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Liberty Tree Tavern: Design, Decor, and Delicious Dishes

It’s no secret. I love Liberty Tree Tavern. It has one of my favorite burgers, one of my favorite appetizers, and one of my favorite desserts in all of Disney World. The food is great, the service is excellent, and the atmosphere of the restaurant is delightful.

Liberty Tree Tavern

Liberty Tree Tavern

But there is a design aspect of the restaurant that is extremely compelling and that many visitors miss: each room is decorated to honor someone who was instrumental in the creation of The United States of America! The next time you head to Liberty Tree Tavern, ask your “town crier” about the particular room in which you’re being seated. Is it the one dedicated to Betsy Ross, George & Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones, or Paul Revere?

Benjamin Franklin Room

Benjamin Franklin Room

Atmosphere
Liberty Tree Tavern is located in Liberty Square in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The building is white and columned on the outside, but full of rich Revolutionary decor on the inside. Once you’ve left your name with the front podium, you’ll wait in a huge, two-story lobby full of spindly seating, a massive cooking fireplace focal point, spice racks, and kitchen tools. Don’t forget to take a look at the themed chandelier above, and take a look around for the hidden Mickey!

Liberty Tree Tavern Lobby

Liberty Tree Tavern Lobby

Liberty Tree Tavern Hidden Mickey

Liberty Tree Tavern Hidden Mickey

Soon, one of the “town criers” will announce that a table is ready for your family: “Announcing the Smith Family of Wisconsin!” :-) As you walk to your table, take a few moments to check out the detail of wall hangings, tables and chairs, paintings and artwork, and the styles of each room. As is the standard with Disney, everything you see has been chosen to expertly place you into the specific setting and age of the “show” you’re seeing. In this case — the late 18th century American Colonies.

The color and decor in the George and Martha Washington room are period-specific; the tri-corner hat and coat hanging next to the “front door” are what you’d see if you were dining in a noble colonist’s house; the kite on the ceiling in the Benjamin Franklin room is unmistakable.

Kite in Ben Franklin Room

Kite in Ben Franklin Room

Coats and Hats by the Door

Coats and Hats by the Door

John Paul Jones Room

John Paul Jones Room

Flag in Betsy Ross Room

Flag in Betsy Ross Room

Table Setting at Liberty Tree Tavern

Table Setting at Liberty Tree Tavern

One of my favorite window tables

One of my favorite window tables

My one major beef with this place is the restrooms. They’re upstairs, and incredibly small and tight. I’m not at all sure where this design came from. Also, here’s a question I have about a well-known piece of trivia: On the Keys to the Kingdom Tour, several guides tell guests that the restrooms in the Columbia Harbour House are “technically” located in Fantasyland — there was no running water in colonial times and having them in Liberty Square would be unrealistic for “show” purposes. So, where are the restrooms in Liberty Tree Tavern? Frontierland? Just askin’…

Restrooms Upstairs

Restrooms Upstairs

Eats
As I’ve said many times, Liberty Tree Tavern is one of our “every trip” restaurants. In fact, my husband is very serious about our tradition that this is the first place we eat after we get off the plane in Orlando. It’s a consistently good restaurant — both in food quality, and service — and we’ve never had a bad meal here.

We usually visit for lunch, when the restaurant has an a la carte menu. But the evening meal — an all-you-care-to-eat, family-style menu of turkey, pork, roast beef, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, dressing, and more — is delicious as well. In fact, it’s the perfect place for Thanksgiving! (As a reminder, although Liberty Tree Tavern used to be a Character Dinner, and briefly brought the characters back earlier in 2010 during the Crystal Palace refurbishment, there are currently no characters appearing at the restaurant.)

Here are some of our favorite items from Liberty Tree Tavern:
The Tavern Fried Cheese is a favorite of ours mostly because it includes fried cheese curds. These mini-nuggets of cheese are some of the most flavorful fried treats I’ve tasted, and I’m strongly considering begging for a whole plate of them on my next trip to the Tavern.

Tavern Fried Cheese

Tavern Fried Cheese

This Clam Chowder is tied for first place with the ESPN Club on the Boardwalk!

Clam Chowda

Clam Chowda

You’ll get your drinks in these cool Tavern mugs…I have a feeling you can buy these…

Tavern Mug

Tavern Mug

The Pot Roast is a favorite of the husband’s. While the dish used to include crispy onion strands (making it about 20 bazillion times better), it still stands well as a hearty and flavorful menu item. However the loss of the onion strands might push my husband to order the burger…

Pot Roast

Pot Roast

This burger is outstanding. I know I have fellow fans out there who can corroborate! You can get yours with the garden on top; I’m just a bacon and cheese girl. You can also order it with swiss and mushrooms — yum!

