Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort is easily one of my favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World with its exceptional food and service. However, up until our last trip, my husband and I had only tried dinner there. After hearing all the great reviews of breakfast at Topolino’s, we decided to do a direct comparison of breakfast and dinner by having both reservations on the same day. (All in the name of research, right?) Here is what we thought of breakfast and dinner and which meal we thought came out on top.
For “Breakfast à la Art” as it is called, we were joined by Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy as they took a brief break from their artistic endeavors. You’ll notice that Mickey and friends have special costumes to reflect their respective hobbies: Mickey as a painter, Minnie as a poet, Donald as a sculptor, and Daisy as a ballerina. Each character comes around individually, and then they all come out and parade around the restaurant together. With the restrictions at this time (June 2021), the characters don’t stop at every table, but they dance, pose, and wave for photos. You also get plenty of opportunities to see them since a character seems to come out every few minutes. We did not have any kids in our party, but seeing the characters was delightful, and I loved that we got to see them at least 3 times throughout the course of our meal. I also appreciated the announcements before the characters came out, so you had plenty of time to get your camera ready. Although you cannot get character autographs currently, you are given a cute postcard with all of the characters’ signatures.
At $42 per adult, breakfast is definitely not cheap, similar to all other character meals at Walt Disney World. However, the quality of food here is on another level compared to other character breakfasts, and the menu is not your standard Disney breakfast. The meal starts with a pastry basket that has croissants, mini chocolate chip muffins, and danishes. This probably sounds very plain, but they were very fresh and served warm.
For entrees, the menu includes wood-fired butchers steak, quiche Gruyère, smoked salmon, sour cream waffles, spiced sausage hash, and more. Even though breakfast is not all-you-care-to-eat, you are able to order an entree and then a side of another dish. For example, I ordered the quiche and then a side of the Mickey waffle dippers from the kids’ menu, and Timothy ordered the smoked salmon entree and got the spiced sausage hash as his side. Despite these being called “sides,” these additions were full size portions. It was like having two entrees, and we were absolutely stuffed by the end of the meal.
The quiche was rich and cheesy with house-made pancetta and served with roasted potatoes and field greens on the side. The crust was really flaky too. My side of Mickey and Minnie waffle dippers was fresh and had crispy edges (unlike some of the Mickey waffles I had early on during the reopening of Walt Disney World). Timothy’s smoked salmon came with an everything bagel, cream cheese, tomato, capers, and red onion. He thought all of it was delicious. When asked about the everything bagel, he said it was a real bagel–high praise from a New Yorker! The sausage hash was also flavorful with a poached hen egg, potatoes, pearl onions, choron sauce, and herbs. It was served over an English muffin, which was unusually biscuit-like in texture but worked well with everything in the dish.
During the evening, Topolino’s is still family friendly, but it has a quieter setting that seems fit for a signature restaurant. There are no characters at dinner, but the star here is the gorgeous view from the terrace. There is nothing like watching the sunset from there. Plus, you will get a nice view of the fireworks from Epcot when they recommence. The music from the fireworks is not piped in the same way that Happily Ever After is heard from California Grill or Top of the World Lounge, but it’s still beautiful to watch.
This was our 4th or 5th time having dinner at Topolino’s. It has become our go-to restaurant for special occasions from birthdays to our wedding because we have loved the food so much. This time, I opted for the gnocchi as my starter and the scallops as my entree. The gnocchi is something that I keep ordering because it is just that good. It’s pillowy soft, and the duck confit, pesto bianco, kale, and pine nuts are a delicious combination. The scallops were pretty darn perfect; they had a nice sear and were tender and sweet. The spring vegetable risotto in the dish was very creamy.
Timothy ordered the Holland white asparagus appetizer. It had a soft poached hen egg, sherry vinaigrette, and candied pancetta. He enjoyed it and thought it was a good choice for a lighter starter. It turned out to be a wise choice since the bouillabaisse he ordered for his entree was quite heavy. The stew was filled with red snapper, branzino, clams, and mussels and had a saffron rouille. That rouille (a Provençal sauce) was so tasty that Timothy started dipping bread into it so that it wouldn’t go to waste after all the seafood was gone.
For dessert, we shared the warm Valrhona chocolate cake that I had heard so much about. Yes, you can find lava cakes at other restaurants, but I love that this one was filled with caramel. The cake was so rich, and it was served with a scoop of ice cream, which was the perfect contrast to the warm chocolate cake.
Honestly, you cannot go wrong with either meal. Both breakfast and dinner are delicious, and the service has been impeccable every time we have dined at Topolino’s. That being said, if you are a foodie, you will probably appreciate the dinner menu more with its greater variety. I mean how often do you find a tomahawk veal chop, escargot, or bouillabaisse on the menu of a Disney World restaurant? Also, the hand-crafted pastas are amazing. (I highly recommend the rigatoni.)
If you’re going for the best overall experience, I have to recommend breakfast. The food is above and beyond what the other character breakfasts offer, and it actually can be a decent value (by Disney standards) when you consider that you are essentially getting two meals when you order your entree and “side.” Compared to breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table which is currently priced at $62/adult, Topolino’s gives you so much more bang for your buck. Plus, Mickey and friends are adorable and create such a fun, celebratory atmosphere. It’s that Disney magic–what can I say?
If any of you have had both breakfast and dinner at Topolino’s before, which meal did you prefer?
*Please note that this dining review was conducted during Walt Disney World’s initial reopening period. We ask that you take into consideration that any negative impacts may be a result of situations surrounding the ongoing pandemic, and may not accurately represent the restaurant once the resort has fully reopened.