service was decent and for once, it was nice being seated near the restroom for quick hand washing after the snow crab experience.
Food: A ton of food with mostly seafood selections. All you can eat peel and eat shrimp, snow crab, clams, mussels and sirloin make this a top choice in my book. Fresh salads, desserts and homemade soups make this a tummy pleasing experience.
Atmosphere: Decorated in pale pastels and awnings over the booths, you will feel like you are in a seaside cottage. Seats many, so it can get loud. Some wear and tear, but you’ll hardly notice due to the food!
Service: Many of the servers are bustling around at high speed to clear tables. Due to the nature of a buffet, servers generally ask for a drink choice and do not try to upsell anything. Some of the servers are wonderfully personable, but many are just task oriented.
Tips: Make a reservation, this is a popular place and you definitely want in! Cape May also offers a character buffet breakfast. Ask for clam chowder if you don’t love seafood chowder, the chefs are very accommodating! The Disney Dining plan is accepted and will use one table service credit. Do not visit on the last day of your vacation if you are on the deluxe dining plan, show up with a very empty and greedy stomach!