Burger with Cheddar and Bacon

Burger with Cheddar and Bacon

We also sampled one of the newest items on the menu on a recent trip — the Chicken and Dumplings. These are MUCH spicier and more peppery than you’d imagine, and have the taste and feel of a very hearty chicken noodle soup. Perfect for a colder day in the World.

Liberty Tree Tavern Chicken and Dumplings

Liberty Tree Tavern Chicken and Dumplings

And dessert for us always consists of one (and sometimes two!) Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake(s). If these come frozen off of a Sysco truck, don’t tell me. I love to pretend they’re truly home made!

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake

Now, if you’re at the Tavern for dinner, this is the heaping pile of goodies you’ll find on your table: turkey, pork loin, roast beef, veggies, mashed taters, mac and cheese, gravy, stuffing…

Salad

Salad

Entrees and Sides

Entrees and Sides

And the delectable Apple Crisp (or another fruit laden dish) for dessert!

An Apple-y Dessert

An Apple-y Dessert

As you can see, the Liberty Tree Tavern serves hearty, casual American fare, but don’t let the simplicity fool you. This is some great food, tastes home made without you having to cook it, and comes with some of the best service and greatest cast members on property.

Final Thoughts
Just a few more quick tips if you’re thinking about dining at Liberty Tree Tavern:

  • It’s a great place to book a dinner if you’re in the park for a special event like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Because you pay extra for those events, you don’t want to spend half your time eating a meal. Instead, book a meal at the Tavern at around 5:00pm. By the time the party officially begins at 7:00pm, you’ll be ready to roll!
  • Also, this is a great place to eat right before a parade. When you’re done, just head outside and you’re already on the parade route! However, don’t plan on watching the parade from a window table — the glass in the windows is colonial glass remember? It’s a bit warped and doesn’t give the best view.

Have you been to Liberty Tree Tavern? What are your great stories or your favorite dishes from the restaurant?

Photo Credit for Dinner Meal: C Relacion

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46 Comments

  1. chris says:

    I love comfort food but have never been to LTT. Everything looks so good! I’m definintely going there next time.

  2. Richelle says:

    My husband and I love LTT and were so sad to hear it was no longer a character location. We had Thanksgiving dinner there in 2007 and had a blast with Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Chip and Dale. We were seated next to a table of young, good looking men and Minnie just couldn’t stay away! She ended up having a “kiss” with one of the men and everyone around us just died! Definitely one of our favorite memories from our trip.

  3. Sarah says:

    I have yet to go there, but I’ll definitely have to get the fried cheese and one of those awesome mugs!

  4. Janna says:

    And my list continues to grow…

    I sent my sister and her husband here a couple of years ago and they loved it!

  5. Mallory says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this place!!! Their mac n cheese is my favorite thing in the world. Best place to eat right before the fireworks!

  6. I hate to be “that guy”, but I ate here once and that was enough for me. We ate dinner before the characters were removed and I did not enjoy the food at all. The family style offerings were limited and the meat was dry.

  7. AJ says:

    Chris — Do a review on your blog and let us know what you think! Are you going to go for lunch or dinner?

    Richelle — Awesome memory! This place just always delivers for us.

    Sarah — I hope they sell the mugs; I’m honestly not sure if they do, but I think it’d be smart of them to do so! Also, that cheese is great. My husband and I always fight over who gets the little curds.

    Janna — Are you a vacation planner in addition to everything else you do?

    Mallory — WE love the mac and cheese as well, and asked them many years ago if it was actually Stouffer’s — they said yes! I’m not sure if it’s still the same stuff, but if so, you can go get something a little bit like it in the freezer section at the grocery store!

    Matt — Aw, man! Bummer that you had a bad meal. I like the dinner, but, like at ‘Ohana, the meat can be hit or miss depending on who’s cooking.

  8. Amber says:

    There’s one thing about this that bothers me, as much as I love the Liberty Tree Tavern. There’s absolutely no proof that Betsy Ross actually sewed the first flag. I know, I know, it’s not like it’s Disney’s job to correct the false history people think they know (like George Washington and the cherry tree: never happened). But still, they don’t have to go on perpetuating it either.

    http://womenshistory.about.com/od/rossbetsy/a/betsy_ross.htm

  9. Paul W. says:

    My family ate the family style meal when the characters were still there. In fact we went there because of the characters. We loved the meal, atmosphere and characters. Everything was great, and Goofy fed my 2 year old daughter some Mac & Cheese (a very treasured memory).

