This morning we’re enjoying breakfast at The Wave… of American Flavors!
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Located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, The Wave is unlike any other restaurant at Disney World due to its emphasis on sustainable eating – many of the ingredients used in the dishes here are sourced locally.
The Wave also has the added benefit of being a mere stroll away from the Magic Kingdom, making this a great and convenient place to start the day when you’re headed into Disney World’s original park!
You’ll find The Wave on the Lobby Level of the Contemporary. As you enter from the front, you’ll notice a faint blue glow coming from the end of the concierge services desk and to the left.
That blue stems from the unique “tunnel entrance” that lights the way to the eatery. Something about this reminds me of the Contemporary when I was a kid way back in the day.
For one of the resort’s more recent additions, the entrance is retro Disney World, and I love it for that. (Does anyone else remember watching Disney movies in a small theater on this floor, by the way, or has my memory stored that incorrectly? I’m more certain of my memories of the Air Hockey table in the old Game Room… .)
After walking through the tunnel you’re greeted at the check-in counter. There is a sign to remind guests that The Wave is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We were seated very promptly, even though we arrived prior to our scheduled Advance Dining Reservation.
Upon entering the dining room, the vibe changes entirely. Decor changes from cool blue to warm earth tones, and the theme of “waves” is echoed throughout the chairs at the tables — and even on the ceiling and in the lighting.
There is little else in the way of detailing, in favor of simplicity. However, the artwork that has been selected brings the focus back to fresh ingredients.
Upon being seated, our server came to greet us right away (and he remained attentive throughout the meal). After walking us through the menu, he invited us to view the breakfast buffet prior to making our decisions.
I’ve enjoyed The Wave’s buffet a few times, so for this visit I chose from the menu for a change of pace. But because the buffet here is noteworthy, I’d like to give you a peek before going into our entrees.
Where lunch and dinner entrees can change fairly frequently at The Wave due having a sustainable menu, several of the breakfast buffet offerings remain consistent. From right to left, the buffet begins with a cold section featuring, among other items, salmon and hard-boiled eggs, and fresh fruit.
An assortment of pastries is available, including multi-grain croissants, bagels, pain au chocolat, and danish.
The hot section features breakfast favorites such as biscuits and gravy, eggs, and sausage and bacon as well as the Wave’s famous cheese grits (more on that later).
There are also some items more unique to The Wave. The Breakfast Potatoes, for instance, are always a hit.
Pick up some Eggs Benedict with Florida Key Lime Hollandaise!
And don’t forget the famous Sweet Potato Pancakes! Again — more on that later!
What’s breakfast at Disney World without this pair of ears :)? The Wave’s Mickey Waffles are the multi-grain version.
Again, while the buffet is a standout, this time I chose to go a la carte.
Oh, and just a note before we begin: if you choose a cold beverage at The Wave, they are served with paper straws, like the ones used in Animal Kingdom.
So, let’s get down to business!
Though they are technically a side item, we started with the Tillamook Cheddar Cheese Grits with Nueske’s Smoked Bacon (the same bacon, incidentally, used in the Pigglylicious Bacon Cupcake currently featured at the Flower and Garden Festival and in the Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie at the BoardWalk Bakery!).
These were so incredibly creamy and rich, and obviously the cheese and bacon was piled on generously. While my husband enjoys grits, I’m not a fan of the texture; but these were more creamy than grainy.
This serving was so filling that we both agreed it could stand as a breakfast on its own.
For my entrée, I chose the Spinach, Tomato, and Feta Cheese Scrambled Eggs.
I really appreciated how the spinach was served on the side. I find that some spinach-egg dishes can become very over-spinached (a new word! 😉 ), so having control over how much went in the dish was a nice little perk.
The feta cheese was plentiful throughout, and I have to say that for the price ($8.99) I was quite impressed with the portion!
My dish came with The Wave Breakfast Potatoes… which was also appreciated, since whenever I have the breakfast buffet, I go back several times for more of those potatoes! The only thing that wasn’t fresh on my plate, oddly, was the biscuit. This was surprising because the biscuits – though obviously very simple – are usually an easy favorite.
My husband chose The American: two naturally-raised eggs served with Breakfast Potatoes. This is a dish found on just about every Disney breakfast menu — counter-service and table-service alike. But at the table-service restaurants it’s usually just a teensy bit different everywhere you go.
The presentation was simple, but my husband enjoyed the flavor of the eggs and felt that they did indeed have a fresher taste than industrial range grade eggs. They were also well-prepared to his order.
He had his choice of bacon and pork or chicken sausage. He chose the chicken sausage since it is leaner than pork, and found it to be well-spiced and flavorful.
We also ordered the Sweet Potato Pancakes because this dish is The Wave’s Signature, though they wouldn’t typically be my choice. I would change that next time, for sure. As it turns out, there is a reason this is the signature dish!
The autumnal spices (primarily cinnamon) almost lent the pancakes a flavor akin to pumpkin pie, and the pecan-honey butter added a slightly nutty flavor. The pancakes ended up as my clear favorite.
If you’re interested in starting your day at The Wave, here are a few good things to know: each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) at The Wave is one Table Service Credit on the Disney Dining Plan, and it is a participant in the Tables in Wonderland program.
It’s also good to know that you’ll get to make your way back out towards the Magic Kingdom through the light tunnel 🙂 .
I think The Wave is a terrific breakfast option, and worth a try especially if you have plans to visit the Magic Kingdom on the same day.
I did enjoy the entrees – especially those pancakes! But the next time I go back, I don’t think I’ll be able to resist the buffet for a second time. I just think it’s a standout among Disney breakfast buffets for a several reasons: the selection is tasty with some unique items, it’s a decent buffet price ($21.49), and The Wave typically has a more peaceful atmosphere overall, so getting to and from your table and navigating through the buffet is a smooth and easy process.
While you won’t have a Castle view as with some of the other Monorail Loop restaurants, or the good-time vibe of a character meal like the Contemporary Resort’s Chef Mickey’s upstairs, what you will likely find is a quality meal with unique options in a relaxed atmosphere. For me, the buffet remains the standout, but no matter what I’ve chosen on my visit, I’ve enjoyed it every time. I hope you will, too!
Would you like to start your day at The Wave? Please let us know with a comment!