  10. AJ says:

    Amber — Okay; your beef can be the Betsy Ross room and mine can be the bathrooms! ;-)

    Paul — I do wish they’d bring the characters back for dinner; I thought that was a great treat. Thanks for sharing your memory with us!

  11. Gray says:

    I loved LTT as well. The cheeseburger is outstanding. That pot roast and apple crisp looks pretty darn good, too. I may have to give those a try next time. LOVED the trivia about the restrooms–funny.

  12. Deanna says:

    I ate at the Liberty Tree Tavern back in Feb 07, and wasn’t super duper impressed. Based on this review, I think I was missing something spectacular. I’ll give it another go :) Thanks for the insight!

    I took the Keys to the Kingdom tour in February of this year, and my guide said that according to land boundaries, the restrooms in Liberty Tree Tavern are in Adventureland. (I’m pretty sure Adventureland, not Frontierland …. though I may be remembering wrong, it may be Frontierland.) That may account for the inconvenient location?

  13. Nancy says:

    So glad to see this review of one our favorites! Both times we visited was when the characters were there, but honestly would go back again without them. My husband especially is a huge fan of the “traditional dinner” fare, and I personally am in love with the Apple Crisp. :)

    Thanks for sharing!!

  14. Michele says:

    Oooohhh! now I have to go there!

    The themeing looks great; and I like to hear the stories behind it.

    I am hoping (praying?) to go back to WDW for October’s Food & Wine Festival, so his place will have to be on the list. I’m also trying to try every restaraunt once.

    The restrooms should be in the next land, I also heard that from the KTTK tour. However, she only mentioned Columbia Harbor House, if I remember right. But that might be why the restrooms are so tiny.

    I wonder how this place would be solo?

  15. AJ says:

    Gray — You’re one of the ones I’m referring to when I say I KNOW I have other LTT cheeseburger fans in the world. Did you get the mushroom and swiss?

    Deanna — Thanks for the restroom info! I can see how they might technically be in Adventureland…Hmm… at least I know they’ve thought of it!

    Nancy — I haven’t had that Apple Crisp in a long time; I might have to book dinner sometime soon!

    Michele — Solo would be great! I’d request the window table in the George and Martha Washington room — it’d be perfect.

  16. Kara B. says:

    Years ago we took the Family Magic Tour and ended up playing Follow the Leader with Peter Pan (so much fun!), and he stopped outside LTT and looked into a window, eventually tapping on the glass. Imagine the surprise of the guests who were eating to look out and see a blurry Peter Pan looking at them.

    PS We’ve already have reservations for LTT for our next trip – yum!!

  17. cv says:

    I’ll have to go again – we used to eat here every time we went to the Kingdom back in the 70s ::g::

  18. Jo says:

    I just was there for dinner on March 5th and they didn’t do the “town crier” thing the way the usually do it. They didn’t ask for our state.

    The food still is generally good, comfort food. I usually joke that I could eat the taters, stuffing and mac & cheese and be happy!

  19. AJ says:

    Kara — That’s hilarious. Those tours are so much fun. Thanks for the reminder that I need to make ressies for October!

    cv — That’s the best. You’ll have to let us know how the menu is different than it was in the 70′s!

    Jo — No kidding; an all-carb dinner here wouldn’t be half bad!

  20. MaumeeMom says:

    Thanks for the great review. We’ve eaten at LTT twice, once for dinner and once last February for breakfast. While dinner was good, we loved the breakfast, it was delicious. We’ll have to try it for lunch someday.

    I agree that the restrooms are very inconvenient. We’ve never been able to utilize them, the lines have always been too long.

    I never hesitate to recommend the LTT to friends or family who are travelling to “the World”.

  21. LTT is one of our family favorites. It’s such a tradition that for our upcoming trip I had to make a separate dining reservation for my husband and stepson while I take the little ones to a character meal. To them, it wouldn’t be a Disney trip without lunch at the LTT. Their favorite…the Colony Salad.

    Glad you mentioned the restroom location – it’s a noticeable negative.

  22. AJ says:

    Maumeemom — Thank YOU, ma’am! What did they serve for breakfast — I never saw pics or read a review! And now that Crystal Palace is open again, that’s all over, right?

    Lisa — Sounds like a great Dad/son bonding meal! :-) What character meal are you going to?

  23. Chip says:

    Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake
    Nom nom nom

  24. Heather says:

    I haven’t heard many good things about the food here, so it’s nice to see a good review. :) I’ve never eaten here, I was going totry it on a next trip, and then they got rid of the characters. :( I had no idea about the different themed rooms, I love that period of history, and that’s really cool!

    Our KTK guide told us hte same thing about the bathroom at LT. Maybe the bathrooms are so small at LT for that reason?

  25. Whit says:

    I am so sad. I thought everything at the Disney themed sit down restaurants was homemade. Toffee pudding off the Sysco truck….. Stoffers mac and cheese? My heart has sunk.

  26. I almost broke my computer screen when I tried to eat the picture of the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake :)
    That really does look delicious – not neat – but delicious!

  27. AJ says:

    Chip — Nom Nom Nom!!!

    Heather — I thought the history of the rooms was awesome when I first heard it! So glad you enjoyed hearing about it!

    Whit — No worries! I think the toffee cake IS homemade!! :-) (I’ve even seen the recipe!) The mac and cheese though…it WAS stouffers the last time I asked. :-( Sorry about that.

    CBFP — You’ve gotta try this one! Incredible! We ordered it on a lark once (don’t usually like “cakey” desserts), but this is like a melted cookie inside.

  28. Steph says:

    I was a GT at LTT from 97-99 and I miss it so much! Back then meals were served on beautiful “Liberty Rose” patterned china. You could purchase an entire tea set if you wanted! I wish I had done so when I had the chance.

    Do they still serve the Sally Lunn rolls with honey margerine and apple butter? We used to give out recipies for those rolls for guests who requested them (although mine never turned out as good as the restaurants).

    I’m pleased to hear that you enjoy it AJ.

  29. James (Disneynorth) says:

    I’m actually trying to convince my wife to eat here at our next trip (which is only 197 days away!!!). Your great review will hopefully sway her….

  30. AJ says:

    Steph — They definitely still serve the rolls; and I’m pretty sure they’re the same! What an incredible bunch of experiences you must have from your time at LTT!

    James — Feel free to give her my email as well — you can’t miss LTT!

  31. Patty says:

    What a beautiful restaurant! That ooey gooey toffee cake looks yum! Thanks for posting!

  32. Gosh,
    I am definitely going here for lunch. I wondered if there was a “restaurant” left to get a really good burger and I am hoping this is it. Considering the Pecos Bill counter service burger is about 8 dollars, I would have no apprehension ordering an $11.99 Angus burger at a full service restaurant.
    I LOVE the characters, but I felt they were over-used and it sometimes felt you could not get a non-character meal. I am excited to try this restaurant again – especially for lunch.

  33. AJ says:

    Chef — Check out our top three burgers in Disney World post — they’re all table service, and all great!

  34. Deejay says:

    My sister and I ate lunch here just yesterday. I stumbled across this blog because I was searching around the web for the Colony Salad recipe ~ which has to be, hands down, the best salad either of us has ever eaten. \o/

  35. AJ says:

    Deejay — So glad you enjoyed! Did ja find the recipe?

  36. Steve says:

    In response to an ealier reply, in the 70′s the menus for the Liberty Tree Tavern contained the following:

    Patriot’s Pot Roast – 4 slices of pot roast covered with mushroom brown gravy topped with pearl onions and served with peas and mashed potatoes.

    Crapes Lexington – Crapes Filled with chicken and vegetables covered with Morney sauce. Served with cantaloupe and honey dew slices.

    Chicken Dumplings (served on a plate) was a large breaded dumpling with large portions of chicken breasts covered with cream sauce.

    Seafood Chesapeake – A shellfish medley cooked in a spicy newberg sauce served in a vol-au-vent.

    (There was also a whitefish or scrod plate but I don’t remember the name of the entree.)

    Sirloin Burgers – ½ pound of ground sirloin smothered in cheese sauce

    Terrytown Brochettes – shish kabobs with sirloin, onion, peppers and cherry tomatoes served on a bed of yellow rice and covered with Madeira sauce.

    Franklin Fruit Salad – large fruit and cottage cheese plate with spiced pears as the featured ingredient.

    Declaration Salad – large romaine lettuce salad with rolled up slices of turkey and roast beef.

    For the kids was Lamplighter Fried chicken along with smaller portions of the pot road and sirloin burgers.

    All dinners were served with hot English walnut bread loafs with an assortment of three butters: honey butter, apple butter and Mickey Mouse butter

    The soups were New England Clam Chowder and Philadelphia Pepper Pot. The deserts are New York cheesecake covered with blueberries, apple cobbler, brown betty, Brownstone Front Cake (4 layer chocolate cake), pecan pie, ice cream and lime sherbet. Drinks included Coke, Pepsi and lemon sherbet punch.

  37. AJ says:

    OK, Steve, now I’m hungry!!! That looks like a great menu — the Terrytown Brochettes look awesome. Do you still have a hard copy menu from back then?

  38. Steve says:

    No menu. Just great memories.

  39. [...] although they may be added at the last minute.  For more on LTT, check out this review on the Disney Food Blog, one of our favorite sources for Disney food [...]

  40. carlos says:

    I’ve been going to the Magic Kingdom since ’72, and I’d never been in the Liberty Tree Tavern until my trip this last February. I really loved the decor. Although probably accurately colonial, it’s also a time capsule of the Americana trend of the 60′s &70′s.(I can imagine walking into any Ethan Allen, back then, and being able to purchase all the furniture.) It was freezing cold outside, so the heat was on. When i went upstairs, the density of the rising heat was almost suffocating. Also, at the bathroom sink, a little boy’s hands weren’t big enough to activate the faucet sensor (so cute). It was definitely a welcome respite from the hectic pace outside and the food was delicious. The best mac & cheese i’ve ever had.

  41. AJ says:

    Carlos — So glad you had a wonderful experience. It really is one of our favorite places. “Respite” is a great word for it!

  42. pam says:

    I have two words for everybody going to Liberty Tree Tavern…….HONEY BUTTER!!!!!! OMG…..I fell in love with it and the rolls…….and thank goodness I found out from my server that it is made only in WDW this way and i won’t find it exactly like that anywhere else…..YUMMMMMMMY!!! It was excellent food and I enjoyed it more than my meal at The Yachtsman Steakhouse, which is MUCH more expensive!!!!

  43. AJ says:

    Pam, that’s awesome! Good point on the honey butter!

  44. Ryfun says:

    The mugs ARE for sale. We buy one every time we go to WDW. ,

  45. Steve says:

    Let’s have some fun and crack open that 1970’s Liberty Tree Tavern Americana time capsule and let’s see what is there besides the Ethan Allen like furniture.

    • To ensure seating, you will need a same day reservation card. Reservations are easily made by visiting the hostess at the podium in front of the restaurant.
    • Your table setting includes a paper placemat topped by a blue linen napkin neatly folded in the shape of a tri-corner hat. Also, each guest has an amber glass water goblet filled with ice water and bread plate with bread knife that will soon be used to spread butter, honey butter and apple butter on hot English walnut bread served wrapped up in a loaf-sized wicker basket.
    • At the center of the table is a glass one-if-by-land two-if-by-sea lantern with a lit candle insert. And nearby is the ever-present amber glass circular ashtray.
    • Your hostesses are wearing off-white, black and burgundy costumes. They are wearing tan hair bonnets and aprons.
    • Your service host is wearing the familiar blue vest and knickers. Sometimes a tan vest is worn. On his feet are black pilgrim-styled shoes with a large metal buckle and wooden heels that go “clump, clump, clump” as they walk across the wooden floor.
    • The menu is completely different except for the New England Clam Chowder and the Liberty Tree Tavern Sherbet Punch. Some of the entrées may have the same name but they are very different. And the prices!
    • An assistant host who is wearing a white apron will bring your entrée out on a large oval tray, placing the tray on a strategically placed tray stand. Every entrée is covered by a white plastic hat that will be removed by your server as they present your meal.
    • The dinnerware is generic WDW white dinnerware with two yellow-gold rings and the D-World emblem near the outer edge of the plates.
    • Other assistant hosts are whizzing by with large black bus tubs full of dishes on their shoulders heading for the dish room.
    • At the end of the meal, the “click, click, click” you are hearing is your server in the side station totaling your bill on the adding machine. Afterwards, you will be presented a hand written check in a slimmer check cover that also has a complementary souvenir hard paper copy of “The Story of the Liberty Tree Tavern” along with gold foil wrapped chocolate mints for everyone.
    • You will probably pay your bill with cash or travelers checks and your server will walk your check to cashier hostess who is sitting in the casher cage located at the left (as you enter) side of the lobby. Everything is rung up on the cash register. If you need a receipt, let your server know so they can write the amount on the bottom of the check and tear it off so you can keep it for your records.
    • And if you are there on your special day the hosts and hostesses will sing “Happy Birthday to You …”

  46. AJ says:

    Yay! So fun, Steve! Thank you!

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